Ladakh photography tour, India

“Remote Ladakh in northwestern India is a photographer’s dream and this 17-day adventure explores its wild, stark landscape, ancient monasteries and welcoming people, accompanied by an expert photography tutor.”


Delhi | flight over the Himalayas | Leh | Shanti Stupa | Basgo, Alchi and the amazing ‘moonland landscape’ around Lamayuru | Lamayuru Monastery | Thiksey Monastery | Tsomoriri Lake | Korzok Gustor Festival | Mahe and the Indus Valley | Nubra Valley and Diskit Monastery | Homestay in a monastery

Description of Ladakh photography tour, India

Join this exciting photography tour to Ladakh, India, a one-time kingdom in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. On this 17-day trip, discover the very best that this remote Buddhist region can offer the adventure travel photographer. Known as Little Tibet, Ladakh is one of the most remote areas of India. Lying to the north of the Himalayas on the Tibetan Plateau and south of K2 and the Karakorams, it has remained isolated from the outside world for centuries. Ladakh has a rich cultural and religious heritage that is little changed, and it offers photographers stark but striking scenery, vast mountain ranges and remote valleys, centuries old monasteries perched atop craggy cliffs, ancient forts, high altitude turquoise lakes on the Tibetan plateau, rare birdlife, nomadic settlements and traditional villages.

This a unique and special photographic journey, carefully planned to explore the very best of this enchanting and memorable land. As well as photographing the scenery, you will have the chance to meet local people from all walks of life, including monks, farmers and shopkeepers. The hospitality of the local people whose homes we visit is unsurpassed, and you can also observe their annual harvest rituals, for a rare insight into an unchanged way of life and culture.

This expedition is a full-on adventure! It begins in Delhi, and we spend 11 nights in mostly family run hotels in Ladakh, eating local produce and really contributing to the local community. We also spend three nights in tented accommodation (with an attached bathroom) by the stunning Tso Moriri Lake, home of the Changpo nomads. We also cross two of the world’s highest road passes and spend one night in a local village homestay. Our contacts with the Changpo Nomads are strong and we are involved in various projects that aim to enhance their health and well-being.

Photographic subjects include the Changpa Nomads, Lamayuru and Thiksey monasteries, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya, Basgo Fort, Bactrian camels and sand dune landscapes and the Nubra Valley, known as the valley of flowers. You will be accompanied at all times by a local and very knowledgeable Ladakhi Guide, as well as a professional photographic tutor and our guide/coordinator. All transport and all meals in Ladakh are included.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Both our company and our location guides are keen environmentalists. For example we are privileged to have worked in Ladakh for many years and we work alongside Ladakhis whose knowledge of and respect for the local environment is unsurpassed and are members of the international Eco-Tourism Society whose aim is to unite conservation, communities and sustainable travel. Our Ladakhi colleagues have an immense knowledge of the indigenous flora and fauna. Our objective is to, “help people understand the nature better and to conserve it so that the future generation can benefit and admire the it’s beauty.” Our photography reflects the special access we have to some less explored locations that local people have shown us. Walking through locations is key to our trips, wherever possible we avoid any sort of transport at all allowing total immersion in the areas we visit.

Out in the field we encourage you to travel responsibly and to consider the following guidelines:

- When out in wild places we encourage you to keep erosion to a minimum, keep to footpaths and avoid stepping on or picking native flora.
- Protect the environment – its flora, fauna and landscapes.
- We encourage you to use water sparingly particularly, in Ladakh it is a precious and expensive commodity. Additionally avoid buying plastic bottles of water and use your own metal or heavy-duty plastic bottle such as Nalgene to refil with water from a safe source.
- River water could also be drinking water, do not contaminate water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free.
- Carry out some research about your holiday destination, being able to speak a few words of the Ladakhi language will always be appreciated.
- Minimize pollution and carry out litter.

The Impacts of this Trip

We consider it a huge privilege to be able to visit the world’s wild places and at all times we endeavor to respect local cultures At the beginning of the trip we advise and discuss issues such as local community projects in the area, local religious and cultural beliefs and our effect on the local community. We encourage participants to ask our local guide as much as possible about the community.

Throughout our holiday we will be working alongside Ladakhi colleagues, we also use an English speaking local guide and local location experts.

- Respect local customs religion and traditions. Wear appropriate clothes by adhering to local dress codes.
- Don’t take photographs of local people and places of religious significance without permission.
- Keep promises! Send copies of photos to local people if this is what you have said you will do.
- Buy local products such as food and souvenirs so that money directly benefits the community.

A guide that we have worked with often is Thinles Dorjay. Hailing from the remote Phokar village of Ladakh, Thinles, he started working in travel and hospitality when he was just sixteen and in addition to some guiding he handles the office logistics and transport arrangements in Leh, meets all clients, and is there at the airport to meet us and see you us off.

We travel in small groups often splitting into smaller groups of two or three persons in order to reduce intrusion on local communities while photographing. With a few exceptions when we visit iconic locations, we tend to avoid main tourist areas, concentrating instead on the less visited areas thus economically supporting these local communities. We have known and worked with our location experts for many years and as such we get to visit places often unseen by other visitors to the area and we are often treated to insights of cultural tradition and ways of life that would have passed us by without this connection. We stay in locally owned accommodation and visit as many locally run initiatives as we can fit in.

Information is also available on our web site.


2 Reviews of Ladakh photography tour, India

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of it...

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get you camera out and use the opportunities you're given to take fantastic pictures.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Staying in local hotels and the home stay benefitted local people. Some hotels grew their own vegetables. I was concerned with the use of single-use plastic bottles for water. However, we collected the empties and took them back to Leh for disposal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Reviewed on 16 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It was described accurately as an expedition! Very exciting and fascinating country. Hard work in parts though.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take some warm stuff with you - for night time as well as for outside. (Mainly for in the Tso Moriri area) .
Take all the advice on hand regarding coping with altitude I found Power banks were essential for me - I took two and charged them up at every opportunity
Take a few munchies - like Naked Bars

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Totally on all counts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant - a true adventure. Absolutely loved it.

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