thEscape announces a first of it's kind Photography and Art tour on a trek to the offbeat lands of Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh with an intent to capture and create Landscape and Astro images of this part of the Himalayas never ever seen before in collaboration with Nikon India official as an equipment partner for the tour.
Great Himalayan National Park is located in Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh and is habitat to the a lot of species of flora and fauna. Spread over a huge mountain land, this place offers some stupendous views of the valley if explored in a proper way. thEscape understands it's potential and is releasing a first of it's kind Landscape and Astro Photography tour to this valley to capture some non-seen images. The trek would be undertaken in the month of May with summers setting in and spring season signing off expecting a lot of colors in the valley with some great logistics and comfort required to undertake Landscape Photography.
Highlights of our Tour
Group size of not more than 8 participants accompanied by one landscape photographer and one liaison person on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive and exclusive 6N/7D well planned out trek so that we are able to reach the vantage points conducive for Landscape Photography.
Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta who has an experience of photographing Himalayas and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form. Nilakkhya is a published photographer across different platforms and magazines around the globe.
Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.
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 to the ones who would need the hand holding.
We give the trip ex-Chandigarh with transfer of participants in TWO comfortable Innovas from Chandigarh to the start of the trek point and back. Chandigarh is well connected with rest of India with flights, rail and roads.
The Accommodation of Participants will be in a guest house on Day 1 and Day 6 in Tirthan Valley.
During the trek, the accommodation will be in A-shaped High Altitude Tents on Triple Sharing Basis with Sleeping Bags, Mattresses.
All the participants will have a Personal PORTER assigned to them throughout the trek for carrying their luggage of not more than 15 kgs.
We ensure State of the Art food facilities. We will make our participants eat at the guest house and throughout the trek, we will have our Kitchen staff (Make Shift Kitchen) accompanying us as a support operated with top notch professional chef serving breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner with both Veg and Non-Veg options throughout the tour.
All meals having both Veg and Non-Veg options i.e. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. Non-veg options from Day 3 to Day 5 would not be given during the tour. Eggs will be served throughout the tour.
Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by each participant and the staff giving a Negative RTPCR report 72-96 hours before the trip depending upon the protocol of the state of Himachal Pradesh at the time of the tour.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
30th April- Day -1 (Saturday) - Participants reach Chandigarh from their respective locations either by Flights or Trains or Road. Pick up at 12 noon from Chandigarh in 2 Innovas and transfer to Gushaini(250 kms). Overnight in Hotel.
1st May - Day -2 (Sunday) - Transfer of Participants from Gushaini to Ropa(1600meters) in Innovas for 5 kms and then trek to Rolla(2100meters) for 6kms. In this the walk through will be through eco zones of Ropa and Kauncha to reach the National Park's entrance and a general uphill gradient walk. Overnight in Rolla campsite in a tent.
2nd May - Day -3 (Monday) - On this day, the trek happens from Rolla(2100meters) to Shilt Hut( 3100 meters) for 5 kms. After reaching Shilt Hut, one makes a way to the large meadows and gets a clear view of Tirthan Valley and some peaks. We also undertake Astro Photography on this day. Overnight in Shilt Hut campsite in a tent.
3rd May - Day -4 (Tuesday) - This day, we gain the height and move from Shilt Hut(3100 meters) to Rakhundi Top( 3600 meters) and come back to Shilt Hut undertaking a total trek of 9 kms. The trek passes through a beautiful high altitude bamboo forest and a waterfall. From Rakhundi Top, one is able to view 60 percent of the National Park on a clear day. Overnight in Shilt Hut Camp site in a tent and some Astro sessions.
4th May - Day -5 (Wednesday) - On this day, we trek back from Shilt Hut(3100 meters) to Rolla for 5 to 7 kms. Overnight in Rolla Campsite in tents and some Astro Sessions.
5th May - Day -6 (Thursday) - On this day, we descend down from Rolla to Ropa for 5 kms and take the innovas and move to Gushaini (5 kms) and enjoy our stay at a Guest House.
6th May - Day -7 (Friday) - After Breakfast, we start for Chandigarh in our Innovas from Gushaini and are dropped at Chandigarh by 4PM and move out to our respective locations with some beautiful captures of the National Park and memories.
