Photography Journey to Ladakh
24th -31st August 2017
Ladakh is a revelation -- with its stark landscape, epic monastries and stupas and fluttering multi-coloured flags, it offers a photographic opportunity that is truly unique. Ladakh is unusual as it offers a desert like setting high up in the beautiful Himalayas. Originally a stop for trading caravans, the area is known as 'Little Tibet' for it stunning Buddhist sites and jaw-dropping trekking paths, valleys and lakes. From the powder blue skies to pale brown roads, the culture, its gentle people and unusual flora and fauna, Ladakh offers sights and sounds that will take your breath away and keep you clicking for more!
The trip is led by award winning photographer Abhishek Hajela who has experience of over 8-years of leading immersive and unique tours; and is powered by the leading names in Photography -- Olympus, Manfrotto and Go Pro.
Dates: 24rd – 31th Aug 2017
Price: On Request
Photo Mentor: Abhishek Hajela
Trip at a Glance:
Day 01 - Arrive Leh
Day 02 - Thiskey, Hemis and Shey Monastery, Sunset at Shanti Stupa
Day 03 - Drive to Nubra Valley via Khardung La pass
Day 04 - In Nubra Valley, drive to Turtuk village
Day 05 - Drive back to Leh
Day 6 - Drive to Pangong Lake
Day 7 - Drive back to Leh
Day 8 - Fly back home
Highlights of the Trip:
-- Photography the early morning prayer ceremony at Thiskey Monsatery
-- Drive past the highest moterable road in the world
-- Photograph some of the most amazing landscape on the planet
-- Get closer to the buddhist lifestyle and monks
-- Spend a night next to the serene Pangong lake
-- Spend a week in a magical place called Ladakh!
Day 1: 24 Aug; Arrive into Leh
Early morning fly to Leh, the flight itself is spectacular, flying over the crest of the Himalayas, we will try to get you a window seat and make sure you have your camera ready, as the view of Leh as you come in to land is incredible!
Situated in the far north of the sub-continent, over 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) up on the high plateau, Ladakh (often referred to as ‘little Tibet’) is geographically, anthropologically and culturally part of Tibet. Its remoteness and sheer inaccessibility, however, have meant that it was to have a very different history to the rest of the high plateau. Having been a part of British India, it was subsequently absorbed into independent India in 1947. Ladakh’s geography protected it from the ravages of the Chinese cultural revolution that have sadly changed the rest of Tibet beyond recognition and today it contains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth.
On arrival in Leh you will be met and transferred to your hotel - spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Minimal exertion is recommended to enable acclimatisation to the rarefied oxygen levels in this high altitude region.
Day 2: 25 Aug; Thiskey, Hemis and Shey Monastery, Sunset at Shanti Stupa
Today after early tea/coffee, we are driven to Thiksey monastery situated towards the East of Leh picturesquely on a hill-lock, which also houses a two story stucco statue of Maitreya Buddha seated on a lotus, upon arrival we witness the monks gathered in the assembly hall for the Morning for a Prayer Ceremony, which begins before sunrise at 6AM, we hear the monks chant their prayers with the beats.
After that you will be guided to visit the other parts of the monastery followed with a breakfast at the Thiksey monastery restaurant.
After breakfast, you will be driven two kilometres ahead of Thiksey monastery for a photo halt along the banks of River Indus and then you will drive to visit Hemis monastery another 30 kilometres southwest of Thiksey; Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. Hemis festival is considered amongst the biggest and most famous of the monastic festivals, and is dedicated to Padmasambhava. Every 12 years, the gompa's means a (monastery) greatest treasures, a huge Thangka, is ritually exhibited.
After that, we will return to visit Shey monastery, Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past.
The palace, mostly in ruins now, was built first in 1655, near Shey village, by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal, also known as Lhachen Palgyigon. It was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh. The Shey Monastery was also built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldan Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is so named since Buddha was the sage (muni) of the Sakya people who resided in the Himalayan foothills and their capital was Kapilvastu. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit the Ladakh local market. Followed by a drive to the Shanti Stupa to catch the sunset view.
Day 3: 26 Aug; Drive to Nubra Valley via Khardung La pass
Grab an early breakfast and set off on what promises to be a super adventurous day. You'll be visiting the stunning Nubra Valley. A few hours north of the Leh, visiting Nubra involves crossing the Khardung La pass, the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,390 feet. This will be your first stop. Spend some time stretching your legs, posing in front of the board that proclaims that fact and buying souvenirs from the gift shop.
We will stop along the way to capture this beautiful landscape.
Head to your hotel sight, check-in, relax over lunch and tea and get ready for a safari like you've never experiened before! That's right, the famous Bactrian Camel safari. These double humped camels are very rare and the Nubra valley is the only place in India where you can find them. Grab tight as the camel and its handler show you the beautiful landscape dotted with small valleys blooming with summer flowers.
Day 4: 27 Aug; In Nubra Valley, drive to Turtuk village
We will start the day with driving down till the Turtuk village – the last village on the border of India and Pakistan. We will spend the time in and around the village and later drive back to Nubra stopping along the way for more landscape images.
Later we will explore the villages of Hunder and Diskit, walk around their streets and spend the evening at the Diskit Monastery.
Day 5: 28 Aug; drive back to Leh
We will start our day exploring around our hotel followed by breakfast and driving to Leh.
The evening is free to explore the town on your own.
Day 6: 29 Aug; drive to Pangong Lake
Arm yourselves with cameras as we head to Pangong Tso, the prettiest and largest lake in the Indian Himalayas.
Today we will be driving through Changla Pass the third highest pass in the world! During our drive you will witness the changing landscape; we will try and capture it all!
At Pangong, check in to your luxury camps, unwind and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Take a walk around the perimeter of the lake and watch as the colour of the water shifts constantly. Throw a pebble across and see how far it skims!
We will spend the time photographing this amazing, beautiful and probably the most photographed lake!
Day 7: 30 Aug; drive back to Leh
An early morning shoot at the lake before we start our drive back to Leh. On the way, stop at Changla again for a cup of steaming local tea and take photos. Rest of the day in Leh is on your own. Perhaps some last minute shopping and souvenir buying for people back home?
Day 8: 31 Aug; fly back home
All good things must come to an end, alas. Today, after breakfast, you get transferred to the airport to catch your respective flights back home.
● 07 Nights accommodation on twin sharing basis in the mentioned hotels or of similar category
● All Transportation and sightseeing by Toyota Innovas or similar
● Breakfast, Dinner at all locations
● Services of an English speaking guide
● Lunches at Pangong and Nubra
● All Monastery and Monument entrance fees
● 01 bottle mineral water per person per day
● Environmental Fees
● All currently applicable taxes
● Airfare to and from Leh or any other destination
● Any kind of personal expenses, extra meals, starters & Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated etc)
● Any kind of optional tours
● Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls, Guide Fee & Camera Fee
● Services of vehicle on leisure days and after finishing the sightseeing tour
● Medical & Travel insurance
● Additional Costs due to Flight Cancellations, Road blocks, natural calamities and nature’s fury
● Anything not mentioned under the category “COST INCLUSIONS”
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