A 14  night  expedition  to  understand  and  absorb  the  various  art  forms,  architectural  beauty, traditions, culture and history of south India along with a small infusion of Maldivian heritage.

Tour Cost: On Request
Single Supplement: On Request
Date:TBA


Program Overview

The  mind-boggling  two-week  long  program  comprises  a  perfect  blend  of  lectures,  field  trips  and demonstrations (live  shows) showcasing the distinct South Indian  style of art and architecture. It also seeks to provide a deeper insight into the  history and traditions  of the  region.  The program concludes in the  stunning  backdrop  of  sea  and  sand  in  Maldives  where  Arab  and  Roman  connections  are  weaved  into  the story .  This  program  is  led  by  experts  in  the  field  of  art,  history  and  archaeology .
The history of South Indian art begins at a central Indian mountain range called “Vindhyachal”  where Neolithic people left behind permanent expression of their world in the form of rock art. Remnants of their performing arts (like terracotta and pottery) are surviving till date as animistic ritual practices of the  present  day  tribal  people  who  live  in  this  region.
The  descendants  of  Neolithic  man  assimilated  with  the  Mediterranean  and  evolved  into  a  new  racial  group called  the  Dravidians  around  3000  BC.  However ,  around  1500  BC  when  the  Dravidians  were  hit  with  attacks from  pastoral groups in  Central Asia, it  triggered an exodus and they moved further  south in  the subcontinent. Around 300 BC, there  emerged three  major Dravidian dynasties ruling  south  India-  Cheras, Cholas  and  Pandyas.  Under  their  rule,  art,  architecture  and  literature  flourished.
Following the decline of these dynasties came the Pallavas between the fourth and ninth centuries AD. They revolutionized temple architecture in the country . This was followed by the re-emergence of the Cholas who enjoyed a much more powerful spell this time around, conquering large parts of the Indian subcontinent. Long after the Cholas, the Nayaks ruled south India and made a few contributions to art themselves.  The  Nayaks  were  then  ousted  by  the  Marathas  from  Western  India  who  brought  in  their  styles and patterns to  south  India.  Subsequently ,  the  British took  over and significantly  influenced  art styles across  the  southern  part  of  the  country .
This program  is  conceived  to  introduce  the  many brilliant  art  forms  of  South  India  as  an  experiential learning  vacation with a group of experts.  The program covers many locations  in  South India  to  covering all  the  important  facets  of  South  Indian  art.  The program is led  by  an  Indian  ethnography  Expert.  Several authorities and opinion makers of South Indian art also join the program from time to time to conduct workshops, presentations and informal discussions.  There is ample opportunity to experience performing arts and to interact with artists. Several Dravidian sculptures, icons, seals,  jewellery and decorative art forms  have been unearthed from archaeological ruins  in  southern  India.  We will get to  learn  more about those. The program ends in the Maldives where we y across this stunning archipelago by sea planes to study  the  Roman  connection.  Roman  coins  and  amphoras  have  been  excavated  in  the  Peninsular  and  in  the islands of Maldives. Enjoy three nights in a soothing island resort at Maldives to summarize the program and enjoy tropical sun and sand before  heading  back.

Highlights
Tracing the origins of South Indian  Art in lesser known villages and areas of Tamil Nadu interacting with temple architects, sculptors and performing artists
Extensive interaction and active learning with the rural community to learn more about their traditions, art forms and lifestyle.
Enlightening interpretations of artefacts and classical styles in Dravidian art.
Themed dinners whisking you back to the 1st Century BC Sangam Age and the later Chola period.
A complete immersion into the art, architecture, dance forms, traditional styles and history of the region by means of lectures and multiple demonstrations
A unique and exciting add-on with three nights in Maldives to appreciate Maldivian heritage and draw links with India,  Arabs and the Romans
Fulbright scholars and ethnography experts from Bharat Travel Service (P) Ltd. leading this expedition

Program Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Chennai
Day 02: Chennai
Day 03: Chennai
Day 04: Pondicherry
Day 05: Pondicherry
Day 06: Thanjavur
Day 07: Thanjavur
Day 08: Thanjavur
Day 09: Madurai
Day 10: Madurai
Day 11: Thiruvananthapuram
Day 12: Maldives
Day 13: Maldives
Day 14: Maldives
Day 15: Maldives-Departure

Activity Particulars: TBA

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