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A Tribal Odyssey: From Northern Chhattisgarh To Orissa

Price (per adult on twin sharing)

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Trip Duration
10 Day's / 9 Nights

Package Description

Have you planned to tour Chattisgarh then you cannot avoid visiting Raipur the capital city of Chattisgarh. If you travel 48 km from Raipur you will find yourself in Rajim. It is here that the rivers, Sondur, Mahanadi and Pairi meet. This is why Rajim is called ‘Pragya’ of Chattisgarh. A 14th-15th century temple of Lord Kuleshwar is located here. The other renowned place of worship is the Temple of Rajivlochan that houses a four handed idol of Lord Vishnu having two ‘Shilalekhs’ of the 8th and 9th century. Do you know that of all the states of India, Orissa ranks having the largest number of tribes numbering to as many as 62 and constitute 24% of the state’s population? Tribes like Juanga, Saora, Dharua and Bonda are active in shifting cultivation, whereas the Koya are cattlebreeders. Mohali and Loharas are tribes who are artisans. Santals, Oran, Munda and Ho are the ones who have moved to mining and industry. These adivasis work hard to preserve their tribal culture thus, till date you can witness a pristine tribal culture that is rich and distinctive.

A glorious journey through the tribal heartlands of Central India. Visit the Gond and Baiga people of the Maikal hills, hosted by our friend Sunny Upadhyay in his farmhouse style home Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. 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 the beautiful tribal influenced guest house Chandoori Sai near Koraput in Orissa. Take the stunning train ride through the Araku Valley to Visakhapatnam for onward flights.


  • Hotel
  • Car
  • Food


  • Sightseeing
  • Flight
  • Train

#1 Day

Goudaguda - Visakhapatnam

Spend the morning at Chandoori Sai then take the lunchtime train through the beautiful Araku Valley to Visakhapatnam. Reaching Visakhapatnam at 8.40pm you will be met and taken to the Gateway Hotel, a Taj Group Hotel overlooking the Bay of Bengal, ready for your onward flight the following day.

#2 Day

Sunny is a native of Kawardha and is devoted to the tribal peoples of his home district. In his company 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 (and Sunny's) honour. Sunny works hard for the benefit of local people, and his tours are always conducted with their welfare in mind.

The retreat offers farmhouse-style living with essential mod-cons, and most of all the unusual chance to experience life at Central Indian village level.

Trekking into the beautiful Maikal Hills and visits to Gond and Baiga markets and villages are part of the regular programme. 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.

#3 Day

Jagdapur – Goudaguda

A three-hour drive takes you over the border to Goudaguda in Orrisa where Australian ex-pat Leon Mahoney has built his home. Leon’s 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.

#4 Day


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.

#5 Day


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.

#6 Day

Kanker – 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 Bastar Jungle Resort, run by Jai and Jolly of Kanker Palace. Here you will meet our local guide.

#7 Day

Bhoramdeo – Kanker

After breakfast say goodbye to Sunny and his team 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) is currnetly studying for a PhD in the USA and teaches history at St Stephen's College in Delhi. Elder sister Anu teaches rather younger pupils at a little kindergarten on the Palace grounds.

#8 Day

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.

#9 Day

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 Jungle Retreat in time for lunch (depending on flight/train times). Your host is Satyendra 'Sunny' Upadhyay in whose rural farmhouse you will be staying 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 Sunny's expert guidance.

#10 Day

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.

DO’s and Don’ts

Buy tickets and fares from registered agents only.
Pack all necessary medications with your luggage
Always carry medications with prescriptions in their original containers.
Mark the bags inside and out with your name and address.
Stay updated with local and international news to avoid serious problems.
Strictly avoid flaunting your money in public.
Don’t meet strangers at unsafe or never heard of places.
Avoid leaving expensive items in hotel room. Use a locker instead.
Hitchhiking can be dangerous. Avoid it at all costs.
Don’t accept food from strangers.

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