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Ethnic travel to Bastar & Dussehra festival

Ethnic travel to Bastar & Dussehra festival

€1200 per person

The state of Chhattisgarh is home to many indigenous communities, around 40, called ‘adivasis’ in India. The Bastar, in the south of the state, is a major indigenous region of Chhattisgarh: about 70% of the total population of the Bastar region is Adivasi, which represents about 30% of the total indigenous population of Chhattishgarh.  The main communities in the Bastar region are Gonds, Marias, Bhatras, Murias, Halbas and Dhurvas.

 

Another peculiarity of Bastar is its Dussehra festival. Unlike the common festival of Dussehra, which is generally linked to the Ramayana (the great Hindu epic), here instead of celebrating the defeat of the demon-king Ravana, the Adivasi communities pay homage to the goddess Devi Danteshwari, the tutelary deity of the Bastar.

 

Another difference is that the Dussehra festival in Bastar lasts 75 days, instead of one day, making it one of the longest running festivals in the world.  It includes various religious rituals, chariot processions, songs and trance dances; it is a totally unique festival in India, a mixture of Hinduism and indigenous traditions.

 

This trip combines the discovery of Bastar, its culture and its historical sites with the eccentric festival of Dussehra.

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17 days
ETHNIC / PHOTOGRAPHY
Discovery of the indigenous region of Bastar, its heritage and its culture through the visit of historical monuments and the meeting with the adivasi peoples combined with the extravagant festival of Dussehra.
10 days
CULTURE / ETHNIC
A journey to discover the ancient temples of Chhattisgarh (Bhoramdeo, Rajim, Dantewara, Barsoor), its natural sites (Tirathgarh, Chitrakote), and to meet the welcoming indigenous peoples of Bastar.
10 days
Day 1

Raipur - Jagdalpur

Namaste! We warmly welcome you at the Raipur airport and then head straight to Jagdalpur, the administrative district of the Bastar region.
Day 2

Jagdalpur - Adivasi Village

After breakfast, we will leave for a small hamlet lost in the middle of the forest and inhabited by the Dhuruwa community. We will stay there all day to discover the village, its inhabitants, and local traditions. The delicious meals will be cooked on site with local products and, perhaps you will be tempted by the red ant chutney accompanied by some adivasis 'beverages'. Evening around a campfire. Overnight in the village.
Day 3

Adivasi village - Dantewara & Barsoor

This day will be dedicated to visiting several temples and cultural sites of Dantewara (south of Bastar) such as the famous temple of the goddess Danteshwari and the archaeological site of Bansoor with its magnificent twin statues of Ganesha. On the way back to Jagdalpur, we will stop in an adivasi village to attend the fascinating 'bison dance' performed by the Dandami Madiya community. Overnight in Jagdalpur.

Day 4

Craft villages tour

The region of Bastar is dotted of small villages known for their elaborate craftsmanship. We will dedicate the day to the meeting of master craftsmen of dhokra (brass work) and lohshilp (iron work), as well as potters. Return to Jagdalpur in the late afternoon.
Day 5

Kanger National Park & ​​Dussehra Festival

After a delicious breakfast, we drive to the Kanger National Park where you can admire the majestic waterfalls of Tirathgarh. We will spend a few hours swimming there and have our picnic in front of this magnificent panorama. After this enchanting time, we will visit the Kotumsar and Kailash caves, considered the second longest natural caves in the world. Return to Jagdalpur to attend the frenetic festival of Dussehra. Overnight in Jagdalpur.
Day 6

Chitrakoot Waterfalls & Dussehra Festival

In the morning, we drive 50 km towards the beautiful Chitrakote waterfalls, sometimes called 'the Niagara Falls' of India. Along the way, we will stop to stroll through an adivasi (haat) market and visit the Nayaranpal temple. Lunch will be taken in front of the Chitrakote waterfalls. Return to Jagdalpur for the festival. This will be the day when the big six-wheeled wooden chariot will be pulled by a hundred men in the streets of Jagdalpur in an ecstatic atmosphere. Overnight in Jagdalpur.
Day 7

Adivasi Markets & Jagdalpur city tour

A relaxing day to hang out in adivasi markets (haats) and do some shopping. On the way back, we will visit several temples as well as the Anthropological Museum and the Jagdalpur Palace. We will then spend the rest of the day at the festival and may meet the Maharaja of Bastar there. During the evening, we will attend the last night of the festival. Overnight in Jagdalpur.
Day 8

Jagdalpur - Raipur

Return to Raipur. End of the trip. Looking forward to meeting you again. Namaste.
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