What Our Customers Are Saying

Mauna – Sydney, Australia

I had a two month trip covering 7 destinations in India as a solo traveller in 2017. Skillstourism was recommended to me and I am so grateful. This is a truly professional company that is insightful, informative and adaptable. They pride themselves on their research and experience with quality partners to provide well planned holidays that meets the clients needs and wishes, and to provide the best experience possible.

Their passion for promoting this culturally rich country goes further by offering extra options
such as textile block printing, jewellery making, wooden inlay work, yoga, ayurvedic treatments and cooking to name a few, all with local artisans and definitely meeting their motto…..Travel*Learn*Create.

I would not consider a trip anywhere in India without them and their expertise and am already
planning for 2018.

Thank you Skillstourism and thank you Catherine and Varis.

Pat – Vermont, USA

Silver Jewellery Making Workshop
The jewellery class was an absolute delight. As was the artisans tour. Both allowed me to immerse myself in Mysore in such a special way. I look forward to doing more next time!

Zac, New York – USA

Marquetry Workshop
My first lesson was wonderful! The three hours passed by very nicely. The instructor Ashok brings out the artist in everyone and makes the class very easy to follow. It was an incredible five-day journey. This class brought out a sense of calm in working with wood. It also taught me to be patient and stay in the moment. Ashok and his support staff are incredible. They made these five days lots of fun and at the same time taught me a lot about the techniques used for inlay work. A big thank you to everyone here!

Martin & Dila – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Silver Jewellery Making Workshop
Thank God for Skillstourism! I always admired crafts in general including jewellery, but I never considered myself skilful or patient enough to do it myself. Working with my own hands and having the required patience was definitely never among my strengths. But when I met Varis and he told me about Skillstourism, my old limitation shattered into pieces. “It’s no science, these are just ordinary people”, Varis told me while we walked among the many craftsmen tiny studios of Mandi Mohalla’s neighbourhood in Mysore, “if you are open enough, you will learn”. I signed up right away for a jewellery course, taught by master jeweller Shyam. Not only I learnt the basics of jewellery, but I also have tons of fun hanging out with Shyam and other local craftsmen, all very talented, hard working and good hearted people. In just five days I was able to make the engagement ring for my fiancé and another for myself. But what’s more important, I realize that craft-working is like meditation, your mind stops and you’re fully in it, nothing else matters! I became very patient during the course, it was very therapeutic. I will definitely sign up for another course next year, can’t wait to learn more stuff!

Prashanti – Charlottesville, USA

Marquetry Workshop
I did this course with my three boys. They had used saws before but not me! It was difficult work, but fun too. I look forward to doing it again in December and starting a real project. Next time I will wear better glasses and cooler clothes! Ashok and Tanuja were very attentive and encouraging teachers.

Eoghan – Kildare, Ireland

Marquetry Workshop
I found the workshop to be fun and challenging. We got loads of support and guidance from the teachers and I picked up new skills quickly. It was a fantastic week and we learned the process from start to finish. I can now make my own pieces if I want to! Some of the days were very difficult and I became frustrated at times learning some of the harder skills, but that made it more rewarding to have the finished product in my hand on the last day. I would recommend anyone to take this workshop. It was a fantastic experience to learn from a true master of his craft! Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Shelly & Sophie – Tel Aviv, Israel

Textile Block Printing Workshop
We attended Skillstourism workshop, during our stay in Mysore, for yoga. We enjoyed everything: the location is stunning – you feel the authenticity (rather than staying in the main touristic area), seeing the craftsmanship and old techniques, and lastly the block printing process – we literally felt like kids in a candy store! You get to let your imagination loose. We must mention that we also really enjoyed Catherine’s company who was kind enough to guide us and make sure that we felt comfortable all along. We definitely recommend this special experience which we will remember as one of the highlights of our stay in Mysore!

