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Kerala – India PHOTO TOUR

Itinerary for Kerala – India Photo Tour

Airport /Cochin
Meet and greet on arrival in traditional Keralian way. Transfer to a heritage hotel on the Fort Kochi on the sea-side. Start to explore the unique heritage area to experience the fusion of Hindu, Arabian and Portuguese- Dutch culture in one place! Start with a visit to St. Francis Church – the oldest European Church in India, and proceed to Santa Cruz Basilica – another glorious architecture of 17 th century. A short walk will take you to the Fort Kochi beach, where you can see lots of Chinese fishing net – the ideal time for photo-shoot is the magic moment of sunset. Dinner.

Day 2 Cochin
Today we will experience and take snaps of traditional dance forms of Kerala. Early morning visit is needed to join a training schedule of Kalaripayuttu, ‘the mother of all martial art’ , originated in 2nd century BC, and still now religiously practiced by dedicated young gymnasts. The visual experience of the grace and swiftness is really a challenge to trap on your lenses ! In the evening visit the performance and make-up session of ‘ Kathakali’– the most gorgeous and famous dance of Kerala. In between visit to the Mattancherry – the trade centre of spices, where the Jews built up a synagogue and Dutch constructed an ornate palace for the king, to get hold of the immensely lucrative supply of spices in 17 century ! Visit both the monuments, and take snaps. BF, L, D

Day 3 – Cochin to Munnar (4.5 hrs)
Early morning venture out on the streets of Fort Kochi to get some low-light photographs of fresh markets of flowers, fresh catches from the backwaters, and how the daily- life starts. Start for Munnar at around after breakfast. Packed lunch en route, or late lunch on arrival Munnar. Reach Munnar by late afternoon, driving through a winding mountain road guarded by tall trees of tropical deciduous forest. Our accommodation is at a boutique hotel on the outskirt of Munnar, from where you can walk and get an enchanting view of the Anairyangal Lake, a hidden jewel of Kerala amidst verdant tea- plantations! BF, L, D

Day 4 Munnar
Visit Eravikulam National Park – a unique grass-landin the highest mountain-peak of South India on 8000ft, and if lucky, meet cute and shy Nilgiri Tahr – an endangered species in need of protection. Later spend time to Kokkumalai tea garden and factory – one of the few highest tea-plantations in the world! A photography tour around the garden- where the colourfully dressed estate workers are looking the flowers dotted on the emerald tea bushes. Also visit the tea – processing center, where the same Gainsborough-built machines are whirring and clanking since 1930s !
Enjoy the evening by the infinity swimming pool overlooking the lake!

Day 5 Munnar – Periyar (4 hrs)
Post breakfast drive to one of the most beautiful forests in India Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve, encircling a spectacular lake. We will visit a huge spice plantation before arriving Periyar – to see and capture in lens how the exotic oriental spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon are grown in the natural ambience ! Stay at a luxury resort at the Fringe of the forest. The evening is free to review and share the photo-shoot experience. For those interested, there is an excellent Keralite Ayurveda Spa in the resort waiting to rejuvenate your body and soul! BF, L, D

Day 6 Periyar
An adventure drive by jeep to Gaviin the morning – the denser area of the National Park on deserted jungle road, in expectation of meeting some wildlife in their own habitat! Afternoon cruise on Periyar Lake by boat. In the spring you can visit lots of wildlife like wild elephants, monkeys, deer and wild boar. on the banks on your cruise along the lake by forest- boat In the evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration with a traditional Keralian family, or visit a gorgeous performance of Theyyam dance – a religious dance form of Kerala. BF, L, D

Day 7 Periyar to backwater region: Alleppey ( 6-7 hrs)
Drive down to the coastal Kerala –on the way visit the activities in rubber planations. Enter the backwater zone where tranquil lakes and busy creeks create an intricate network of nature and people, playing in tune with each other. Stay in an island resort overlooking the backwater (we do not recommend overnight stay inside any houseboat because it stuffy and uncomfortable, particularly in March- April). BF, L, D

