Ethnic travel to Bastar & Dussehra festival
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.