A TRIBAL ODYSSEY: FROM CHHATTISGARH TO ODISHA
A glorious journey through the tribal heartlands of Central India. Visit the Gond and Baiga people of the Maikal hills. Travel on to warm-hearted luxury at Kanker Palace and Bastar with its Abhuj Maria, Gond, Dhurwa and Bhatra tribes. Finally four days in the land of the Kondh and Paraja people at Goudaguda in Odisha. At the end enjoy beach at Visakhapatnam.
Experience various tribal cultures of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
Visit tribal villages and colourful weekly haats (markets) with local guides who are goat and cow herders.
Stay in Kanker palace and enjoy their warm hospitality.
Fantastic photography opportunities.
Spend few days at Visakhapatnam beach.
A private tour that can be tailor made as per your preference.
Day 1: Raipur – Bhoramdeo
Arriving in Raipur, and after a wash and breakfast in a comfortable city hotel, we take you north by road (2-3 hours) to Kawardha District, reaching Bhoramdeo in time for lunch (depending on flight/train times). You will be staying in a rural but comfortable farmhouse for the next three days. Here, in rustic simplicity you will be able to tour the nearby 11th century Bhoramdeo Temple site - a smaller version of world-famous Khajuraho - and surrounding Gond and Baiga villages under expert guidance. Your accommodation offers farmhouse-style living with essential mod-cons, and most of all the unusual chance to experience life at Central Indian village level.
Days 2 – 4: Bhoramdeo
In company of your local guide who are generally goat and cow herders you will be able to meet villagers and forest people without formality or embarrassment - whether at colourful weekly markets or in their own homes where they are quite likely to throw an impromptu party in your honour.
Trekking into the beautiful Maikal Hills and visits to Gond and Baiga markets and villages are part of the regular program. For the less energetic, the Chinkara car will be available to transport you where you desire, or you can simply choose to relax at the farmhouse and soak up the views. Local musicians may wander in as dusk falls, and sing and play to you, their children in tow, who, wrapped in blankets and warming themselves by the fire whilst listening to the music and munching Sunny's popcorn, will remind you that the performance is not solely for your benefit.
Day 5 & 6: Kanker
After breakfast say goodbye to Bhoramdeo and set off for Kanker, gateway to tribal Bastar. Your princely hosts are Rajkumar Surya (known as Jolly), his wife Tina, (with enchanting little daughter Jiya), younger brother Aswini (aka Jai) of the Kanker royal family. Their elder brother Aditya (Joe) teaches history at St Stephen's College in Delhi. Elder sister Anu teaches rather younger pupils at a little kindergarten on the Palace grounds.
Kanker (pronounced Kaan-kair) is a small former State (now District) immediately to the north of sprawling wild Bastar and a safe haven and gateway to that sometimes turbulent area. Kanker's family atmosphere is at all times informal, offering a rare chance for visitors to enter into the spirit and tradition of an Indian household, albeit one with exceptional history and tradition to sustain it. Dine on Jolly’s amazing food and fall asleep in a four poster bed.
Day 7 - 10: Jagdalpur
After breakfast begin the drive up the beautiful forested Keshkal Ghat thirty km south of Kanker which marks the border of Bastar, 500m above the plains.
North Bastar is home to the Muria Gond tribe famous for their Gotul - the mixed dormitory system which for long served as their principal means of education - a unique experiment in social development wherein the unmarried young make their own rules and learn the harmonies of successful society away from the strictures of adults whose presence in the Gotul is taboo.
You will visit a tribal village near Bahigaon, have a picnic lunch in the forest and visit the Saathi NGO handicrafts project set up in Kumharpara (Potters' enclave) near the town of Kondargaon to maintain and develop the considerable variety of traditional arts and crafts of the region.
You will reach Bastar's capital Jagdalpur in the late afternoon to check into a comfortable resort located on the edge of the city. Here you will meet our local guide.
A few days in the capable hands of our local guide will give you a chance to tap the tribal and natural delights of this area. You will travel with him out of Jagdalpur into the country of the Bison Horn Maria and Dhurwa tribes. You will see a performance of their spectacular local dance and get a good look at village life, costumes, ornaments and customs.
You will visit villages and tribal markets and see the Chitrakote Waterfall on the Indravati River. In the evenings there will be a further opportunity to explore Jagdalpur's absorbing city markets.
You will also have time to visit Kanger Valley National Park an hour or so south of Jagdalpur where there are also famous stalactite and stalagmite formations in the Kutumsar and Kailash Caves. However the real glory of Kanger is that it retains something of the intensity of the forests that once covered this entire region - the natural habitat of leopard, tiger, sambhar, bison and the musical hill myna, Bastar's most famous bird.
Day 11 - 13: Goudaguda
A three-hour drive takes you over the border to Goudaguda in Odisha where Australian ex-pat has built his home. His principles are very much in line with Chinkara’s. Anxious about the damage done by ‘human safaris’, he encourages visitors to spend time in the area, exploring this lovely landscape on foot wherever possible, walking with the local tribal women who work for him. His five bedroom guest house was built by local craftsmen and women and he continues to provide employment not just within his home but in the whole area, by assisting local people in the marketing of their traditional crafts to Indian and foreign tourists.
At Goudaguda will have the opportunity to visit one of the many weekly markets or "haats". Enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas as local tribal people barter, buy and sell their produce and stock. Many handicrafts are available from colourful saris, handmade textiles in traditional patterns and earthy tones to exclusive jewellery pieces.
Walk the cross country route with the locals from Goudaguda and surrounding villages to the Kakiriguma market (3 klm) held every Monday under a canopy of old mango trees.
If you are not in the mood for touring you can simply explore the village and surrounding countryside with some of the local tribal girls as your guides who can also give you an insight to daily village life here in Goudaguda. You can also relax and enjoy the scenery and village sounds or simply spend the day with the potters and make your own.
The simple charm of these exotic tribal people is bewitching and refreshing and will have you yearning for a simple life without the pace and complexities of the world we have become conditioned to living with today.
Day 14 & 15: Visakhapatnam
Bid good bye to Goudaguda and drive to Visakhapatnam. Visakhapatnam is a coastal, port city, often called "The Jewel of the East Coast,” situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh. A six hours drive will take you this beach city located on the bay of Bengal. Check into your luxury resort which has spectacular view of the bay with a private beachfront.
Spend two nights here relaxing by the beach. You can also explore the city which is the second largest in Andhra Pradesh state apart from being a port city it is also home to the Eastern Naval Command. Nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and facing the Bay of Bengal; It is often called the best tourism destination in Andhra Pradesh. From Lakes to cool Beaches, from beautiful Hill Ranges to Caves and Valleys, Visakhapatnam has them all.
Instead of driving from Goudaguda you have an option of taking lunchtime train from Koraput through the beautifulAraku Valley to Visakhapatnam. Reaching Visakhapatnam at 8.40pm you will be met and taken to the Hotel.
Day 16: Visakhapatnam - New Delhi
Toyday you will be transferred to the airport to catch flight to New Delhi for your onward journey.
COSTS & TERMS
PER PERSON ON TWIN-SHARING Rs. 157,000
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Full board from Raipur to Goudaguda.
- All surface transportation cost.
- Road transportation in air-conditioned Toyota Innova or equivalent.
- Services of a local guides.
- Airport transfers.
- In-vehicle refreshments including mineral water and soft drinks.
- All current taxes.
- Expenses of personal nature.
- Airfares and airport taxes.
- Travel insurance.
- Anything else not specified as mentioned under included.