thEscape announces it's fourth Photography and Art tour to the winter wonderland of Kashmir offering an exclusive and offbeat itinerary with an intent to capture it's pristine winter beauty in collaboration with Push Button Paradise which has an experience of serving clients with some great logistics for Himalayan trips and Nikon India Official as the equipment partner.
Kashmir is considered as paradise on Earth. Often coined as Jannat-e-Kashmir, this place offers some exquisite views throughout the year with winters being the most promising one. When it comes to Landscape Photography, this piece of earth opens up a million opportunities to capture some of the most stupendous captures. On this tour of ours, we not only cover the places well known for it's winter beauty, but tend to go deep into the wilderness to make sure that we come back with the content not seen and experienced before in Kashmir. Hence we can say that it's a vantage for Landscape Photographers as 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 during a winter season with all the required facilities and comfort needed to carry out the photography activities.
Highlights of our Tour
Group size of not more than 13 participants and minimum 9 participants accompanied by two landscape photographers on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive and exclusive 6N/7D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every possible place of Winter Kashmir and not leave out the vantage points conducive for carrying out Landscape Photography.
Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta and Tanay Das who have an experience of photographing Himalayas and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form. Both of them are 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 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-Srinagar with transfer of participants in TWO comfortable Tempo Travelers from Srinagar to different places and back. Srinagar is well connected with rest of India in terms of flights and if someone wants to travel by road or train, then Jammu is the nearest head.
The accommodation of the participants will be in comfortable 2-3 star hotels throughout the tour with Heating Facilities.
All meals having both Veg and Non-Veg options i.e. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner.
Mineral Water 2 Bottles a Day to each Participant along with the arrangement of Refreshment Basket (chips, biscuit, chocolates, dry fruits) in each Tempo Traveler.
Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by sanitizing the tempo traveler and guest houses and each participant and the staff giving a Negative RTPCR report 72-96 hours before the trip depending upon the protocol of the J&K state at the time of the tour.
Facility of First Aid kit.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
26th February- Day -1 (Saturday) - Participants reach Srinagar by taking the morning flights from their respective locations. The two tempo travelers will depart from Srinagar airport at 12:30 PM. Participants are required to reach prior to that. Transfer to Hotel for stay. After lunch on this day, we go to the saffron fields of Pampore (17 kms) and capture photos till the sunset time. Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
27th February - Day -2 (Sunday) - We rise early and take the Shikara ride over Dal Lake for 3 hours and go to Char Chinar and come back capturing the winter mornings over this wonderous lake. After Breakfast, we go to Sonmarg (80kms), have lunch enroute and capture images by the riverside and snow till sunset. Drive back to Srinagar (80kms) and Dinner and Overnight at Srinagar Hotel.
28th February - Day -3 (Monday) - After an early morning breakfast, we move to Aharbal Waterfalls (65kms). After a brief session there, we drive to Pahalgam (85kms). Check in to our Pahalgam Hotel and have Lunch at the hotel. Then move to Betaab Valley for Sunset shoot. Overnight and Dinner at Pahalgam Hotel.
1st March - Day -4 (Tuesday) - After breakfast, we drive to Tanmarg (125 kms) on this day. Check in to our hotel, have lunch at the hotel and then move to Drung Waterfalls for sunset. Overnight and dinner at Tanmarg Hotel.
2nd March - Day -5 (Wednesday) - On this day, we first carry out some photography activities around the river bed in Tanmarg. then after breakfast, drive from Tanmarg to Lolab( 93kms) taking the Baramulla Handwara route with an intent to capture some winter landscapes of these offbeat places. Check in to Chandigam Guest House. After having lunch at the hotel, we move around the Bada Talaab area for sunset captures. Overnight and Dinner at Hotel.
3rd March - Day -6 (Thursday) - After an early morning shoot and breakfast, we drive our way back from Lolab to Srinagar (140 kms) taking the Bandipora route to capture the beauty of Wullar and Manasbal Lakes in winter. Lunch we have enroute. On arrival at Srinagar, we check in to a Houseboat. Overnight and Dinner at Houseboat.
