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Highlights


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Highlights


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020  

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HIGHLIGHTS

Join PhotoQuest on an incredible adventure to Kerala, India to photograph the Theyyam Festival. Theyyams are performed as a part of annual Temple festivals, or as a special prayer from the family members and you can expect to photograph 3-5 different types of Theyyam performances at one Temple. There are about 400 forms of Theyyam with unique style choreography, makeup (the artists paint their faces and bodies), costumes and music. We will spend 4 days exploring various Theyyams including the special Fire Theyyam at night.

Besides photographing the expressive Theyyam Festival, Kathakali dancers in Kochi, experiencing the gently flowing backwaters and workers in a tea plantation, an authentic slice of Indian adventure awaits.


SOUTH INDIA: THEYYAM FESTIVAL

JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020 • $6800

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Itinerary


Itinerary


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020

Jan 20:  Arrive Mumbai  

You are met by a representative of Photo Quest Adventures on upon arrival at the Mumbai International Airport late evening and escorted to your hotel for check in.

 Jan 21:  Mumbai – Mangalore – Neeleshwar  

This morning photograph Dhobi Ghatt, an open air laundromat and the world's largest outdoor laundry. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Mangalore. Upon arrival at airport you are driven to Neeleshwar (3 hours) to check in to your resort for the next four nights. . Welcome dinner for our group. (D)

 Jan 22:  Neeleshwar

This morning, you are briefed about the Theyyam and then driven to a temple where you can photograph dancers prepare for this elaborate dance. After the session, you have some time to walk around and photograph the area surrounding the temple as well as the people who come to witness the dances.

Theyyam is a popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, as a living cult with several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs. The performers of Theyyam are considered God while they perform and are treated as such by the people, who seek their blessings. There are approximately 400 types of Theyyam and include an elaborately dressed performer, drummers, and singers reciting ritual songs. In the evening you witness a form of Theyyam. (B, D)

 Jan 23:  Neeleshwar

This morning, depending on the Theyyam’s being performed in the neighbourhood, you will get a chance to see another form of this exotic dance form. The day is at your leisure to explore the beach and the neighbouring villages. This evening witness a form of Theyyam. (B, D)

Jan 24:  Neeleshwar

This morning, depending on the Theyyam’s being performed in the neighbourhood, you will get a chance to see another form of this exotic dance form. The day is at your leisure to explore the beach and the neighbouring villages. This evening witness a form of Theyyam. (B, D)

 Jan 25:  Neeleshwar – Mangalore – Kochi via Hyderabad

After breakfast drive to Mangalore airport to connecting flight to Kochi via Hyderabad. On arrival check at hotel.

The allure of a small seaport, the swaying of coconut palms, old heritage buildings, quaint streets all come together to make a lovely city that is perfect for photographers. Kochi is a great city to walk in, and at every turn you are greeted with a new experience, from heritage buildings to churches or temples, beaches dotted with Chinese fishing nets, to smalls village schools and much more.

At sunset photograph the famous Chinese fishing nets brought to the port by the Chinese explorer Zheng He over 900 years ago. After sunset, the fishermen will mount lamps on their nets in the hope of attracting fish. Walk across the fort Kochi area and observe life in this ancient part of the city. (B)

 Jan 26:  Kochi

Before breakfast, photograph sunrise of the Chinese fishing nets, which dot the harbor and then take the ferry to Ernakulam to Broadway market to photograph the various stall selling fresh vegetables, meats and spices.

This morning, after breakfast proceed for half-day tour of the satellite towns of Kochi (Cochin) and Ernakulam which comprises of visits to the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica.. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Also visit Jew Street, which is famous for antiques and souvenirs.

In the evening photograph a Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali is as much a tribute to God and a form of prayer as a folk dance. In this, dancers don elaborate costumes and masks to portray scenes from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharat. Using intricate facial expressions and dance movements, the artists tell stories of love, valour, morality and adventure. Kathakali, a dying art is being kept alive in small schools across the state and tourism is the only thing keeping it alive. (B)

Jan 27:  Kochi – Munnar

After breakfast drive to Munnar, the verdant land of tea plantations.  Located at an altitude of 6000 feet, Munnar is surprisingly different from the rest of Kerala. Ensconced by tea plantations, this town is a great place for walks, bird watching and of course the elusive elephant sightings. The Britsh developed this city as an idyllic summer getaway and the imprint of those colonial days has been retained here.  Another aspect of Munnar is that it is here that a lot of spices are grown here. The beautifully landscaped expanse get cloaked in clouds giving the whole place a romantic atmosphere. 

