Landscape Photography, Astro Photography, Travel Photography and People / Culture Photography / Festival Photography Tour to Ladakh, India
Note: If you want a customized tour, I will be happy to organise it for you.
Note: Link to Winter Ladakh Photography Tour
Why Photography Tour?
1. Almost guarantees great pictures. As we go to the right places at the right time, we get the right shots with great light and composition. Astrophotography, particularly involves some technical expertise, if you are not aware, you will not be able to capture. Saurabh will make you independent, so that next time you can do it yourself.
2. Photography is the art of seeing, and if you are not very good at it, you will fail to see and miss the opportunity. Most people go to places like Ladakh and still come back with mediocre pictures. Ssaurabh will help you identify great locations and light and you will come back with some great shots.
3. Get guidance and upskill yourself. The mentor for the tour is having an experience of more than 25 years of shooting and 15+ years travelling in these areas. If you need any help, you can always ask and get help. Especially,
4. Travel with like-minded people and make friends. Many people have an inhibition travelling with strangers. Actually, these strangers make some really good friends if you give them a chance. Some of the people on our tours got connected and now are friends for life.
Overview of Ladakh Tour July 2023
Photographic Opportunities for All!
The Leh - Ladakh Photography Tour is one of the most popular tours in India. If you are interested in doing Landscapes Photography (Mountains, Rivers) Astro Photography or Milky Way Photography, Beautiful Villages, and People Photography, this tour is for you. There is no doubt that this tour will bless you with some great pictures that you might have dreamt to take.
Why Join Us for the Photography Tour?
We will make your DREAM COME TRUE - your dream to witness the great play of light and shadows and the amazing night skies and MILKY WAY and to capture them. We will also take some great portraits of the locals.
We will be going to the right places at the right time. I will suggest you the right settings for taking pictures and will personally assist you so that you go back with some great shots. We also do post-processing and feedback/review sessions whenever possible, during the tour.
Saurabh has been visiting these regions for more than a decade and has great knowledge about the place.
You will also be in the company of some great fellow travelers and will make friends for life.
Ladakh Photography Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Leh (Altitude 3500m)
We fly to Leh from our destinations. Generally, the flight to Leh is early morning. We check in to our hotel and relax. Most people are sleep starved.
It is highly recommended to take rest and drink a lot of water and not venture out during the first half. It can be fatal for your health.
We arrange for the required permits required for access to the restricted areas.
We have a good lunch in a local restaurant or in the hotel and get more sleep. In the evening we take our vehicle and go to see the Leh fort and then the Shanti Stupa. We try some long exposures and shoot the iconic Tsemo Gonpa from here. The play of light and shadows is just amazing. Then we walk in the market place and go back to our hotel.
Day 2 Leh to Sumoor via Khardung La
Today we drive from Leh to Sumoor via the Khardung La, one of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world.
We drive to the quiet village of Sumoor and go out to explore the sand dunes. We spend the evening shooting the night skies.
Day 3 Sumoor to Pangong
Today, we drive to Pangong. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes in India.
On the way, we take some pictures at the mighty statue of Padmasambhava at Diskit. Photography is not allowed in the Diskit monastery.
We drive all the way beside the Shyok river. This newly made road saves one day for us but it is tricky. If we don't start early, the glaciers melt and the flow of water increases resulting in roadblocks and shooting stones.
The first view of the Pangong lake is the most memorable. We realize that the color of the lake seen in the picture is not edited, but its real color.
We check in to our cottage, take some rest and venture out during sunset. It can be very cold and windy, so please carry all your warm clothes.
We come back, have dinner, and go out again to do some astrophotography and star trails. . It can be really cold, so a windproof jacket is a must. We shoot till we can and then go back.
Day 4 - Pangong To Hanle
We get up early morning and take a walk around the village. It’s a great experience to see how the sun comes out and illuminates the whole landscape.
We then drive to Hanle, a small village very close to the China border. Foreigners are not allowed in this village.
Hanle is famous for one of the darkest skies and for the highest observatory of India. It is controlled by the IISc (Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore).
It is a great place to do astrophotography. The Milky way can be seen very clearly even to the naked eye.
Day 5 Hanle to Tso Morriri - Korzok Gustor
This day we start early and go to Tso Morriri. The Korzok Gustor or the annual festival at Korzok village monastery happens on this day. Its a great oppurtunity to shoot the people and the festival activities. One of the most intersting part of the festival are the Chams or the mask dances.
