Lodging on the exquisitely carved Royal Houseboats which are situated on a quiet corner of Dal Lake with views of lotus fields and the mountains beyond.
Ply the early morning waters in a shikara on Dal Lake and photograph the colorful and robust morning market.
Drive to the scenic hill station of Pahalgam which is surrounded by breathtaking meadows, beautiful valleys and the majestic Himalayas. Visit small hamlets and meet the local population
Photograph in the main mosques in Old Srinagar, Mehboobul-Alam and Hazratbal as well as the brass workers, carpenters and carpet weavers.
Take a boat ride on the Jhelum River and photograph the craftsman and dwellers in the old section.
Tour dates: March 4 – 15, 2019
Cost: Approx $6,850
Single Supplement: $750
Includes 2 internal flights (B, L, D) Airport Transfers
Venue: New Delhi, India
Gratuities to local guide and drivers
Laundry, personal expenses
Group Size: 10
Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse
Day 1: March 4 – New Delhi
Upon arrival you will be driven to our hotel which is in close proximity to the New Delhi airport. We will have a meet and greet dinner and trip orientation meeting. (D) Holiday Inn Aero City
Day 2: March 5 – New Delhi – Srinagar
Morning flight to Srinagar the capital of Kashmir. We will check in to our houseboat and have lunch. Afternoon photo shoot in the market surrounding the Hazratbal Mosque will then be on the agenda. Local bakers and butchers and a panoramic view of the the lake are easily photographed.(B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 3: March 6 – Srinagar
The group will have an early morning photo shoot in the floating vegetable market. We will ply the waters of Dal Lake by shikara and return to the hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we will take the short drive to the side of Srinagar that is bordered by the river. We will shoot the shikara builders at work, the women washing shawls and dying fabrics and shoot the winding streets of this old city. (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 4: March 7 – Srinagar
After breakfast we will take a motor launch ride on the River Jhelum and photograph the unique colonial architecture of Srinagar. We will have lunch in a local Kashmiri restaurant. In the afternoon we all take the short drive to Idd Gah. This village is well know for their weaving and we will also shoot the farmers who grow vegetables and harvest lotus root. The village is on the periphery of scenic Anchaar Lake. For those that want to buy crafts we will go to the largest craft emporium in Srinagar. Sunset photoshoot from the Taj Vivanta hotel which overlooks Dal Lake. Evening photo critique on the houseboat. (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 5: March 8 – Srinagar
In the area of Baba Nagri we will photograph the famous shrine and the worshippers. We will continue to the 1000 year old shiva temple in Narang. Proceeding afterwards we will immerse ourselves in the Kangan bazaar. Lunch will be picnic style on the banks of Sindh River. We also stop at Manasbal Lake and photograph the local population. A stop will be made in the village of Wangath where we will photograph the mixed classes of Islamic school children in their 300 year old wooden school building. Sufi music performance on our houseboat (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 6: March 9 Pahalgam: The Valley of the ShepherdsLeaving in the morning we will take the
local train to Banihal which is at an elevation of 5,500 feet. This scenic train ride will take us through mountain passes and is called the Switzerland of India. From there we will photograph the typical Kashmir city of Anantang where our cars will meet us for the drive to Pahalgam
Driving to the Valley of the Shepherds, in the shadow of the Himalayas, with a stop at Mattan Sahib, a Sikh temple built in a Hindu temple complex. While it is a simple temple, Mattan Sahib is where the ninth Sikh guru, Tegh Bahadur, agreed to sacrifice himself to prevent the forced conversion of the Kashmiri Pandits to Islam.
On to Pahalgam, a so-called hill station, where residents would escape the heat of summer. Dinner will be a traditional tarami (thali) meal featuring the flavors of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one plate. You will be joined by the owners of the Pahalgam Hotel, who faced incredible hardships during the Kashmiri insurgency, but paid their entire staff right through a shutdown.
(B,L,D) Pahalgam Hotel
Day 7 : March 10 Pahalgam: Shepherd Walk
Spend the day on the shepherds walk, following the tracks of hundreds of years. Tribes of nomadic shepherds still take their herds of horses, goats, sheep and cattle between the Himalayan mountains of Jammu and the meadows of Kashmir. Visit a local village to see the way the nomads live, their culture and their battles to survive.
After lunch, visit with some of the women who are the first generation to earn money from their own handicrafts. Have tea in a local home, and visit a primitive cheese factory that produces Gouda with milk from local dairy farms. (B,L,D) Pahalgam Hotel
Day 8: March 11 – Srinagar
We will return to the old, historic part of Srinagar with its unique architectural style in the late afternoon and have a photo shoot at the oldest family run carpet weaving factory. The Ali Shah Brothers weavers are known as the best. Dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 9 : March 12– Srinagar
This day of the photo tour will be spent entirely in Srinagar. The morning will be spent in the Sultan-Ularfeen or Mehboobul-Alam Mosque. Photography is permitted here and many sufi singers may be walking the perimeter of the mosque. We will also shoot the interior of the Jamia Masjid mosque. The pillars of Jamia Masjid mosque are of architectural significance. Lunch will be in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we will wander independently the streets of Lal Chowk shooting street scenes and spice merchants. Evening photo critique and image sharing. (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 10:March 13 – Srinagar
In the morning we will shoot the Mughal gardens. Nishat, the Garden of Bliss based on Dal Lake by Empress Noor Jehan’s is laid more than seven patios and an engineering gem These greenhouses are immaculate samples of the Mugal style with terraced yards, evergreen cypress trees, blooming shrubberies and organic product trees.
Toward the evening we will drive to Taelbal which is 17 km from Srinagar and we will photo the villagers as they lead their day by day lives. A creek goes through the town and there are ranches on both sides. The water is emerald blue and appears to be stunning. Local people participate in net angling and we will photograph the angler at work. Subsequently we will stroll through the town, where we will see the villagers planting rice and working the fields. (B,L,D) Royal Houseboats
Day 11: March 14 – Srinagar – New Delhi
We will fly back to New Delhi today. The rest of the day will be free until dinner when we will meet for a farewell dinner. Those taking late night flights or early morning departure will be escorted to the airport. (B,L,D) Holiday Inn Aero City
Day 12: March 15– Departure
Transportation to the airport.