Glaciers and Starry Nights – Landscape Photography in Zanskar Himalayas

An extraordinary photography experience in the remote Himalayan Highlands! Travelling to faraway places in Zanskar, photographing glacial slopes, snow-filled peaks and starry nights in the mountains of the remotest regions in Indian Himalayas. June 17 to 25, 2017

  • Imagine spending the nights under glittering stars, next to a gently flowing stream that originates from glacial slopes. Think about looking up to see a shimmer of moonlight emerging behind the jagged edges of the mountains high in sky. As you go to sleep in a warm tent, dream about seeing and photographing the next morning’s golden rays warming up the peaks of snow-clad mountains that surround the valley. And next morning, when all that beauty unfolds outside the camp, relish the moment photographing the spectacle with a sense of satisfaction, and then walk back to the camp to enjoy a cup of steaming tea and a heavy breakfast waiting for you!

    These are things that dreams are made of even for well-travelled photography enthusiasts. Here is a photography tour that makes such dreams unfold right in front of your eyes. And all this comes without having to do strenuous treks, but enjoying jeep-safaris and comfortable camping experience provided by our highly capable local staff in the mountains!

  • darter photography
    Darter ‘HIMALAYAN EXPERIENCES’ are photography holidays in the picturesque Himalayan highlands with rich immersive experiences of landscapes and culture.
  • Tour Dates

    June 17-25, 2017


    Tour Price

    ₹88,450/-


Where is Zanskar? And other questions are answered here, later in this webpage.

Jump to ◆ Overview and itineraryTour HighlightsIs this tour for you?Tour PriceTour MentorDetailed ItinerarySign Up

Inquire with us for assistance if you wish to explore other regions of Ladakh before or after the tour on your own.

Overview & Itinerary – Landscape Photography in Zanskar Himalayas

zanskar himalayas photographyThis tour is designed towards photographing some of the greatest spectacles that the Himalayas have to offer: starry nights, glacial streams, high mountains and every possible natural splendor of the Himalayas in Zanskar. This landscape photography focused tour will take you through some of the deepest regions in the Himalayas that can be accessed with motor vehicles.

This tour is a part of our highly commended Himalayan photography tours, designed by mentors with considerable know-how in travelling and photographing in the region. Join us today on this unforgettable and exclusive experience.

Here is the tour itinerary in brief. To understand more about the places we visit and things we do, do not forget to see the detailed itinerary.

Tour dates: June 17 to 25, 2017

  • Day 01 – Saturday – Arrive in Leh and rest.
  • Day 02 – Sunday – Drive to Kargil through Lamayuru. Overnight at Kargil.
  • Day 03 – Monday – Drive to our first camping location near Kargil with brilliant views of Nun and Kun peaks.
  • Day 04 – Tuesday – After a morning of photography and easy stroll around the camp, drive to our next site near Panikhar Village, which is just 15km from Nun and Kun peaks as the crow flies!
  • Day 05 – Wednesday – Drive through Suru Valley to the next camp amidst the mountains, near Rangdum.
  • Day 06 – Thursday – Drive deeper into the mountains, to our next campsite past Rangdum.
  • Day 07 – Friday – Return journey: drive to our campsite near Kargil.
  • Day 08 – Saturday – Drive back to Leh with a smug expression originating from those beautiful images now stored in your camera!
  • Day 09 – Sunday – Check-out after breakfast and drive to Leh Airport. Head home with lot of memories, beautiful images and a new set of friends with shared enthusiasm for photography!

The itinerary is designed with a keen focus on landscape photography and photographing the mountain regions, and not centered on seeing well-known sights/places. It allows us to be busy shooting during early morning, evening and early night hours with a lot of free time during the day.

Tour Highlights

  • Drive through some of the most amazing landscapes in one of the remotest regions in the Indian Himalayas.
  • See and photograph some spectacular views of twin peaks – Nun and Kun.
  • Spend several days camping in some remote regions in the Himalayas, at some extra-ordinary locations.
  • Photographing the best that Himalayas can offer: starry nights, glaciers, glacial streams, snow-peaks and much more.
  • Visit to sights specifically chosen keeping photography opportunities in mind.
  • Expert help and advice with photographing the Himalayan landscapes of Zanskar.
  • Constant interaction and assistance on field by photography experts with an experience of travelling in Zanskar
  • Insights to nuances of landscape photography during the tour
  • Image reviews by photography experts

Where is Zanskar Himalayas? And other questions answered

zanskar himalayas photographyWhere is Zanskar?

