INDIA

INDIA - KERALA

November 19 - 28, 2017

February 11 - 20, 2018

December 2 - 11, 2018

February 10 - 19, 2019

Travel, Landscape, Architecture, Nature and People Photography

Includes

  1. -10 Days

  2. -Only 4-8 Guests

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -4 or 5 Star Hotels

  5. -Breakfasts

  6. -5 Lunches & 4 Dinners

  7. -Airport Transfers

  8. -English Speaking Guide

  9. -Modern AC Mini-Bus

  10. -Local Transportation

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PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE VACATIONS

Kerala India

Cochin, Munnar, Periyar, Kolukkumalai and Allepey

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

India Kerala Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire. Create. Enjoy.

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 meters in the east and networked by 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after destinations in Asia. An equable climate. A long shoreline with serene beaches. Tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters. Lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. Waterfalls. Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Ayurvedic health holidays. Enchanting art forms. Magical festivals. Historic and cultural monuments. An exotic cuisine... All of which offer you a unique experience.

Kerala and the South of India is more verdant and tropical than the North. People tend to be more friendly and whilst it still has a pace and a sense of the exotic, it is more languid and relaxed. Kerala –a region of India that conjures up images of Aladdin and his Magic Lantern. On this photo essay journey of Kerala cultural heritage and arts you will visit scenic fishing villages, emerald-green hills and backwater, Kerala's rich, ancient and enigmatic culture — Kathakali, Kalaripayattu and Theyyam and much more.

The moment you start to think you’re right on the precipice of unravelling 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 on 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 country to express your creativity than India.


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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)


Photographer | Guides



Michael Chinnici  |  November 19-28, 2017

Laurie Cohen  |  February 11-20, 2018

Laurie Cohen  |  December 2-11, 2018

Michael Chinnici  |  February 10-19, 2019


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)

4 or 5 star hotels (1 night on a houseboat)

Breakfasts

5 lunches and 4 dinners

Airport transportation

English speaking guide

Modern AC mini-bus

Local transportation

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Admission to scheduled events


Accommodations



Chochin - Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Malabar House or similar

Munnar - The Windermere Estate (Plantation & Retreat) or similar

Periyar - Hotel Spice Village or similar

Allepey - Lakes & Lagoons Houseboat


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.


Price



INDIA KERALA 10-DAY PHOTO ADVENTURE

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 19-28, 2017:  $6,695

Photo Adventure Vacation | February 11-20, 2018:  $7,295

Photo Adventure Vacation | December 2-11, 2018:  $7,295

Photo Adventure Vacation | February 10-19, 2019:  $7,995

Photo Adventure Vacation | December 1-10, 2019:  $7,995


Single Supplement:  $1100

(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room:  $350

(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room:  $350


Deposit:  $1000


CLICK TO CONVERT CURRENCY




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*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.



        

INDIA’S KERALA 10 DAYS


Sunday (1)  Cochin

Whether you arrive the day of or the day before, our airport representative will welcome you at the airport in Kochi and transfer you to our hotel, the magical Malabar House. 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 of 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. Afterwards, we enjoy an amazing “Welcome Dinner” where we sample various dishes that the Kerala region is renowned for. (D)

Monday (2)  Cochin

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 Kalaripayuttu, the Dravidian martial art, that’s as Kerala in origin as the six billion coconuts the locals harvest each year. Like most martial arts, Kalaripayuttu is a rigorous system of movements, postures and techniques and is inextricably associated with religious practice and a master-pupil teaching model. It’s 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 Kalaripayuttu 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! (B)

Tuesday (3)  Cochin

Today we set out early for some early morning low light photography throughout the streets of Cochin as the markets open up and the locals fill the streets. Then 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 custom performance and venue where we'll be able to get access to the artistes. Kathakali is a dance form which evolved during the 17th century. It has dance song, literature and make up art at its best. It is traditional and depicts stories from Hindu mythology’. It is composed for overnight performance. Elaborate headgear, facial decorations and dressing, marks the dance form. In the evening we enjoy dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. (B)

Wednesday (4)  Cochin - Munnar

After breakfast, we checkout and head for the hills. It’s a four-hour drive to Munnar, and you’re going to love it! Winding roads run through dense forest and scenic hills; you’ll get your first glimpses of the ribbed emerald-green carpets of the tea-planted slopes. Munnar is a hill region and we’re there at the perfect time, when it moves from the winter season into summer. 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 comfortable boutique hotel, the Windermere Estate: Plantation & Retreat. Early evening we head to Pothamedu to photograph the whole transition from day to dusk, with stunning tea-estate scenery at our feet. (B)

