thEscape announces it's Landscape and Travel Photography Tour to the beautiful lands of Kashmir offering an exclusive itinerary with an intent to capture it's pristine autumn beauty with Nikon India as the equipment partner.
The Kashmir Valley offers some stupendous views of landscapes extremely soothing to the eyes be it any season, but when we talk about Autumn months, it's beauty becomes fourfold. Our plan is to visit some of the extreme offbeat places of the valley in the autumn month of November which will impart some incredible vistas to be seen characterized by Yellow leaves. 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.
To see some of the content that we create in our tours, please go through the following link for the set of images -
Landscape Photography Partner for the Tour
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. For his complete set of works-
Highlights of our Tour
Group size of minimum 7 participants and maximum 11 participants mentored by one landscape photographer on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive 7N/8D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every nook and corner of these valleys by not rushing through and hence don't leave out any opportunity to photograph it's 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 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.
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 Post Processing Online One on One session to the participants who would require a hand holding in this aspect. Though we at thEscape believe that Art is one's own visualization and creation. We will only help in the technical aspects both on field and after coming back in the online sessions (if required). 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) 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 connected with rest of India with flights and roads.
All required permits to travel on this route.
Accommodation throughout the tour will be in comfortable 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 8 at Srinagar.
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
6th 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. Evening visit to Shalimar Bagh. Overnight in Hotel.
7th November - Day -2 (Monday) - We start after breakfast and leave for Bandipora. Explore the areas around namely Athwatoo. Overnight in Hotel.
8th November - Day -3 (Tuesday) - On this day, we travel from Bandipora and come to Ganderbal. Visit the Autumn Site around and then come to Srinagar. After Lunch, visit Naseem Bagh. Overnight in Srinagar Hotel.
9th November - Day -4 (Wednesday) - This day, we start early and reach Bijbehara. Explore around and then travel to Aharbal. Overnight in Aharbal Hotel.
10th November - Day -5 (Thursday) - This day, we come back from Aharbal to Srinagar. Evening visit to Chasma Shahi or similar. Overnight in Srinagar Hotel.
11th November - Day -6 (Friday) - On this day, we start early and visit Tosa Maidan. Spend the entire day exploring those lands. evening come back to Srinagar. Overnight in Srinagar Houseboat.
12th November - Day -7 (Saturday)- This day we do a shikara ride early morning and spend the daytime at leisure. After lunch, visit the Dachigam National Park. Overnight in Srinagar House Boat.
13th 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.
Rs. 46,500 per person (Ex-Srinagar)
(Twin sharing in Hotel)
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 all places in the itinerary in twin sharing basis in Hotels and House Boat.
All transfers from Srinagar and back in 1 Tempo Traveler.
Airport Transfers to and from Srinagar Airport.
Permits for the whole tour.
Entry Fee of all Parks and Destinations.
All Meals from Srinagar to Srinagar, i.e. morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea, dinner from Lunch on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 8.
First Aid kit .
Experience of Nikon High End Camera Gears for taking pictures.
Photography Assistance for Day Time Landscapes and Night Photographs(where ever posiible) on all days with image critique.
Making participants understand the settings of the camera for capturing the scape.
Online post processing session to participant if needed.
3 copies of published anthology book to each participant who opt for the book.
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.
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. 20,000 at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 26,500 15 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 21st Oct, 2022.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 6th Oct, 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 6th Oct, 2022 and 21st Oct, 2022 - No Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 15 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 21st Oct, 2022 and 6th Nov, 2022 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 21st Oct, 2022 )
For people not paying the final payment by 21st Oct, 2022 and cancel their participation between 21st Oct,2022 and 6th Nov, 2022- No Refund of Advance Amount.
Any cancellation of Trip from the organizer side due to surge in Covid cases (4th 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.
Please note - 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 13th December, 2022.
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.
Tempertaure 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 are the rules and the protocols to be followed during the course of the tour?
While traveling, the group leader 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 leader 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 leader 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 leader 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. 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 chit chat 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 chit chat 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 Kashmir.
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 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.
5. 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 enroll, we will try to conduct the tour but with some increased cost per participant.
6. 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.
7. 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. Camera Equipment expected from everyone -
One DSLR camera along with a wide and telephoto lens
Filters for those who want to try out Long Exposures. ND10 and Polariser.
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 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.
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 tour 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 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 ,the participant may still have to walk some distance in order to reach a vantage point for photography from the car parking or visiting a place. 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 the entire region falls under the altitude of between 2000 to 3000 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 12 years of age will not be allowed for the tour 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. 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.
13. 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.
14. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys of Kashmir?
Only postpaid connections work in Kashmir. Airtel and Jio postpaid will work in Srinagar and in rest of the places both Airtel and Jio Postpaid on and off.
15. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?<