thEscape announces it's third Photography and Art tour to the remote offbeat lands of Himachal Pradesh with an exclusive itinerary to the lands of Pangi, Miyar and Lahaul valleys with an intent to capture it's pristine autumn beauty in collaboration with Ongoz Escapades which has an experience of 16 years serving clients for Himalayan trips Nikon India Official as the equipment partner.
Pangi and Miyar Valleys are some of the remote distant lands of Himachal Pradesh lying between Lahaul and Chamba districts. Traveling to these lands gives a wilderness feeling because of it's untouched beauty and offbeat nature in terms of less tourist activity. We intent to capture the fall colors of this pristine land and showcase the potential of it in terms of Landscape Photography. Considered as a paradise for Landscape Photographers, this region never fails to amuse anyone who comes with a camera and an intent to capture it's enchanting beauty. thEscape understands it's essence and has come up with the most exclusive and sorted well researched itinerary best suited to the needs of any photographer with all the required facilities and comfort needed to carry out the photography activities.
Highlights of our Tour
Group size of 7 maximum participants on first come first serve basis.
An extensive 7N/8D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every possible places of these valleys by not rushing through and hence don't leave out any opportunity to photograph it's beauty.
Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.
Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta and Himadri Bhuyan who have an experience of photographing Himalayas and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form. Nilakkhya has visited these valleys twice before and hence his experience will help in ensuring capturing images from the vantage points. Himadri Bhuyan is an accomplished Landscape photographer and the Nikon Mentor for North East with awards like ILPOTY and EPSON Pano Awards to his name.
We will also publish a book in collaboration with our publishing partner of the works of our participants during the trip be it photographs, a write up or a painting. This anthology will have introduction of the participants and the showcase of their work at an added cost. This book comes out as an Bi-annual edition of thEscape. Participants who pay for being published are given 3 copies of the book.
Through our NGO partner, we will be selling copies of the book on Amazon and the sale proceeds of it will go as a donation to the remote backward areas of Himalayas in the form of books, clothes and essential products.
thEscape will provide 6 hours of Post Processing Online One on One session to each participant and help him/her with the post processing of the photographs taken during the trip after coming back.
We give the trip ex-Chandigarh with transfer of participants in comfortable Innovas from Chandigarh to Manali. Chandigarh is well connected with rest of India in terms of flights and trains.
From Manali to Pangi Valley and back to Manali, the transfer will be in two Innovas cars for 7+1 participants to ensure comfort throughout the trip. The two Innovas will be accompanied by one support vehicle making a convoy of total 3 vehicles.
We do a Camping cum Hotel Stay Tour which gives us the leverage to set up camps at the most photogenic locations. An extensive research has identified the locations to be high altitude meadows, by the side of high altitude lakes and high altitude rivers most conducive for both Landscapes and Astro scape with minimal light pollution.
We ensure State of the Art camping and food facilities. Camping will be done on twin sharing basis in A-shaped tents along with Sleeping Bags and Mattresses. We will set toilet tents. As a support, we will have the dining tent with all cutlery, tables and camping stools, Kitchen tent being operated with top notch professional chef serving breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner with both Veg and Non-Veg options.
Generator Facility throughout the trip for electricity in Dining Tent and for charging of batteries when we camp.
Mineral Water served to all participants throughout the trip 2 bottles each day.
Facility of Supplement Oxygen and First Aid kits.
Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by sanitizing the cars and camps and each participant and the staff giving a Negative RTPCR report 72-96 hours before the trip depending upon the protocol of Himachal Pradesh state at the time of the tour.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
7th November- Day -1 (Sunday) - Arrival at Chandigarh and transfer of participants in Innovas to Manali - 2050 meters (300 kms). Here we start at around 12 noon from Chandigarh and expect the participants to reach prior to that time. Overnight in a Hotel in Manali.