Rs. 34,500 per person (Ex-Chandigarh)
(Triple sharing in Tents and Twin Sharing in Guest House)
Single Supplement - Cost on Request
Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)
All accommodations at Gushaini Guest House on twin sharing basis on Day 1 and Day 6
All accommodations during the trek in entire of the National Park in A-shaped High Altitude Tents on Triple Sharing Basis.
Personal Porter for each Member carrying a load of not more than 15 kgs.
All Transfers from Chandigarh to Gushaini and back in Innovas.
All Breakfast, Lunch Evening Snacks and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 7. (Breakfast and Lunch on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 7 is not included)
Packed Lunch during trek.
Facility of Cook with his helper and Make Shift Kitchen with all necessary raw materials.
Cook, Helper and four support staff.
Sleeping Bags, Mattresses and Camp Lights.
Facility of Toilet Tent with toiletries with Toilet Seat Covers.
Bon Fire on all Days
Services of an experienced tour leader and a local guide for whole tour.
First Aid kit.
Facility of Charging Camera Batteries on one day during the trek.
Photography Assistance for day time Landscapes and Night Astro scape on all days with image critique.
Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.
Making participants understand the settings of the camera 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.
Breakfast and Lunch on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 7.
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 - Rs. 14,500 at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 20,000 15 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 15th April, 2022.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 30th March, 2022- 50% Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure date and 15 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 30th March, 2022 and 15th April, 2022 - No Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 15 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 15th April, 2022 and 30th April, 2022 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 15th April, 2022 )
For people not paying the final payment by 15th April, 2022 and cancel their participation between 15th April,2022 and 30th April, 2022- 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 are the precautions to be kept in mind as it is trekking tour and photography during a trek becomes difficult as one gets tired during a trek?
First of all, a Landscape Photography Trek 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 trekking experience but we can also consider freshers as this is not a very high altitude trek and doesn't involve technical knowledge. This trek is giving a facility of a personal porter to each participant for carrying their load of not more than 15 kgs which would mean that photographers don't have to carry their heavy load on their backs to reach a campsite and will have the luxury and comfort of moving at a slow pace and create the landscape captures. Moreover with some great hospitality of my travel partners during this trek, 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".
4. 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 8 people . In case the minimum number doesn't enroll, we will try to conduct the trek but with some increased cost per partcipant.
5. 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 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 Chandigarh and to their respective destination has to be borne by him/her.
6. 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 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.
7. Who is the Photography Partner and we see his work online?
Nilakkhya Dutta is going to be the photography assist during this trek and will be working closely with the participants on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn. For the works,
8. 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 trek 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.
9. What is the fitness level required for this trek? Does it involve Trekking or Long Walks?
Any person visiting the Himalayas is expected to have a minimum level of fitness for carrying out day to day activities during the tour. Now since this is a trekking tour, participants need to be physically fit without any ailment which can trigger during a high altitude walk. The daily treks are for 4-5 hours and participants need to be mentally and physically ready 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.
10. What is the Age Group of travel and Can the Participants bring their kids?
Since it's a trekking tour and involves a trek to around 3600 meters from 1600 meters, it is not advisable to bring in kids. 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 15 years of age will not be allowed for the trek due to it's high altitude nature.
11. 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. 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.
12. 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 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.
13. What if any odd numbers come out of the Male Female Ratio while assigning triple sharing to participants ?
In that case, the best possible solution will be given by the organizer and under no circumstance, a triple sharing will be allotted to opposite sex people.
14. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys of Himachal?
The service is going to be on and off in entire of these valleys. Internet services would also be there on and off throughout. During the trek, there would be no signals available.
15. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?
Nilakkhya would be the photography partner. One liaison person to oversee the tour logistics along with the tour leader and support staff.
16. 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. People not opting for Single Supplement provision, it is advised to all the participants to consume it taking his/her room mate into confidence.
17. 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 30th April, 2022 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 would be possible in this with regard to the participant's need. The itinerary has been made keeping in mind the best time after winters to visit GHNP keeping in mind the need of Landscape Photography.
This tour will pass through some points which are checked by guards of GHNP. 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 the checkpoints and have to deposit with the authorities too where ever required.
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.
For Booking and queries, write to us "firstname.lastname@example.org" 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. 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- All photographs used here in the post are from the locals of Great Himalayan National Park and does not showcase the genre of Landscape Photography we would be undertaking during the tour. Photographs are put up here to showcase the actual scenery of the place. thEscape's Landscape Photography team will be visiting this place for the first time for the content creation along with the participants.
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.