Check in to your hotel on arrival. Later in the afternoon you will be taken on a visit to the Protestant Christ Church, built in 1910 completely of stone. The church is built completely of stone that has worn out with time giving the church a very rustic look and feel. The interiors of Christ Church are extremely beautiful and have 14 rosewood pews. It has beautiful stained glass windows and still gives a reflection of the British royalty. The walls of the church are beautifully decorated and it also has brass plaques honouring the tea planters of the area. There is also a cemetery on the hill close to Christ Church that has tombs that date back to as late as 1894. After this, visit the Tata Tea Museum where you can see the process of tea manufacturing from leaf to cup. (B, D)

 

Jan 28:  Kolukkumalai

Full Day visit to Kolukkumalai Jeep Safari, Tea Trail and Orthodox Tea Factory Visit

After breakfast drive through the Kanan Devan Hills tea plantations, scenic beauty valleys, Lock heart gap, spice plantations etc. After around 25 kms of jeep ride through the normal road we will reach the rugged road to the World’s highest organic tea growing estate. Once we reach the top we will be on the ridge of Kerala, Tamil Nadu border. From there drive or walk little further to one of the oldest orthodox tea factories in this region. After visiting the Factory we will have fresh tea picked, processed and made on the spot. Soon after we will start walking to a small ground to have our picnic lunch near the cliff with wonderful view around, then will proceed to Munnar by jeep. The ride will be through the tea plantations rugged roads where we can have a close look to the spectacular country side and the rural Tamil people, working in the tea plantations. (B, L, D)

 

Jan 29:  Munnar – Marari

After breakfast drive to the beach destination of Marari. This is a short drive through small villages. Marari is a virgin beach located very conveniently close to Kochi. En-route to Marari, we stop at a coir factory. Kerala is the largest coir manufacturer in the world and you can visit one of the little factories that dot the horizon to see how it’s made. You can watch as the workers use their hands and antiquated milling machines to convert dried husk first to coir length and then to intricate sheets.

After this visit, continue to Marari and check in at the Marari Beach Resort. Marai Beach Resort sprawls expansively across 25 acres of land. The resort, like its namesake, is separated from the sea by a windbreak of stretching palms. There are a mere 52 cottages, separated by generous stretches of open parkland, dotted with fruit-laden trees. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B, D)

 

Jan 30:  Marari

Morning for your own activities.

The morning is at leisure. You can choose to relax by the pool, explore the local village or indulge in a fabulous Ayurvedic massage. The resort also offer a whole range of activities for you to choose from.

This evening you will see Martial Art show called Kalaripayattu at your resort. Depending on weather conditions, we will arrange for photography to be done on the beach as well as the grounds of the resort.. (B, D)

 

Jan 31:  Mararikulam – Kochi – Departure    

After a leisurely breakfast, you are driven from your hotel to Kochi International Airport to board your flights home. (B)

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Lodging


Lodging


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020

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mumbai - The Leela

 

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munnar - spice tree

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Quest Leaders


Quest Leaders


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020

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Mirjam Evers

Mirjam Evers is a New York City based travel photographer who specializes in travel images, portraiture, landscape photography and adventure images. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Evers has photographed in more than 90 countries, including many of the most exotic places in the world. Evers' photographs are indicative of her unique capacity to personally connect with diverse cultures and communities. Her eye for location lighting is highly stylized and works to illustrate and heighten the unique characteristics of each international locale. She is able to transcend cultural and language barriers with an intangible spirit that is conveyed in every image. Evers is one of the founders of Photo Quest.

Selected Publications: AFAR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Departures, Golf Magazine, AARP, Outdoor Photographer, Outside Magazine, PDN, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo, MSN Travel and Town & Country Magazine.

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Facts


Facts


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020

 

Kochi

Cochin (Kochi), known as the “Gateway to Kerala,” is a vibrant city situated on the South West coast of the Indian peninsula along the Arabian Sea in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala.  Hailed as “God's Own Country.” Kerala is rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.  The proximity of this seaside city to the equator, the sea and the mountains gives Kochi its year round warm climate. 