8th November - Day -2 (Monday) - On this day we start after breakfast and drive 65 kms to our first destination Gushal Village( 3050M) in Lahaul Valley nestled below the Gushal Group of Peaks near Tandi Village which is the meeting point of Chandra and Bhaga rivers. Overnight in Hotel/Home Stay.
9th November - Day -3 (Tuesday) - On this day we drive 75 kms to Urgos Village(3250M) of Miyar Valley. Enroute we visit the picturesque village of Triloknath Dhaam and take the blessings and then also pay our heeds to Mrikula Devi in Udaipur before heading to Miyar Valley. This would be our first camping night under the stars.
10th November - Day -4 (Wednesday) - On this day, we drive towards Pangi Valley and go for a stay to Hilu and Tuwan for 110 kms. Hilu and Tuwan is two of the bhatoris usually meaning a hamlet of Bhutiya people. Overnight we again camp here and enjoy the untouched pristine beauty of this place.
11th November - Day -5 (Thursday) - On this day, we start early from Hilu Tuwan and move deep inside Pangi Valley. Drive for 35 kms and reach Killar(2600M), freshen up and move to Hudan Bhatori(3300M) 18 kms. We do a small hike of half an hour to Hudan Lake and enjoy the falling light there. Overnight in a hotel in Killar.
12th November - Day -6 (Friday) - On this day, we explore Sural Bhatori(3200M). Drive 25 kms to this place and hike for half an hour to Jugni Waterfalls. Overnight in Hotel in Killar.
13th November - Day -7 (Saturday) - Today we take the long route back and drive from Killar to Manali for 190kms after having breakfast. Overnight in Manali Hotel.
14th November - Day -8 (Sunday) - Manali to Chandigarh ( 300 kms) - We say a good bye to our participants on this day and transfer them back in the Innovas to Chandigarh after Breakfast. Start time of the cabs would be 8AM and would drop Chandigarh by 5PM and hence our trip ends.
Twin Sharing- Rs. 49,500 per person (Ex-Chandigarh)
Single Supplement - Not Available for this Tour
Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)
All accommodations at Manali on twin sharing basis in a super deluxe property.
All accommodations during Camping in A-Shape High Altitude Tents.
All transfers from Chandigarh to Manali and back in Innovas ( 4 persons per car).
All transfers in Zanskar region in Two Innovas ( 4 persons per car).
One support vehicle to carry Kitchen Materials, Staff and Luggage.
All Meals from Manali to Manali, i.e. morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner from Dinner on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 8.
Packed Lunch during long transits.
Sleeping bags, Mattresses and Tent Light.
Dining Tent with Camp Stools and Dining Table.
Kitchen Tent for mess purpose.
2 toilet tents with Western Seating arrangement.
Cook, Helper and support staff.
Mineral Water for the whole tour ( Two bottles per person per day)
Power Back up for charging batteries and Dining tent.
Walkie Talkie for intra team communication.
Services of an experienced tour leader for whole tour.
Supplement oxygen in the car.
First Aid kit in each car.
Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.
Photography Assistance and making participants understand the settings of the camera for capturing the scape for the ones who require hand holding.
Making participants understand the composition and framing rules for capturing the scape.
Online 6 hours of one on one session to each participant after coming back.
3 copies of published anthology book to each participant who opt for the book.
Travel to Chandigarh and return travel from Chandigarh to your location.
Any accommodation facility in Chandigarh.
In transit meals during the travel from Chandigarh to Manali and Manali to Chandigarh.
Expenses of personal nature including tips, laundry or similar.
Expenses of extra food or beverages both soft and hard ordered though we try to avoid hard drinks at high altitudes and not recommend it to our participants.
Any cost arising out for Medical emergency of any participant.
Any cost arising out if there is an increase in the number of days due to unforeseen civil unrest, weather disruption or anything beyond our control.