Day 8 Alleppey
Morning visit an ancient snake temple at Mannarasala – only one of its kind in India still existent. With thousands of stone serpent sculptures covered with bright yellow turmeric -the courtyard of the temple of traditional Kerala styleis a visual feast for photography-lovers. A sunset cruise along the backwaters by a houseboatwith deck. They are uniquely shaped rice- barges, known as Kettuvallam, assembled only by coir- knots. For interested viewers, a visit to Kettuvallam workshop can be arranged. You can capture the rural life of Kuttanad – the paddy-fields, students going to village schools, fisherwomen working, and so on.BF, L, D

Day 9 Alleppey to Cochin (2 hrs)
After breakfast, drive towards Cochin. En route stopover at a “toddy” shop–the small and traditional outlets selling coconut wine. On arrival at Cochin, afternoon free for individual activities – to explore the Fort Kochi heritage area by walk for optional repeat-shoots.In the evening, optionalvisit to old markets of Cochin. BF, L, D

Day 10 Departure. BF
Check out after breakfast and transfer to airport. Tour ends



March 15 – 24, 2019


10 days / 9 nights

Photographic themes:

landscape, Villages, mountains, culture, people, wildlife

Anairyangal Lake,
Eravikulam National Park,


USD $4950
per person in double room
USD $950
Single supplement

Price includes

  • Transfer from/to airport upon arrival and departure
  • all acomondations
  • Meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per itinerary in AC vehicle
  • One English speaking tour escort / cum guide for the entire tour.
  • All guide charges, entry fees etc
  • All GOVT Tax, toll fees, parking etc
  • Professional Photographic Guides Dean Tatooles and Tim Vollmer

not included:

  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Travel insurance, health insurances.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc.
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary)
  • Model fees
  • What is not mentioned as included


Photography Instructors


Tim Vollmer

Tim has devoted his life to photography, which has been his long held hobby and great passion. Tim has always felt himself drawn to the power and beauty he finds in nature. Tim has been leading photo tours and workshops in Iceland and in many different countries over the years. He has had the world as his workplace. Photographing everything from the dramatic landscape in Iceland, to the native people in the remote corners of the world and the culture that are unique to each country. His journeys have taken him around the world in pursuit of memorable travel experiences and the creation of compelling images. His work has been featured in international publications. His images and stories are shared on various internet outlets. As a driven artist, professional, entrepreneur and an adventurer, Tim is eager to share his passion, knowledge in photography and travel through the tours he designed on his own, or through his partnership with professional photographers from around the globe. Tim and his family currently lived 11 years in Iceland. Now they are based in Czech Republic.

Phone: (00420) 732203764

See his Website:

Photography workshops

Dean J. Tatooles

Chicago-based photographer, Dean J. Tatooles, is the owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris. In his professional career, Dean has specialized in landscape and wildlife photography and indigenous portraiture. His travels have taken him across all seven continents multiple times.

Dean works primarily with Nikon digital SLR equipment to capture his wildlife images and indigenous portraits and a Linhof 617 S III Technorama medium format panoramic camera to produce his majestic landscapes. At a young age, Dean became fascinated with the topography, culture and wildlife of certain locations in the Southern Hemisphere. In that spirit, he created Southern Cross Galleries after the constellation that bears its name and is only visible from below the Equator. His hope is that his work touches that sense of adventure in everyone and that viewers of his photographs will be transported to another time and place, even if it’s for just a moment.

As owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris, Dean in conjunction with his global partners, has lead photo tours all across the globe. The world is his workplace and Dean is eager to share his passion for photography with others whenever he can. Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris’ photo tours are always small and intimate –with rarely more than six to eight guests on a given trip. Wherever possible, mass tourism and the norm are avoided, opting for the more “off the beaten path” locations. Dean understands that light and timing are everything in creating that perfect photo and makes sure to have his guests in the right place at the right time to maximize opportunities. Accordingly, scheduling is flexible and his tours adapt constantly to conditions on the ground. Dean is happy to have many return guests over the years and hopes that you will choose to travel with us on your next adventure.

Phone: +1 (312) 898-0248

See his Website:

Dean J. Tatooles

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Kerala January 5, 2018