Thursday (5)  Munnar

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 it’s 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. (B)

Friday (6)  Munnar – Periyar

After breakfast we drive to one of the best game sanctuaries in India, Periyar / Thekkady. Upon our arrival we check-in at our hotel, the Hotel Spice Village. After some leisure time we go on a game viewing cruise, on the Periyar Lake, located inside the wildlife sanctuary. Here you will be able to see a large variety of wildlife, which includes wild elephants, monkeys, deer and wild boar. In addition, many different species of birds can also be spotted. In the evening we again review our photos to date and discuss post processing techniques. (B)

Saturday (7)  Periyar 

Rising early the next morning, we venture into the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided nature walk in the hope of glimpsing animals such as sambars, bison, elephants, spotted deer, tigers and leopards. This park has a large population of wild elephants, and there is a fair chance of seeing these remarkable animals. There is also reputed to be a stable tiger population, but these are obviously much harder to spot. There will also be the option of taking a game viewing boat across the lake. Even if we don't get close-up wildlife shots this is a beautiful park and you will be rewarded with many wonderful photographic opportunities. The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. In the evening we will take you to the Theyyam dance program which is very near to Periyar. Theyyam is performed as a god dance. The performance is very fierce with performers singing in praise of the gods and goddess. The drummers follow the performer. It is usually in the front of temple shrines in the open. The headgear and face make up is notable, with red color. The costume and colors used are all natural and takes long hours of preparation. They claim that there are more than one hundred forms of thiyam dance. They are usually performed by the thiyya (ezhava) community. (B)

Sunday (8)  Periyar – Allepey 

After breakfast we drive to Allepey. Upon arrival we check-in to our beautifully appointed houseboat at the Lakes & Lagoons Houseboats. Referred to as the Venice of the East, Allepey has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for it’s boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, 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. (B)

Monday (9)  Allepey – Cochin

After breakfast we drive back to Cochin. Upon our arrival we check into the Brunton Boatyard. where you can experience a Ayurveda massage. During the day we do our final review of images from our trip. In the late afternoon we will take you to Dutch Palace, and the Jewish Synagogue, where scrolls of the Old Testament and copper plates inscribed in Hebrew script are preserved, St. Francis Church (1510) where Vasco da Gama was buried in 1524 in the Dutch Cemetery. In the evening we celebrate our amazing 10 days together with our “Farewell Dinner”. (B) (D)

Tuesday (10)  Cochin

After our morning breakfast we exchange information and bid you farewell. Our driver will take you to the airport for your respective flights back home or onto other destinations. We urge you to extend your stay in India and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)

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



  Options and Benefits



Private Guided Tours & Adventures



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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



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We offer travel insurance through Travelex. 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 get a free quote.


Blog & eNews



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   Subscribe to our Think Orange Blog and eNews. PWA 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 Certificates



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Give someone you know a Gift Certificate, good toward any of our Photo Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift 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.



Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials



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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.


Combination Tours



You can SAVE by combining two or more back-to-back photo adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.


Loyalty Club**



All registered guests on 6 day or longer Photo Adventures are automatically enrolled in our Loyalty Club. You will receive a $200 discount on your next Photo Adventure. After attending just 3 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Gold” status and a $300 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. After attending 6 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Elite” status and a $500 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. Elite status guests also receive other benefits such as additional discounts, special offers, room upgrades (when available), and more. Click here to learn more.



**LOYALTY CLUB: Loyalty discounts only apply to 6 day or longer Photo Adventures. The discount is applied to the Photo Adventure fee when booked directly through our website, and cannot be added to or combined with any “pay in full”, “pay in advance” or “discounted specials”. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Your discount will be applied to your final payment. Only one discount per person, per adventure. This discount has no cash value. Polar Adventures are excluded from this offer. Loyalty Club status will be eliminated after 3 years of inactivity.  


NOTE: We reserve the right to change hotels based on availability and pricing. Not included in your rate are alcoholic beverages, unscheduled meals, travel to and from our destinations, airport transfers, travel insurance and any optional excursions you may choose to book on your own or as a group. Breakfast is usually included unless it is not offered in our hotel package. As is standard in the travel industry, all accommodations are based on double occupancy. Please choose the private room / single supplement option if you prefer your own room. Double occupancy can only be offered if you are traveling with a guest. We reserve the right to change events and schedules throughout the itinerary due to adverse weather conditions or complications that may arise that are out of our control. Our number one priority is always the safety of our group.






 

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