This photography tour takes you through two very different aspects of Himalayan mountains. One the lush green Kinnaur valley, other the high altitude desert of Lahaul Spiti region. Both offer unique sights, interesting people, cultures, terrain, temples, monastries, lakes, rivers and numerous other places of interest which offer exceiting photo oppurtunities. One can spend years in this area and still not run out of places to visit and photographs to click. The simple and hospitable people of this region who have preserved their centuries old culture are great hosts and spending some time with them adds immensely to the joy of traveling.
We have designed this photography tour to include the best sights, activities, people, places and most impotantly everything at right time. Instead of just staying in hotels, the guests get the chance to stay in small and cozy family run homestays, live life like the locals do, see some sights which are not even mentioned in normal travel itineraries to ensure that they come back not only with awesome pictures but also a deep insight and knowledge about this start yet immensely beautiful place and it’s inhabitants. This photography tour will help you hone your skills on wide variety of shooting techniques including but not limited to landscape, potraits, wildlife and night photography.
We have tried to keep everything safe and comfortable, but keep in mind that Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti are still very remote areas and a large part stays cut off from civilisation for 6-7 months, sometimes more. While the travelers may miss out on some creature comforts for a few days, this photography tour more than makes up for it in every other way possible.
- Expert guidance and help from accompanying photography guide on all days.
- Image reviews and constructive feedback.
- All basic needs taken care of leaving the guests free to focus on their photography.
- Different types of accommodations offered including camping, home stays and hotels for authentic experience.
- Visits to some certain places at specific times for great photo opportunities.
- Inclusion of certain historical sites with history going back to more than a thousand years.
Day 01 – Chandigarh – Sarahan
Early morning pickup from Chandigarh and drive towards Sarahan through scenic mountain roads. We will stop at a few places on the way to take some amazing shots of the mountains, valleys and roads. Checkin the hotel for rest followed by ntrodurction about the tour and orientation class. Night stay in Sarhan Sarhan is a small village famous for it’s Bhim Kali temple, one of 51 Shakti Peeth in Hindu religion.
Day 02 – Sarhan – Sangla
Drive towards Sangla, a small village in Kinnaur district famous for it’s fruit orchards. At this season, most of the fruits like apples will be pretty small and but the farmers will still be toiling in orchards. The village is surrounded by snow capped peaks and forms a great location for landscape photography. One of the most prominent features is Baspa river flowing through the valley. Trout fishing is gaining popularity in the area. We will visit ancient tower like Kamru Fort where kings were crowned to take some interesting pictures.
Day 03 – Sangla – Kalpa
Drive towards Kalpa with a few stops on the way. Kalpa is a small town with ancient temples and famous for it’s plantations of high quality of apples and pinus gerardiana (chilgoza) . We will visit the plantations as well as some Hindu and Buddhist temples with their distinctive art style and architecture.
Day 04 – Kalpa – Nako – Tabo
As we keep on driving, the terrain starts changing from green to stark high altitude brown with little greenery. Our first stop will be at Nako (3625 meters) where we will stop for some refreshments. Later we will visit the village monastery and the small but higly pictureque Nako lake nearby. Our night stop will be in Tabo village which is also the site for one of the holiest Buddhist monasteries.
Day 05 – Tabo- Dhankar – Pin Valley – Kaza
Dhankar is the site of a famous monastery and fort which sit in between some very sharp, jagged peaks giving the whole place a haunting yet beautiful look. But the area is highly unstable making this monastery a highly endangered one. This place offers unparalled views of Pin Valley and the confluence of Pin and Spiti rivers. There is a small lake on top of a mountain nearby which is accesible only by foot but offers even more interesting view of the area. From this point, we will drive towards Kaza and stay there for night. Altitude in Kaza is 3650 meters and it’s the biggest town as well as administrative capital of Lahaul Spiti region. The only petrol pump of the region is situated here. Walk in Kaza bazar, visit colourful Buddhist monastery.
Day 06 – Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic – Kibber
This day we will first drive towards Kibber while making stops at Langza, Hikkim and Komic. Komic has the world’s highest monastery while Hikkim has the highest post office in the world. Sending a post card from this post office is a must do ritual for most tourists. Both Langza and Hikkim are small villages and the people mostly depend upon animal, rearing, agriculture and a bit of tourism for their living. You can spot some rare wildlife like Snow Leopard, Blue sheep, ibex and a few others if you’re lucky. Our night stop will be at Kibber which is a comparitiely larger village.
Day 07 – Kibber – Gette – Ki – Chandrataal
Waking up early morning, we will drive towards Gette to take early morning shots of Ki monastery from a peak hundreds above. The spot offers mind blowing views of the monastery, fields and the river flowing through valley below. Then we will stop at Ki monastery which at at altitude of 4116 mmeters is one of the highest monasteries in the world. Interact with monks, see how daily life in monsatery and spend some time wandering around. From there we will drive towards Chandrataal Lake which is a drive of about 3-4 hours. There is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Kunzum at top which is also the starting point of a hiking route to Chandrataal Lake. Guests who want to hike can take that route, rest go on via a longer road. Night stay in campsite, 2 km from the lake.
Day 08 – Chandrataal – Rohtang – Manali
Early morning visit to Chandrataal lake (4300 meters) via car or foot. It is one of the must visit attractions of Spiti region and offers breathtaking photo oppurtunities from every angle. Take a walk around the lake early morning when there is no wind blowing and the water is mostly still. After breakfast drive back towards Manali with rest stops at Chatru and Rohtang Pass. We will reach Manali in evening and end the tour there.
1) Accommodation in hotels, home stays, guest houses and camp site.
2) Shared transport with pickup from Chandigarh and drop at Manali.
3) All meals with option for non-vegetarian food in a few places.
4) Services of a highly skilled and experienced photographer as a tour guide.
1) Pickup or drop from Delhi. It can be arranged at an additional cost.
2) Cost of photography gear rental.
3) Cost of personal expenses like phone, laundry, shopping and other personal expensesl.
1) If you have never traveled in such high altitude area before, consult your doctor first. Normally, it is not a problem but it’s important to be sure. People with medical conditions related to blood pressure, heart and respiratory issues can be at risk in high altitudes.
2) Phone coverage is patchy and unreliable in most parts and only BSNL works in Lahaul Spiti.
3) Bring following personal items and clothing items:
- Wind cheater and trousers.
- Warm jacket.
- Thick socks and hiking shoes.
- High SPF sunscreen.
- Hat or cap.
- All medications including one for high altitude sickness.
- Water filter or tablets.