South India; Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Hard-crafted textiles, art and architecture of South India; an exclusive 18-day tour.
Tamil Nadu has been a centre for hand-crafted textiles and design for 2,000 years and those ancient traditions live on. We visit Srikalahasti were we discover the art of kalamkari work; hand-painting on silk and cotton. From 1600 to 1800 hand-painted, colour-fast floral patterns on fabric, chintz, was exported to Europe. The trade died away when Europeans learned how to mechanise the process but, here, we witness the traditional art of hand-painting chintz.
Kanchipurnam and Arani are towns famous for hand-loom silk weaving and we visit craftsmen, in their homes, and see how India’s most exquisite silk wedding saris are loomed.
These textile design sensitivities don’t exist in isolation. We see extraordinary Hindu temples and the sculpture and painting in them. In Madurai the towers of 14th century Meenakshi Temple are a riot of colour, activity and Dravidian art. It’s a privilege to be part of the crowds visiting this vibrant place.
There is classical colonial architecture in French Pondicherry where we stay in a boutique hotel. We also stay in hotels that were once the palaces of princes.
Everyone loves Kerala and here we explore the cool, high tea plantations of Munnar, relax in the gentle backwaters in our houseboat and visit heritage Kochi. In Kochi, Dutch nuns taught women stitching and lace-making. Two hundred years later exquisite cross-stitch, knot-work, white-on-white and lacemaking still thrive. We visit some of the women who skillfully practice these crafts in their homes.
18 days, departing on 24 November 2019, including return airfares from New Zealand, internal flights, guides, transport and much more. Small group, (max 10 people). Hosted by a New Zealand guide.
Programme details, departure dates and prices.