In January, I was incredibly fortunate to join our Treasures of South India adventure, which travels from Cochin to Chennai. We explored colorful Hindu temples and tropical landscapes, cruised on the beautiful backwaters of Kerala by private houseboat, and enjoyed game viewing in Periyar National Park, where we saw wild elephants. We also had the special opportunity to witness the Pongal Festival during our time in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This four-day thanksgiving celebration takes place during harvest time, and featured singing, dancing, and other colorful festivities.

Of the countless highlights from my time in South India, it was the people who had the greatest impact on me—the warm welcome into their culture was absolutely astounding. From watching children taking ferries to school in Kerala to seeing people dressed in their finest clothes for the Pongal Festival, our group was able to take a peek into the lives of local people, which was such a delight! Here are some of the many photos of the beautiful people I met. I hope they inspire you to journey to this wonderful region of the world.

-Photos and text by WT’s Asia Specialist Lisa Filippini, Treasures of South India.

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