When we talk of Stellar Locations in our Indian Himalayas, Tapovan and Nandanvan definitely steals the show with its mind staggering beauty... When I formed thEscape as a venture, the aim was to reach these locations in the best of times and create captures not seen or witnessed before under the genre of Landscape Photography...
Yes, the itinerary and logistics are in place to provide best of what can be given in those high altitude terrains...Yes, it would be a little challenging affair but a serious effort will bring in mind boggling results...Its the love for the Himalayas and Landscape Photography we have to showcase and I'm sure the Almighty will bless...
Let's rock it from 9th Sep to 16th Sep, 2023 and let's go for what has been rarely done in Indian Himalayas before...
ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP on a TREK in the HIGH ALTITUDE TERRAINS of TAPOVAN AND NANDANVAN
Tapovan and Nandanvan are located in Gangotri National Park lying above the famous shrine of Gangotri in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Known as one of the most picturesque spot, these high altitude regions are characterized by some mesmerizing views of Shivling Peak, Meru Peak, Bhagirathi Group of sisters and Kedar Dome. thEscape understands it's potential and is releasing a Landscape and Astro Photography trek and workshop to this place to capture some pristine images. The trek would be undertaken in Mid Sep during the new moon phase to get the dark skies required for capturing the galactic sky.
To see the kind of images we click in our workshops, 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 6 participants and maximum 10 participants mentored by one landscape photographer on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive and exclusive 8N/9D 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 photographers 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 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 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 From Gangotri Check in to Harsil Check out. Gangotri and Harsil are well connected with rest of India by roads.
Transport Facility on 15th Sep from Gangotri to Harsil.
The Accommodation of Participants will be in Hotels in Twin Sharing Basis in Gangotri and Harsil.
During the trek, the accommodation will be in High Altitude Tents on twin sharing basis with Sleeping Bags, Mattresses.
Facility of toilet tent.
Facility of Medical Kit.
Facility of Oxygen Cylinder
Service of an experienced professional Trek Leader.
The backpack of clothes of participants will be carried by porters of not more than 10 kgs for each participant.
Generator/Solar Charging facility to charge camera batteries.
All required Permits of the Trek.
We ensure State of the Art food facilities. We will make our participants eat at the home stay 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 Veg options majorly during the trek.
All Cutlery, Dining Tent, Kitchen Tent, Camping Stools with Cook and Helpers during the trek.
All meals, i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, evening Tea and Dinner starting from Dinner at Gangotri on September 9th to Breakfast at Harsil on September 16th.
Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by following any protocol of State of Uttarakhand at the time of the tour.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
9th Sep - Day - 1 (Saturday) - On this day, we reach from our respective locations to Gangotri (3050M) by late afternoon. Check in to our hotel. Evening visit to Surya Kund and other points, enjoy the evening Aarti at the Gangotri Mandir, have dinner and go off to sleep. Overnight in Gangotri Hotel.
10th Sep - Day - 2 (Sunday) - After Breakfast, we start our trek to Chirbasa(3580M) from Gangotri of 9 kms (3-4 hours). Overnight in Tents in Chirbasa.
11th Sep - Day - 3 (Monday) - After Breakfast, we start our trek to Bhojwasa(3790M) from Chirbasa of 5 kms (2-3 hours). Overnight in Tents in Bhojwasa.
12th Sep - Day - 4 (Tuesday) - After Breakfast, we start our trek for Tapovan(4460M) visiting the famous Gaumukh snout enroute for a total of 6 kms which would take roughly 5-6 hours. Overnight in Tapovan in tents.
13th Sep - Day - 5 (Wednesday) - On this day, we stay throughout at Tapovan only exploring different parts of it and visit the Meru Base camp. Overnight at Tapovan only in tents.
14th Sep - Day -6 (Thursday) - On this day, after breakfast we start for Nandanvan (4570M) and cross the mighty Gangotri glacier. Total distance covered would be 6 kms and roughly it will take 7 hours. Overnight in tents at Nandanvan.
15th Sep - Day - 7 (Friday) - After breakfast, we start our long trek back for Gangotri for around 22kms (8-10 hours). We take the tempo traveler and come to Harsil for our night stay. Overnight in a hotel at Harsil.
16th Sep - Day - 8 (Saturday) - After breakfast, we see off our participants from Harsil nd go back with beautiful memories of Tapovan and Nandanvan images in our cameras.
Rs. 37,000 per person
(Gangotri Check in to Harsil Check Out Twin sharing in Tents and Hotels)
Prices quoted above are exclusive of GST of 5%.
Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)
All accommodations at Gangotri and Harsil on twin sharing basis on Day 1 and Day 7.
All accommodations during the trek and camping in High Altitude Tents on twin Sharing Basis.
Porter carrying backpack of participants of not more than 10 kgs for each member.
Transfer from Gangotri to Harsil on Day 7..
All Permits of Trek
All Breakfast, Lunch Evening Tea and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 8. (Breakfast and Lunch on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 8 is not included)
Packed Lunch during trek.
Facility of Cook with his helper and Make Shift Kitchen with all necessary raw materials.
Dining Tent, Camping Stools.
Kitchen Tent for mess purpose.
Cook, Helper and support staff.
Sleeping Bags, Mattresses.
Facility of Toilet Tent.
Services of an experienced trek leader and a local guide for whole trek.
First Aid kit.
Facility of Charging Camera Batteries through Generator/Solar Charging facility 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 post processing session to participant.
3 copies of published anthology book to each participant who opt for the book.
Travel to Gangotri and return travel from Harsil to your location.
In transit stay and meals during the travel from your location to Gangotri and Harsil to your location.
Porter Facility if someone wants one for carrying their Camera Bag.
Breakfast & Lunch 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.
Mineral Water Bottles. (We discourage the use of Plastic Water Bottles during the tour. Participants should carry their own water bottles and refill it for use).
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. 10,000 +5% GST(Rs. 500) = Rs. 10,500 at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 27,000 +5% GST(Rs. 1350) = Rs. 28350 15 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 24th August, 2023.
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.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 8th Aug, 2023- 50% Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure date and 15 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 8th Aug, 2023 and 24th Aug, 2023 - No Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 15 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 24th Aug, 2023 and 8th Sep, 2023 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 24th Aug, 2023 )
For people not paying the final payment by 24th Aug, 2023 and cancel their participation between 24th Aug, 2023 and 8th Sep, 2023- No Refund of Advance Amount.
Any cancellation of Trip from the organizer 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 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 16th Oct, 2023.
GST component of the payments made will not be refunded in any of the above scenario.
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 trek doesn't involve technical knowledge. But the pre requisite which would be strictly adhered to is the physical fitness of the participant as it's a High Altitude trek. This trek is giving a facility of porters to each participant for carrying their load of not more than 10 kgs which would mean that photographers don't have to carry their heavy load on their backs to reach a campsite apart from their camera bags and tripods 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". So the mental strength along with physical fitness would be a primary requirement for undertaking this photography trek.
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 or the Travel Partner during camping 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.
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 like pitching of tents, food preparation, toilet tent setting up , dining tent etc 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 6 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 Delhi 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 Gangotri 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 trek 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
One Light Weight Tripod as the person has to carry it on his/her own during the trek.
Filters for those who want to try out Long Exposures. ND10 and Polarizer.
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 no electricity , we also expect that the photographers get their extra battery sets in case they run out of charge though we will have charging facility. 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.
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 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 treks are for 6-7 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 involv