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"Capturing the Beauty of Autumn: A Kashmir Landscape Photography Tour"



The Autumn Kashmir Landscape Photography Tour invites photographers to immerse themselves in the mesmerizing beauty of India's crown jewel, the Kashmir Valley, during its most enchanting season. As the summer warmth gives way to the crisp air of autumn, the valley transforms into a breathtaking mosaic of vibrant colors.

Photographers will have the opportunity to capture the stunning contrast of fiery red Chinar trees against the backdrop of majestic Himalayan peaks. From the serene shores of Dal Lake to the picturesque villages nestled amidst orchards, every corner of Kashmir offers a perfect canvas for capturing the essence of autumn.

Led by knowledgeable guides, this tour not only provides photographers with access to some of Kashmir's most iconic landscapes but also offers insights into the rich culture and heritage of the region. It's a journey that promises to inspire creativity and leave photographers with memories of Kashmir's unparalleled beauty etched in their hearts forever.


This is the third tour planned by thEscape. Do go through this for images




Landscape Photography Partner for the Tour



NILAKKHYA DUTTA


Nilakkhya is a published Landscape Photographer of India from Delhi and has been in the photography arena for the last 11 years. He is associated with Nikon India and to talk of some of his accomplishments, he has been published on all major platforms of photography including some of the top photography magazines of India. Above all he has been leading Landscape and Astro Photography Workshops for 3 years now and holds a rich experience in teaching the concepts to the participants. For his complete set of works-





Highlights of our Tour


  • Group size of minimum 7 participants and maximum 9 participants mentored by one landscape photographer depending upon participation on first come first serve basis.

  • An extensive 8N/9D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every nook and corner of Autumn Kashmir by not rushing through and hence don't leave out any opportunity to photograph its beauty.

  • Participants experiencing latest High End Nikon cameras and Lenses as Nikon is our Equipment Partner.

  • Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta who has an experience of Landscape Photography and showcasing the beauty of a place in the most purest form. Nilakkhya is a published photographer across different platforms and magazines around the globe.

  • Participants getting a chance of their image prints to be exhibited and auctioned through the NGO wing of thEscape. The proceeds of the same, some part being given to the artist and rest being used up for upliftment of education of the children and youth in remote regions of India.

  • Post Processing on Field every evening after the photography sessions and after coming back from the tour if needed, online sessions too. In this regard, we would also like to mention that we will make the participants click their own images with the outlook they like and would not encourage them to imitate or copy the frames taken by more experienced photographers of the group or the Photography Partner( Nilakkhya as he would also be capturing his frames during the tour after making sure that all the participants are getting their images) as we believe the style of photography and Art grows of an individual with their own eye.

  • We give the trip ex-Srinagar with transfer of participants in One comfortable Tempo Traveler throughout the tour. Srinagar is well connected with rest of India with flights and roads. We provide Airport Pick up and drop too from Srinagar Airport.

  • The Accommodation of Participants will be in Hotels in Twin Sharing Basis.

  • All meals, i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Dinner starting from Lunch on Day 1 at Srinagar to Breakfast on Day 9 at Srinagar.

  • Service of an experienced professional Tour Leader.

  • All required permits to travel on this route.

  • Facility of First Aid kits.

  • Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by following any protocol of State of Jammu and Kashmir at the time of the tour.




Detailed Itinerary Day Wise


  • 10th November- Day -1 (Sunday) - Participants reach Srinagar by taking the morning flights from their respective locations. Participants are expected to reach max by 11AM to 12 Noon. We will have one tempo traveler leaving the Airport by 12 Noon. Participants are expected to reach before that time. After lunch, we visit some points of Srinagar for the autumn colors. Overnight in Srinagar Hotel.

  • 11th November - Day -2 (Monday) - Early morning Shikara ride for 2 hours. Then we start after breakfast and leave for Gurez. Reach Dawar town in Gurez Valley after crossing Razdan Pass by late afternoon. Overnight in Dawar Hotel.

