Vijayadashami also known as Dasara, Dussehra or Dussehra is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. Celebrating the carnival is no exception a grandeur event at the Kulasai Mutharamman Temple which is located in along the coast of Thiruchendur 55 km south of Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.
The 300-year-old Sri Mutharamman Temple is located in Kulasekharapatnam near Thiruchendur in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. Devotees more than 1,500,000 come from far and wide as they walk on foot wearing exotic costumes as if they were the incarnations of gods and goddess. For them, it is not just a colorful celebration but a serious occasion to offer thanks to the goddess for answering their prayers.
On a climatic day, the seashores of this coastal village turn into a carnival of folk music and dance where devotees in their chosen fancy dresses solicit the grace of and express gratitude for boons granted by the presiding deity Sri Muthramman.
Gear up for an immersive experience of a lifetime with like-minded individuals who share the same passion as you. If you're looking to hone your skills and take mind-blowing images, then this tour will be the best experience for what you're looking for. Educate the photographer in you by capturing portraits, landscapes blended with the carnival of folk music and dance with the mentors and treat yourself to the experience of Dasara and all that it has to offer.
Our objective is to make sure each and every time you arrive at a location, you are armed with the tools and knowledge to get the best shot possible. This is a private tour and tailored to meet your skill level and desires. We'll get you to the same beautiful locations while instructing on the events, living in the native homestays and so much more! This tour has been designed to take in the best of these locations so that you return home with a stunning portfolio and having had an amazing experience.
About the Mentors
Udayan Sankar Pal is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer from Chennai which he has made his home for the past several years. Since the time he started working with his first camera at the age of 13 years, he has explored the myriad images that India has to offer, its street life, its villages, its landscapes, and culture.
His relentless pursuit of the craft led him to establish the only international Archive of Photography Exhibition (www.APE.net.in) in the world. He believes photography is all about the eye. You either see things or are influenced to see things. He aspires to infuse the passion he feels towards the craft in many others.
Maheswaran Karthikeyan is a photography enthusiast based in Chennai, India and currently working in a leading IT Organization. He is fond of many genres of photography with a focus on Portraits, Street, Landscape, High-Speed, and Macro. His work has been featured in various newspapers and social media groups around the world and his work have also been exhibited at art galleries across India. His contributions in the field of photography have earned him several awards as well. He also leads the photography club at his workplace and has mentored many budding photographers in the last 4 years.
Day 1 – Arriving at the place of action
5 Oct 2019
1 PM: Pickup from Madurai Railway Station
6 PM: Reach Nallur for hotel/homestay
7 PM: Dinner
Day 2 –Get a taste of what is in store
6 Oct 2019
8 AM: Breakfast
10 AM: Team briefing
11:30 AM: Lunch
1 PM: Travel to village festival by car
2-6 PM: Photography
7 PM: Dinner
8 PM: Return to hotel/homestay
Day 3 – Immerse yourself in the festivities
7 Oct 2019
8 AM: Breakfast
10 AM: Travel to village festival by car
11 AM- 6 PM: Photography
7 PM: Dinner
8 PM: Return to hotel/homestay
Day 4 – Explore your passion for photography
8 Oct 2019
8 AM: Breakfast
9:30 AM: Briefing with the team
10 AM: Travel to temple by car
11 AM onwards till late night: Photography
Day 5 - Return home with award-winning photographs
9 Oct 2019
2 AM: Return to hotel/homestay for rest
9 AM: Start for Madurai
10 AM: Breakfast on route
1 PM: Lunch on route
3 PM: Arrive at Madurai Railway Station
What is special about Kulsai Dusara?
The oddity of the festival is that it is celebrated here as a 12-day function instead of 9 days. Over 30 lakh people attended the festival in 2018. The festival celebrates local history and culture and presents an interesting intersection of folklore, fashion, devotion, and celebration. The pronounced colors and activities of the devotees offer photographers an exceptional opportunity to capture the soul of South India.
Where will I stay?
We will arrange for this.
We are attempting to book some rooms in the only hotel available in town. This will be on a 4 member shared basis (double occupancy with 2 extra beds). If we are not able to secure hotel rooms, then we will arrange for a homestay in a traditional home with basic amenities like bathroom, fans, and beds on the floor. In the homestay, as bathrooms are not common in traditional homes, we may need to share 1 bathroom among all tour members.
