Wild and Beautiful

He had to wait for hours on end in a natural hideout in the rocky terrain of Ladakh to get the perfect shot of the Himalayan marmots.

Written by Swasti Chatterjee | Published: March 22, 2012 1:59:38 am

Photographers Shauri Salukhe and Rahul Sachdev display frames capturing the beauty of Leh-Ladakh at this exhibition

He had to wait for hours on end in a natural hideout in the rocky terrain of Ladakh to get the perfect shot of the Himalayan marmots. For lensman Shauri Salukhe,visiting Ladakh has always been more than just a trip to the unexplored. “It is a photographer’s delight in terms of landscape and wildlife,” says Salukhe a photographer for the last 12 years. Driven by passion for photography and in a bid to promote Ladakh as a tourist place,Salukhe and his friends also started Insearch Outdoors which arranges annual trips there. Salukhe’s pictures,along with contributions from photographer Rahul Sachdev,will be exhibited at the Yashwantrao Chavhan Art Gallery,Kothrud,from March 23 to 25. More than 60 frames showcasing nature,life and celebration of culture in Leh and Ladakh,will be on display.

Insearch Outdoors has been organising tours to Ladakh for over a decade now. In an effort to acquaint people with the picturesque locales of Ladakh,the group has been hosting several such exhibitions. “We provide a glimpse into places which many do not get the chance to visit,” says Salukhe. The extremes of temperature,health hazards and unpredictable rainfall and snowfall did act as a deterrent for this group of enthusiasts. “Due to the steep terrain and blanket cover of snow,it often becomes difficult to access the passes,” says Abhishek Dhingarkar of Insearch Outdoors.

“Ladakh is ideal for tourism only between June and September. We organise trips which include trekking expeditions,photography sessions and sight-seeing,” says Salukhe. “It is a very costly place but Indian tourism has promoted it well in the past five years,” he adds. To perfect the skills of photography,the group also provides on the field training to people who accompany them. “I improved as a photographer through regular visits with the group,” adds Salukhe.

With no tree line and a chilling temperature,it can often be difficult to survive in Ladakh. “The extremes in climatic conditions are not very conducive for the human body. Photography during such harsh climatic conditions is a challenge in itself,” he says. In spite of suffering from several bouts of mountain sickness,headaches and gloominess,Salukhe stayed true to his endeavour. “In Ladakh,photography is dependent on the climate. With bright sunlight and clear skies overhead,it is very important to have a sense of time. The climate is unpredictable and changes within minutes,” he says. Salukhe had a hard time clicking under the clear skies as the sun’s rays “had a direct impact on the skin during that time.”

Despite the climatic conditions and survival difficulties,Salukhe loves Ladakh. “It has some of the rarest forms of wildlife and flora which are still unexplored,” he describes. To explore these unexplored aspects,browse through the captivating pictures at the exhibition.

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