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INDIA | KERALA

Cochin, Fort Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey and Kovalam

RAJASTHAN

VARANASI

GUJARAT

PUSHKAR

HOLI

KERALA

Kerala is possibly one of the most sought-after destinations in Asia.

With the Arabian Sea to the west, the Western Ghats (towering 1600 – 9000 feet) to the east, and a network of 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after destinations in Asia. Kerala enjoys an equable climate, along with a shoreline with serene beaches and tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters. It has lush hill stations, exotic wildlife, waterfalls, sprawling tea plantations and paddy fields. And when you add Ayurvedic health spas, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, and exotic cuisine… Kerala delivers a unique experience that’s truly beyond your imagination.

Kerala and the south of India are more verdant and tropical than the north. The people tend to be more friendly and move at a more relaxed pace. Yet Kerala is anything by relaxed when you think about just how exotic it is. Kerala conjures up images of Aladdin and his magic lantern. On this photographic journey, you will experience it all. Hard to believe, but trust us. Kerala will not disappoint you.

The moment you start to think you’re right on the precipice of unraveling one of India’s deep mysteries, she has an uncanny way of reminding you that it would take more than just a few lifetimes to do so. Indeed, demystifying India is a perpetual work-in-progress. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply addictive. The constant exploration. The playful unpredictability. And knowing that, just when it’s least expected, you can find yourself up close and personal with moments that have the power to alter the way you view the world and your place in it.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable about how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas, and great fun. We cannot think of a better place to express your creativity than in Kerala, India.

Kerala and the south of India are more verdant and tropical than the north. The people tend to be more friendly and move at a more relaxed pace. Yet Kerala is anything by relaxed when you think about just how exotic it is. Kerala conjures up images of Aladdin and his magic lantern. On this photographic journey, you will experience it all. Hard to believe, but trust us. Kerala will not disappoint you.

The moment you start to think you’re right on the precipice of unraveling one of India’s deep mysteries, she has an uncanny way of reminding you that it would take more than just a few lifetimes to do so. Indeed, demystifying India is a perpetual work-in-progress. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply addictive. The constant exploration. The playful unpredictability. And knowing that, just when it’s least expected, you can find yourself up close and personal with moments that have the power to alter the way you view the world and your place in it.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable about how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas, and great fun. We cannot think of a better place to express your creativity than in Kerala, India.

Group Size

4 – 8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

  • Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
  • DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
  • Moderate schedule
  • Travel by car or minibus, boat
  • Minimal elevation changes and lots of walking
  • (non-photographers also welcome)

Weather | Sun

February – Temps 88/77 F  31/25 C  Sunrise 6:45 | Sunset 6:33 (18:33)
November – Temps 86/77 F  30/25 C  Sunrise 6:21 | Sunset 6:00 (18:00)

Includes

  • Travel, landscape, architecture, seascape, and people photography
  • Professional photographer | guide
  • Photo walks & discussions
  • Small group size (4-8 guests)
  • 5-star luxury hotels
  • Lakes & Lagoons superior houseboat
  • 8 meals
  • Airport transfers
  • Modern AC mini-bus
  • Local transportation
  • Entry fees

Travel Information

Arrival & Departure Airport: Cochin International Airport, Kochi, India (COK)
Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.
Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to Visa Map to find out.

Accommodations

Fort Kochi – Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Fragrant Nature or similar
Munnar – Blanket Hotel & Spa, Spice Tree Munnar or similar
Allepey – Premium Lakes & Lagoons Houseboat
Kovalam – Vivanta by Taj – Green Cove or similar

Helpful Links

> Indian Women and their Love Affair with the Saree – by Renu Choudhary
> 6 Amazing India Photo Adventures – by Michael Chinnici


Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Sebinster Francis

February 22 – March 2/4, 2020
November 11-20, 2020
February 20 – March 1/3, 2021
November 12-21, 2021

*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

ITINERARY

INDIA’S KERALA 10 DAYS

Day 1 | Cochin - Fort Kochi - Chinese Fishing Nets

Whether you arrive on the day of or the day before, our airport representative will welcome you at the airport in Kochi and transfer you to our hotel. After settling in we meet for some informal discussions about what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles, and techniques. In the afternoon our leader will present PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles to Great Photography” as well as our “THE ART OF SEEING” photographic technique.

In the evening we will visit the famous Chinese fishing nets of Kochi, brought to the port by the Chinese explorer Zheng He 900 years ago. They’re fascinating old bits of fishing technology — bamboo, teak, stones, ropes, and nets — and are fabulous to photograph at sunset and into twilight. The darker it gets, the more attractive the nets become. Later, the fishermen will mount lamps on their nets to attract the fish, posing a fresh opportunity for us.

