I had booked to do a winter expedition of Stok Kangri in February of this year. Stok Kangri is a 6000m non technical climbing peak which is mostly attempted in the summer months but in winter due to the level of snow and harsh weather, it becomes a different challenge altogether. I had booked via White Magic Adventure. This is professional company and the guides and support staff are very professional in their approach. In this 8 day expedition, there were 10 of us who signed up for such a venture. However 3 people decided to descend down after 5 days and the remaining 7 decided to ascend the peak.
Here is a number of wildlife images taken by me during my trip to Ladakh earlier this year in February. Locations I had visited were Ulley village and Korzok. Ulley village is a 3 hour drive from Leh and Korzok is a much longer drive of around 7 to 8 hours from Leh. If heading to Korzok from Leh, then one can stop overnight at Chumathang. Here there are hot springs. Korzok feels like an abondaned ghost town during the winters.
After visiting Ladakh five times since 2011 mainly in the summer months, I have a good collection of wildlife images. Ladakh can be rich in wildlife and I feel best time to visit for wildlife is around the spring or summer months or even winter if one wants to maximum chances to see snow leopard however even in winter this is not guaranteed. The Markha Valley which is a few hours from Leh is a good area for wildlife and also a good trekking destination with the option to stay in local homestays or in tents. The Markha trek is a 10-12 day moderate trek which can involve crossing some high passes upto 5200m.
I had vistited Ladakh during the month of February of this year. This was my fifth trip to Ladakh and my first time to visit Ladakh in the winter months. Ladakh in winters can be very cold. It is also during this time that the Dosmoche festival is celebrated. This is a two day festival and is celebrated at Leh, Likir and Diskit monasteries. However I only observed the festival at Leh monastery during the first half of day one.
Malsi Deer Park is a small zoo in Dehradun. I had visited with family and while this is a good park with a decent number of deer, there are not many other animals to be seen. There is a leopard enclosure but at the time of my visit, it was resting. The leopard enclosure is very small and I feel it is not practical. There are a few other animals and birds.
I had taken decision to relocate to Dehradun and I feel it is a good choice made. This decision was made after doing some research online and also after spending a week in Dehradun in early January of this year. Once everything was decided to make my base in Dehradun, I had arrived here on the 28th of March from Noida and we needed a good place to stay. I had checked out a few options and had finally decided on Gorayya Homestay. This is a private homestay and it was a bit on the high side but worth it. We stayed here for 3 nights.
I have a good collection of images from the Himalayas so based on this I had decided to contribute one of my mountain images to the readers’ photos section of “Trek and Mountain” magazine. Each month, the magazine runs a monthly competition where the best images are published in the magazine and the winning image getting a small prize. For this I had entered the night shot of the Kang Yatse Peaks in Ladakh with milky way in the background.
Birsa Zoological Park is a great place to see and photograph animals and they are playing a big role in the conservation of these animals. This is one of the largest zoos in India and it is just 14km from Ranchi. I had visited this park over two days as I felt one day was not enough. However the entry fees are not expensive but since I had a tripod and a large telephoto lens, it cost me an extra Rs.1000 but in the end it was well worth it and also it goes for good cause.
Since I was in Ranchi to meet with some family members, I wanted to visit a few places in and around Ranchi. One of these places was Patratu Dam which is a short drive from the main city. This is a good place to watch migratory birds however during my visit to this place, I only saw Siberian Gulls. Photographing these birds was a challenge due to shooting handheld from a moving boat.
Peak District is another place that I have visited multiple times and is a good place to photograph landscapes and wildlife. Wildlife can include red deer, various birds and other small mammals. I have not yet explored most of Peak District but I intend to do so in the future. It is spread across six counties: Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yourkshire and West Yorkshire. Not only for photographers, but is good for day hikes, mountain biking and also for running or jogging across its landscape. I myself have done some long hikes in the peak district which involved 7 to 8 hours of walking. There are shorter hikes as well that one can do. However here I am sharing a short selection of photographs of the Peak District taken during 2018.