Art of Travel - TCI




Dear Travel Professional,

I am thrilled at working together with you and your teams and growing the business on an even stronger note with complete engagement and dedication towards what we do best – The Art of Travel.

Over the past couple of months we have brought India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan up close to you in the form of personal visits, trade show meetings, brochures and of course our newsletter – Art of Travel. We hope you have enjoyed all our forms of our communication.

We have recently launched a Handbook for Tour Guides, read more about it in our Perfect Moments section.

This issue we take you to a property in a hill station and gateway to the high ranges and spice plantations of Kerala and explore the plains of Tamil Nadu in our Stories from the Road section.

We will be at USTOA, Scottsdale from 7-9 December 2016, hope to see you there.

Happy reading.


Dipak Deva
Managing Director


1, Hill House, Peermade

The Wilderness Camp at Dera Amer, Kukas Village near Jaipur

LAIDBACK WITH A CAPITAL L: “1, Hill House, Peermade is laidback with a capital L,” says Kuntil from our Destination Knowledge Centre. This 2-room property is quietly tucked away in an area which belongs to the scions of a prominent planter family of Peermade; a hill station and gateway to the high ranges and spice plantations of Kerala. “It's not far away from the main highway. But once inside you escape into another world; laidback and totally relaxed where you couldn't be bothered about time and space,” says Kuntil. 1, Hill House is perfect for clients who want to unwind whilst enjoying a slice of the local planter's life and maybe a drink at the Mundakayam Club which is not too far away. Ideal for 2 or 3 nights. 1, Hill House does not have a website, Rani and John, your hosts, plan to keep it that way. “We are too old for this technology business and are happy meeting interesting people and playing hosts,” says Rani with a smile.

RANI & JOHN: Keeping 1, Hill House low profile has allowed Rani and John to host every guest till now, though they don't stay at the property. They stay at Alleppey and travel to Peermade, every time there are guests. “And once the guests have left we also relax in our second home which works out real good for us,” says Rani. “At the 1, Hill House I loved the attention to detail by Rani and John. From the linen, the amenities, the cutlery, to the food, to the difficult choice between evening tea with the most amazing snacks which Rani recalled having as a child and the sun downers which John himself pours, it has been very special,” says Kuntil. John who is retired, has an unusual hobby apart from collecting antiques. Every time they pull down a church, an old building or a choir factory he would be there to buy the doors, windows, gables railings, wooden stair cases et al and store it in his Alleppey House. They gradually made it to Peermade and were restored as the 1, Hill House was getting built. The pièce de résistance would be the Confession Box in the Bar. It had a small tin plate which said “Raise your Spirits”. The chairs of the Bar are from a Bank where the Cashier used to sit and go about his daily work.

Continue Reading...


VALLEY ZEST: A tribute to Pennycuick Sahib



Part done by car and part on bicycles, this is a great choice for clients with 2 nights in Thekaddy. This tour is a tribute to John Pennycuick; the British Engineer (born in Pune/ died in England) who built the 175-feet high Mullaperiyar Dam in 1895.

The background of this tour: Then & Now

Then: The plains of Tamil Nadu which your clients will explore on this tour saw a great famine in the year 1876 that lasted for 2 years and left 10 million people dead in the Madras Province (where present day Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Southern Karnataka, Southern Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Southern Orissa were all together, before they were divided into states on linguistic lines post India’s independence in 1947). The Great Madras Famine had people such as Florence Nightingale questioning Britain for failing to provide relief. The political fall out of this tragic event even that went largely unnoticed was Allan Octavian Hume – a retired outspoken member of the Imperial Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service, now Indian Administrative Service) - denouncing Britain, saying it had lost all moral right over India and forming the Indian National Congress in 1885. This in many ways laid the foundation of India’s independence from the British Raj. Quietly entered John Pennycuick, who after much trials, tribulations and disruption in work built the Mullaperiyar Dam – an engineering marvel that took him 8 years to complete. The dam fed the parched plains of Tamil Nadu with water from the Periyar River in Kerala, made them forever fertile and ensured that future generations don’t die because of the want of water.

Now: Today food grown in the plains of Tamil Nadu watered by the Mullaperiyar Dam is sold in Kerala mainly. For the Tamil farmers that have benefited from the Mullaperiyar Dam, John Pennycuick is no less than God. During the harvest festival of Pongal (one of the most important in Tamil Nadu) they offer a “Pennycuick Pongal” as a thanksgiving for the dam he built that changed their lives. There is even a memorial built in his honour, where you have to remove your footwear to enter. Children here are named Pennycuick and his photo is kept together with the Gods and Goddesses in the shrines of Tamil farmers.

Wonder though, what Pennycuick Sahib would have felt about the Mullaperiyar Dam being the reason behind the violent protests and loss of lives in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Not to mention the hassles operation staff in our offices, chauffeurs on duty on the ground and clients on a holiday have to face each time there is strike in the name of the Mullaperiyar Dam. Here is what the dispute is about - (an oversimplified take but will give you an idea) - Tamil Nadu says raise the height of the Mullaperiyar Dam, store more water because we need more water to produce more food. Kerala says No. Can’t tinker with a dam which is more than 120 years old because if it breaks it will be a disaster for Kerala. Cochin, for example, they say will be completely wiped out. Apparently Pennycuick gave a guarantee of only 100 years for the dam. Both Tamil Nadu and Kerala are now fighting it out in the Supreme Court of India.

Continue Reading...


Classic Kerala Video

Check out our Classic Kerala Video (Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady, Houseboat, Backwaters and Marari).

All our videos are shot and edited in-house.


Product Update


Harry's Corner is dedicated to Harpreet or Harry who heads our procurement team and comes to you every month with relevant product updates. Read more


Handbook for Tour Guides


We have recently printed the first edition of a Handbook for Tour Guides. The Handbook serves as a holistic referral for Tour Guides. Expectations from the Guide, Do's and Don'ts for the Guide, A good Assignment and much more form the essence of the Handbook.


Upcoming Trade Shows in 2016


To view the list of upcoming trade shows click here

If you wish to schedule a meeting, do e-mail us at