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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Kerala Photography Holiday
from Per person

Kerala Photography Holiday

  • 10 Night Holiday
  • Half Board
View Dates & Prices

Discover the rich history and unique culture of Kerala on this 10-night photography holiday with a difference.

Lying in the south-west, along the Malabar Coast, Kerala is a bright and verdant region that often contradicts the typical perception of traditional India. The beautiful climate of the region produces a mesmerising bounty of pungent spices, aromatic tea and exotic fruits. The region has a diverse landscape changing from mountains and deep valleys to open coastal plains and tranquil backwaters.

With TDactive Holidays and Dublin Photography School, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in local life on this once in a lifetime trip to Kerala as you photograph the breathtaking landscape, explore regional villages and markets, sample local cuisine and enjoy some relaxation time. 

Stewart Kenny, an award winning fine art landscape photographer plus an additional tutor from Dublin Photography School will accompany the group, offering tutorials, demonstrations, photography tips as well as unique and spectacular photographic opportunities. 

Dublin Photography School offer a special €69.99 price onto their Travel Photography Workshop for anyone who books this trip. Click here to find out more >

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee (80 Rupees = €1.00 approx) 
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on Indian visas https://www.traveldepartment.ie/about-us/our-visa-services/india/ 
Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau. 
Climate

Kerala has a maritime tropical climate and days are generally warm and sunny, with average temperatures in the early 20s. The proximity to the sea results in a southwest summer monsoon and a northeast winter monsoon. The evenings can be a little chillier as you head up into the mountain areas during this trip. 

Dress Code

Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code, especially in the South. However, care should still be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. Carrying a shawl and/or a sarong to cover shoulders or knees is a handy way to be prepared when visiting religious sites.

Food & Drink

Known as the ‘land of spices’ Kerala is home to a dazzling array of fragrant and vibrant food. Both spicy and mild dishes are available, all very different and delicious! Traditional Keralan food is vegetarian, but you will also find lamb and chicken dishes on the menu as you would throughout the rest of India. Due to its proximity to the sea and its teeming backwaters, there’s a plentiful supply of freshly caught fish. The mix of religious and overseas influences means that you will also see beef and pork dishes served Keralan restaurants. Signature dishes of the region to try are Sadya and Malabar Biryani.

Please Note; The Kerala State Government has a strict liquor policy. The majority of hotels and resorts in Kerala do not have an alcohol licence. Some have a beer and wine licence only. Please enquire directly for more details.  
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Main course: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • DSLR camera/Mirrorless Camera or Bridge Camera
  • Wide angle & zoom lens (10-20mm or 18-55mm, 24-70mm, 18-135mm or 18-200mm)
  • Telephoto lens (70-200mm or 70-300mm – recommended but not essential)
  • Any fixed / prime lenses
  • Tripod
  • Wired remote control / wireless remote control (ideal for time-lapse photography)
  • Spirit level
  • Circular polarizing filter
  • Neutral density fader filter (recommended but not essential)
  • Neutral density filter (recommended but not essential)
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream
  • A light jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
What can you expect to learn?
  • Escape auto mode and learn to master your camera’s manual settings so as to unleash it’s full potential.
  • Learn the principles of composition and how to shoot creatively by freezing action or creating long exposures.
  • Receive hands on abstract, macro and nature photography tips.
  • Develop a documentary or reportage/street style photography mind set for when you are day tripping during your free time around the city.
  • Receive hands-on composition, abstract, macro and nature photography tips, which can be, used anywhere, from sandy beaches to picturesque coastal villages and countryside.
  • Learn how to photograph in different weather conditions and low light situations, creating (for example) dazzling star trails, silky water effects and dusk long exposures.
  • Start to use your white balance effectively to photograph in different weather conditions and lighting conditions.
  • Receive detailed and hands-on filter demonstrations to enhance your photography.
Recommended Reading/Viewing

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Where the Rain is Born by Anita Nair

King Neptune’s Delight by Gita V. Reddy

Holiday highlights

Kathakali Dance Performance

One of the oldest forms of theatre in the world, Kathakali is a classical Indian dance performance characterised by subtle gestures and facial movements. Combined with elaborate make up, flamboyant costumes and dramatic music the resulting performance is an intense and theatrical interpretation of traditional folk stories.

Cochin 

Kochi or Cochin is known as the gateway to Kerala. A major port and bustling city, Cochin was the centre of the spice trade for centuries and today still displays characteristics from many different rulers and inhabitants including Dutch, Portuguese and British.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, Periyar is home to an array of different wildlife, most notably elephants and tigers. Originally a private game reserve, the park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1950.