4th March - Day -7 (Friday) - After having breakfast at Houseboat, the tempo travelers drop us at Srinagar airport at 10AM and we fly out to our respective destinations with beautiful memories of an offbeat tour.
SINCE WE WOULD BE COMMENCING OUR WINTER LADAKH TOUR THE NEXT DAY, I.E. 5TH MARCH, THE PARTCIPANTS WHO WOULD CONTINUE WITH US FOR THAT TOUR WILL EITHER HAVE TO FLY TO DELHI OR TO CHANDIGARH AND THEN REACH LEH THE NEXT MORNING BY 11AM TAKING A FLIGHT FROM DELHI OR CHANDIGARH RESPECTIVELY.
Twin Sharing- Rs. 49,000 per person (Ex-Srinagar for participants only doing Winter Kashmir with us)
Twin Sharing- Rs. 46,000 per person (Ex-Srinagar for participant doing both Winter Kashmir & Ladakh with us)
Single Supplement - Not Available for this Tour
Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)
All accommodations at Srinagar on twin sharing basis in a 3 Star Hotel in Day 1 and 2 and in a Houseboat on Day 6.
All accommodations during the tour in entire of the valleys in 2-3 Star Hotels on twin sharing basis.
Airport Transfers to and fro Srinagar Airport.
All transfers in Kashmir in Two comfortable Tempo Travellers with Heating Facility where ever required.
All Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 7. (Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 7 is not included) with both Veg and Non-veg options.
Lunch during transit on Day 2 and Day 6.
Mineral Water Bottles 2 per day to each participant.
Facility of Refreshment Basket in each tempo traveler replenished everyday having chips, biscuit, dry fruits and chocolates.
First Aid kit.
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 Srinagar and return travel from Srinagar to your location.
Return Flight Travel to Delhi or Chandigarh who would do Winter Ladakh also with us.
In transit meals during the travel from your location to Srinagar and Srinagar to your location.
Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 7.
Hot Water Bags as rooms have heating facilities but participants can carry one for themselves just to be on the safer side.
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?
FOR PARTICIPANTS ONLY DOING WINTER KASHMIR
Booking Amount - Rs. 19,000 for Twin Sharing at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 30,000 for Twin Sharing 6 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 20th February, 2022.
FOR PARTICIPANTS DOING BOTH WINTER KASHMIR & WINTER LADAKH Booking Amount - Rs. 18,000 for Twin Sharing at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 28,000 for Twin Sharing 6 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 20th February, 2022.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 26th January, 2022- Full Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure date and 6 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 26th January, 2022 and 20th February, 2022 - 50% Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 6 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 20th February, 2022 and 26th February, 2022 - 50% Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 20th February,2022 )
For people not paying the final payment by 20th February, 2022 and cancel their participation between 20th February,2022 and 26th February, 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 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 9 people and maximum of 13 people. In case the minimum number doesn't enroll, we will not conduct the tour and return the advance deposited by the participants. Also for any number of participants above 9, we would be going ahead with the tour.
4. 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 or Delhi
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.
5. 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 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.
6. Who are the Photography Assists and we see his work online?
Nilakkhya Dutta and Tanay Das are going to be the photography assist during this trip and will be working closely with the participants on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn. For the works,
7. 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 trip 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.
8. 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. 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 point from the car parking or visiting a sight seeing point. 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.
9. 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 10 years of age will not be allowed for the tour due to it's high altitude nature.
10. 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 and Push Button Paradise 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.
11. 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 and drivers. 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.
12. 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.
13. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys of Kashmir?
The service is going to be on and off in entire of these valleys. Internet services would also be there on and off throughout. Only Postpaid Jio and Airtel works in J&K along with BSNL.
14. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?
Nilakkhya and Tanay Das would be the photography partners. Ritu Patra Dutta to oversee the tour logistics along with the tour leader and support staff.
15. 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. Since this tour doesn't have a Single Supplement provision, it is advised to all the participants to consume it taking his/her room mate into confidence.
16. 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 Srinagar on 26th February by evening 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 to visit Winters of Kashmir valley keeping in mind the need of Landscape Photography.
This tour will pass through some points which are military guarded areas. 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 "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.