  • 12th November - Day -3 (Tuesday) - On this day, we travel from Dawar town of Gurez to Tulail Valley. Explore around and then overnight in Dawar.

  • 13th November - Day -4 (Wednesday) - On this day, we start early and reach Bandipora after crossing Razdan Pass. We stay at a location some 15 kms away from the town of Bandipora where we capture some Autumn colors around the riverside. Overnight in Government Cottage.

  • 14th November - Day -5 (Thursday) - We make our way back to Srinagar on this day via Ganderbal and Manasbal. We stay at Manasbal till the falling light fades away. Overnight in Srinagar Hotel.

  • 15th November - Day -6 (Friday) - On this day, we first visit areas around Dal Lake for Autumn colors early in the morning. Then after breakfast visit one of the gardens of Srinagar. Then drive our way to Kokernag. Enroute we visit Bijbehara, Martand and Achabal. Overnight in Kokernag Hotel or Government Guest House.

  • 16th November - Day -7 (Saturday)- This day after our early morning shoot around Kokernag, we start after breakfast and drive to Aharbal. Drive back to Srinagar. Overnight in Houseboat.

  • 17th November - Day - 8 (Sunday)- After having breakfast at Hotel, the tempo traveler drop us at Srinagar airport at 9AM and we fly out to our respective destinations with beautiful memories of this beautiful Autumn Kashmir Tour.




Package Cost


Rs. 55,000 per person


(Ex-Srinagar Twin sharing in Hotels)

Prices quoted above are exclusive of GST of 5%.


Single Supplement - On Request


Inclusions


  • All accommodations throughout on twin sharing basis.

  • All transfers in One Tempo Traveler.

  • Airport Transfers to and from Srinagar Airport.

  • All Meals from Srinagar to Srinagar, i.e. breakfast, lunch, evening tea, dinner from Lunch on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 8.

  • Services of an experienced tour leader for whole tour.

  • First Aid kit.

  • Permits for the whole tour.

  • Experience of Nikon High End Camera Gears for taking pictures.

  • Photography Assistance for day time Landscapes and Night Astro scape on all days with image critique.

  • Making participants understand the settings of the camera for capturing the scape.

  • Post processing session to participant during the Tour.


Exclusions


  • Travel to Srinagar and return travel from Srinagar to your location.

  • In transit stay and meals during the travel from your location to Srinagar and Srinagar to your location.

  • Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 8.

  • Any kind of Meal skip cost as planned for the tour. For eg. for photography or travel need, the lunch or breakfast is served late, then if any participant chooses to consume food from any outlet or restaurant, the cost of that is not included.

  • Expenses of personal nature including tips, laundry or similar.

  • Expenses of any kind of food or beverage bought by the participants during transit from one place to another.

  • Mineral Water Bottles. (We discourage the use of Plastic Water Bottles during the tour. Participants should carry their own water bottles preferably insulated and refill it for use).

  • 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.




FAQ's


1. What are the terms of Payment and Booking Procedure?


Booking Amount - Rs. 15,000 +5% GST(Rs. 750) = Rs. 15,750 at the Time of Confirmation.

Final Payment - Rs. 40,000 +5% GST(Rs. 2000) = Rs. 42,000 30 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 10th October, 2024.


All Prices quoted above are Inclusive of 5 % GST and are subject to change if at all the GST percentage changes by any Govt order. Invoice will be generated and given for each payment made by the participants.


For Booking through Razorpay Payment Gateway, please do write to us and you will be provided with a payment link. Gateway charges apply - 2% of Transaction Fee and 18% GST on that 2% amount.


2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?


  • If cancelled 45 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 25th September, 2024- 50% Refund of Advance Amount.

  • If cancelled between 45 days prior to departure date and 30 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 25th September, 2024 and 10th October, 2024 - No Refund of Advance Amount. 

  • If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 10th October, 2024 and 10th November, 2024 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 10th October, 2024 )

  • For people not paying the final payment by 10th October, 2024 and cancel their participation between 10th October, 2024 and 10th November, 2024- No Refund of Advance Amount.