Afterward, we enjoy an amazing “Welcome Dinner” where we sample various dishes that Kerala is renowned for. (D)

Day 2 | Fort Kochi - Kalaripayattu - Sunset Boat Cruise

After a delightful breakfast, we visit the Jewish quarter and synagogue, the magnificent Santa Cruz Basilica, as well as some street photography around the lanes and alleys of Fort Kochi. After lunch we get to witness Kalaripayattu, the Dravidian martial art, that’s as Kerala in origin as the six billion coconuts the locals harvest each year. Like most martial arts, Kalaripayattu is a rigorous system of movements, postures, and techniques and is inextricably associated with religious practice and a master-pupil teaching model. Its top practitioners are formidably fast, supple, strong and graceful — and they are wonderful objects of photographic worship as well.

While Kalari is blisteringly fast, the training sessions are usually slow-paced, full of photogenic ritual and elaborate choreography. We’ll see Kalaripayattu every which way: as a formal performance (with real weapons!), as individual demonstrations by students of their mastery of the art, and with the supporting commentary of the Kalari master to ensure that we connect and understand as well as capture stunning images. There’s so much here for every kind of photographer: introspective slice-of-life closeups, mid-air freezes, fiery action sequences, soft scenes of worship and blessing… 100% pure shooting heaven. In the evening we will take a sunset boat cruise from our hotel. (B)

Day 3 | Fort Kochi - Kathakali - Kochi Beach

Today we set out for some early morning low light photography throughout the streets of Fort Kochi as the markets open up and the locals fill the streets. We’ll return to our hotel for breakfast. After reviewing our favorite photos from the first two days, we set out to photograph the dance forms of Kerala. These classical dance styles offer everything photographers could ask for: rich colors, dramatic makeup, vivid and elaborate costumes. Rather than an off-the-shelf tourist shoot, we’ve planned a private performance and venue where we’ll be able to get access to the artists.

Kathakali is a dance form which evolved during the 17th century. It has a dance song, literature and make up art at its best. It is traditional and depicts stories from Hindu mythology. It is composed of overnight performance. Elaborate headgear, facial decorations, and dressing mark the dance form. In the evening we will walk the beach at sunset before enjoying a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. (B)

Day 4 | Cochin - Munnar - Pothamedu

After breakfast, we check out and head for the hills. It’s a four-hour drive to Munnar, and you’re going to love it! Winding roads run through the dense forest and scenic hills; you’ll get your first glimpses of the ribbed emerald-green carpets of the tea-planted slopes. Munnar is an important high-point on our Kerala photography adventure. It’s storybook pretty, it’s authentic Kerala. We’ll be making frequent stops along the way to grab some great photos. We will arrive in Munnar for a late lunch.

The afternoon is free to settle into our hotel. Early evening we head to Pothamedu to photograph the whole transition from day to dusk, with stunning tea-estate scenery at our feet. (B)

Day 5 | Munnar - Kolukkumalai - Tea Plantations

This morning is a high point of our Western Ghats exploration. It’s the loftiest tea-growing plantation in the world, perched at 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) with its green slopes overlooking some truly remarkable Kerala scenery. The photographic treasure-hunt today is about tea-garden landscapes, sometimes with the clouds high above, sometimes with clouds so low that we literally drive through them. We’ll capture the bright colors of the estate workers’ clothes and machinery against the verdant green, and at the tea factory itself, we’ll walk into an engineering time-warp where old, battered machines process the tea leaves into top-quality tea.

At Kolukkumalai, you’re right at the historic heart of Kerala tea. Here on this estate in the 1930s, the British constructed a small processing facility to turn the freshly picked tea leaves into the classic cuppa — and that same factory is here today, with the very same Gainsborough-built machines whirring and clanking as they do the withering, rolling, sieving, fermenting, drying, extracting and grading stages of making tea. Anywhere else, these machines would be museum-pieces — but here they seem to be perfectly suited to the time-honored traditions of tea-making.

After a long day photographing the most amazing tea-plantation panoramas, and the locals working the tea mills, we head back to our hotel for dinner. (B)

Day 6 | Munnar - Allepey - Backwater Houseboat

After breakfast, we depart Munnar for our drive to Alleppey. Upon arrival we check in to our beautifully appointed houseboat at the Lakes & Lagoons Houseboats. Referred to as the Venice of the East, Alleppey has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which is greatly fascinating to visitors.

Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is a houseboat cruise. The ones you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact reworked versions of Kettuvallams of olden times. The original Kettuvallams or rice barges used to carry tons of rice and spices. The Kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’ was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only. Of late, houseboats come with all the creature comforts of a good hotel, including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. And one can always enjoy uninterrupted views of backwater life while staying on a houseboat.

We’ll spend the afternoon making our way through the backwaters on our houseboat. Perhaps buy some prawns from a local fisherman and have our onboard chef prepare them for dinner. After a sunset shoot, we’ll relax and chat with our crew. (B)

Day 7 | Alleppey - Backwater Houseboat - Alappuzha - Vijaya

On our second day on the houseboat, we will cruise deep into the backwater canals of Alleppey where there are many isolated communities to explore. In the afternoon we will leave our boat and head for Alappuzha beach, the 137 years old pier and Vijaya Beach Park. We’ll return to our boat for dinner and another night onboard. You are sure to enjoy our day in this very unique location. (B)

Day 8 | Alleppey - Kovalam - Lighthouse Beach - Hawa Beach

After a lovely breakfast on our houseboat, we disembark and begin our drive to Kovalam. The town of Kovalam is located on the southern tip of India, where the Arabian Sea meets the Indian Ocean. Kovalam is a small coastal town, south of Thiruvananthapuram. At the southern end of Lighthouse Beach is a striped lighthouse with a viewing platform. Palm tree backed beaches also include Hawa Beach and Samudra Beach. Heading south to Vizhinjam, Juma Masjid Mosque overlooks the busy fishing harbor. Inland, Sagarika Marine Research Aquarium displays technology used in pearl production. We’ll have an afternoon of leisure followed by a sunset shoot and dinner. (B)

Day 9 | Kovalam - Vizhinjam - Samudra Beach - Juma Masjid Mosque

In the early morning, we will take you to Vizhinjam village, a busy port flooded with fishing boats. We’ll photograph the many fishermen venturing into the distant sea. The village which is rustic and earthy is very different from Kovalam in many aspects. We will witness the real life of fishermen who push their boats into the sea and fish from dawn to dusk. We’ll have lunch on the beach and an afternoon of leisure. We’ll photograph the lighthouse, coastal area, and the sunset once again.

In the evening we celebrate our amazing 10 days together with a “Farewell Dinner” fit for a king. (B) (D)

Day 10 | Kovalam - Trivandarum - Cochin (Flight)

After our morning breakfast, we depart Kovalam for Trivandarum Airport for your fight back to Cochin where we will bid you farewell. If you are continuing on to our Goa Extension, we will be escorting you on a flight to Goa. In November, if you are continuing on to our Pushkar Camel Fair Photo Adventure, you will be flying to Delhi (instead of Cochin or Goa). (B)

NOTE: From Trivandarum you can fly to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Goa and several other cities for connections. We can arrange these for you instead of flying to Cochin.

GOA 3-DAY EXTENSION

Itinerary coming soon...

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (E) Excursion

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®

OPTIONS AND BENEFITS

Pricing

 

All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience, we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

Private Guided Adventures

 

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

 

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry.

The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.

Rewards Program

Start earning points today and SAVE $200 - $900 off future trips!
Simply register for one of our amazing photo adventures and begin earning points today!

How The Program Works
For every adventure reservation you make with Photo Workshop Adventures, you earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Rewards Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future.

ORANGE REWARDS
All guests begin with our Orange Rewards Program (Level 1), which earns 4 points for every dollar you spend. You begin earning points immediately after your first trip. A $5,900 spend earns 23,600 points with a value of $236 USD.

GOLD REWARDS
With our Gold Rewards Program (Level 2), you earn 6 points for every dollar you spend. Orange Members who reach 120,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 4-6 trips), automatically move up to Gold Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 35,400 points with a value of $354 USD.

Additional Gold Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers

VIP REWARDS
With our VIP Rewards Program (Level 3), you earn 8 points for every dollar you spend. Gold Members who reach 350,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 8-12 trips) move up to VIP Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 47,200 points with a value of $472 USD, (8+/-% discount).

Additional VIP Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers
  • Ability to Gift or Transfer points to others
  • Receive complimentary airport transfers at the destination location*


Redeeming Your Points

Redeeming your points couldn’t be easier. You can always log in to your account to check your points balance. When you are ready to book your next trip, register and pay your deposit. When you go to pay your balance you will be given the option to apply your points and receive a discount.

THINK ORANGE Magazine

Subscribe to our Think Orange Magazine and eNews. THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!

Gift Cards

Give someone you know a Gift Card, good toward any of our Photo  Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Cards and Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.

Combine-N-Save

You can SAVE up to $1200 by combining two or more back-to-back 6-Day or longer Photo Adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

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