Zanskar is a remote mountain range, located south of Ladakh, north of Great Himalayan Ranges and to the east of Kashmir Valley. This is one of the colder, higher and rugged valleys in these mountain regions.

How do we get there? What is the mode of access?

Despite being one of the remotest locations you can imagine in the trans-Himalayan mountain ranges, Zanskar can still be accessed by roads. These mountain roads remain closed for six months a year and open only in the summers. The places we visit are reachable by road and doesn’t require us to go on long treks.

We begin the journey from Leh through spectacular mountain regions, stop for a night along the way and arrive on the road to Zanskar region the next day.

What kind of places do we visit? What about accommodation?

While we are in the region, we camp at at brilliant locations in Suru and Zanskar valleys. We camp out while we are in Zanskar to enable us to be in the perfect places for landscape photography during the evening, night and morning hours. We have identified a few places for camping such that you can just come out of your tent to some of the finest mountain views you can ever imagine! Trust us, you will totally love the experience.

FAQ and Is This Photography Tour For You?

Photography in the HimalayasThis tour is for everyone who loves to explore and photograph the exotic and beautiful landscapes deep in the Himalayas. We will be travelling to places that are less visited by tourists, to see and photograph some unparalleled landscapes in the country.

The tour is designed to help participants learn the nuances of making beautiful photographs of the mountain landscapes. Note that the participants are not required to be experts in photography. Beginners and newbies as well as serious photographers benefit through our personalized attention to photography sessions and on field assistance. Non photographers interested in exploring Zanskar are welcome too.

Can I bring my non-photographer partner with me?

Yes, you can. We visit many beautiful places in Zanskar and having a good time during the trip is as much on the agenda as photography is. Your partner will enjoy the journey with the group. However, non-photographers should note that our itineraries are designed keeping photography in mind. We are generally slower than typical travel itineraries and don’t make a long sightseeing list. Please note that we do not offer a separate non-photographer pricing.

I am not a keen photographer. But I want to visit Zanskar with your group. Can I still join?

Yes. We visit many beautiful places in the region, and having a good time during the trip is as much on the agenda as photography is. However, non-photographers should note that our itineraries are designed keeping photography in mind. We are generally slower than typical travel itineraries and don’t make a long sightseeing list.

Is there a lot of walking/trekking involved?

No, this is primarily a driving trip. Most of the places we go to will be reached through vehicles. But we will be doing some short-duration walking at a few places. There are no long distance walks or full-day hikes. Nor do we have walking as a necessity to reach a destination, which means that you may opt out and rest instead of going on a walk if you feel tired. We believe that most people in reasonably good health should not have any problems with most of the activities through the tour. Speak to us if you have any doubts.

Also refer to our photography tours faq for more information.

Tour Price

Tour price: Rs.88,450 per person.
(booking deposit: Rs.28,450; balance payable by May 5th, 2017).

The cost includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in hotels and at tents in campsites
  • Camping facilities – tents and sleeping bags
  • Transportation on all days of the tour
  • All meals during the tour starting with lunch on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on the last day
  • Permits and all entry fees
  • Photography sessions, expert advice and assistance, image reviews and critiques on all days

The cost does not include

  • Travel to Leh and return travel from Leh to your location.
  • Additional food or beverages ordered
  • Expenses of personal nature, including tips and laundry

Accommodation

Accommodation will be in comfortable hotels when we are in Leh and Kargil. On all other days we will be carrying camping equipment with us and camping out in the mountains.

Note:

Please note that the itinerary is subject to favourable weather and road conditions. In case of bad weather and inaccessibility to a destination, we will do our best to make alternate plans. The cost of the tour or any part of it will not be refunded in the event of unfavourable conditions anytime during the tour days.

Your Photography Experts

Manish Lakhani

manish lakhani

Few people can boast of having travelled the high Himalayas like Manish has. For more than a decade, he has wandered these mountains on foot, on bicycles and on two and four wheels exploring the corners of the mountains and often making his own path. With this experience, he can also boast of a vast collection of magnificent images of these mountain ranges that can be a cause of everyone’s envy.

Manish was born with a love for mountains, which has carried him back to Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and other highlands many times over. He has captained some incredible expeditions in the high mountain regions, including the venerated Chadar Trek, which he has led nearly half-a-dozen times during the winter months in Ladakh/Zanskar. Besides being an experienced photographer, he is also a keen cyclist and a mountain enthusiast.

More of his work can be seen at withmanish.com

Shreeram M V

Shreeram M V is a professional outdoor photographer, specializing in travel and wildlife photography. He is the co-founder of Darter Photography that specializes in providing photography services such as workshops and outdoor photography tours. He lives in Bangalore, India.

