When we talk of Stellar Locations in our Indian Territory, Western Ghats and the Konkan Coast definitely steals the show with its mind staggering beauty and especially when we consider those terrains in monsoons, the views are beyond compare. 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. This time we enter the Sahyadris and the Arabian Sea coastline to create some Landscape and Sea Scape images.
While doing an exploratory tour to this region, I found out some of the spots though there are innumerable in this region which are best suited to make landscape and sea scape images. We enter the Ghats from Pune and will exit to Pune and in between cross through two mountainous regions along with the sea side.
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 7 participants and maximum 9 participants mentored by one landscape photographer on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive and exclusive 3N/4D well planned out trip so that we are able to reach the vantage points conducive for Landscape and Seascape Photography.
Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta who has an experience of photographing Landscapes and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form.
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. Post Processing Session will also be provided on field during evening times. Though we at thEscape believe that Art is one's own visualisation 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 ex-Pune with transfer of participants in One comfortable Tempo Traveler throughout the tour. Pune is well connected with rest of India with flights and roads.
The Accommodation of Participants will be in Hotels in Twin Sharing Basis.
Facility of Medical Kit.
All meals, i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, evening Tea and Dinner starting from Breakfast around Pune on Day 1 to Lunch around Pune on Day 4.
Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by following any protocol of Maharashtra at the time of the tour.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
24th August- Day -1 (Thursday) - On this day, we pick up the participants from a common point at morning 6AM at Pune and leave towards Tamhini Ghat. Breakfast Enroute, we do our photography on the way and reach the coastline around Divyagarh around Lunch. Sunset shoot around the coastline. (Here we also give an option where participants can stay the previous night in Pune with us in a hotel and start together the next morning. In this case, One night stay cost along with Dinner will be added to the final package.). Overnight in a Beach Resort.
25th August - Day -2 (Friday) - Early morning sunrise shoot around the coastline. Then we travel to another Beach Resort. After a local lunch, we explore the coastline again for the rocky beaches and do sea scape photography. Overnight in a Beach Resort.
26th August - Day -3 (Saturday) - On this day, we travel to another beach side along the North Konkan Coastline exploring villages and views around. Upon reaching another Beach Resort, we do our Sunset Photography and retire for the night.
27th August - Day -4 (Sunday) - On this day, we start early and cross another ghat in the Western Ghat region to reach back Pune by evening. Enroute we capture the mesmerising views the ghats offer. The tour ends upon reaching Pune. But the participants who wish to stay in Pune for another night can stay at an extra cost.
Rs. 28,500 per person
(Extra Rs. 2500 per person per night if someone wants to stay in Pune before starting and after coming back)
(Ex-Pune Twin sharing in 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 Hotel in Twin Sharing basis.
All Transfers from Pune to Pune in Tempo Traveler.
All Breakfast, Lunch Evening Tea and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 4. (Dinner on Day 4 is not included)
First Aid kit.
Photography Assistance for day time Landscapes and Sea scape on all days with image critique.
Post Processing Session on each day in Hotels.
Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.
Making participants understand the settings of the camera for capturing the scape.
3 copies of published anthology book to each participant who opt for the book.
Travel to Pune and return travel from Pune to your location.
Extra Night Stay before start of Tour and End of Tour in Pune.
In transit stay and meals during the travel from your location to Pune and Pune to your location.
Dinner on Day 4.
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.
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. 8,000 +5% GST(Rs. 400) = Rs. 8,400 at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 20,500 +5% GST(Rs. 1025) = Rs. 21,525 15 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 9th August, 2023.
(People willing to stay extra nights at Pune can pay Rs. 2500 per person per night at Pune at the hotel or can look out for a hotel themselves)
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 24th Jul, 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 24th Jul, 2023 and 9th Aug, 2023 - No Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 15 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 9th Aug, 2023 and 24th Aug, 2023 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 9th Aug, 2023 )
For people not paying the final payment by 9th Aug, 2023 and cancel their participation between 9th Aug, 2023 and 24th Aug, 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 27th Sep, 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 a tour during monsoons and photography during the same becomes difficult?
First of all, a Landscape and a Sea Scape Photography Tour during monsoons will always have a fear of cameras getting wet, people themselves getting wet, managing the equipment in a beach etc. Participants need to carry and take care of the same by carrying extra poly packs or rain covers which will help them to preserve the same. Also some dry silica would also help in protecting the equipment inside the bag from the moisture. Again adventures are there, but if one is able to comprehend the same, the magic would be created in the form of great Landscape and Sea Scape Images.
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 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 food preparation, room setting 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 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 Pune 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 Pune 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
One Sturdy Tripod.
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 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.
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 Western Ghats, especially in the mountain terrain 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 1000 meters, one can bring in kids and if brought then taking his/her entire responsibility. Further, it's an Art trip with Photography being the primary motive, it's advisable to bring in kids only when they are able to comprehend the pace of the trip and respect the precision of the artists at work. Any child below 10 years of age will not be allowed for the tour due to it's Art abiding 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. 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. Though organising a Single Supplement option will involve some cost which has to be borne by the participant.
14. Is there any Mobile connectivity during the tour?
Airtel and Jim work the best. Though at patches, the signals are on and off.
15. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?
Nilakkhya Dutta would be the photography partner. If the number of participants cross 9 in number, One more photography mentor will join in.
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 is allowed though it creates a problem in High Altitude Tours and we don't recommend it during the same 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 can be taken in quantities best suited to one's body but we discourage it in High Altitude Treks. Anyone consuming it will be on his/her own responsibility.
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 tour to some remote regions. 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 beborne by the participants.
If the participant doesn't show up at Pune on 24th Aug, 2023 by 6AM 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 inprice 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 Monsoon Landscape Photography.
This tour will pass through some points which are checked by authorities of Maharashtra. 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.
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 "email@example.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. 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 from his last monsoon tour.
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.