One of the still unexplored and insanely beautiful stretch of the Indian Himalayas, Lahaul and Spiti is a valley of stark landscapes and high snowy peaks stretching to the sky. Gurgling rivers and crystal clear lakes dot the highlands of Lahaul, while an ancient civilization has survived for nearly a thousand years and has preserved its culture against the onslaught of modernity in Spiti. The faraway valley connected only through a narrow road that traverses through mountains over 10,000 feet high, this region offers vistas and heritage that can keep a travel photographer in a click-frenzy for months together.
This photography tour is a unique combination of jeep safaris, short & easy walks, exploring villages deep in the mountains, pristine lakes, rivers flowing fast through the mountains, all keeping photography in mind. We will not only spend time learning the nuances of photography in these exotic location, we take enough time in all the locations to let the experience sink in, and come back enriched with tales of a terrain that is much isolated from the modern world.
Scroll down for Detailed Itinerary below for more information on the tour.
- Dates & Itinerary
- Tour Highlights
- Is This Tour For You?
- Tour Cost
- Registration Details
- Your Photography Expert
Tour Dates: July 13 to 20, 2013
- July 13 – Saturday – Arrive at Manali, briefing and photography sessions, short walks around the town. Stay at Manali.
- July 14 – Sunday – Manali to Chandratal via Rohtang Pass. Camping near Chandratal provided the road is open.
- July 15 – Monday – Drive through Kunzum Pass from Chandratal to Kaza. Stay at Kaza
- July 16 – Tuesday – Walk to Dhankar Lake, stay at the remote village of Langza.
- July 17 – Wednesday – Morning walks in the village, visit to Ki Monastery, drive to Pin Valley and stay in a village.
- July 18 – Thursday – Morning hours photographing Pin Valley, return to Kaza in the evening.
- July 19 – Friday – Drive to Manali from Kaza. Stay at Manali.
- July 20 – Saturday – Check out in the afternoon.
Also see the detailed itinerary at the end of this page.
- Drive through some of the most amazing landscapes in one of the remotest regions in the Indian Himalayas.
- See and photograph the views from high passes of Rohtang and Kunzum La
- Visit the brilliant high altitude lake of Dhankar, trapped in the mountains at an altitude of 14,000 feet
- Camping in the heart of the mountains, near the clear blue expanse of Chandratal Lake surrounded by high peaks, subject to road being open.
- Visit the a Buddhist monastery more than 800 years old, which has followed an ancient tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
- Visit to sights specifically chosen keeping photography opportunities in mind
- Expert help and advice with photographing culture and landscapes of Lahaul and Spiti
- Constant interaction and assistance on field by photography experts with an experience of travelling in Lahaul and Spiti
- Insights to nuances of travel and outdoor photography during the tour
- Image reviews by photography experts
This tour is for everyone who loves to explore 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 scenery and the culture. Note that the participants are not required to be experts in photography or carry professional equipment. Beginners and newbies as well as serious photographers benefit through our personalised attention to photography sessions and on field assistance. Non photographers interested in exploring Lahaul and Spiti are welcome too.
Can I bring my non-photographer partner with me?
Yes, you can. We visit many beautiful places in Lahaul-Spiti 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. Please note that we do not offer a separate non-photographer pricing.
I am not a keen photographer. But I want to visit Lahaul and Spiti 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.
Is there a lot of walking/trekking involved?
No and Yes. Most of the places we go to will be reached through vehicles. But we will be doing some walking at a few places. There are no strenuous, 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 tours faq for more information.
Rs.36,500 per person.
The cost includes
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis
- Transportation on all days of the tour
- All meals during the tour except in Manali
- 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 Manali and return travel from Manali to your location.
- All meals on Day 1 and on Day 8; dinner on Day 7 (all meals in Manali)
- Additional food or beverages ordered
1. Please let us know, if you need any assistance in travelling from Delhi to Manali and return.
2. The tour begins at 12pm on 13th July and end at 12pm on 20th July. Early check-in in the morning of 13th and late check-out on 20th evening is available at the hotels, subject to availability.
3. 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.
Contact us at the email/numbers below to book the tour.
Tel: 9880006460 (Arun) / 97400 83260 (Shreeram)
Alternately, fill in the contact form at the end of this page.
Day 01. Saturday. Arrival in Manali, photography sessions and walks in Cedar Groves.
We will arrive at Manali this morning and check-in to our comfortable hotel. In the afternoon, your photography expert will brief you on the exciting days ahead in the heart of the Himalayas and take you through an elaborate session on photographing the landscapes, people and culture of the region, also describing photography opportunities waiting for you for the whole of next week. In the evening, we will go on long walks in the cedar groves of Manali – our first hours of exercising the cameras as well as our legs in the mighty Himalayas.
Day 02. Sunday. Manali to Chandratal via Rohtang Pass
We leave Manali early in the morning and drive up slowly towards Rohtang Pass – perhaps the most well-known pass and most easily accessible of the high passes in the Himalayas. The drive to the pass is a steep climb and offers views of some of the most dramatic vistas of rocky cliffs and green slopes.