Periyar Spice Garden

Many things that we only see in jars on the supermarket shelves grow in abundance here. Great quantities of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, vanilla, tea and coffee are produced here as well as rubber for medical and household use in the western world. 

Houseboat journey through the backwaters of Kerala

Spending a night on a traditions thatch roofed ‘Kettuvallum’ is truly a magical experience. You can enjoy the time on board relaxing and cruising through the waterways, lined with coconut groves and rice fields as daily life carries on at the water’s edge. 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee (80 Rupees = €1.00 approx) 
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on Indian visas https://www.traveldepartment.ie/about-us/our-visa-services/india/ 
Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau. 
Climate

Kerala has a maritime tropical climate and days are generally warm and sunny, with average temperatures in the early 20s. The proximity to the sea results in a southwest summer monsoon and a northeast winter monsoon. The evenings can be a little chillier as you head up into the mountain areas during this trip. 

Dress Code

Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code, especially in the South. However, care should still be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing. Carrying a shawl and/or a sarong to cover shoulders or knees is a handy way to be prepared when visiting religious sites.

Food & Drink

Known as the ‘land of spices’ Kerala is home to a dazzling array of fragrant and vibrant food. Both spicy and mild dishes are available, all very different and delicious! Traditional Keralan food is vegetarian, but you will also find lamb and chicken dishes on the menu as you would throughout the rest of India. Due to its proximity to the sea and its teeming backwaters, there’s a plentiful supply of freshly caught fish. The mix of religious and overseas influences means that you will also see beef and pork dishes served Keralan restaurants. Signature dishes of the region to try are Sadya and Malabar Biryani.

Please Note; The Kerala State Government has a strict liquor policy. The majority of hotels and resorts in Kerala do not have an alcohol licence. Some have a beer and wine licence only. Please enquire directly for more details.  
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Main course: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • DSLR camera/Mirrorless Camera or Bridge Camera
  • Wide angle & zoom lens (10-20mm or 18-55mm, 24-70mm, 18-135mm or 18-200mm)
  • Telephoto lens (70-200mm or 70-300mm – recommended but not essential)
  • Any fixed / prime lenses
  • Tripod
  • Wired remote control / wireless remote control (ideal for time-lapse photography)
  • Spirit level
  • Circular polarizing filter
  • Neutral density fader filter (recommended but not essential)
  • Neutral density filter (recommended but not essential)
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream
  • A light jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
What can you expect to learn?
  • Escape auto mode and learn to master your camera’s manual settings so as to unleash it’s full potential.
  • Learn the principles of composition and how to shoot creatively by freezing action or creating long exposures.
  • Receive hands on abstract, macro and nature photography tips.
  • Develop a documentary or reportage/street style photography mind set for when you are day tripping during your free time around the city.
  • Receive hands-on composition, abstract, macro and nature photography tips, which can be, used anywhere, from sandy beaches to picturesque coastal villages and countryside.
  • Learn how to photograph in different weather conditions and low light situations, creating (for example) dazzling star trails, silky water effects and dusk long exposures.
  • Start to use your white balance effectively to photograph in different weather conditions and lighting conditions.
  • Receive detailed and hands-on filter demonstrations to enhance your photography.
Recommended Reading/Viewing

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Where the Rain is Born by Anita Nair

King Neptune’s Delight by Gita V. Reddy

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Depart to India

Afternoon

Depart to India

Begin your photography adventure as you depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Cochin, a city in southwest India's coastal state of Kerala.

Day 2 - Arrive in Cochin

Morning

Arrive in Cochin

Upon arrival in Cochin you will be met by your guide and transferred by coach to your hotel in Cochin. You will have some time to settle in your hotel and get to know your surroundings.

Evening

Welcome Meeting & Sunset Photography Session

Before dinner at your hotel enjoy a short welcome gathering with your local expert guide and Dublin Photography School tutors, who afterwards will take you to the Chinese Fishing Nets on the beach for a sunset photo shoot.

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Cochin (2 nights)

Day 3 - Explore Cochin

Morning

Fort Cochi

Depart your hotel for a Heritage walk of Fort Kochi, exploring the nooks & crannies of this coastal town. You will see the age-old Chinese fishing nets still in use, the historic St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica, with ample time for photo opportunities. Then drive to the harbour island of Wellington to visit the Dutch Palace & Jewish Synagogue. Photo stops will be made throughout the journey so have your camera ready to go .

Evening

Kathakali

After dinner at your hotel, your guide will accompany you to an Indian dance drama, known as Kathakali. The colourful costumes, dramatic makeup, subtle facial expressions and the expressive music combine to form an unforgettable performance. Arrive early to see the artists applying make up, an elaborate process offering great photography opportunities.

