Welcome to Common Grounds India.

Tourism is, at best, a journey of discovery; a rare opportunity to experience a different world. We offer an introduction not only to the places listed in your guidebook, but also to the people who live there, who are as beautiful up-close as any mist-covered tea-garden. We want to show you both people and places so you might enjoy a truly unique and personal experience.

Kerala is our specialty,  especially the North Kerala, hilly regions of Wayanad and the coastal plains of Calicut, commonly refereed to as the Malabar region. A little bit off the usual tourist  map, this area boasts astonishing beauty.

The Western Ghats, forests and wildlife, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, spice gardens, coffee and tea plantations, miles of golden beaches and of course that is just the scenery. The Malabar region has thousands of years of history and a varied mixture of culture and religion.

We believe in responsible and ethical tourism that benefits both the local community as well as the tourist. This ‘win-win’ scenario is good for everyone and those left jaded by the hard sells and dodgy deals that plague most tourism hot-spots will be refreshed by the genuine warmth of the people they meet with us. We have formed partnerships with different hosts, service-providers and community-leaders, each eager to receive you as personal guests and to introduce you to ‘their’ India.

We have put together different suggested ‘north Kerala tour packages’, but can help you to personally tailor your own tour to suit your tastes and particular needs. Our hope and expectation is that you will be delighted with the people and places that you encounter with us and will perhaps discover life-changing experiences and friendships as you share ‘common ground’ together with them.

Our Team

Common Grounds Travel was founded by three couples who love North Kerala. We come from backgrounds in community development and social enterprise, from India, Ireland, UK and USA. Between us we have experienced Malabar region both as tourists and as natives. We appreciate what our clients may want from first-hand experience, but also of what they might enjoy beyond the normal package tour and we are happy to pass on our ‘discoveries’ to you!

Dave & Jill Hines

Dave first discovered his love for India whilst backing across in his teens. He was particularly enchanted by the beauty and people of South India. Now many (many!) years later Dave and Jill have moved to Kerala with their four kids and love introducing others to the delights of this wonderful part of India.  Previous to working in the travel industry Dave and Jill were involved in community development in Ireland and were part of the team who founded the multi-award winning Cafe, Common Grounds in Belfast.

Joy & Thankamma

Joy and Thankamma are native Keralites! Having lived in the hills of Wayanad for many many years. Nobody knows the history and secrets of the amazing Wayanad region better than Joy. Joy and Thankamma’s passion is people. Joy having worked in the community development sector for many years, helping the small farmers of the Wayanad region develop more sustainable and productive livelihoods. Thankamma’s specialty is cooking – Keralan style. She loves to provide cooking lessons to our guests.

Nigel & Naomi Jennings

Nigel and Naomi first came to India in 2007 with their 2 year old daughter, traveling backpacking style! So they understand the joys and trials of traveling with kids in tow. Having fell in love with the country they have kept connections ever since. Their passion is to build sustainable business which transforms the community around it. Having previously been involved in business management for many years in the IT and Vocational Training sector. Nigel and Naomi have also been involved in Community Development and the Common Grounds Cafe in Belfast.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

The Common Grounds Team.

Click here to view our mission statement