14 Days - Journeys through an antique land
Season :Year round
Best time :October to March
A unique odyssey into the world of tribal Chattisgarh, rich in culture, natural beauty and a stunning mosaic of ancient traditions.
Tribes of Chhattisgarh - 14 days
In the heart of Chattisgarh lies the vastly unexplored world of Bastar, home to some of the world's oldest tribal communities. Closed to tourism for a long time, this last frontier of one of the world's ancient tribes, it offers the intrepid traveller one of the most rewarding expeditions of discovery in India. Your visit takes you into the secret world of the Muria, Marya, Dharwa, and the Gond communities, in their natural habitat. Explore their village life, photograph the colourful haats- the weekly markets where they still pursue the ancient trade of barter. It is a world of old rituals and strange customs, interleaved with a rich heritage of folk dance and music. Be prepared for some rugged road travel by 4WD through forests of deep antiquity and great beauty, even though the journey doesn't entail much trekking. Hotel accommodations, apart from Delhi and Vizag, are comfortable but basic. The expedition, customised for keen photographers is led by a professional with considerable first-hand experience in India, and who has led photographers in the Bastar region. As this is not a tourist destination (in fact, few non-Indians venture to the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh) it is not recommended for first-timers to India unless you have experienced similar destinations.
Day 1 - Saturday Fly to Delhi.
Day 2 - Sunday - Delhi - Tour of Old & New Delhi. Stay at Imperial or Maidens Hotel.
Day 3 - Monday- Delhi/Raipur/Kanker - Morning fly to Raipur and drive 2 hrs. by 4WD to stay as
special guests at KankerPalace. Evening Folk music followed by dinner.
Day 4 - Tuesday- Kanker - Visit Raobeda and Okhladehi villages. Then drive for 2 hours to
photograph Deer Horn Muria tribes in two villages. Ritual dances. Picnic lunch at Keshkal Ghat.
Day 5 - Wednesday- Kanker - Today we visit a Muria village for a photo shoot, and visit out first tribal haat
(market) in the afternoon.
Day 6 - Thursday- Kanker /Jagdalpur - Morning drive to Jagdalpur, stopping en route by tribal villages such
as Kedehepa, Kondagaon, Kurmapada. We arrive at the Royal Bastar Farm in time for lunch. In the
afternoon, we drive for a photo shoot to a tribal haat in either Kartawan or Bastar proper.
The evening is spent enjoying a village folk dance to welcome us. Stay at Royal Bastar Farm.
Day 7 - Friday- Jagdalpur. This morning, we will photograph in the nearby village of Amaguda. In the
afternoon, we will photograph in the weekly haat (market) of Nandur where the Dhurva tribes
people congregate. On our way back, we shall photograph the Bison Horn tribe.
Day 8 - Saturday - Jagdalpur. Today we will photograph a Maria tribe. We have lunch in Jagdalpur then drive
off the weekly tribal market near the Chitakrote Waterfalls.
Day 9 - Sunday- Jagadalpur-Narainpur Today - plan to photograph the largest weekly market in the Bastar
region, which is held in Narainpur. The drive from Jagdalpur is pretty long, but we leave after lunch so
we have ample time.
Day 10 - Monday - Jagdalpur. Today we will photograph the Bison Horn Maria tribe. We also visit the Kanger
Valley National Park, the Tirathgrah rapids and end the day shooting at the Tokapal weekly haat.
Day 11 - Tuesday - Jagadalpur-Rayaguda. Today have a long drive ahead of us, since our destination for
the day Rayaguda lies in the nearby state of Orissa. We will try to stop on the way to photograph as
we deem necessary. Stay at Rayaguda Sai International.
Day 12 - Wednesday Rayaguda-Jeypore. We leave early and drive to Jeypore, stopping to photograph the
Dongariya Kondha haat. Stay at Hotel Apsara.
Day 13 - Thursday Jeypore - Visakhapatnam. We leave Jeypore for a drive towards the coast, stopping by
a Bonda tribe market near Onokundelli. Stay at Taj Residency.
Day 14 - Friday Visakhapatnam - Delhi. Fly to Delhi in the afternoon and connecting your flight back home.
SUGGESTED ADAPTATIONS TO THIS TOUR:
Wildlife enthusiasts can visit Kanha National Park (3-4 days) to view tigers on elephant back and by jeep safari.
From Orissa : Drive into Orissa's tribal region visiting Baliguda, Kothagargh and Rayagada, Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar.