Kathmandu, Nepal

Dates: November 1–11, 2018

Begins & Ends: Kathmandu, Nepal (airport: KTM)

Leaders: Jeffrey Chapman & Winslow Lockhart

Maximum Participants: 10

Tuition: $4,500

Accommodation: Included
(optional single supplement: $400)

Meals: Included

Payment Policy: 3 Installments
     • $500 deposit to confirm participation
     • 50% due by March 1, 2018
     • Balance due by July 1, 2018

This photographic adventure begins and ends in Kathmandu, Nepal. Tuition includes hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy; single occupancy is available with payment of a single-occupancy supplement) and most meals. It does not include souvenirs, bar beverages, laundry, insurance (travel, medical, cancellation), visa, nor any personal expenses.

This adventure is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. Participants must be in good health and able to spend each day walking and carrying their own equipment.

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Kathmandu Within The Frame Photographic Adventure

Kathmandu Within The Frame Itinerary

The Kathmandu Valley is a marvel of temples, stupas, and shrines that creates an incredible backdrop for the cultural traditions that continue as a part of daily life in the valley.

The Kathmandu Within The Frame photographic adventure will base itself first in the Boudhanath area of Kathmandu. It is a cultural oasis encircling the beautiful Buddhist stupa. Saffron-robbed monks circumambulating the white stupa, prayer flags swaying in the wind, pilgrims counting their prayer beads, chants from young monks in the many monasteries, flickering flames of thousands of butter candles, and swirling smoke from burning sage pots will all be right outside the front door of our hotel. Next the group will move to, explore, and photograph in beautiful Bhaktapur, the jewel of Newar architecture in the Kathmandu Valley and a place where Hindu traditions continue to thrive. The people are incredibly friendly, and often it will feel like we have the entire place to ourselves—to share with the locals.

This is not going to be a rushed adventure, running from stupa to shrine to temple to grab a quick photograph as proof that we were there. We’re going to absorb, linger, take the time to wait for the excitement of the new and exotic to blend with an understanding of our surroundings, to find our visions, to tell our stories photographically. We’ll photograph in the early mornings, during the day, and in the evenings—all while working to refine our vision and improve our photography.

This photographic adventure is about the passionate discovery and photography of people, place, and culture, with emphasis given to going deep not wide, and pursuing that most elusive of photographic necessities—our vision. It is appropriate for photographers of all levels, and you will be free to photograph independently or always with the assistance of the leaders.

Kathmandu (Day One)

Arrive in Kathmandu for a meet-and-greet to finally get to know each other in person, an orientation to discuss our itinerary and events for our shared adventure, and a welcome dinner.

Kathmandu (Days Two — Five)

The Kathmandu Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with seven groups of World Heritage Monuments (Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, and the Hindu temples of Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan). We will spend our first days exploring Kathmandu (named after the three-storied wooden Kasthamandap pagoda built in 1596 by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla) and the extraordinary splendor of Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and Swayambhunath.

Boudhanath, the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu, has a thriving Buddhist community and is the location of the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. Over 50 Tibetan Gompas (monasteries) have been built around Boudhanath. From before dawn to past dusk each day, Buddhist monks, nuns, and pilgrims flock to the white dome of the stupa where they perform full-body prostrations in the lower enclosure, circumambulate the stupa with prayer wheels, chant, pray, and light butter candles.

Pashupatinath is Nepal’s holiest Hindu pilgrimage site. It is a remarkable enclave of temples, statues, pilgrims, and half-naked sadhu holy men. It is also the location for public cremations along the Bagmati River and bathing from the ghats along the river. There is a remarkable “old folks” home just outside the temple complex where it is possible to sit with and photograph the elderly who have come to spend the last part of their lives near this holy site.

Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a religious complex high on a hilltop in Kathmandu. For Buddhist Newars it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans in Nepal and followers of Tibetan Buddhism it is second only to Boudhanath. We will photograph monkeys climbing up, down, and around the ancient temples—and between the praying Buddhists as the monkeys try to steal food and offerings.

Bhaktapur (Days Five — Ten)

A medieval jewel of narrow, maze-like alleyways and herringbone-paved streets, Bhaktapur is the most immaculately preserved of the Kathmandu Valley’s ancient cities. It is built of radiant pink brick and carved dark wood. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and much of the city is pedestrian only. Narrow brick streets connect the three major squares (Durbar, Taumadhi, and Dattatreya) that are full of towering temples, comprising some of the finest architecture in Nepal. Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square was used for many of the ancient flashback scenes in the 1995 film “Little Buddha.” Many locals still make a living farming the fields around Bhaktapur and the streets are full of drying crops and farmers winnowing rice and wheat using wicker baskets. Artisans weave cloth and chisel timber by the roadside. In Pottery Square you will be hypnotized by the spinning of potters’ wheels and the clay being formed into a pot right before your eyes…and camera. The square is often filled with drying pots from the open kilns. Locals gather in communal courtyards to bathe, collect water, and socialize. The elderly relax under the cover of specially designed platforms on street corners to watch the world go by and play games. Tea shops open in the early morning and many begin their day by paying respect with offerings at a nearby temple. In the evenings, long shadows are cast across the worn brick pavers of the streets from ghostly bodies strolling through the square.

From Bhaktapur one can visit Nagarkot to see the sun rise across the snow-capped Himalayas (including Mt. Everest), great panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley, and perhaps have lunch at the “End of the Universe.”

Kathmandu (Days Ten — Eleven)

We will head back to Kathmandu for one last afternoon, evening, and night in Boudhanath before concluding the adventure the following morning.

Although this represents the photographic adventure’s planned itinerary, it is subject to change at the discretion of the adventure leaders.

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