Photo Contest Kashmir, August 2013

Photo Contest Kashmir, August 2013

Category Contest Archives

By Sandhya UC



The contest results are out ! The top three winning photos are below. Our Judge Srinivasa Prasath shares with you why the pictures turned up winners. Post your comments below.

First Prize: Brijesh Tiwari

Beauty of Nandakol lake with Majestic Harmukh peak

LSP says “Pic #4 – Brijesh Tiwari – This photograph is straight out of a fairy tale book! Nothing beats that fairy tale white horse as a subject for this dreamy frame. Cloud hugging mountains, tranquil turquoise lake, lovely green pasture and the dreamy soft light filtered through the clouds, all elevate this scene to a different dimension! Subject is well placed on the thirds to get all the attention it deserves. The curving boundary of the lake takes the viewer’s attention slowly into the frame and allows them to slowly take in the moment. Depth is adequate to show the background and the exposure is balanced. Well deserved to be number ONE for transporting the viewers to the magical dreamland that ‘Great Lakes’ actually is! ”

Second Prize: Mrudula


” Pic #13 – Mrudula – This picture beautifully captures the mood and environment of the camp! Perspective is well chosen for this frame. The drying cloth at the touching distance acts as a perfect landing point for this frame and the series of tents on the other side directs the attention into the frame. The slope of the mountain along with the tents form a triangle pointing towards the mid-ground, forcing the viewer’s attention towards the silhouetted trekkers, who are seen enjoying a wonderful view of the valley below! The light falling on the clouds reflect a bright and sunny day at the camp. Depth is well demonstrated. Overall good detailing of the scene and deserves to be SECOND ‘ says LSP


Third Prize: Sivaraj

Colourful sunrise at Nandkol along with Harmukh peak

Pic #17 – Shivraj – A beautiful postcard from great lakes trek! Colors in that early morning sky is gorgeous. Yellow tent pops against the turquoise lake. Since there is a man made element in the frame, including a human element near the tent would’ve taken this shot to another dimension and added a sense of ‘absorbing the beauty of the place’! Also the brightness seems to be even between the sky and the ground. A slight underexposure would’ve popped the colors of the sky even more and avoided that white patch in the sky. Irrespective of all that, this picture stands THIRD for bringing out the magical beauty of the morning at Nandkol camp.



Here are the shortlisted 20 best photos of the Great lakes trek. Trekkers were asked to submit their best photos from the trek for the contest.


Our Judges will now run through these photos and choose one among them as the winner. Before the judge chooses, tell us which of these photos deserve the best photo award (use the comments box below).


The photographs selected here are in random order. The numbers attributed to the photos are to identify the photographer and does not denote any ranking by Indiahikes. Use the number and the name of the person to make your comments. Please click on the photo to view the enlarged image.



A note from Indiahikes:


The winners get the following awards from Indiahikes.


The winner of the photo contest gets a Rs 5,000 Trek Voucher from Indiahikes.

Rs 2,500

Rs 1,000

About our Judge:


Our Judge – Srinivasa Prasath is a trekker, traveller and a freelance photographer. A software programmer by profession, he loves to travel length and breadth of this country to document its beauty, diverse lifestyle and culture of the people. When he takes a break from his mundane life, he simply hangs out in the higher shelves of Himalayas, totally relaxing in the lap of Mother nature. You can find his work here



Fun Filled time in the Air, like our Memories on seeing the Glacier fed Vishansar Lake

1. Photographer: Anandavel

Place : Vishansar Lake on 06/Aug/2013 @ 04:30PM.

“After a Hard Trek on Day 2 our eyes couldn’t believe this breathtaking view of Vishansar Lake. We couldn’t just stop ourself, playing like kids in water & Jumping, And thats how this picture came up, It was first with one person jumping in air into lake, Then thought of trying out some team work, Team jumping was synchronized, also captured view of the Lake & Mountain in the background with a timely shot, Things were possible after several try. One of our Most Memorable Photograph. says Anandavel on why and how he took this photograph.