Day 4 - Cochin to Munnar

Morning

Mundackal Plantation

Leave Cochin behind this morning as you travel into the hills to the town of Munnar. There is plenty of colour and activity to observe throughout the journey, with free time for lunch at the Mundackal Plantation en route. Photography stops will be organised during the journey, ensuring you have ample time to capture memorable shots on your camera.

Afternoon

Munnar

You will arrive in Munnar in the late afternoon. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three rivers and is South India’s largest tea growing region. You will have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure as you unwind in the tranquility of Kerala’s hills. Your local expert guide will be happy to suggest activities to keep you entertained or you may simply relax at the hotel.

Overnight

Accommodation

4 star hotel in Munnar (2 nights)

Day 5 - Tour of Munnar

Full day

Tour of Munnar & Sunset Photography Session

This morning you will explore the main highlights of Munnar. During the tour you will visit the Munnar Tea Museum and Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr mountain goat. Here you will also have an opportunity to take some photographs of Anamudi Peak, which is highest peak in Western Ghats. In the late afternoon you will set up in the picturesque town for a sunset photography shoot with expert tuition from Dublin Photography School on hand to help you capture the best shots.

Evening

Visit to Local Market

Before dinner at your hotel, you will visit the small but quirky local market. This is the perfect chance to witness the locals as they go about their daily lives. People are busy bargaining here, shopkeepers are selling fruit, spices and vegetables, homemade chocolates, and street food. Although a country’s landscape can look stunning in photographs, it is the people that make up a culture so have your camera at the ready, as this is also a great opportunity to take some interesting photographs.

Day 6 - Munnar to Thekkady

Morning

Journey to Thekkady

After breakfast you will depart to Thekkady. En route you will enjoy breathtaking views of the emerald hills and witness the harvesting of cardamom and other local spices. Photo stops will be organised during the journey so you will have ample time to capture shots of the stunning countryside.

Afternoon

Spice Garden

In the afternoon your guide will take you to a local Spice Garden in Thekkady to see many different varieties of spices growing in their natural environment. Get up close and personal with the many tastes and smells of Kerala, as there will be the opportunity to sample some spices if you wish!

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Thekkady (2 nights)

Day 7 - Discover Thekkady

Morning

Periyar National Park & Nature Trek

This morning you will enjoy an excursion including a guided nature trek in Periyar National Park. The park is a wildlife sanctuary that is home to tigers, elephants, lion-tailed macaques, leopards and the picturesque Periyar Lake. There will be endless photo opportunities throughout the day and the assistance of Dublin Photography School tutors will be on hand to help you perfect your shots.

Afternoon

Spice Market

In the afternoon you will immerse yourself in the local culture during a visit to the Thekkady market, which is a hub of spice trade in Kerala. This will be another great opportunity to capture some live action shots, as you wander around experiencing all the sights, smells and colours that India has to offer.

Day 8 - Thekkady to Kumarakom

Morning

Kumarakom

Depart Thekkday and head towards Kumarakom, beside the Vembanad Lake. On arrival you will board a deluxe traditional, thatch roofed ‘Kettuvallum’ or houseboat for an overnight journey through the backwaters of Kerala. This is the perfect time to relax and unwind as you cruise through the waterways lined with coconut groves and rice fields. You will also be able to capture some photographs of local daily life as it carries on at the water’s edge.

Afternoon

Keralan Village

After lunch on board the boat, you will visit a traditional Keralan village for a further glimpse in to local life. Return in the late afternoon to enjoy dinner on board before settling in to your unique accommodation for the night.

Overnight

Accommodation

Traditional thatch roofed ‘Kettuvallum’ houeseboat (1 night)

Day 9 - Kumarakom to Allepey

Morning

Allepey Market

Following breakfast on board you will disembark your houseboat and transfer to Alleppey’s local fish and meat market for a photography based walking tour. Afterwards you will be continue to your hotel in Alleppey.

Evening

Night Time Photography

You will have the afternoon at leisure to settle in to your hotel and get your bearings. In the evening a night time photography session will be organised where you will receive expert photography tuition from Dublin Photography School on how to make the most out of your camera after the sun has set!

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Alleppey (1 night)

Day 10 - Depart Allepey

Morning

Depart Allepey

Today it will be time to say “Alavida” to India. You will be transferred from Allepey to Cochin Airport for your return overnight flight home.