What started off as a fascination for birds in a lake behind his house turned into a journey to different parts of India. For this IIM Bangalore graduate, the passion for travel and wildlife enabled him to charter his own course outside the corporate world. He has explored places as diverse as the rainforests of the Western Ghats, the salt marshes of Kutch, the grasslands of Tal Chapar, the deciduous forests of South and Central India, the high-altitude plateau of Ladakh, the coasts of peninsular India, the forests of North-east India and the islands of Andaman.

Shreeram has spent a lot of time amidst the scenic splendor of Ladakh, photographing the magic of the vast openness, the colourful traditions, the expressive people and the unique wilderness. Along with the experience, his photography expertise spanning across different aspects of travel photography would help you capture the finest of Ladakh with your camera.
See some of his work at Visual Quotient

Detailed Itinerary

The itinerary is designed with a keen focus on landscape photography and photographing the mountain regions, and not centered on seeing well-known sights/places. It allows us to be busy shooting during early morning, evening and early night hours with a lot of free time during the day.

Day 01. Arrival in Leh.

We will arrive at Leh this morning and check-in to our comfortable hotel. This is a day for rest and acclimatization and by an ice-breaker session in the evening.

Day 02. Drive to Kargil through scenic mountain landscapes.

We leave Leh early in the morning and drive up slowly towards the curious slopes of Lamayuru – one of the very interesting places along this journey. The slopes of Lamayuru are a curious yellow with fascinating shapes formed by a now drained glacial lake. After many stopovers along the way, we reach Kargil in the evening and check-in to our hotel.

Day 03. Kargil to the first camping location.

We move out of Leh-Srinagar highway today, heading towards Suru Valley in the direction of Zanskar. We are now on a path that has very little habitation. On the days ahead, we camp out in places with brilliant views, in places where you don’t need to go too far to make magnificent images of sunrise and sunset over the mountains. Today, we camp at a place where we get our first views of Nun and Kun peaks – two massifs about 20,000m high and permanently capped in snow. These are the landscapes we have come this far for.

Day 04. Drive from First camp to the second.

We head deeper and higher into the mountains, and naturally the the landscapes become more dramatic. Our second camp, where we are staying today, is just about 15km from Nun-Kun peaks as the crow flies. This camp site also close to a mountain village, in which we will have time wander during the day time. Evening and a few hours night are, of course, dedicated to photographing the mighty landscapes around us.

Day 05. Drive to next camp-site near Rangdum.

By now, you would have got accustomed to camping life and would have well-acclimatized to the high altitudes. It’s time to drive further and higher, in search of more amazing landscapes. It’s a day where we camp at another location after we drive towards Zanskar. Tonight, we are camping at a higher ground that has interesting views and plenty of photography opportunities. Day after day, you will enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery and the photography opportunities that come with it.

Day 06. Drive to next camp-site beyond Rangdum.

Today, we would also have crossed Penzila Pass at 14,000 feet , leaving behind Suru Valley and entering the Zanskar Valley. It’s another day for more mountain scenery, snow-bound landscapes and glacial slopes. As you progress through the days in the mountains photographing the landscapes along the way, you will notice a remarkable ease with which you make better landscape images with the help of your mentors. As we end this day (and the night), before you retire to your tent, your memory-cards will be filled with brilliant mountain vistas and star-studded skies… something that will keep appearing in your dreams every night, long after you are back home!

Day 07. Return journey – drive to our campsite near Kargil.

They say, all good things must come to an end. But not so soon! Even as we retrace our path, we still go along those beautiful landscapes we have passed through earlier. And we have one more night of camping, which means another evening of photographing the mountain sunsets, another night of star-studded skies and another morning ahead that offers you an extraordinary sunrise!

Day 08. Drive to Leh with a smug expression originating from those beautiful images now stored in your camera!

We drive back towards Leh this morning. While you have enjoyed being in the middle of nowhere in amazing landscapes until now at campsites, you will again be relishing the luxury of creature comforts this evening.

By now the group would have bonded so well, if our experiences in the past trips are to go by, we would already be making next travel plans. We spend the evening hours sharing our experiences and pouring over an awesome collection of images over dinner.

Day 09. End the tour.

Tour ends this morning.

Registration

Contact us at the email/numbers below to book the tour.

email: register@darter.in

Tel: 9880006460 (Arun)

Alternately, fill in the following form to get in touch with us regarding the tour.

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