Kerala

The Tour

The Tour

Our aim is to inspire you creatively, inform you technically and share our knowledge with you on how to create the best shot possible using your equipment and techniques to maximise best use of the light. Our enthusiasm, creativity and technical knowledge will leave you feeling as though you’ve achieved the best shots you possibly can.

As well as providing you, the photographer with creative and technical advice, our Tour Leader will be on hand to help your partner/friend have a good time too by recommending activities to keep them entertained.

At least one meal per day is included and where meals are at a venue of your choice, our Tour Leaders will advise you on the best places to go in the local area.

Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Kerala
Madurai
Madurai
Madurai9
Kerala
Booking

£3,599 per person

7 October 2017 – 18 October 2017

Included
  • Transfers to and from airport
  • Transport to all areas detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Camera charges if applicable
  • English speaking Tour Leader
  • Tuition from English speaking Photo Mentor
  • 10 Day tour
Not Included
  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • 1/2 meals per day (unless specified in the itinerary)
  • Photography equipment
  • Valid passport and Visa (if required)
  • Tips for staff
  • Sundries at the hotel (eg laundry, telephone calls, mini bar etc)
  • Drinks (unless specified)
Itinerary

DAY 1 – Arrival - Cochin

We will collect you from Cochin International airport and take you to the hotel where you will spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

The afternoon can be spent at your leisure until we go on an evening trip to witness the spectacular Kathakali Dance Drama; Kerala’s own classical dance drama which combines ballet, opera, masque and pantomime. Presented in the temple precincts after dusk, Kathakali is introduced by the beating of drums (Kelikottu) and accompanied by a gong (Chengila). Guests may arrive earlier to witness the artists being made up; considered to be an art form in itself. There will be an introductory meeting during the evening (once all the tour guests have arrived) in the hotel, when the Photo Mentor will give you details on the tour. This will be followed by dinner at the hotel.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel

DAY 2 – Cochin

Accommodation: Eighth Bastion Hotel

Breakfast: At the hotel

We will take a trip to the lovely port of Cochin where you can witness a blend of people, culture and architecture. We will visit a Jewish synagogue with its rich interiors containing clusters of coloured glass lamps hanging from the ceiling and blue willow patterned tiled floor; none of which are identical, a Mattancherry (Dutch Palace) which has a large central courtyard and a temple depicting scenes from the Ramayana and other legends, as well as mosques, temples and finally St Francis Church where, just a short walk away, we will finish with viewing the Chinese fishing nets.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

We will take a ferry to Ernakulam in the newer part of Cochin to enjoy the big city buzz coupled with old world charm. The colourful Ernakulam market is located at the north end of Broadway and is one of the city’s main shopping hubs, selling anything from clothes to aromatic oils and electronic equipment. There’s the option to take a local bus back to the hotel or be driven in our car.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 3 – Cochin – Munnar

Accommodation: Windermere Estate

Breakfast: At the hotel

A drive to Munnar (4.5 hours) stopping along the way to take advantage of any photographic opportunities.

Lunch: Venue of your choice en route to Munnar

Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala at 1600 metres above sea level and with its sprawling tea plantations, picture book scenery, winding lanes and excellent tourist facilities, it is a popular location. We will arrive mid afternoon so the rest of the day will be spent at your leisure.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 4 – Munnar

Accommodation: Windermere Estate

Breakfast: At the estate

We will take you on a trek around Munnar. There is a choice of easy, fairly strenuous and very strenuous walks. We will be taken by a guide to see tea, coffee and spice plantations as we climb to the top of the hill. On the ridge we will walk through grasslands to enjoy the rocky mountain slope on one side and tea plantations on the other side.

Lunch: Picnic at a scenic location on the walk

On a clear day, it’s possible to see Anaimudi, the highest peak in Southern India, as well as the water reservoir of IdukkiDam. This is also one of the best areas to view birds endemic to this part of the Western Ghats.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 5 – Munnar – Madurai

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel

Breakfast: At the estate

We will be driven to Madurai (4 hours), stopping along the way to take advantage of any photographic opportunities. We aim to arrive at lunchtime.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Madurai is one of south India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. A key attraction is the Shri Meenakshi Temple with its many shrines attracting pilgrims from all parts of India as well as the rest of the world. The temple is an example of Dravidian architecture including ‘gopurams’ (a large pyramidal tower over the entrance gate to a temple precinct) and is covered from top to bottom with a profusion of multi-coloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. There are 4 entrances to the temple which covers 6 hectares and has 12 towers, the tallest of which is the 50 metre high southern tower.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

During the evening we will visit the temple to witness the evening temple ceremony, a ceremonial procession.

DAY 6 – Madurai – Chettinadu - Madurai

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel

Breakfast: At the hotel

We will take a walking tour (6am – 8am) to experience the local culture and everyday life of the city. The guide will introduce you to local people and their age old traditions; we will see street vendors, local homes and enjoy the markets.

Breakfast: At the hotel

A drive to Chettinadu (2 hours) to visit the traders’ bungalows of Chettinadu, the homeland of the famous Tamil traders, renowned for its mansions embellished with marble and Burma teak, wide courtyards and spacious rooms. Most of the mansions are vacant which creates an amazing experience when wandering around the village.

Lunch: In Chettinadand to sample the unique Chettinad cuisine which is famous for its use of spices in mainly non vegetarian food. We will return to Madurai for the evening.

Dinner: Venue of your choice.

DAY 7 – Madurai – Paradisa

Accommodation: Paradisa Plantation Retreat

Breakfast: At the hotel

A drive to Paradisa (3.5 hours), stopping along the way to take advantage of any photographic opportunities. You will have some time to spend at your leisure. The Paradisa Plantation Retreat is located within the tranquil atmosphere of the organic coffee and spice plantations. The view from the cottages alone is rejuvenating. The tea plantations and factory are also well worth a visit.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Later in the afternoon, our guide will take you on a tour of the plantation to experience the cultivation and harvesting of coffee, cardamom, cloves and pepper.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 8 – Paradisa – Backwaters

Accommodation: Houseboat

Breakfast: At the retreat

We will drive to Alleppey (3.5 hours) to board our houseboat (kettuvallam). Craftsmen have created a unique world on board these self contained houseboats, most of which come with en-suite bathrooms, a living area, open deck and kitchenette.

Lunch: On board the houseboat

The crew will cook meals for you and ensure that you enjoy a comfortable journey whilst experiencing these tranquil backwaters, viewing the small hamlets and lush green paddy fields. The history of the kettuvallam is fascinating and your Tour Guide will delight in giving you a potted history. The entire state of Kerala is criss-crossed with waterways that provide irrigation and transportation. These endless stretches of lagoons and lakes are known as the backwaters. Life along these canals is very different from that in the towns and cities as most of the villages are isolated and entirely dependent on the canals for their livelihood.

Dinner: On board the houseboat

DAY 9 – Houseboat - Kumarakom

Accommodation: Houseboat

Breakfast: On board houseboat

We will drive to Kumarakom (30-40 minutes) and you can spend some time at your leisure.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Later in the afternoon, we will be taken on canoes to visit nearby villages to see the fishing communities and experience the local life.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 10 – Kumarakom

Accommodation: Kumarakom Lake Resort

Breakfast: At the beach resort

This is a full day of leisure for you to explore the resort and enjoy the lake.

Lunch: At a venue of your choice

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the resort

DAY 11 – Departure

Breakfast and departure to Cochin international airport (2 hours) (checkout time 12 noon).