Louise – United Kingdom

Textile Block Printing Workshop
It was really exciting going to a less touristy part of Mysore, Mandi Mohalla is a really nice neighbourhood. We felt safe at all times. This part of India is friendly and quiet and very traditional and quaint. The place where we did block printing was so full of character and the huge padded printing table was big enough for everyone to print comfortably.

I was very excited to see so many beautiful blocks, all hand carved from teak and ready for us to select and print with on the mini course. The staff were really friendly and welcoming, Fairoz mixed our coloured inks for us to use in the morning and after an initial demonstration from the very skilful Khan, we were happy to be left to print at our pace. Khan and Fairoz were always on hand if we needed any help and were really good at helping line up patterns and showing us how to print difficult blocks. They also have an excellent eye on what works well so their advice was always welcome. The time just flew by when printing, it was such a happy feeling, creating beautiful pieces and feeling really excited about showing people our accomplishments. It’s amazing how professional our work looked despite having no experience with wooden block printing.

This was one of the best activities I have ever done whilst on holiday. I really learned and absorbed a new technique and had some beautiful creations to show for my time there which I will always treasure. All the staff involved made it all so easy for this experience to happen and I really appreciated the time and attention from the artisans. Full of patience and kindness.

Francis – New Zealand

Marquetry Workshop
This course has taken me from knowing nothing about marquetry to being confident that I could continue to develop my skills independently. The level of detail from learning how to string a saw to cutting and finishing techniques was comprehensive, and the instruction was easy to follow. The history of the teacher on the first day was very interesting. Thanks for the lessons.

Michael – Austin, USA

Marquetry Workshop
Very pleased with the level of patience shown. I learned a lot and had fun. I managed to make something beautiful. Would definitely take this course again.

Nicole – Oklahoma City, USA

Textile Block Printing Workshop
I recently took the block printing class offered by Skillstourism. It was a great educational experience all the way around. I learned a skill I will be able to use in a variety of creative ways in the future. All of the people involved were helpful and went above and beyond to make our week fabulous. I can’t thank Catherine and Varis enough for providing this unique experience! I look forward to taking this tradition and making it my own, artistically.

Dean – Dallas, USA

Artisan Workshop Tour
I had one of the greatest experiences of my stay here in Mysore yesterday. I went into the city on a tour of local artisan workshops along with a few friends. We started with stone sculptors working with South Indian sandstone and these guys are amazing! The business has been in the family for 6 generations and they’re happy to tell you all about it. Next, we went to a fine, inlaid woodworker’s shop and saw a man creating some unique masterpieces you see in some of the homes around here and also in the market. Then we headed over to an area where a small army of guys were working with brass and copper making all kind of containers using fire and hammers. After that we headed to a block printing shop where they die fabrics and use handcrafted, wooden blocks to make repeating pattern prints for saris, scarfs etc. Next, we went a sheet metal workshop where they were making all the footlocker boxes that most of us buy and leave here to keep necessities for the next season. Afterwards, we headed into a long maze of used/refurbished, stripped-down machine parts ranging in everything from motorcycles parts to tractor parts, a DIY mechanics dream. Outside of that area, we found woodworkers at their trade making everything from boxes to furniture to small, finely carved items you see in the marketplaces. And then finally, we went to the area where they do embroidery for dresses/saris and saw a whole city block hard at work making these little masterpieces one stitch at a time.

The locals are all happy to show you what they are doing and take great pride in their work and wares. This was a great way to connect with the local artisan community and see where these goods are being produced. The whole tour lasted about 3.5 hours and the folks putting this together are incredibly kind and accommodating and all for the price of about midday meal. I’d highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for something off the beaten path.

Avril – Cork, Ireland

Textile Block Printing Workshop
Would highly recommend! Fairoz was so patient and informative. He really helped me create an artistic vision! Everyone was so welcoming – translating, chai, snacks and juice made it all the more enjoyable! I am delighted with my pieces.

Marianne – Byron Bay, Australia

Amazing set up and workshops. So great to experience something totally different in India. Thank you so much Catherine. So great to have genuine great value service provided to tourists coming to India. Amazing!