Sunday 21st January – Saturday 3rd February 2018
Tour Cost: £2,550 (Plus Flights)
is a beautiful green land, dotted with coconut palms, lagoons, kettu
vallams (boats), sunny beaches and waterfalls that offer some exciting
photography. Lush plantations rise from the sea and sweep the entire
state in verdant glory swathing the countryside; the only interruptions
to this expanse of green are the many tranquil backwaters lined
with great coconut palms. Covering a large part of the Western Ghats,
Kerala is rich in tea and coffee plantations that are nurtured by
the monsoon rains. Our tour will offer the opportunity to get a
real flavour of this unique region of India. With a mix of coastal
scenery, jungle covered hillsides, terraces of tea and coffee plantations
there is an exciting mix of photography.
With the towns
and villages bustling with colourful and friendly people going about
their business you will be sure to have opportunities to capture
great images that reflect the unique nature of this special location.
In addition, we have arranged a house boat to transport you along
the quiet waterways where you will enjoy not only peace and tranquillity
but also hopefully see some of the wildlife that is supported by
the network of rivers and lagoons in this verdant part of India.
Our journey begins in Trivandrum in the south of
the state. From here we transfer to the shores of Lake Ashtamudi.
Our stay here allows us to explore the region with a boat trip across
the lake and along the Kallada River to Munroe Island. Here we can
witness the local trades such as coir retting and weaving as well
as other trades. This is also a great location for birds. From Kollum
we drive through the Western Ghats to Periyar, our next destination.
Here we will first visit a local working elephant group enjoying
a jungle ride before we watch them at work in the forest hauling
the timber. At the end of the day we can enjoy seeing them take
a well-earned bath and for the adventurous you can help them. The
following day we take a short walk through Periyar Forest to see
the wildlife such as Monitor Lizards, Wild Pig and perhaps Python.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby tea plantation to photograph
the pickers and witness the processes at the tea factory.
We cross into
Tamil Nadu to visit the city of Madurai which is one of the oldest
cities in Southern India. It is home to the Meenakshi Temple complex
which is a fine example of Dravidian architecture featuring gopurams
or multi-pillared halls, covered from top to bottom in a profusion
of multi-coloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical
figures. We will visit the complex and surrounding town. In the
evening, we return to the temple to witness the Bed Chamber Ceremony.
The following day we will visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar
Hills and the Tirupara Kundran Rock Temple. We also have two optional
excursions during our stay here with a visit to the Potters Trail
and a Madurai Walking Tour.
From here we travel east to Mamarajar Lake and the
stunning Cardamom House situated overlooking the lake edge. This
beautiful resort offers spectacular views with a wide mix of wildlife.
The nearby Athoor Village and the surrounding countryside offer
a special place to photograph. With Hindu temples and banana plantations,
fields of chilli and ground nut there will be ample opportunity
to capture exciting images. On completion of our stay we travel
west to Munnar, climbing high into the Western Ghats. This verdant
location offers the opportunity to explore traditional homes and
a way of life that has changed little over time. This is also the
home to a wide variety of wildlife including tigers and wild elephants.
We will also be able to explore the Bison Valley and Anavirangal
Dam. The Bison Valley offers an insight into the spice production
and its associated culture. There are many other plantations in
the valley as well as paddy fields. Our visit to the dam also offers
a chance to get to the heart of the local plantations as well as
a visit to local Stone Age dwellings.
The final leg of our tour takes us to Cochin, Kerala’s
largest city. Here we will explore this bustling location with its
exciting mix of markets and waterfront. Along the waterfront we
will see the array of interesting Chinese fishing nets, a primitive
method that has not changed in over a century. The bustling spice
market offers a very colourful photographic opportunity as do the
narrow streets and the modern waterfront. We will also visit a traditional
Kathakali Dance to bring our exciting tour of this spectacular part
of India to a close.