1. What are the terms of Payment and Booking Procedure?
Booking Amount- 40 % - Rs. 20,000 for Twin Sharing at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - 60% - Rs. 29,500 for Twin Sharing 4 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 3rd November, 2021.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 20 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 17th October, 2021- Full Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 20 days prior to departure date and 7 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 17th October, 2021 and 31st October, 2021 - 50% Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 7 days prior to departure and 4 days prior to departure date, ie. between 31st October, 2021 and 3rd November, 2021 - No Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 4 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 3rd November, 2021 and 7th November, 2021 - 50% Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 3rd November,2021 )
For people not paying the final payment by 3rd November, 2021 and cancel their participation between 3rd November,2021 and 7th November, 2021- No Refund of Advance Amount.
Any cancellation of Trip from the organizer side due to surge in Covid cases (3rd Wave) or a Lockdown imposed or any participant testing positive in RTPCR with due diligence, FULL REFUND WILL BE GIVEN of the Advance Amount or Full Payment made by the participants. Nothing will be held upon on our side. Though participants may wish to keep that amount with us as an deposit for the next trip planned by thEscape.
3. What is the minimum and maximum number of participants and what does happen if the minimum participants don't enroll for the tour?
The minimum participation we are looking at is of 7 people as that is a maximum limit. In case the minimum number doesn't enroll, we will not conduct the tour and return the advance deposited by the participants.
4. If due to an emergency, the participant wishes to leave the trip in between, is the fee refunded and arrangements made for his/her return to Manali or Chandigarh?
In case due to any unforeseen circumstance, a participant wishes to leave in between the trip, No Refund would be made. Moreover the cost of arranging the transport for going back to Manali and to their respective destination has to be borne by him/her.
5. What Photography Equipment are expected by the participants to carry?
The trip is characterized as a Landscape Photography tour but at the same time invites are also for people who wish to create some art in the mountains in the form of paintings or creative writing which can be published in the anthology. Hence for photographers, minimum expectation is of a camera, preferably a wide angle lens, a tripod for slow shutters and night photography, filters though optional. Since it is a trip to some remote lands with a chance of electricity being off unexpectedly, we also expect that the photographers get their extra battery sets in case they run out of charge. An extension board for putting in extra chargers would also be handy if participants carry it. For painters and writers, the expectation is that they bring their creative kits with them in the form of copies, pens, painting sheets or canvas, colors etc.
6. Who are the Photography Partners and we see his work online?
Nilakkhya Dutta and Himadri Bhuyan are going to be the photography partners during this trip and will be working closely with the participants on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn. For the works,
7. Can a participant bring a Non- Photographer Friend or Companion or a Non-Photographer or a Non-Artist Join?
We here invite two sets of people, one who are keen on Landscape Photography and second who are painters or writers as we publish an anthology for them. Apart from these two, if someone wants to join in the tour is welcome because we do a lot of sight seeing too in this trip but subject to the following conditions-
No reduction in Fee Cost
If they don't create any form of Art, then their name doesn't go in the anthology we create.
Photography and Art tours are slow moving as we will stop at a lot of places and spending time on creating the Art Form and the Non- Art participant is thereby expected to respect the time of the Artists and move as per their pace.
8. What is the fitness level required for this trip? Does it involve Trekking or Long Walks?
Any person visiting the Himalayas, especially an altitude more than 3000 meters is expected to have a minimum level of fitness for carrying out day to day activities during the tour. Though our trip is a driving tour majorly and not involving full day hikes or treks except for a day trek to Hudan Lake and Jugni Waterfall, the participant may still have to walk some distance in order to reach a point from the car parking or visiting a sight seeing point. Apart from that minimum level of fitness, it is also expected that any medication to be also taken care by him/her during the course of the trip and carry them in adequate quantities to avoid any kind of mishaps. Rest for a while if facing any issues and move forward at a pace best suited for his/her body. Participants hence are expected to bring in their medical and first aid kits. It's the participant's responsibility to notify the staff of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability that may affect his/her ability to travel on this trip.