Driving over Rohtang pass at an altitude above 13,000 feet, we are suddenly led into no man’s land as we enter into the valley of Lahaul. Civilization and hustle bustle of the everyday world is left behind and completely forgotten in its silence. There are no houses, no people, no vehicles to give way to, or anything to remind of the world we have left behind. A narrow road that splits the mountains reminds that we are still connected with the world, and also gives us access to the terrain that almost feels uncharted. Lahaul and Spiti region is a desert in the higher ranges of Indian Himalayas, where nothing more than tiny grass a few inches tall grows. Stark mountain slopes stretch as far as the eyes can see, and the peaks keep growing taller and taller as we look ahead.
We drive along the valley of Chandra River, passing through the heart of the Himalayas and stopping frequently to gawk at unbelievable views and capture images that would keep you excited about the upcoming journey.
We will camp in the evening at a walking distance near the calm blue waters of Chandratal Lake. Please note that visiting and camping near Chandratal are subject to road being open, as the conditions of the road to Chandratal are unpredictable and changes frequently.
Day 03 Chandratal, Kunzum Pass and Kaza.
Chadratal is so beautiful that you will find it difficult to move on from here. But we have many more beautiful places to explore in Spiti. Today, we will continue towards Kaza, passing through the highest point in our journey – Kunzum La. The pass is nearly 15,000 feet high, and needless to say, offers amazing views on the way up and down. Descending from Kunzum, we will leave Lahaul Region and enter Spiti Valley. Lahaul is stark, rugged, uninhabited and has its own beauty, while in Spiti, you will suddenly see patches of greenery, plateaued lands and sparse habitation. In some time, you will see Losar, the first village since we crossed Rohtang two days ago. Now the road will course along Spiti River, with some interesting formation on the slopes along the way and beautiful views of highlands. In Spiti, besides the breathtaking landscapes under clear sky, we will also visit ancient monasateries and photograph beautiful people of the valley. Tonight’s stay will be at Kaza where your room’s windows will open to the bed of Spiti River and the tall mountains beyond.
Day 04. Visit to Dhankar Lake; drive to the small village of Langza in the mountains
We will allow for a relaxed morning today, let you cling to the bed and feel the luxury of waking up late again. Later in the day, before lunch, we drive to Dhankar, a small village downstream Spiti River. The village is home to a monastery tucked away at the edge of a steep crag. It is so faraway and so amazing, you will wonder how the monastery has survived the centuries without ever falling off the cliff! A truly magnificent place.
From the village, we make the hour-long hike to Dhankar Lake, a water body trapped in a trough 14000 feet high in the mountains. You will not forget the view of puffy clouds reflecting in the emerald waters of the lake, with snowy mountains looming high faraway behind the lake. Of course, we will make sure that the memories will be made permanent with photographs that will reflect the beauty of the lake.
Day 05. Walking around Langza and drive to Pin Valley
You will be surprised how beautiful Langza is. There are just a dozen homes with sweet pea fields to one side and mountain slopes to the other. This morning, we have time to walk the fields, admire the tall statue of Buddha on a ridge, speak to villagers and play with kids, all the while making photographs that you will remember fondly, assisted ably by our photography lead. It is such a simple village filled with happy, welcoming people, that Langza will remain a place not just as a visual treasure in your head, but will permanently take up a part of your heart as well.
Later in the day, we will the 800 year old Ki Monastery, where we witness the monastic Buddhist culture of Spiti Region. A friendly monk from the monastery will show us around the monastery and explain the significance of everything we see inside.
Further on, we make the slow and easy drive to Pin Valley. The road winds along Pin River passing through views of the mountains, small villages and green fieldss, until we reach the village of Kungri where the road ends. Today, once again, we will stay in a small place faraway from everywhere else, listening to the silence of the mountains and admiring the scale of the landscapes that we are now part of.
Day 06. Thursday. Morning in Pin Valley; drive to Kaza.
We have another morning of photography in Pin Valley, in the middle of a beautiful landscape, at a village, by the river and next to a monastery. We will spend a morning photographing in the area before driving back to Kaza. The evening is free to wander around the town, do some shopping and pick up some more tangible memories that are not photographs.
Day 07. Friday. Drive to Manali.
We have now seen the very best of what Spiti can offer. Our photographer would have spent a lot of time with you ensuring that each one of us has the best images of the beautiful landscapes and people of Spiti. We are loaded with memories that will last for a life time, both in our minds as well as in the cameras. We will begin our slow drive back to Manali today, stopping by at many places and photographing the valleys of Spiti and Chandra through the day before we climb up Rohtang Pass and arrive at Manali.
Day 08. Saturday. A relaxed easy morning. Tour ends by noon
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 morning hours sharing our experiences and pouring over an awesome collection of images over breakfast. We will spend the morning hours together seeing images and happily reminiscing the days in Spiti before checking out in the afternoon.
Contact us at the email/numbers below to book the tour.
Tel: 9880006460 (Arun) / 97400 83260 (Shreeram)