THEYYAM FESTIVAL

Theyyams are performed as a part of annual Temple festivals, or as a special prayer from the family members and you can expect 3-5 different types of Theyyam performances at one Temple. There are about 400 forms of Theyyam with unique style choreography, makeup (the artists paint their faces and bodies), costumes and music.  The most popular forms of Theyyam are Pottan, Vishnumurthy, Kari Chamundi, Raktha Chamundi, Veerali, Gulikan, Nagakanni,  Bhagavati, and Mutiappan. The costumes, makeup and headgear of the Theyyam performers are quite elaborate and detailed as the performers are personifying the grandeur of various mythological divine forms like gods, goddesses, demons and spirits.

Passport

Please note that the passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your return to apply for your India visa.

Visas

All foreign nationals require a visa to enter
India. Visas are valid from the date of issue. Visas must be obtained from the Indian
consular office in your country of residence.

eVisa

Please note that eVisa facilities have been extended to citizens of more than 100 countries and the information, eligibility, cost and time lines are given on the eVisa website:
https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

Electricity

European plug with two circular metal pins South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin 230-240V 50Hz

Time Zones

GMT/UTC +5.5

Country Dialing Code

+91

Hygiene

DO NOT brush teeth with tap water! Most hotels offer a complimentary bottle of mineral water. Use this to brush your teeth.

Health and Medical

As India is a developing nation, visitors need to take special precautions against illnesses not normally encountered at home. A trip to a doctor or travel clinic is recommended well in advance of your departure date to ensure that you receive all the necessary immunizations and medications.

Clothing and Appropriate Dress

Lightweight clothing is suggested since we will mostly be in the southern more tropical regions.  But light, wicking, high performance layers are always recommended in case it gets cool at night or if there is rainfall.  

India is a developing country with conservative dress standards. In smaller cities and villages, people still dress conservatively. The most important rule for both women and men is to keep the legs and shoulders covered. Wearing shorts and short skirts should be avoided   

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Quest Gear


Quest Gear


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020 

Recommended gear

Computer / Digital Accessories

  • Laptop with charger and Photoshop and Lightroom (not mandatory)

  • Portable hard drives

  • Card reader

  • All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.

  • Power converters/adapters for all international quests

Other

  • Cover or large zip-lock bag for camera for shooting in the desert

  • Sturdy tripod (carbon fiber)

  • Cable release (for night shots)

  • Small headlamp and flashlight

  • Your camera’s manual

Camera Gear

  • Camera and extra body

  • Battery charger & extra batteries

  • Memory cards (bring plenty!!!)

  • Sensor cleaning supplies

  • Flash with plenty of batteries

  • Wireless transmitter for Flash

Lenses

  • 24-70mm for portraits or similar

  • 70-200mm lens or similar

  • For night photography: fast/wide lenses like 14mm 2.8, 20mm 1.8 or 16-35 and 24-70 2.8

  • Your AF lenses must have a manual focus setting for night photography

  • Polarizing filter(s)

  • Lens hoods for all lenses

  • Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust

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Pricing


Pricing


SOuth India: Theyyam Festival
JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020 

Cost per person 

$6800 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1850.

PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.

Limited to 8 participants.


Not included

  • International airfare

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Personal expenses

  • Gratuities

  • Visa and passport fees

  • Medical and trip insurance (highly recommended)

 

Included

  • Quest workshop fee

  • 10 night’s accommodation on Double / Twin Rooms

  • During stay in Neeleshwar, Munnar and Marari breakfast and dinner’s are included.

  • During stay in Mumbai & Kochi only breakfast is included

  • Domestic Flights

  • Welcome Dinner and Farewell dinner at Marari Beach Resort

  • All arrival / departure transfers, Sightseeing and Excursion by an Air-conditioned Coach

  • English speaking guide

  • Entrance fees as per Itinerary

  • Exclusive Kathakali Dance in the theatre at Kochi

  • Exclusive Martial Art show in Marari Beach Resort

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.


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SOUTH INDIA: THEYYAM FESTIVAL

JANUARY 20 - 31, 2020 • $6800

payment options:
Quantity:
Add To Cart