9. What is the Age Group of travel and Can the Participants bring their kids?
Since the entire region falls under the altitude of between 2000 to 3500 meters , it is advisable not to bring in kids and if brought then taking his/her entire responsibility. Further, it's an Art trip with Photography being the primary motive, it's advisable to bring in kids only when they are able to comprehend the pace of the trip and respect the precision of the artists at work. Any child below 10 years of age will not be allowed for the tour due to it's high altitude nature.
10. Will the organizers use the photos taken by the participants or of the participants for Promotional Purpose?
Yes, with signing of the trip, the participant will also grant thEscape and Ongoz Escapades the right to use some of their images taken by the participant and of the participant and art created with due credits to the artists on their Website and Social Media handles. By joining the trip, the participant will also grant the permission for creating an anthology and publishing it in the form of a book by Raindrops Publishers and selling it online in order to proceed the sale grants to the backward Himalayan region.
11. Does the organizer hold the right to cancel the participation of any member during the course of the trip and under what circumstances?
Any misbehavior or misconduct by any participant during the course of the trip like causing distress and annoyance to co-travelers, any kind of damage to property of any supplier or travel companions, any kind of sexual harassment or misconduct, the participant will be terminated from the trip without any kind of refund of the fee amount and also has to bear the cost of him/her going back home. The decision of the Group Leader will be binding here keeping the respect of the group and artists intact. Also we have zero tolerance towards any kind of misbehavior after consuming alcoholic drinks. Though we discourage its consumption during high altitude tours, but participants consuming it for keeping themselves warm or similar should keep in mind to be in discipline with the co-participants.
12. What if any odd numbers come out of the Male Female Ratio while assigning twin sharing to participants ?
In that case, the best possible solution will be given by the organizer and under no circumstance, a twin sharing will be allotted to opposite sex people.
13. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys?
The service is going to be on and off in entire of these valleys. Internet services would also be there on and off throughout. The participants should not expect the same with any of the mobile service provider though Jio has started their services. Preferable would be to carry both Airtel and Jio sims.
14. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?
Nilakkhya and Himadri are going to be the ones accompanying the participants along with the tour leader and support staff.
15. Use of Psychotropic Substances Alcohol and Smoking during the Tour
Use of psychotropic substances(drugs) is strictly prohibited during the tour. Any one caught possessing or consuming it will be terminated from the tour immediately. Smoking and consumption of alcohol will be allowed till the point it doesn't create any disturbance to co-participants. Since this tour doesn't have a Single Supplement provision, it is advised to all the participants to consume it taking his/her room mate into confidence.
16. Are there any other Terms and Conditions which needs to be kept in mind?
It is a fundamental condition that the participants acknowledge that this is a high altitude tour. This requires some flexibility. The day-to-day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, we shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives, which could be decided upon mutual agreement. Any extra cost arising for the same will have to be borne by the participants.
If the participant doesn't show up at Chandigarh on 7th November by 1PM max, we will assume the participant has been delayed and has cancelled the tour and will be considered as "No Show". There is no refund of any money paid in that case.
We reserve the right to revise pricing rate posted on our website, under any circumstances, or on the pressure of various external factors that are further than our control. But, we put forth effort to keep on the present rate. In case of minor increase in price of hotels or other related factors, we don’t revise the cost of the trip, which was already confirmed & booked by deposit.
We highly recommend our participants to have a medical insurance and an insurance against any unforeseen event before attending this trip or any trip for that matter.
The tour date is fixed for the itinerary and the plan we have made. No alterations would be possible in this with regard to the participant's need. The itinerary has been made keeping in mind the best time to visit Autumn of Pangi and Miyar valleys.
Participants are requested to keep their documents handy during the trip for any kind of checking by the authorities and administration. We’re not accountable in case of any non-compliance if the authorities ask for your document and you fail to provide it. Before commencing the trip, the participants also need to deposit the indemnity bond duly signed by them and show their Aadhar Cards to the organizer.
You understand that during the course of the trip certain events may occur, including, but not limited to, accident or illness in remote places without medical facilities, political instability and the forces of nature. You agree to assume all risks associated with the journey to the maximum extent permitted by Indian law.