  • Any cancellation of Trip from the organiser side due to surge in Covid cases 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 a deposit for the next trip planned by thEscape.

  • Increased cost per participant if minimum 7 number of participants don't enrol or Full Refund of the amount of the tour deposited if cancellation happens from organisers side because of less number of enrolments than 7 members.

  • Cancellation from the organiser side due to ANY reason (less number of participants/ reasons beyond control/any other reason) , NO Refund of the loss of flight charges booked by the participants. For the same reason, we recommend the participants to book the flights with zero cancellations. (If someone wants to book the flights after being double sure whether the tour is happening or not, can connect with thEscape on a cut off date 30 days before the commencement of the tour.)

  • GST component of the payments made will not be refunded in any of the above scenario.

  • Any refund to be made from our side if it may arise will be done after one month of completion of the tour. i.e., by 17th December, 2024.

3. What are the precautions to be kept in mind as it is a high altitude tour and photography during the same becomes difficult? How much Cold is it going to be in November?


First of all, a Landscape Photography Tour at a high altitude especially to pursue Landscape Photography are for participants who are mentally and physically strong. We would like to rope in participants who have a prior high altitude experience but we can also consider freshers as this is a tour with travels in a vehicle and doesn't involve trekking. Moreover this tour will not have places above 2500 meters so it can be considered as an easy moving tour. But the pre requisite which would be strictly adhered to is the physical fitness of the participant. Moreover with some great hospitality of my travel partners during this tour, I'm sure that participants would be able to make it through and in the process create some great images. As they say it " If there is a WILL, there is a WAY". So the mental strength along with physical fitness would be a primary requirement for undertaking this photography tour.


Temperature will start dipping in November in Kashmir region and can start snowing too. So one has to make sure that they are properly dressed with appropriate layering of woolens and thermals along with down jackets with gloves and woolen socks always on to avoid any kind of mis-happening. Keeping oneself hydrated at all times would be another need of the hour. Moreover Autumn of Kashmir is uncertain because of both weather and other reasons, so there might be a case that we change the itinerary or skip a place keeping in mind the well being of the participants and their physical and mental health. The decision of the tour leader would be final here and the team has to adhere to the decision whatever made. No Refund would be made in that case. Rest we will undertake this tour with a strong mind and a passionate heart and I'm sure the team will come out with flying colors and some great content of Landscape Photography of Autumn Kashmir.


4. What to expect in terms of Logistic Support? How difficult it is going to be and is there any itinerary clause?


Being a Landscape and Astro Landscape Photography Tour, we categorise this tour as a Photography Workshop for participants and not a Leisure travel or a vacation/holiday. Please go through the following pointers which will help you to understand what to expect and the degree of difficulty of the tour-


  • As the focus here would be on locations, there would be travels throughout the day. Nights would be given for Astro Photography where ever possible, hence sleep would become secondary in some cases. Hence it is expected that participants rest themselves at times when it is assigned for the same as a group.

  • Apart from factors beyond our control, we try to maintain our sleep and rising times understanding the need for catching the right light for Photography. Participants are expected to adhere to the same.

  • It’s a group tour where one needs to share their rooms with strangers in most cases meeting them for the first time. Participants are expected to respect the same sportingly.

  • Most of the stays in offbeat locations are going to be in Govt Guest Houses where the facilities are basic. Participants are expected to understand the importance of the location for Photography and not the Stay Facility there. Please do keep in mind that the place given for the stay is the best possible for that particular location in that particular season. Participants should understand and respect the same. Though participants can opt to bring in their own linen/sleeping bags.

  • Heating facility would not be there in the Hotels in remote locations. Though rooms are warm, but participants are expected to keep themselves warm by layering of clothes or warmees etc and not depend upon heaters which are not available.

  • Food provided will be very basic in the remote offbeat locations or depending upon the season. Majorly simple vegetarian food and non vegetarian food as per availability. The decision of the menu is kept with the travel partners as they understand the terrain and the availability of materials which can be quickly served.

