The Peacock Trail takes place in Mylapore, a neighbourhood that’s much older than the city itself…
The Peacock Trail was the first tour that we designed in 2007 when Storytrails was launched. It takes place in Mylapore in the heart of Chennai, a neighbourhood that’s much older than the city itself. When the British arrived it was a village with pretty houses and ancient temples dating from the time when it was an important port for the Pallava empire, and today it’s a perfect place to show people something of the way of life in the city.
We are a bunch of people from different walks of life: writers, artists, musicians, corporate people, bankers, historians, all with a deep interest in the city and a passion to tell its stories, of which there are so many. A lot of them are connected to the Kapaleeswarar temple, where we start the trail. It’s a very famous temple of Shiva, the Hindu god, so we focus a bit on the architecture – on how it looks chaotic, but there’s actually a method to the madness of the entire structure. But we also tell stories about what happens inside a temple, from why everyone walks clockwise around it to why people smash coconuts here or ring a bell.
Afterwards, we wander through Mylapore’s tiny lanes, which are lined with small houses that were built almost 500 years ago. We talk about the history of those houses and the patterns drawn on the ground outside them and the evil eye that the owners hang outside. There’s a bazaar, and a huge temple tank built on land donated by the Muslim ruler at the time, which is a nice tale, and a house belonging to the family of a Brahmin priest, which has some fascinating features. And we finish in Sao Thome or Santhome, the old Portuguese settlement, at a beautiful church with some unusual decorations.
We work hard to make sure all our trails are immaculately researched and that we tell only the most interesting stories and, going by our positive reviews, our guests really appreciate that.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656