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India in December and January

The India trips are our excuse to migrate from Iceland to exotic climes and revel in South India’s coldest time of year!! Actually the skies are blue, the monsoon is over, the land is lush and the temperatures vary between 20 and 30 degrees celsius.

The South Indians of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are an ancient race, little changed for thousands of years they speak the Dravidian languages of Telagu and Malayalam. The tourism infrastructure of Kerala is more developed and the general standard of living, education etc. is higher. Kerala’s lesser known neighbour Tamil Nadu is poorer, there are far more subsistence workers and the people are less used to tourists, it is very unspoilt. In the countryside both peoples are curious, very friendly, pleasantly unworldly and welcoming, we are often invited into people’s homes for a cup of tea or just to be introduced to the family. It has to be said that nowadays even the thatched mud huts have a television somewhere! Our trips take us into the very heart of both countries, meeting people in all sorts of landscapes and from all walks of life: tea, cardamom and coffee pickers, fishermen, farmers, sadhus, shopkeepers, the new rich middle classes, schoolchildren, flower sellers, mystics and aesthetics. The vibrant hustle and bustle of this magnetic and mystical land keeps us coming back for more.

Here’s a collection of images from our recent trips Mystical South India and Captivating Kerala.

Martin