Hey! Thanks for the assistance :-D I'm starting in Mumbai and heading south down and around the coast to Chennai. Gonna try and hit as many places as I can in between. I shoot mostly landscapes and street(portraits and general scenes) so I think the lens choices might just be okay. Can you recommend any must see places or festivals that will be taking place that time of year? Also any general tips for traveling through the south. I'm so damn excited!!! :-D Thanks again!
Hi, I'm from Goa (India) but working in the Middle East for the last 7 years ... I visit India twice a year for a total of 45 days. Since you wanted to know some must see places or festivals here is some info:
1. Goa is one of the MUST SEE places in India (google and see why) and it is less than 600 kms / 372 miles from Mumbai (it is also on your way down to Chennai).
2. Goa has two festivals coming up the first one is "Goa Carnival" starts on 9th Feb and ends on 12th Feb 2013, followed shortly by "Shigmo" festival ... both these occasions present you with some incredible & colorful photo opportunities.
3. Goa has beautiful beaches, waterfalls, world heritage churches and temples in addition to farms, cashew plantations, wildlife (crocodiles, birds, dolphins, leopards, deer, elephants not to forget the holy cow )
4. Goa has several daily flights, trains and buses from Mumbai ... but for person with photography bug, train journey is the best (especially the day train as you can chat up with lots of friendly people ... but be careful if they offer you food, there have been incidents where people have been drugged with food only to wake up with all their stuff stolen)
5. Trains take around 10 hours from Mumbai to Goa and a reserved non-air conditioned sleeper coach travel costs less than US$ 8 per person ... if you want air conditioned sleeper coach it cots less than US $ 32 per person. Also as a foreign tourist you get preference for quick reservations on trains (just ask for "Tatkal" ticket at train reservation counter)
6. Good quality beer costs less than bottled water in Goa ... lots of restaurants, seafood and rave parties ... you also get to see hippies who've been frequenting Goa for the last 4 decades ... awesome flee markets ... at this time of the year, you get to see Russian, British, Polish, Israeli and Japanese tourists (this is in addition to the domestic tourists from North and South India), its a melting pot of cultures and the best part is all of them are willing to pose for a photograph as they are all in "mood" for a good time, especially when they are only drinking beer instead of water.
7. You can easily reach Chennai from Goa either by air or train.
By the way coming to your question about the choice of lenses ... what you chose is perfect for your trip ... you will come back with some memorable photos ... I just came back from a 16 day vacation in Goa from Dec 2012 to Jan 2013 ... took a lot of pics with the 16-35mm f2.8 L II ... the 50mm f1.4 will work nicely inside some of the old portuguese churches.
All the best for your trip