  • Temperature might dip to as low as sub zero degrees or beyond when we go out for Astro Photography in night. Participants are expected to come mentally prepared for the same and with clothes which can handle that kind of temperature.

  • Due to any reason, if the itinerary is changed, a place or two skipped or a place or two added for factors beyond our control like road blocks, sea disturbance etc. , participants are expected to understand the same


Please do note that participants are expected hence to keep the expectations right and understand the degree of difficulty of the tour. The tour is being undertaken only for Landscape and Astro Landscape Photography and not for any other purpose. Anyone after signing up the tour NOT adhering to the above and the rules of the tour and creating a negative environment for other partcipants or the group leader or for that matter the local support system will get a warning on the same and expelled out of the tour without any refund of the fee. Please join this tour with a strong and open mindset and go out with flying colors of Landscape Photography.


5. What are the rules and the protocols to be followed during the course of the tour?

  • While traveling, the group leaders in the Tempo Traveler will decide on the stoppages for Photography. Participants can click from their windows but when it would be required to stop and get down to capture something, it will be decided by the group leaders.

  • The time for taking images after getting down from the vehicle will be communicated by the group leaders as per the scene in picture. Everyone has to adhere to the timings given. If it is 10 minutes, then everyone should be back in the vehicle in 10 minutes, if more, then more. But be rest assured that ample time will be given to the participants to capture a particular scene in view.

  • Everyone will have to adhere to the rising time and sleeping time communicated by the group leaders and the participants have to wake up on their own. If someone misses the time, then that person would miss out on the photography opportunity and the group leaders won't be responsible for the same. Since it’s a photography tour, it’s extremely important to catch the right light for the images, both for sunrise and sunset.

  • While we are photographing at a particular place, no one will come in each other’s frame. If someone wants to capture the exact scene as being captured by the counterpart, it is advised to everyone to allow the first person to complete the shot and then give the chance to second person.

  • No quarrels during the tour amongst the participants. If anyone faces any issue with any other person, be it for photography or otherwise, one should raise it first to us and we resolve it.

  • For the logistics, all the participants are advised to follow the regular protocol of calling the hotel helpdesk for any need or the Travel Partner during the tour for the same. If at all, they don’t respond or the problem doesn’t work out, then you can come to us and we will provide the resolution.

  • Strictly no littering during the tour of plastic bottles, wrappers or any other material. Do carry it back to hotels or a proper disposing place and dispose off properly.

  • All the participants need to carefully handle their camera equipment, be it the camera, lenses, tripods, memory cards etc. All of you would be responsible for your own belongings. If anyone damages the products given by Nikon India, then that person bears the cost of it.

  • Every day during the evening chitchat session, we will come to each participant and review their images clicked. It is requested to take the feedback from us in a sporting way and improve upon that.

  • Participants who want to consume alcohol during the evening chitchat sessions can have it in quantity best suited to their bodies without going overboard. All are requested to carry it from their respective airports as it’s not available readily in Zanskar.

  • Moreover one needs to keep in mind that the travels and stay would be a little offbeat and tough in nature with photography being the primary motive. So there would be instances where the meal timings along with some other facilities will take time and will not be as per schedule though the travel partners will put up their best show to be on time. Participants need to understand here the same and any negativity in the group or talks about the same during the tour will not be taken in a positive spirit and will imply necessary action as it would disturb the positive flow of the photography spirit and will imbibe unnecessary hurdles in creation of images.

  • For People who would want to take their photographs by going a little away from the group would be at their own responsibility and any mis-happening would not be responsibility of thEscape and it's associates.

  • We would also discourage any visit during the tour which would be of personal nature like a visit which generally tourists make during the tour as this tour is characterized as a Landscape Photography tour.

  • Any skip of any destination as mentioned in the itinerary due to any factor not in our control like road block, weather etc, In such cases, we shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives, the best we can. Any extra cost arising for the same will have to be borne by the participants.

6. 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 . In case the minimum number doesn't enrol, we will try to conduct the tour but with some increased cost per participant.


