Ladakh – a land of contrast, drama and ancient cultures
Ladakh is land of contrast perfect for the adventurous photographer where vividly coloured mountains rise up dramatically on all sides, dwarfing the crystal rivers and shimmering glaciers which make their way through the barren terrain. The high mountain passes, with their vivid purple irises blooming against a back drop of towering snow capped peaks and alpine meadows.
Laying north of the main Ladakh range it receives little rainfall. The scenery is stark and dramatic – deep gorges, alluvial fans, and contorted strata. Often called ‘Little Tibet there are remote and dramatic Buddhist monasteries with faded prayer flags fluttering, and old prayer wheels humming as they turn. Flat-topped mud-brick houses in oasis-like villages, snow-capped mountains and grand distances.
As you would expect in a land of such scale, the weather and light changes constantly creating many opportunities to capture unique and dramatic images. You will make full use of all your lenses (from wide-angle to telephoto), filters and tripod.
The trek provides an opportunity to experience and photograph this ancient yet vibrant environment and culture. With the support and service provided by us, you will have access to all of your equipment and the flexibility you need to make sure you capture the picture you want.
Leh itself is a fascinating place for photography. An eclectic mixture of the old and modern where vendors sell locally grown vegetables, dried nuts and fruit and brightly dressed Buddhist monks walk through the streets. The valley provides many viewpoints for early and late photographs in the ‘golden light’. We need to be quick though – at these latitudes it doesn’t last long!
Tailored for Photographers
- Work at your own pace with your own gear
- Small groups (6 or less) to increase learning – sharing and reviewing as we go
- Generators and back up of data all on trek
- On site processing of images in the field
- Support and advice from the Hindustan Trekking Company’s lead photographer
Costs and what is involved
Cost: £1,950 per person – based on a group of 5.
The above cost includes:
- Airport transfers where applicable in the Itinerary.
- A senior member of the Hindustan trekking company team as team leader,
- Full board and lodging as mentioned in the Itinerary,
- Full camping gear including sleeping tents on twin sharing, sleeping mats, dining tent, toilet tent, kitchen tent,
- Full compliment of camp and trekking staff,
- Porters / Ponies / Yaks, to carry our gear,
- Hiring of vehicles as per the itinerary,
- Visit to Monasteries as mentioned in the itinerary,
- Hiring of Monastery guides where applicable.
The above cost does not include:
- Emergency evacuation,
- Hotel in any place other than what’s mentioned in the itinerary,
- Cost due to illness or natural disaster,
- International flights.
| Arrive in Leh on 8th July |
Depart from Leh on 17th July
| Arrive in Leh on 19th July |
Depart from Leh on 28th July
| Arrive in Leh on 30th July |
Depart from Leh on 8th August
The itinerary at a glance
Pick up from Leh airport and transfer to Hotel for acclimatization to the altitude. Overnight: Hotel – Leh (11500 ft).
Half day tour of Leh, visiting, ‘Sankar’, ‘Shanti Stupa’ and ‘Leh Palace’. Taking pictures in and around Leh of the people and the market place and one of the key locations for sunset shots. Overnight: Hotel – Leh (11500 ft).
The real adventure starts – though we don’t start walking as yet!!
Visit two important Ladakhi monasteries – Thikse for morning prayers and Hemis. Thikse in particular gives a really good opportunity for expansive shots of the Indus valley and the monks praying inside the monastery. In the afternoon we start our journey with a short drive from Leh to Chilling. Overnight: Camp – Chilling
We start the trek crossing the River Zanskar on a rather unique form of transport with many pportunities for photographs along the river. Our trail takes us along the river till we reach the village of Skiu surrounding by towering rock faces, then onto Pentse where the valley opens out with opportunities for panoramas. Overnight: Camp – Pentse (12000 ft)
We trek along a beautiful valley with terraced green fields until till we reach the village of Markha. At dusk, it is worth walking along the trail to visit the small Markha monastery and capture atmospheric images in the evening light. Overnight: Camp – Markha (12630 ft)
Today we proceed towards Thinlespa village and then to Hankar village where we get a stunning view of the Gyalpo-Ri peak. Overnight: Camp – Sarar
We start the day with a short walk along the valley before we start the climb to Thachungtse, the final camp site before Nymaling. We get initial views of ice-clad Kang Yatse, 21,500ft/6,553m, which dominates the area, against the irrigated valley floors. Overnight: Camp – Thachungtse (14100 ft)
The trail climbs up the narrow valley towards the Nimaling plain, a broad undulating meadow. As we climb we get increasingly expansive views across the peaks of the Ladakh Range. Nimaling is a summer pasturage for a large number of animals, domestic and wild. If we are lucky we may see the occassional blue sheep or wolf. Overnight: Camp – Nimaling (15500 ft)
A rest day with many photo opportunities in the valley, in particular a short climb up the side of the panoramic view of Kang Yatze peak and glacier followed by the early and late sun and the possibility of capturing a strom sweeping across the broad valley floor. There is also the opportunity to review and work on the weeks photos. Overnight: Camp – Nimaling.
Today we climb to the top of the 5,400m Kangmaru La pass with its wonderful panoramic views from the top. Snow peaks in every direction and on a clear day the giants of the Karakoram, including K2 which can sometimes be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail then descends steeply to Chuskyurmo through a narrow steep sided gorge with close up views of the amazing geological structures and brightly coloured green and purple rocks and multi-coloured pudding stone rocks. Overnight: Camp – Chuskyurmo (13780 ft)
On the last day of our trek we undertake an easy descent mainly along the left bank of the Shang valley to the road head at Shang Sumdo. Overnight: Hotel & HOT SHOWERS!
Finally a lazy morning allowing us to get over the rigors of the trek. We spend the rest of the day exploring the fascinating and colourful bazaar at Leh and a last chance to capture those missed shots. Overnight: Hotel – Leh.
Transfer to Leh airport to catch the flight back to Delhi.