A 14 night air and land expedition tracing the origin and development of traditional art and
architecture of South East Asia.

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

Program Overview: To earn his two PhD degrees in archaeology, Suresh Sethuraman has done extensive research in South India and Cambodia deciphering Hellenic Artifacts found in India as well as art, architecture and performing art traditions of Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand. With his passion, knowledge and enthusiasm as the fulcrum, the program focuses on an important Royal dynasty of South Asia called “The Cholas” and covers, as comprehensively as is possible, the fascinating art, architecture and culture of that dynasty, spread across four countries India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand. The Indian leg of the tour comprises visits to the famous towns of Mahabalipuram, the birth place of South Indian Temple architecture and Thanjavur, the imperial capital of the Chola dynasty to study the world’s largest structural temple and trace the roots of South East Asian sculptures, bronze casting and performing art tradition. The Sri Lankan leg covers the ancient sites of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Kandy to understand South Indian influence on Buddhist art forms. We then cross over to Cambodia to compare our observations in Mahabalipuram and Thanjavur with the world famous Angkor Wat and draw conclusions on evolution of temple architecture. We end in Thailand where we experience the graceful performing art forms of Thailand and observe the remnants of South Indian and Sri Lankan traditions in them. The tour is the result of extensive research in all these countries and offers interesting lectures by experts, in-depth site-visits, craft and culinary demonstrations. It is the first tour of its kind in this part of the world.
If you enjoy art history and comparative art, architecture, crafts, this is the right tour for you!

Highlights:
From the obscure Darasuram to the famous Angkor Wat, explore an array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the guidance of art historians.
Trace the origins of South East Asian Art in obscure villages of Tamil Nadu interacting temple architects, sculptors and performing artists.
Experience performing arts and ritual traditions in 4 different countries.
Join Suresh Sethuraman to explore the Angkor Wat temple complex and compare its architecture to the “Big Temple” of Thanjavur.
Stay in charming hotels, enjoy local cuisine and fly direct between locations.

Itinerary at a glance:
Mahabalipuram 1 Night
Thanjavur 4 Night
Habarna (Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya) 3 Night
Kandy 1 Night
Negambo 1 Night
Siamrep 3 Night
Bangkok 1 Night

Activity Particulars:
Drive times between the airport, hotel and sites are less than an hour, except in Sri Lanka where three long drives of 5 hours each are involved. .
A typical day would involve a maximum of two half day excursions upto 3-4 hours each involve walking in paved surface which are at times uneven with one or two flight of stairs.
Siguriya site involves climbing up to 50 flights of stairs on a rock to see the paintings. Scale down models with high tech AV is available as a non-walking option in Siguriya.
Interaction with scholars and performing art demonstrations are usually in villages, monasteries and sometimes during pre-dinner reception hours.

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