The Many Makers of South India

I find it easy to forget sometimes that products are still made my people, rather than enormous automated machines. At In Clover we celebrate artisans and makers who pour everything they have into their crafts and we've been witness to some truly stunning pieces of work. It's not often though you get to quietly observe artisans during their process. Throughout our journey in South India we had the pleasure of stopping to see numerous makers in their workspaces, it was almost impossible to believe that the many intricate and beautiful objects that are for sale and on display in shops are hand crafted. For me the tiles were some of the most wonderful work that we saw. It was quite exceptional to witness how something that appeared in many hotels and restaurants that we visited. Each tile is individually created and the the pattern is repeated again and again until enough are created.

After visiting a colonial property with thousands of these tiles spanning over fifteen bedrooms and vast communal areas, the sheer volume of work necessary to cater for these enormous homes. The tiles are designed to be walked on with bare feet, part of Indian culture requires you remove your shoes in sacred places and this extends to some homes too. Upon entering the disused colonial home your feet connect directly with the tiles and it helps you feel truly rooted to the place and people before you. It only added to our experience of the culture that each statue we saw, each god carved from stone or marble, the paintings on the walls, all made by talented people. It was a privilege to be welcomed in by the makers and to observe the skills that has been passed down for generations.  

All photos of our trip with Kamalan Travel were taken by Dunja Opalko

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South India : Women who pave the way

When Kamalan were penning our route for our tour through South India it wasn't just the places we hoped to see but the people too. In the vast landscapes of the southern states, each person became just as prominent as the monuments and cities that surrounded them. As International Women's Day has just passed us we have decided to share a snippet of the women that we photographed along the way. Each person had their own unique story to tell and was happy to answer questions and allow us to take photos of them. There was always a sense of welcome from these women, happy to indulge our questions and generous to a fault with their time and possessions. Nothing was too much trouble and the overwhelmingly positive attitudes became infectious. Coming from a country of excess and privilege it was humbling to be welcomed with open arms by complete strangers along our ten day journey. These mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts are without a doubt some of the most hardworking, caring and genuine people we have ever had the good fortune of meeting and it would be a gift to cross paths with them again in the future. 

All photos by Dunja Opalko during our journey with Kamalan Travel.