Overview of Zanskar Photography Tour
The Zanskar Valley photo tour is one of the most scenic tours in India but one of the less visited. The Suru Valley and Zanskar Valley is not as popular due to bad roads and poor infrastructure but one of the best tours in terms of photographic opportunities.
If you are interested in Landscape Photography (Mountains, Rivers) , Milky Way and Star Trails - Astrophotography, Beautiful Villages, and People Photography, Ladakhi festivals, this tour is for you. This is less popular compared to our Ladakh tour but no less in terms of beauty and photographic opportunities. And you will not find many tourists around.
Why Join Us?
The tours are led by Saurabh Chatterjee, who has been visiting these regions for almost a decade. He will take you to the right places at the right time and make sure that you come back with some great pictures. He will help you with the settings required for different kinds of pictures. We also do feedback/review sessions whenever possible, during the tour.
You will be in the company of many experienced photographers and have fun.
A private 1:1 tour can be arranged on demand.
Itinerary of Zanskar Photography Tour
Day 1 Arrive in Srinagar
We arrive in Srinagar by afternoon, take a rest. If anyone wants to venture out, you can go to Jami Masjid and the markets around. It is a great place for photography. This is not a part of the tour though and can be done based on the current situation.
Day 2 Srinagar to Kargil 202 kms
We wake up by 4 am, get ready and go to the morning floating vegetable market in the Dal Lake. It takes about 45 mins to go to the marketplace. It has great photographic opportunities. It's great to see how the villagers interact while buying vegetables from each other.
We come back, have our breakfast, and leave for Kargil. We cross Sonmarg meadows and stop at Drass for lunch. We also get a birds-eye view of the Amarnath Yatra camps which looks very interesting. Later, we also visited the Kargil War Memorial at Drass.
We reach Kargil by afternoon, take rest and get ready for the eventful evening. We walk down to the Kargil market. It’s a great place for street photography. The people are very friendly and it is easy to take portraits. These people have very distinct features and make some great pictures.
We come back to our hotel and go to our terrace to do long exposures. Its a great opportunity to get familiarised with settings and the equipment like tripod and the intervalometer that we are going to use during the trip.
Day 3 Kargil to Drang-Drung Glacier Campsite 150 km
This is one of the most scenic drives you will ever see. We pass by the beautiful Suru Valley. We shoot the people at Sankoo market.
After some time, we get to see the mighty Nun - Kun peaks and the Parkachik glacier.
After having lunch at Panikhar, we hurry to reach Rangdum monastery. After a quick visit, we hit the roads again and cross the Penzi la pass (4400m), the highest pass on this route.
It’s amazing how along with the landscapes, the culture also changes. The Buddhist population starts here, beyond the Pensi La.
We see the mighty Drang-Drung Glacier and then retire at our tents in this remote location. It is very cold here.
This is one of the best places to shoot the stars. Absolutely no light pollution, not a single light within kilometers!
Day 4 Drang-Drung Glacier to Padum 50kms
Today is a relatively easy day. We get ready and pass by the plains leading to Padum. We stop at Sani Gompa, one of the oldest in the region. We reach Padum, have our lunch and go to the market in the evening. It is a nice stroll and a good opportunity to meet people and photograph them.
Day 5 Karsha Monastery, Bardhan Monastery, Zangla old Palace and Fort, Zangla nunnery, Stongdey Monastery
Today, we cover all the main monasteries of the region. We also cover any festival that is going to happen on this date.
Day 6 Padum to Rangdum to Kargil (230kms)
We start our journey back to Kargil. It is a long drive with bad roads. We reach Kargil by evening and relax.
Day 7 Darchik village
We visit the Darchik village which is inhabited by the Brokpa community people. We take some interesting portraits with them well dressed in their traditional attire.
They consider themselves the original Aryans. There are rumors that many westerners come here for Pregnancy Tourism - to get pregnant by these people.
Day 8 Kargil to Leh via Lamayuru 217kms
This is a beautiful drive with amazing landscapes. Our first stop is the Mulbekh monastery with the gigantic statue of Chamba which is carved out of a single rock. We visit the small monastery and then proceed to Lamayuru. This is one of the most spectacular monasteries in the region. After lunch, we continue our journey to Leh
Day 9 Fly Out from Leh
Early in the morning, we fly out of Leh to our respective destinations.
Only 8 participants on first come first serve basis.
Cost includesAccommodation and All Meals. Inner Liner Permits, Monastery Fees And Taxes, Surface Transfers for the Entire Journey to Padum And Back.
Cost does not include1) Travel from your city to Srinagar and back from Leh. 2) Mineral water, any additional food ordered.
PICTURES FROM Photo tour to Ladakh - Zanskar Valley 2020
1. Do I need to be physically fit to join this trip? We will be travelling by SUVs with hardly any physically intensive activity. However, we will be travelling at high altitudes. 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 in our previous trips and they enjoy as much.
3. I have no knowledge on Photography. Will I get some help? Yes, absolutely. Saurabh will be assisting you all the time. He will help you on how to take some great pictures. So, you will learn while having fun on the go.