5 things to know, before photographing monuments in Delhi

While it seems like an easy enough task to visit one of the numerous historical monuments in Delhi and start shooting, there are certain things you need to keep in mind, even before you pack your camera gear. Hence I am listing 5 basic things you need to know about photographing monuments in Delhi, in order to ensure that you don’t come back disappointed.


Humayun’s Tomb

No tripods: That’s right; all monuments under the protection of ASI (Archeological Survey of India) do not allow tripods, unless you have written permission from ASI. So if you are planning to head to an ASI protected monument, leave your tripod at home and save yourself the trouble of heaving to lug dead weight. An exception to this rule is Lodi Garden, where you can use a tripod, though not inside the tombs.

Monument timings: While all monuments under the protection of ASI are supposed to be open from Sunrise to Sunset, ticket sellers rarely reports for duty before 6:30am (usually around 7am in winters) and only occasionally guards let you through without ticket. Also, majority of the monuments are closed on Mondays and on public holidays like Independence Day, Republic Day etc. so make sure you aren’t planning to visit them around that time.

Food and Water: Several of the monuments in Delhi do not have any food/water vendors inside the monument premises, and since photography takes time, it is best to take water and if needed, food with you on such photowalks.

Renovation and repairs: ASI along with NGOs is under taking extensive renovation and repair work of several of the monuments in Delhi. Hence it is a good idea to check check recent photographs of monuments you are planning to visit or ask fellow photogs on photography forums and groups about the status of the monument you are planning to shoot, so that you don’t end up with ugly construction work in your images.


Humayun’s Tomb under renovation in 2009

Go in the morning: While you would rarely get to shoot sunrise along with a monument, due to ticket sellers arriving late. Morning light is wonderful to work with and as a bonus, there are few if any people around to get in your frame, ensuring you get clear distraction free images.

While the above tips have been written keeping in mind monuments in Delhi, they also hold true for most of the monuments in India, irrespective of their location.


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