Day 6 Tso Morriri to Leh via Thiksey, Shey
Today we start our return journey from Tso Morriri to Leh. On the way, we stop at Tso Kar. Its a spectacular lake. If we are lucky, we can also spot some Black Necked cranes who come to India after flying across the Himalaya.
Before reaching Leh, we also stop at the Thiksey and Shey monasteries.
Day 7 Fly off
On this day, you fly off to your home. You can book any flight in the morning.
Ladakh Photography Tour Feedback from previous participants
I recently in the month of June, had an opportunity of taking 5 of my friends with me to Ladakh, group led by Mr. Saurab Chatterjee. The day we landed, till we boarded the plane back to Bangalore, everything went on so perfectly, like a clockwork. The painstakingly programmed trip was perfect for us, as we had very good opportunity of making images of Landscapes, the Milkyway, portraits, abstracts, and many other things. The Hotel and transport arrangements was perfect and the whole trip was perfect to the core. The company of Saurab, was very good and was sharing much information on both Photography as well as About the Land- Dream Land LADAKH. My friends who came with me, is of the same opinion, and all are very happy and have many memorable images in their library now. Thanks to Mr. Saurab, and I am looking forward to join his next trip. Thanks a lot, Saurab, for the wonderful photo opportunities.
H Satish, President, Youth Photographic Society (YPS), Bengaluru
The route and the itinerary were very well planned. The selection of places to stay was excellent. We can’t ask for more in such places. Food in these places was good, neat and sufficient.
You have an excellent knowledge of the places we visited. It was an educative trip.
Your instructions about do’s and don’ts were crystal clear. I strongly believe because most of us followed these instructions, everything went well.
The selection of vehicle, number of people, driver, sufficient water, medicines and candies were spot-on!
Driver: He is one of the best I have seen in recent years. A knowledgeable, humble, lively and down-to-earth person. You have chosen a gem! As much as possible keep him.
Overall, it was a memorable trip for me. I enjoyed every bit of it. I have already updated some of my friends on this and suggested they go for it. Let us see if it materializes.
The best part of the trip was the journey. The 360-degree view of the terrain was the most memorable one. If I have to choose the best place we visited it is Pangong because it scored 100/100. But, the other places like Khardungla, Nubra, Turtuk, Hanle, Tso Moriri etc scored 98/100 😊.
Thank you for this wonderful trip. Will cherish it for a long time.
Achutha Herur, Bangalore
The anticipation began more than two months ago when we signed up for the trip. We were not at all disappointed. On the contrary, we had entered a very well organised and managed photo tour that left us asking for more.
Saurab, a thorough professional, had paid attention to every single detail, starting with the detailed instructions he had provided us, which came in more than handy.
The choice of hotels and locations were appropriate, with good food and caring staff an added bonus.
The highlight of the tour was undoubtedly the journey. We could not have asked for a better driver and the TT in which we traveled was quite comfortable considering the nature of roads we came across. Our travel companions too certainly made it count.
The tour itself was very well laid out, giving us enough rest.
The ever-changing landscape is to die for. We never got tired of soaking in the sights, with each turn throwing up something new.
It is one tour that gave us a chance to dabble with all genres of photography, be it landscapes, nature, travel, portrait, astro, we covered them all.
I would sign up for such tours any day. Thank you Saurab.
Anitha Mysore, Youth Photographic Society, (YPS), Bangalore
ARPS | MPSA | EFIAP/s | c***MoL | EIUP |GPU CR-4 | EFIP/g | FAPS | EFIP/g (Nature) | GPA.PESGSPC | A.CPE | ES. CPE | Hon. PESGSPC | G.APS
The SIA photo tour to Ladakh was indeed a most fruitful and productive tour.. Saurabh is a passionate teacher and an extremely competent organiser. Saurabh's knowledge about the region is unparalleled and he knows just the right spots for great photo opportunities. His way of teaching/guiding is subtle yet extremely effective. Above all his planning, execution, and his personal touch tick all the right boxes. A trip with Saurabh is indeed a memorable experience and I would definitely like to go on more trips with Saurabh.
Thank you Saurabh and wish u a very Happy World Photography Day.