Camera Settings : Nikon D5000, Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, Shutter:1/500, ISO:100, Aperture:f/8



Flowebed in Gadsar valley


2. Photographer: Arun Kumar Chandreshekaran

Place : Gadsar Pass on 08/08/2013 11:10AM

“This scenic stretch of the trek was such a treat to the eyes. I wanted to capture the vast stretch of the meadow which we trekked that day along with the rugged peaks along the path. We were so adamant to go slow that day, to enjoy the view. . says Arun on why and how he took this photograph.

Camera Settings : Camera: Nikon D5000, Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, Shutter:1/100s, ISO:100, Aperture: f/13



Tent with Nandakol lake and Harmukh peak

3. Photographer: Arun Kumar Chandreshekaran

Place : Nandkul Campsite on 10/08/2013 07:50AM

“The is the best sight one can dream of. The rest day let us enjoy the beauty of the lake with view of the peak for one complete day. Waking up to this view in the morning was bliss. This photo captures the view that we loved. says Arun on why and how he took this photograph.

Camera Settings : Camera: Nikon D5000, Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, Shutter:1/30s, ISO:100, Aperture: f/16



Beauty of Nandakol lake with Majestic Harmukh peak

4. Photographer: Brijesh Tiwari

Place : Nandakol lake, 29/08/2013, 3.27 pm

Brijesh says “29 Aug was our rest day we were camping at Nandkol Lake Its afternoon time I just came from Gangbal Lake and was walking near camp. It was drizzling . Entire Nandkol lake and Harmukh peak was covered by clouds; suddenly I saw a white horse walking near the lake. It gave me a perfect frame for a beautiful picture. I can’t expect more than this. Great lake trek for me was one of the my best photographic tours till now.

Camera Settings : Canons T3I rebale, F/10, Exposer Time- 1/320 sec, ISO-100, Focal length-10 MM.

The rays of light on Nandkol

5. Photographer: Bhavin Shah

Place : On the edge of the Nundkol lake around 4.00 PM

“I was fascinated with the aura that the sun rays seemed to create around the horse as he was grazing on the banks of the Nundkol Lake.”. says Bhavin on why and how he took this photograph….

Twin lakes of Vishansar & Kishansar viewed from Gadsar Pass


6. Photographer: Deepak

Place : Just before reaching the top of Gadsar pass. Time must be approx 9 am

“This was taken from near the top of Gadsar pass as I looked back to photograph both the lakes together. I found the ponies climbing up and making an interesting foregroud for the two pristine lakes. So composed the shot”. says Deepak on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : ISO 200 F9 1/200 S


7. Photographer: Karthik Kariya

Serene Nandakol lake

8. Photographer: Karthik Kariya

Evening at Sonmarg

9. Photographer: Rama Krishna Veni

Place : Near Sonamarg Campsite, 15 Aug 2013, about 6 in the evening.

“On our way back from Vishnasar lake, Sonamarg greeted us with this view. My legs were numb but my hands reached for the camera to take this memory back.”. says Krishna on why and how he took this photograph..

Camera Settings : Nikon Coolpix p7700, f/3.2, 1/60, iso-80, focal lenth -20mm


10. Photographer: Lalit Pant

Place : Location is apprx mid point of Gadsar and Satsar, when we reach height of 11500 ft. and then climb down and time was around 1:30 pm

“First thing comes as a feeling that I should take a pic. So if I think – Seeing the landscape and the setting of mountains, clouds and flower bed, it was perfect to take a pic and daylight was also supporting and it was a clear sun shine. The main thing came into my mind that it would come more nicer – if I take the pic at low angle. Perhaps it was at 25-30 degree, starting from flower bed to distant mountain top. My SLR Cam supported in this due to flip out and rotating screen to support low angle..”. says Lalit on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : Landscape mode. ISO -200, format – JPG Fine, shutter speed – 1/400

Kishansar between mountains

11. Photographer: Laxmi

Pet or Prey

12. Photographer: Meghali Gupta

Place : At the highest point of the trek (Gadsar Pass at 13500 feet). Time and Date: 5-8-2013, 11:35am

“Pet or Prey? This photograph was taken only three days before Eid and the shepherd was taking this unusually large mountain goat to Sonmarg with the hope of making a good deal”. Says Meghali

Camera Settings : Shutter speed: 1/400s, Aperture: f/10.0, ISO: 500

13. Photographer: Mrudula

Place : Megintop site it was around 5-6 in the evening

“Have taken this snap on Independence Day. As we have been trapped at Gadsar campsite for 2 whole days prior to this, after 9 km tiresome walk to Magintop, we were astonished by clear sky, pleasant sunlight, no traces of rain and a beautiful camp-site where people were busy drying their tents, sleeping bags, cloths and what not. To sum it up , the picture was taken when we were on top of cloud 9 and in the middle of incoming fog. Couldn’t resist myself from taking this snap because of the the beautiful scenery and the colour contrast provided to me by our tents with background of miraculous valley….”. says Mrudula on why and how she took this photograph….