Day 11 - Arrive Home

Morning

Arrive Home

Arrive home following your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Kerala.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Chandys Windy Woods Hotel 4

The setting for Chandys Windy Woods Hotel, which is terraced into the hillsides of the tea plantations around Munnar, is nothing short of spectacular.The resort is ideally situated, only 13.8 km from the city center of Munnar. Guests can enjoy many local points of interest in the... read more read more read more

The setting for Chandys Windy Woods Hotel, which is terraced into the hillsides of the tea plantations around Munnar, is nothing short of spectacular.The resort is ideally situated, only 13.8 km from the city center of Munnar. Guests can enjoy many local points of interest in the vicinity such as Eravikulam National Park, the scenic Munnar Lake and popular Echo point. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel's facilities which include an outdoor swimming pool, spa and wellness centre and a garden and terrace.


Hotel address
Chandys Windy Woods Hotel
Pallivasal
2nd Mile
Meencut P.O., Munnar
View available dates for this hotel

Poetree Sarovar Portico 3

The Poetree Sarovar Portico Hotel is located at a unique vantage point on top of a hill and surrounded by forest and untouched land in Thekkady, Kerala. Guests can relax and admire the unforgettable views over the Periyar forest with the distant backdrops of waterfalls and the Pe... read more read more read more

The Poetree Sarovar Portico Hotel is located at a unique vantage point on top of a hill and surrounded by forest and untouched land in Thekkady, Kerala. Guests can relax and admire the unforgettable views over the Periyar forest with the distant backdrops of waterfalls and the Periyar River. The Thekkady region is famous for its wildlife reserve and is considered a haven for natural spices. Guests can explore the nearby vicinity which features a splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. Guests can enjoy the hotel facilities which include an outdoor swimming pool, retaurant and garden.

Hotel address
Poetree Sarovar Portico
Ottakathalamedu Amaravathy P.O.
Kumily

Thekkady
View available dates for this hotel

Citrus Hotel Alleppey 3

Situated in the Kerala Backwaters, the Citrus Hotel Alleppey is ideally situated in the shores of Pallathuruthy River. Guests can enjoy the hotel facilities which include a swimming pool, spa and floating restaurant. Guests can also enjoy the unique and tranquil surrounding area ... read more read more read more

Situated in the Kerala Backwaters, the Citrus Hotel Alleppey is ideally situated in the shores of Pallathuruthy River. Guests can enjoy the hotel facilities which include a swimming pool, spa and floating restaurant. Guests can also enjoy the unique and tranquil surrounding area which offers lots of opportunity for exploring nature such as taking a boat ride along the river or a stroll along the shoreline. 

Hotel address
Citrus Hotel Alleppey
Karimba Valavu
Punnapra North, Paravoor Village (Mullackal),
Alleppey - 688014
View available dates for this hotel

Evergreen House Boats 3

Evergreen House Boats are luxurious houseboats in Kerala, which operate in the enchanting waters of the Vembanad, providing panoramic views of rural life along the banks. Evergreen House Boats are mini mobile cottages with all modern amenities including spacious bedrooms with wid... read more read more read more

Evergreen House Boats are luxurious houseboats in Kerala, which operate in the enchanting waters of the Vembanad, providing panoramic views of rural life along the banks. Evergreen House Boats are mini mobile cottages with all modern amenities including spacious bedrooms with wide windows, attached bathrooms, sitout, sundeck, micro-kitchen and dining room. At your service onboard, a well experienced native crew of the region ensure that every house boat cruise is a memorable moment for guests.

Hotel address
Evergreen House Boats
No.709 A,St.Thomas Church Building
Pallathuruthy,Thottuvathala P.O
Alappuzha – 688501
View available dates for this hotel

No. 18 Cochin 3 Star

The No. 18 Hotel is located in the heart of Cochin, in the Heritage Zone, 10 minutes walk from the beach. It is also very close to some of the local attractions such as the traditional Chinese Fishing Nets, the Santa Cruz Cathedral and the St. Francis Church. Take a walk along th... read more read more read more

The No. 18 Hotel is located in the heart of Cochin, in the Heritage Zone, 10 minutes walk from the beach. It is also very close to some of the local attractions such as the traditional Chinese Fishing Nets, the Santa Cruz Cathedral and the St. Francis Church. Take a walk along the historic streets of Fort Cochin - a magical network of narrow lanes, authentic spice markets, vibrant palaces, and historic Dutch homes and churches.

Hotel address
No. 18 Cochin
Fort Kochi PO,
Kerala
India 682001
Cochin
View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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  • Single Supplement from €149.00

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  • We’ve done the research for you, creating perfectly planned itineraries
  • Outstanding value for money – Flights, transfers, accommodation and excursions included in nearly all our tours
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  • No holiday surcharges – guaranteed

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  • We are a privately owned business and have been around for over 20 years
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