Santanu Majumdar, ex-Indian Air Force
Dream Came True
Visiting Leh-Ladakh was my dream since my college days. I.e. last 35-40 years. (Actually, I wonder how come, I didn’t visit for so many years, may be time hadn't come, ha ha ha…). Renowned landscape photographer Mr Saurabh Chatterjee fulfilled my dream.I joined ‘Leh-Ladakh’ photo tour of 'Sia Photography’ during 17-25th July. Mr Saurabh Chatterjee is the Founder and Chief Educator at SIA Photography. For last 12 years, he has been taking photo tours to Leh-Ladakh region minimum 2-3 times a year. Because of that, he is almost half Ladakhi in personality. He took us to interior villages like Turtuk, Hunder, Hanle, Tso Moriri apart from Leh & Pangaong. We spent nights in the villages exploring Night Photography whereas during the day, we used to visit villages to capture core village life of Ladakh. The staying arrangements were very good. While travelling from one place to another in tempo traveller, we use to take so many halts to capture captivating landscapes of Ladakh, a real patience testing for our driver. The most captivating journey was from Hunder to Hanle, more than half day we travelled along Pangong Lake. During the seven-day tour, we could capture wild ass, marmot, Ladakhi ladies in their traditional festive dresses, celebration in Korzok Gompa on the occasion of visit of their guru i.e. the head Lama, panoramic view of Milky Way at the f/g of Pangong lake…etc. apart from mind blowing landscapes, Lubra Valley, and many monasteries that Ladakh is famous for.
The most fascinating nature of Mr Saurabh Chatterjee is, firstly, his minute observations which made us possible to capture Ladakhi ladies in traditional dresses waiting for a bus on the road and secondly and more importantly, his ability & willingness to share photography knowledge. Being with him for last 7 days, I felt like going through an advance course of photography. The only disadvantage of being with him is that he being a trekker keeps you on your toes from morning 7 am to night 11pm.I thoroughly enjoyed the tour & will strongly recommend all photographers to join him on his photo tours.Thank you Sia, thank you Saurabh & Smita, his very friendly wife.
Vinaya Mathews, FFIP, EFIAP, PPSA, GAPU, BEAPF, Hon APF
Beyond the Viewfinder
Before you go on a trip, you first compare and search the whole internet about the best deals. You see the itinerary and also the cost. But for this trip I was sure I will have to spend almost a lakh and didn’t go through the net. But i was wrong, the cost of SIA Leh tour as per the itinerary was reasonable. First reason was that the trip covered Hanle and Turtuk which most of the tour planners don’t include in their trip. Secondly you get expert advise personally from Saurabh Chatterjee.
I learnt so much in this trip. It felt like I pushed the limits of the camera to take great landscapes. I learnt Milky way photography. Star Trails and what not. Best thing is this was a photo tour. You always have a camera to capture the best moments and you can’t miss anything and it stays forever. 5 years ago when I visited Leh, it was a different experience. I didn’t know anything about the place. But if you reach at the right place with right people, at right time you can undoubtedly see the wonders of nature and that’s a core principle of SIA I believe, to make sure everyone gets a chance to see what’s beyond the viewfinder. I really enjoyed it and started recommending this trip to my friends because there is so much to learn through travel rather than getting the bookish knowledge. I wish team SIA all the best.
Digant Surti, Student, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
A land like no other with a superabundance of attractions, fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth. It creates a great memory for remembrance if once making a visit in this great place, Its even great when you capture those memories in photos.
I have always wanted to visit Ladakh, the opportunity came through SIA to visit and capture them in cameras. Now there is a difference between how brain processes these images and how digital cameras do. With expert guidance from Saurabh it’s easy to frame the images that you would come back to see often. He not only takes you to best places for photography, he also ensures that you have taken the best shot possible, he never holds himself to share his expertise.
What you see and experience in Ladakh is out of world, this is where you see the true colour of sky, the reflecting sun on the lake and how the water blush in different shades of blue, green and turquoise. This is where you experience the stars as a painted roof above earth. This is where you see every wrinkle has a story to tell and every shy eye has a mystic excitement. This is where you find villages at the end of world where earth and sky meet together. This is a place I want to visit again and Thanks to SIA Photography for making this happen.
