Sunday 21st January – Saturday 3rd February 2018
Tour Cost: £2,550 (Plus Flights)

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.

Detailed Itinerary