Trekking at Kashmir Great Lakes - Day 1

It was my first Himalayan week+ long trekking, was very exited and also my first trip to north India. I had planned this trekking event during summer (in Kashmir) Aug 2013. I took an early morning flight from Bangalore to Srinagar (reached Srinagar 2 days in advance and stayed in a boat house). There were cabs ready for us arranged by our trekking team. We took this cab and was a long drive (half day drive) to Sonamarg.

We stopped thrice. One was near Dal lake for few more trekkers to join (and this is where I joined). Second was on the way outside city in a village. We just informed local driver to stop near a medical store to get few medicines that we had to take while going for trekking. And the third stop was somewhere close to (1 hour to) Sonamarg. This is where we got some Kashmiri Apples and had Tea from a local Tea stall. The Tea here tastes very different. The taste way more like, mixture of salt and butter to the normal tea. Something different, which you need to try. A totally different experience. On the way you will find beautiful landscapes, Pine forests, streams, rivers, bridges, snow patches etc. 

Finally, just before reaching Sonamarg city we took a left turn just before the bridge and had to walk from there for about 10 mins to reach out base camp. From this place you will find three glaciers, Sonamarg city and many more. I had some time and did not want to waste much time inside my tent.. and spent most of the time outside photographing. Luckily, I had taken four extra camera batteries and also my camera. Just what I wanted. We reached early in the evening and had enough time to go around there. Saw some shepherd's hut and spent my time photographing the landscape. Your memory card and battery will never be enough. By this time all had come and it was time for dinner. Came to know about all the trekkers who were in our group and spent some time photographing in low light. The last shot in the video below was captured at around 2 AM in the morning. Check out the below video and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as I will be uploading more videos and also, my rest of the days that I had spent during trekking.

Location: Srinagar to Sonamarg - Day 1 of Trekking at Kashmir Great Lakes.
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24 mm lens.

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Sheep grazing in front of the Himalayan Mountain range

Captured this during my trip to Sonamarg. This was early in the morning about half an hour after sunrise. In the background is the Himalayan mountain range during summer. This place was our starting point of Kashmir Great Lakes trekking and was on first day. Very scenic place, stayed overnight here in this place in a tent and captured some amazing shots. This place is on the way from Srinagar to Leh. Nearest city is the Sonamarg city which is about 30 mins walk from this place. The only residents here in this region are the shepherds and you will find many huts here. They stay in this region only during summer for few months after which this place is inhabitable because of thick snow.

Location: Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens

Tea plantation near Kuduremuka

Captured this image while traveling on the way from Hornadu Temple to Kuduremukha at Western Ghats in India. Image shows the Tea plantation.

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Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens
Camera Settings: 14mm, 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 200

Evening in a village near Kuduremukha

Captured this near Kuduremukha, Western Ghats in  India. Image shows the terrace cultivation in the foreground. In middle is the western Ghats - hilly region which is known for the thick rain forest and is older than Himalayas and in the background is the fading sky. in the evening sky. Love the different colors, late This was captured just after sunset.

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Camera: Nikon D600 with 14-24mm lens
Camera Settings: 24mm, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 200

Trees - All the way up

Captured this image near Kuduremukha, Western Ghats. Below is the tea plantation and there trees are cut so that there is enough sunlight that reach the tea plants below and also to check soil erosion. Common to find these trees at most of the tea plantations here in Karnataka and Kerala.

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Camera: Nikon D600 with 14-24mm lens
Location: Kuduremukha, Western Ghats, Karnataka, India

Surathkal NITK Beach just after Sunset

This is a long exposure photo that was captured at Surathkal Beach, Mangalore in India. The sea that you see in front is the Arabian Sea. Long exposure has created a silky effect of the waves. Had to wait late in the evening after sunset to that the sky is dark as I have been trying long exposure shots. I did not have any filters while capturing this image. You can capture this kind of images even during day light provided you have filters with higher f-stops.

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Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24 mm lens.
Camera Settings: 14mm, 6 secs, f/20, ISO 100
Location: Surathkal, NITK beach, Mangalore, Karnataka

Valentine's Day special

Here is the image that I had captured in a remote hill top place which was painted on a rock by some unknown lovers.There were lot many hearts out there :) It's is common in India to find these at almost all historical places, not sure why. Crazy people, instead of saving ancient carvings and paintings at historical places, they just add another one of their own ;) Just a random shot which I thought of publishing during valentine's week. 

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Location: Siddherbetta, near Tumkur, Karnataka in India.
Camera: Nikon D600 with 50mm 1.4D prime.

Railway in the Rainforest

Captured this bright yellow grass which was right next to the railway track. It's always green in this region as it is close to the western ghats and also because it was just after monsoon. You will find this place while traveling from Bangalore to Mangalore. This track was laid in the 1970s and was meter gauge. The railway service in the route was stopped as railways decided to upgrade it to broad gauge. This route is now busy with goods trains. Also, a bit further from this place, you will find more than 55 tunnels when you go to Bangalore. There are famous trekking spots on the way near Western Ghats. 

Location: Mithur, Puttur, Karnataka, India
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 50mm prime
Camera Settings: 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 200
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