Kishore Parhi, IT Consultant, Bangalore
The Photography tour to Leh- Ladakh region by SIA photography is a fantastic experience. Saurabh is not only a great landscape photographer but also has great knowledge about the region and knows the best places and times to photograph the region, it’s vistas and it’s people. The tour was very well planned and executed. We stayed and photographed in Leh, Turtuk, Hunder, Pangong Tso, Hanle and Tso Moriri in these 8 days. The journey was scenic and the destinations terrific. Saurabh also tried to do astrophotography on every night of the tour hand-holding the participants with his instructions and practical lessons. All of us learnt newer things in photography and his knowledge helped us all become better photographers. One of the great strengths of Saurabh is in sharing his photography knowledge with everyone and his earnest efforts to ensure everyone gets really good shots. We were lucky to get clear skies on a few nights and get our Milky way and star trails shots. The weather was quite cold at nights and Saurabh along with his wife Smita were very caring towards all the participants ready to provide medicinal supplements as needed. Their local knowledge makes one suspect that at least half the blood in their bodies is Ladakhi.
This tour was my first to Leh and Ladakh and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about photography and the region and getting some great shots. I will highly recommended my friends to see Ladakh with SIA tours. Thank you, Saurabh!
Ranjit Adkar, IT Consultant, Mumbai
We went to the most awaited Ladakh trip in June 2022(postponed due to covid🙄),with Saurabh Chatterjee for photography tour rather than conventional trip just to try n experience something new...frankly speaking being very amateur in photography, I was little skeptical about this decision.But it turned out to be the best decision. Saurabh is so so talented,passionate about his photography,n yet so patient n understanding for amateurs like us .Even after being there so many times,he was sharing the same level of excitement n joy. Each time he would just jump off the vehicle for any good click.The tour was very well organised,still very flexible,we were stopping anywhere for every new clicks.Each time he used review our photos , encourage us, guide us how to take better pics.Thanks saurabh for this amazing memorable trip with Sia photography.Highly recommended for all photography passionate people.Really looking forward to join you soon for many such amazing tours in future.
-Dr. Sheetal & Dr. Pramod Tike, Latur
I was looking for a trip to Ladakh with an intent to do photography and for this, I started browsing the net looking for a photography tour of Ladakh and this is how I stumbled upon SIAPhotography tours. I liked the fact that it had options to send WhatsApp messages and so I dropped a message for inquiry. Saurabh was very quick to respond to my messages and clear all my doubts. Speaking to him on phone was further reassuring and going through his site, blogs and finally, the itinerary, helped me make up my mind that I wanted to go on a Ladakh photography tour with SIA Photography / Saurabh. I did not regret my decision.
I was provided with all the information I needed for the trip in advance and kept receiving prompt replies from Saurabh on all my queries. My first meeting with Saurabh at Leh Hill-Town Hotel put to rest all my anxiety about the trip. Saurabh is very down-to-earth, caring, soft speaking, intelligent, and extremely talented in photography. He is passionate about photography, travel and Ladakh.
I have been immersing myself in technical knowledge of photography all this while but my practical experience in photography was very lacking. Saurabh shared very practical and insightful tips on how to shoot landscapes such that it made photography easy for me. I have made notes of the things that Saurabh shared and I am sure they will stay with me and enrich my photography skills in the days to come.
The best part of going with Saurabh is that he takes care of everything. All logistics are taken care of. He has years of experience traveling through the Ladakh region, such that he knows so many hidden, off-beat places from where you get excellent landscape views. He makes sure that his group is well acclimatized, rested, and hydrated during the trip ensuring the success of the trip. He has excellent tie-ups and contacts in the region that make your trip very comfortable. I simply loved the places he took us on this tour.
I had a very comfortable, insightful, photography tour, where I saw not only different places in Ladakh for the first time but saw the milky way galaxy with naked eyes and captured shots of the same for the first time and it was all because of Saurabh's effort and God's providence.
I wish Saurabh great success and an amazing photography journey in life.
Abhy Nadar, New Delhi
I attended Ladakh 2018 tour with Sia i.e. with Sourabh and I must say that my experience was worth of every penny I spent in the trip. Sourabh is there to help you at each and every spot from the beginning till the end. All you need is passion and interest to learn. He has so many things to offer only if you are willing to learn. My favorite part of the trip was his detailed knowledge of places especially its useful in a vast region like Ladakh and his patience as I used to take more time to take photos. I highly recommend siaphotography for all beginners. Also if you are just a solo photographer and looking for professional photography tour then Sourabh is the one.
Any Questions - Contact us on Whatsapp
Cost: Rs.INR 65,000/- (for Indian Passport holders) $1200 for non Indians
Only 7 participants on first come first serve basis.
