Essential Kashmir

Undiscovered Kashmir
October 15th - 20th, 2021

Rimmed by layers of alpine peaks, the 140km-long Vale of Kashmir opens up as a giant, flat upland bowl of lakes and orchards. Tin-roofed villages guard terraced paddy fields delineated by apple groves and pin-straight poplars. Proudly independent-minded Kashmiris mostly follow a Sufi-based Islamic faith. 

We will spend 05 days in the Vale of Kashmir based on houseboats on Nigeen Lake. From there, we will make daily trips into the countryside to witness the spring change in the landscape. We will visit local schools and communities, mosques and gardens, commune with fishermen, and spend time at the famed floating market on scenic Dal Lake.


Trip Dates: October 15th - 20th, 2021

Price: INR 35000

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Trip leader:

Abhishek Hajela (Nikon Professional and National Geographic Traveller Photographer)

*Abhishek is fully vaccinated. 

* If Lockdown or any COVID related protocols come into play, all fees will be refunded. If paying through an App, the refund will be minus the processing fee and in case of a bank transfer, it will be refunded minus the bank charges. 


Trip At a Glance:

  • A 5-day Photographic centric trip focusing on storytelling, portraits and people photography

  • Critique session of your current work and images shot on the trip will take place

  • Mini sessions will be available for all kinds of Photography needs and advice

  • Lecture on basics of photography and workflow

  • Tips on post-production, editing on lightroom, storage and other aspects will be covered 

  • Interaction with the very colourful and friendly people of Kashmir

  • Morning and evening village walks, photo sessions and guided portraits

  • Stay at a stunning Houseboat for three nights, have local delicacies and cuisine that are typical to the region


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fri, 15 Oct – New Delhi/Srinagar
Morning flight to Srinagar the capital of Kashmir. We will check in to the Royal Houseboats and have lunch. Afternoon photoshoot in the Mughal Gardens visiting Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh, all the gardens are situated on the bank of Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains in the background. En-route visit old Srinagar city, markets, Jamai Masjid constructed in the 13th Century, ancient houses with beautiful architecture and narrow streets up to Wooden Mosque Shahi Hamdan constructed in the 13th  Century.

O/N Royal Houseboats, Dal Lake (D)
Our Houseboats are situated on one of the most beautiful parts of Dal Lake with scenic views of the Zabarwan/Mahadev Mountain range (lower Himalayan range), and they are surrounded by Lotus Flowers, Water Lilies, and Floating Gardens.

Day 2: Sat, 16 Oct – Srinagar - Sonmarg - Srinagar

After Breakfast, we will proceed towards Sonamarg en route visiting beautiful villages like Ganiewan, Sonmos, Rizan where you can find village life and experience their home visit, portraits of Gujjar families with their shepherds. The more we go inside villages more we find the culture of Kashmir and village life, we will continue towards Sonamarg famous for Glaciers and villages. Later in the evening we will return to Srinagar.

O/N Royal Houseboats, Dal Lake (B,L,D)

Day 3: Sun, 17 Oct – In Srinagar
The group will have an early morning photoshoot in the floating vegetable market. Later today we will drive towards Dodhpathri en-route visiting the beautiful villages life.

O/N Royal Houseboats, Dal Lake (B,L,D)

Day 4: Mon, 18 Oct – The Valley of the Shepherds/Pahalgam

Drive to the Valley of the Shepherds, in the shadow of the Himalayas, with a stop at Mattan Sahib, a Sikh temple built in a Hindu temple complex. While it is a simple temple, Mattan Sahib is where the ninth Sikh guru, Tegh Bahadur, sacrificed himself.

On to Pahalgam, en route, we will visit saffron fields, Awantipora ruins, and beautiful villages near the Lidder river where you can find shepherds. Later walk through the villages of Pahalgam

O/N Royal Houseboats, Dal Lake (B,L,D)

Day 5: Tue, 19 Oct – The Valley of the Shepherds/Pahalgam 

Spend the day on the shepherd's walk, following the hundreds-year-old tracks. Tribes of nomadic shepherds still move their herds of horses, goats, sheep, and cattle between the Himalayan mountains of Jammu and the meadows of Kashmir in the summertime. We will visit a local village to see the way the nomads live, their culture, and their battles to survive.

Day 6: Wed, 20 Oct – Return to Srinagar Airport and Departure

After breakfast, we will drive to Srinagar Airport to fly back home.  



  • 50% of the trip cost will be charged if cancelled before ten days of the Trip date

  • 100% of the trip cost will be charged if cancelled under ten days of the Trip date

Tour Fee Includes

  • Ground transportation as per the itinerary in Tempo Traveller

  • Group transfers on arrival and departure

  • 05-night accommodations based on twin occupancy

  • All meals starting from lunch on the 15th October till breakfast on the 20th October.

  • All excursions, entrance fees, and visits as described in the itinerary

  • Bottled water

The tour fee excludes

  • Airfare

  • medical and trip insurance & evacuation costs

  • Excess baggage charges

  • food and beverages not included in the group meals

  • tips to drivers

  • items of a personal nature, including alcoholic beverages, laundry, and telephone calls

  • other items not specifically mentioned as included.