In continuation from my previous post of “Most Memorable Wildlife Images from 2015”, today I would like to share with you some of my “Most Memorable Landscape Images from 2015”.
As before memorable does not necessarily mean the most beautiful ones, but the ones which provided me with unforgettable experiences.
So here’s the list in no particular order
- Bedni Bugyal
When temperature drops below freezing and you are sleeping in a tent, getting out of a sleeping bag at 3 A.M. in the night is akin to taking a dip in freezing water. And yet we wake up, brew a cup of tea and soup just to have some blood running to our extremities. A trek of 1 and a half Kilometres through frost, at an incline of not less than 60 to 70 Degrees brings us here. Shivering uncontrollably we shoot for the next 2Hours and by sunrise we are begging god for some warmth. Sun finally rises and we get to see views like this. All of the pain forgotten and an experience unparalleled.
2. Lightning Strikes
This one is very special, it was a rainy night. The time was around 10 PM and I intending to sleep went to lock the door. No sooner did I go to the door, I felt a really strong urge to go and check the sky. It was literally as if someone told me “Praveen go and check the sky”. So off I went to the terrace, as soon as I reached I saw a lightning strike on this mountain. Running down I got my camera and tripod. I ended up shooting for the next 2 hours or so and though my camera and I was drenched I got this lovely shot. It was as if nature conspired with me to make this shot.
For 3 evenings we camped in the Alpine Pastures of Bedni for a sunset shot of Trishul Peak, trekked kilometers at the best spot for the shot every evening and for 3 evenings it was always enveloped in clouds. Dejected, we trekked down back to the first road head and checked into a hotel. While having lunch, I saw a frame of Nandadevi shot in Golden light and casually asked the hotel guy about the location from where it was shot. I was surprised when he told me that if you trek 2Kms or so in a different direction you can actually see these peaks. Elated we were and despite being bone tired, decided to explore the place that evening. This final evening too all other peaks were lost in clouds, except miraculously Trishul had not a speck. I was literally in tears when I saw and shot this and thanked god like a zillion times secretly knowing that he had stepped in.
4. Deoria Taal
When I camped at Deoria Taal in the Month of August, my camping guide told me I was the first one to camp here in 2 months (due to rains). It was a moonlit night and as I was walking towards the taal, I saw a pair of brilliantly sparkling eyes looking at me. I was petrified and though I tried very hard, could not recognize what the creature was. As I neared the taal that thing went inside a dense thicket at the edge of the taal, and kept a constant watch on me for the next 30 mins or so. Although dead scared, I camped alone at the taal for 2 nights (My guide went to his makeshift room), and boy weren’t they the most beautiful nights ever spent. As for that thing, it did not disturb me after that 🙂
The road beyond Dugalbitta was closed due to heavy snow fall and I in search of the Himalayan Tahr and Monal, for 3 days trekked between Chopta and Dugalbitta. The second day was a rainy and snowy day and despite people telling me to avoid doing the trek, I persisted, and boy from 11 AM to 4PM, trekked in continuous snowfall. While the only two or three people at Chopta were sitting beside fire, I was out in heavy snowfall wanting to see and shoot a Tahr or Monal (I did not see one). By the time I reached back to my hotel, my camera and lenses were dripping water. Thankfully they survived the assault and though I did not get the shot, it was one of those insane experiences which I can never forget.
6. Kartik Swami
Kartikswami temple situated atop a high mountain peak at some 3000Mts and surrounded by thick jungles is abundant in wildlife of all kinds. I have always wanted to shoot here at nights, so this time when I trekked here, though really scared, was determined to stay for the night and get some night shots. As always, god intervened here and when I reached I learned that on this particular night they were going to conduct an all-night Bhajan. Another miracle!!!! , not only did I spend the whole night shooting, but they had this huge fire going on, so whenever I felt cold I just sat by the fire and slept too. The best night ever spent. These are the offerings to the Van Devta or the protector of Jungles, my personal best of the lot.
When we trekked to Rudranath and camped here for 3 nights, this was the view every morning. On this particular day however, the clouds were huge and formed these beautiful patterns. The golden sun rising behind the peaks of Maa Nandadevi, and Trishul and the smiley face that the two water bodies and the cows formed in the frame, made this frame the most memorable of the trip.
Would love to hear some of your most memorable photo experiences from the year 2015.