Cost includes1) Accommodation on twin sharing basis. Single accommodation can be arranged on request.
2) All meals from Day 1 afternoon to Day 8 morning
3) Surface transfers as per Itinerary
4) Inner liner Permits, Entry fees, Taxes, Parking & Toll
5) Expert photography advice by Ssaurabh A Chatterjee, review of pictures whenever time permits.
Cost does not include1) Travel to Leh and return travel from Leh to your location.
2) Bottled Water, additional food or beverages ordered; tips, etc. 3) Anything that is not mentioned in inclusions.
Rs.20000/- booking amount.
Rest 45 days before the date of the tour.
Cancellation costs us too.
As people generally plan in advance, it becomes impossible for us to fill the seats last moment. So, if you cancel, the seat goes vacant. Also, in most places, we have to book well in advance due to the limited choices.
So, please book your tour only if you are sure.
> 60 days to 45 days prior to departure of the tour, 20% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
> 40 days to 15 days prior to departure of the tour 50% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
> 14 days to 07 days prior to departure of the tour 75% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
> 07 days to 01 days prior to departure of the tour 100% of the total tour cost is non-refundable.
There will be no refund for NO SHOWS.
Any Questions - Contact us on Whatsapp
PICTURES FROM Leh Ladakh Photo Tour 2023
1. Do I need to be physically fit to join this trip?
We will be traveling by SUVs / Tempo Traveller. However, we will be traveling at high altitudes. We will walk occasionally. Even small walks at high altitudes can be tiring. Climbing stairs of the monasteries are also strenuous. Please consult your doctor first.
2. Is this trip only for Photographers?
No, anyone can join. We will spend a lot of time taking some great pictures though. I'm sure everyone loves doing that. We have had non-photographers on our previous trips and they enjoy it as much.
3. I have no knowledge of Photography. Will I get some help?
Even before the tour, we do an orientation session where Saurabh shows his pictures, talk about the camera and the lenses. You can ask your questions too. He will help you with the best settings in the situations that you are going to face.
Saurabh will be assisting you whenever you need help. Please feel free to ask him your question on the field.
So, you will learn while having fun on the go.
If you have got a new camera recently or struggling with the settings or still taking mediocre pictures, I will highly recommend my online course Zero to Hero. It will help you familiarize with your camera and help you take great pictures. It covers editing too.
Go for it! You will never regret it.
4. I don't have a camera. Can I get a camera or lenses for rent?
Yes, Cameras / Lenses can be arranged based on availability.
5. How do I reach Leh?
Leh is well connected to New Delhi by air.
1. What is the best time to visit Ladakh for photography?
Ladakh experiences extreme weather conditions, so understanding the best seasons for photography is crucial. Summer (May to September) is a popular time due to milder temperatures and accessibility to most areas. Winter offers unique opportunities for snow and frozen landscapes, but many areas might be inaccessible.
2. What photography equipment should I bring?
Please read this article.
3. What fitness level is required for the tour?
You just need to be on good health. We are not going to do any trekking in this tour. The only strenous activity you are going to do is to climb the stairs of the monasteries.
4. Do I need prior photography experience?
All are welcome. I will assist you to take pictures on location. However, I would advise to have a basic understanding of the camera and exposure. If you are not very sure, you can go through my course Zero to Hero.
5. What kind of transportation be provided during the tour?
Tempo traveller is the best vehicle for these terrains, we use that. For smaller groups, we use Toyota Innova.
6. What is the accommodation like?
Clean hotels or homestays. No fancy hotels.
7. Is Ladakh safe for tourists and photographers?
Absolutely safe in terms of political unrest. Please read this article for health related issues.
8. Do I need any permits for in Ladakh?
Yes. Being close to the China and Pakistan border, permits are required. I will take care of that. Adhaar card is required for the permits. For foreigners, online permits are not issued. The passport is required for physical verification.
9. What are the main photography attractions in Ladakh?
Ladakh has something for everyone. From iconic photography spots, including monasteries, landscapes, lakes, and cultural events. We also do a lot of landscape and astrophotography. Wildlife enthusiasts will also not be disappointed.
10. Will there be opportunities to interact with local people and their culture?
There will be plenty of opportunities to interact and photograph the locals. Generally, we include one festival in our tours. They are great opportunites to shoot the local people in their traditional costumes.
11. What's the group size for the tour?