Tour: Tamil Nadu
Date: 3 - 15 Oct 2020
Duration: 13 Days
A 14 day tour starting in the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, where we will begin with an early morning visit to Chennai’s fishing harbour, a hive of activity as the fresh catch is off loaded and sold in makeshift containers along the harbours edge. From here we move onto the local flower market, where the air is sweeter but the environment no less frenetic, as locals barter amongst large piles of flowers. Moving on from the market we explore the oldest neighbourhoods in Chennai, which are great for street photography, stopping by the colonial San Thome Cathedral and ending with a sunset capture of the colourfully ornate Kapaleeshwarar Hindu temple. The following day we will drive to a town called Kanchipuram, which is nick named the ‘temple and silk capital of Tamil Nadu’, due to its 126 temples and 400 year old silk weaving industry. Here we will spend the day with a local NGO called RIDE, who has produced profound results in reducing child labour. Whilst with RIDE we will visit traditional silk weaving villages, where we will have the opportunity to photograph weavers at their looms and village life ending the day with a sunset capture of the 8th century Kailasanathar temple (the oldest in the region). We'll then head back to to the coast, stopping off at a bird sanctuary, before continuing on to Mahabalipuram, a coastal town famous for its dramatic temple ruins along its coast. Here we will visit Arjuna’s Penance, two monolithic carved boulders from the 7th century, with scenes of daily life intricately etched into their sides, followed by the five stone chariots of Pancha Rathas, before ending with a sunset capture of the beautific Shore Temple. From here we push further south to the Marakkananam Salt Pans, where workers manipulate the blanched landscape for 6 months of the year to deliver salt to our tables, before continuing on to the French Colonial seaside town of Puducherry, as portrayed in the film 'The Life of Pi'. Here we will capture classic seafaring scenes of the old port, the pastel colonial architecture and faded grandeur of the botanical gardens in the French Quarter, before ending with a stroll through Old Tamil Town and a sunset capture of Thillai Nataraja Temple. We then journey to Thanjavur, stopping of at a small hamlet, renowned for producing bronze statues, before exploring Thanjavur, starting with the Brihadeshwara temple complex, before moving to the decaying Maratha Palace. From ornate architecture we move further afield to explore the surrounding landscape of paddy fields and riverside activity. From here we continue inland to Trichy, where we visit the largest functioning temple complex in the world, spanning 156 acres, superseded only by Angkor Wat. We then move onto Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India, with records dating back to the 3rd Century, including trading with the Roman Empire. The main attraction is the Meenakshi Amman Temple complex, with its 12 ornately decorated wedge shaped towers. We then continue our journey to the southernmost tip of India, where the Arabian Sea converges with the Bay of Bengal and the iconic 133 foot statue, of the Tamil philosopher Thiruvalluvar, which makes for a striking sunset silhouette at the end of our journey. Our final day will be spent relaxing at the seaside resort of Kovalum, before departure the following morning. If it sounds like your kind of adventure, click on the itinerary button below, for more detailed information.
Type of tour:
These tours are a combination of a culturally immersive and a photo-centric tour, which will not only take you to key sites, but also for walks through local markets, historical districts and artisan communities to give you a sense of history and local life. For photography enthusiasts they cover a broad range of subjects within a compact time frame, including street photography, environmental portraiture, traditional architecture, wildlife and landscapes.
Who are these tours for?:
These tours are suitable for all those who enjoy travelling and taking photographs. Whether you are a photography enthusiast looking for a tour built around maximising photographic opportunities and arriving before the crowds or a travel enthusiast, who has previously felt your photographs didn’t reflect your experience and are interested in exploring photography to enhance your travel ventures.
Photography intro (optional):
For beginners who currently photograph using the auto-settings on their camera and are not digitally processing their images, an intro to photographing in semi-manual mode (aperture priority) and digitally processing photographs using Lightroom software is available. The format will be dependant on group size, face to face during the tour for larger groups and online for bespoke or smaller groups.
These tours are relatively fast paced to ensure you experience the highlights of each region, with an average stopover of 2 nights. If you are uncertain about its suitability, we advise reading the itinerary before booking. As quick guidance, so long as you enjoy being active on holiday and taking photographs, you will revel in the visual extravaganza and cultural stimulation of these tours.
Accommodation (incl. breakfast); All entrance and day excursion fees; Land transportation, driver, local guide and for groups over 4 a second EPT Guide.
Max group size: 8
12 incl. partners
For this tour two levels of accommodation are available, a Standard Rate and a Premium Rate. Hotels in the Standard Rate should be considered as budget to standard (1-3 star hotels) and for the Premium Rate, standard to premium (3-5 star hotels). The best regional available option is always selected, including heritage hotels, within our accommodation budget. Please note where a premium hotel is not available, any savings made will be used to upgrade your premium hotel when next available. There may also be times when Standard and Premium room options are available within the same hotel.
International and internal flights to and from the arrival and departure city. Meals and drinks outside of breakfast, visa applications, criteria not listed under 'what's included'.