Camera Settings : ISO- 125, Focal Lens 18mm, aperture 11, Shutter speed 1/250

Twin Lakes

14. Photographer: -Ravindra Joisa

Place : Harmukh Peak, Nandkol & Gangbal Lake (Twin Lake), 8/16/2013,10:22AM.

“Once we reached peak, this is the place in front of twin lake which made all of us say “WooooooooW” after completing terrain full of boulders”. says Ravindra

Camera Settings : Camera: Nikon D600 (FX), Lens:Nikon (Ultra wide angle FX lens) 14-24mm f/2.8G, Focal Length: 14mm, Aperture: f/9, Shutter Speed: 1/320s


15. Photographer: Shikhar

Place : Taken at around 5:00 pm at the first camp of the Kashmir Great Lakes

“I took this photo because I liked the ephemeral light falling on the boundless mountains and the lovely haze that was created because of the setting sun.”. says Shikhar on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : Nikon D90, Tamron 70-300mm lens, aperture: f/5.6, shutter: 1/1250 sec, ISO 320, shot at 300mm (35mm equivalent 450mm), no filters, shot in vivid mode.

Camping under millions of stars and milkyway

16. Photographer: Shivaraj

Place : Vishansar Campsite on 06/08/2013 10:30PM

“We were away from the city lights and Aug 6th was new moon day so no natural light disturbance in the air, perfect day to explore sky, after our dinner all the fellow trekkers were exploring the sky and spotting the cluster they know and showing to others. I wanted to take our tent along the with mountain and milyway galaxy in the backdrop which would give good presentation for anyone who sees it, we light our tent from inside using all the torch lights we had and took this photo at 10:30PM. Could not cover the entire scene in one shot, took five shot vertically and stitched it”. says Shivraj on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : Nikon D5000, Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, Shutter:30s, ISO:1600

Colourful sunrise at Nandkol along with Harmukh peak

17. Photographer: Sivaraj

Place : Nandkul Campsite on 11/08/2013 05:50AM

“Most beautiful times in mountains are dawn and dusk. Cold morning breeze, changing colors in skies and fading clouds as the sunrises will set the mood for the day. This photo covers all of these aspects in one frame and to add more all these can be enjoyed by just opening the tent, that’s the beauty of the campsite, which is also captured in the frame. Tough we missed the beautiful scene the previous day, next day i woke up as early as possible and setup my camera and tripod and waited for the right moment..”. says Shivraj on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : Nikon D5000, Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G, Shutter:0.6s, ISO:100, Aperture: f/11

The game of stones..

18. Photographer: Srinivas Badekila

Nature’s window to hidden marvels


19. Photographer: Swapnil Shah

Rare view of Vishnusar lake


20. Photographer: Brijesh Tiwari

Place : Vishnusar lake, 25/08/2013, 2.33 PM

“Is this Vishansar Lake “1st question in every trekker s mind specially those who did this trek. Yes, this is Vishansar Lake. 2nd day of trek I reached Vishansar at 12.30 pm. I decided to take an Arial shot of Lake; I started climbing the glacier near and reached the top after 2 hrs The pictures werew clicked from there, when I was planning to come back I found it much steeper…. And then realized it was the biggest mistake my life. After a round trek of lake again and 3 hrs reached back to camp. My guide says its first and only picture of Vishansar Lake form that view. Feeling Proud” says Brijesh on why and how he took this photograph….

Camera Settings : T3I Rebel ,f/9, Expo time 1/250 se, ISO 100, Focal Length 10 mm.

Sandhya UC

Co-Founder & COO

About the author

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the Women of Worth Award by Outlook Business in 2017.

She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking.

Read a feature on Sandhya in Outlook Business

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