Ethnic tour in Odisha & Chhattisgarh
A 17-day journey for the more adventurous among you, to the heart of the aboriginal people of Odisha and Chhattisgarh!
We will begin this fascinating journey from Bhubaneshwar, ‘ the lord of the three worlds,’ the capital of Odisha. It fully deserves its nickname of “city of temples”. It was built over 2000 years ago and at one time contained thousands of temples. It still boasts several hundred and together with Puri and Konark forms a ‘Swama Tribhuja’ or “golden triangle”.
After visiting the famous temples of Bhubaneshwar, we will continue our road towards Chandanpur where we will stay in an eco-village and taste typical organic dishes of Odisha.
Our next stop will be Konark and its superb 13th century sun temple and then Puri, one of the seven holiest cities in India. We will continue our discovery of this amazing state and take the direction of Taratarini. On the way we will sail on a catamaran on the Lake Chilika, where thousands of migratory birds gathered in winter.
In the jungle of Kapilash, we will meet the people “Santal” and “Dehuri”. The Santals are part of the Austro-Asian family, close to that of the Vietnamese and the Khmer, and they are one of the largest ethnic groups in India. Santal art is remarkable for its elaborate sculptures.
The following days will be dedicated to meeting the “Kuthia Kondh” and “Desia Kondh” in their isolated villages of Ghumusar and Durgi. The Khondh, or Kui as they are locally called, are one of the largest tribal groups in Odisha. They are known to be respectful to Nature and also for their amazing geometric tattoos on their faces.
We will then meet the only indigenous “Aryan” peoples of eastern India: the “Sanjia Saura” in their village perched at 1200m altitude in the jungle of Gunupur. We will also stroll on their weekly market. The Sauras are endogamous with a very distinct shamanic culture. The shaman, usually a woman, acts as an intermediary between the two worlds, that of the living and the dead. Women wear ear gauges, they have many piercings and smoke long cigars!
Near Koraput, we will stop at the weekly market of the colorful Dongria community in the jungle of Devgiri. We will also meet the ‘Kuvi Kondh’ people in their isolated village of Kumbhikota.
We will continue towards Jeypore and on the way, we will stop to meet the “Boraparaja” in their village in Koraput then we will also visit the weekly market of Paraja in the jungle of Nandapur.
During our last stop in Odisha, we will meet one of the most original and colorful people of this state: the Bondas, on their weekly market in Onkadelly. We will then visit the isolated village of Gadabas, an equally original Tibetan-Burmese community.
We enter Chhattisgarh and head directly to a Dandami Maria village where you can attend the traditional ‘bison dance’. During your stay in Chhattisgarh, you will also visit the temples of Barsoor and its famous twin Ganesha, the temple of Danteshwara, Kanger national park and the Murias communities.
We will then go up slowly towards Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, stopping in villages of craftsmen then in the temples of Rajim.
End of this fascinating trip in the heart of the adivasis people of India! Namasté!