7. 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 Srinagar and their Destination?


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 Srinagar and to their respective destination has to be borne by him/her.


8. What Photography Equipment are expected by the participants to carry?


The trip is characterised 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. Camera Equipments expected from everyone  -

  • One DSLR/Mirrorless camera along with a wide and telephoto lens 

  • Tripod 

  • Filters for those who want to try out Long Exposures. ND10 and Polariser.

  • Memory Cards 

  • Shutter Release remote again for Long Exposures 

  • L-bracket who want to take vertical long exposures and panos.


Though this is a comprehensive list, but not hard and fast that everyone will have to carry these. For those who want to carry out simple landscape photography of golden and blue hours and want to learn Astro can just bring in DSLR with lenses and a tripod. For long exposures, the filters are very important along with the shutter release remote.


Since it is a trip to some remote lands with uncertain electricity , 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 keeping the batteries not running out of charge due to the cold bitter weather, participants can keep them attached to the bare body inside their clothes. 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.


9. 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 art adoring people. 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 tour but subject to the following conditions-

  • No reduction in Fee Cost

  • 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.


10. What is the fitness level required for this trip? Does it involve Trekking or Long Walks?


Any person visiting the mountains, especially for photography 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, still to reach a vantage point for photography, we might have to walk to reach a particular destination, hence the participant needs to be physically fit for the same. 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.


11. What is the Age Group of travel and Can the Participants bring their kids?


Since 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 its high altitude and artistic nature.


12. 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 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.


13. 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. At the same time, we at thEscape expect the participants to be polite to the hotel staff, drivers and trek support staff. Any kind of foul language used with them and calling out to them in a disrespectful manner will invite a warning from the group leader and repeatedly doing so will invite a termination from the tour. We also have zero tolerance towards any kind of misbehaviour after consuming alcoholic drinks. Participants consuming it for enjoyment or similar should keep in mind to be in discipline with the co-participants. Any spread of negativity in the tour will also invite a warning from the group leader and repeatedly doing so will lead to termination from the tour without any kind of refund of the fee amount and also has to bear the cost of him/her going back home.


14. 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.


15. Is there any Mobile connectivity in Kashmir?


Only postpaid connections work in Ladakh. Airtel and Jio postpaid will work.


16. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?


Nilakkhya would be the photography partner along with the tour leader and support staff.


17. 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 is allowed and consumption of it will be allowed till the point it doesn't create any disturbance to co-participants. People not opting for Single Supplement provision, it is advised to all the participants to consume it taking his/her room mate into confidence. Alcohol is allowed and is advised to take in quantity best suited to one's body and not create any problem.


18. 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 photography 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 Srinagar on 10th November, 2024 by 2PM 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 wouldbe possible in this with regard to the participant's need. The itinerary has been made keeping in mind the best time for the needs of Autumn Colors.

  • This tour will pass through some points which are checked by authorities of Kashmir. Participants will have to keep in mind to not take photos where is it not allowed. At the same time, the participants have to show their Govt. Issued Ids at all thecheckpoints.

  • 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 anynon-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, politicalinstability and the forces of nature. You agree to assume all risks associated with the journey to the maximum extent permitted by Indian law.




For Booking and queries, write to us "thescapebiz@gmail.com" or call on +91 9717960028 and speak to Nilakkhya and discuss on the same.


For Transfer of Advance Amount of Booking and for the Final Payments, we will share with you the Bank Account Details along with the contract and acknowledgement of the trip. Anyone wanting to go in for Razorpay Payment Gateway will be given a payment link and can pay through Debit Cards/Credit Cards/UPI/Wallets/EMI. Lets get it rolling and make it one of the most memorable trip of our lifetime with loads of images and artwork. Looking forward to hear from you soon.


Disclaimer- The photographs used here are by Nilakkhya Dutta from the autumn tours he has done of Kashmir.


Anyone making the payment for booking will be considered as an acceptor of the above cancellation policy and will fall under the above Terms and Conditions.

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