The only eatery in town is about 5 mins from the hotel and 10 mins from the homestay. So please be prepared to travel by car for all meals. We encourage you to carry some snacks as the only meals we will be able to offer are dependent on this eatery and our ability to reach there on time.
How do I get to meet the team?
The trip starts and ends at Madurai Railway Station. We will pick you up on 5 October 2019 around 1:00 PM and drop you back there on 9 October 2019 post 3:00 PM. Your travel arrangements to this pick up and drop point will not be included in the package.
Our team will be there with cars (Force Traveler) to take you to the hotel/homestay from this point. Please note that you will have to finance your expense for any emergency.
As communication in the local language is a challenge, we have arranged a guide who has considerable experience in supporting photographers. He can converse in both English/Hindi and the local language.
For non-Indian Photographers, there will be a 5% addition for Paypal commission. (PLEASE CONSULT THIS POINT WITH YOUR TEAM OR MUKESH SIR)
What do I need to carry?
This is a backpack tour. What that means is that be mindful of the luggage you carry as the amenities available there are basic and you will need to carry your valuable possessions along with you at all times. So travel light and carry only things you absolutely need.
We recommend you carry your own basic toiletries (small packs), a thin bedsheet, some snacks, and minimal clothes.
The temperature will be above 40-degree centigrade with high humidity. So choose your clothes appropriately.
There are no places to wash and dry your clothes. So carry enough for your stay.
Keeping the crowd in mind, we strongly recommend you do not carry any precious jewelry. Please note that threedots/AvTvISO/Chiiz will not take responsibility for any items lost/stolen during the trip.
On 8th October 2019, we strongly recommend you carry only your cameras to the shoot as the day will be long and tedious. No backpacks or camera bags will be allowed.
Please carry your own power bank, extra batteries for the camera and water bottle.
Are there any other things I need to know?
All breakfast/Lunch/Dinner will be south Indian food like Idli/ Dosa/ Meals and subject to availability. The place we will stay at is a very small town with few eateries/restaurants and food may not be readily available due to the tremendous crowd for the festival. In case of non-availability of restaurant food, we will have to manage with any available food like biscuits during the shoot.
We cannot provide lunch on 7th October 2019. You can have free meals at any temple if it is available. Else, you will need to manage with your own food at your own expense. So please carry sufficient snacks like biscuits.
On 8th October, we cannot provide both lunch and dinner. Usually, many local people put up shops selling local foods. You will need to manage with that at your own expense.
We will provide 1 bottle of packaged drinking water to each participant during team breakfast, lunch and dinners only. If you need more, you will need to arrange and pay for it yourself.
Any expenses such as for tea/coffee/snacks/any other personal requirements will have to be arranged for and financed on your own. #AvTvISO/ THREEDOTS/ Chiiz/ Our Mentors/ Guide will not be able to provide additional facilities apart from the said package inclusions.
8th October will be an extremely difficult & hectic day. We will do photography continuously for more than 20hours. We will come back only the next morning. Be prepared for it. If you feel sleepy or tired, you have to sleep on the open beach. It is extremely hot and humid in the day time and you may not have any place with shade.
Be ready for long walks. We have to park our car 3-4KM before the temple and you have to walk through lakhs of people to arrive at the main temple.
Be ready to travel in the tempo while going and coming back from the Temple due to diversion/one-way traffic
It is advisable that you do a health check-up before you leave for the tour. It is a highly dry area with extreme temperatures and very stressful environment. We (#AvTvISO/ THREEDOTS/ Chiiz/ Our Mentors/ Guide) will not be responsible for any loss you incur, both to self or your belongings.
Please get your doctor's approval before you leave. People with breathing problems are recommended not to join.
What if I want to cancel my seat?
The booking advance is non-refundable.
We will make every effort to go as per the planned schedule. However, in case of any unforeseen circumstances or natural calamities, or political unrest, the plan is liable to change. There will be no refund in case of any change in plan.
We will refund the booking amount if we cancel this tour due to any unavoidable circumstances like natural calamity, political unrest, etc.
The booking is transferable, so, in case you cannot make it, you can ask someone to come on your behalf. There are no charges for that.