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Chattisgarh tribal tours.

Pench National Park - Jabalpur - Kanha - Chhattisgarh - Orissa(19 nights/20 days)


Itinerary: Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Places Covered : Delhi – Raipur -Kawardha – Kanker - Jagdalpur – Jrypore – Rayagada- Bhubaneswar - Puri .

India Gate, Delhi Travel InfoDay 01 Delhi
Arrive at Delhi and transfer to your hotel for the night.

Day 02 Delhi
Start a full-day tour of Old and New Delhi after breakfast.
DELHI , the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India .
A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire. An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun’s Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President’s Residence, Lotus Temple and a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave. Continue towards Agra a short drive away.

Day 03 Delhi – Raipur – Kawardha
In time transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Raipur . Upon arrival drive north wards to the former Princely State of Kawardha. You will be shown to your Palace suite before lunch in the State Dining room. An afternoon of familiarisation with Kawardha and nearby cultural sites, including the captivating Bhoramdeo Temple complex. You return to the Hotel/Palace at sunset and then dinner.

Day 04 Kawardha
After breakfast, you will meet the gentle and friendly Baiga people, the indigenous forest tribe. Enjoy lunch with them. Later return to the Hotel/Palace and Proceed for a royal family dinner.

Day 05 Kawardha – Raipur - Kanker
In the morning drive to Kanker via Raipur and visit Raipur 's Mahant Ghasidas Museum before leaving for the former princley State of Kanker. Upon arrival at Kanker Palace/Hotel Lake view, the Maharaja's family will greet you and show you to your palatial rooms.

Day 06 Kanker – Kondagaon – Narayanpur – Jagdalpur.
After your breakfast at the Palace, the Bastar tribal experience begins. You will encounter here the special nature of North Bastar with a visit to a colorful weekly market. It gives you a great oportunity to meet the local people. At Kondagaon and Narayanpur discover some of Bastar's finest handicrafts, and the people who make them. Lunch will be a picnic in the deep green sal forests. Anearly evening dance by youthful members of Bastar's unique 'ghotul' dormitory system completes an unforgettable day. Later drive to Jagdalpur. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 07 Jagdalpur
After breakfast, drive to visit of city. Morning tour of historical Jagdalpur and the Anthropological Museum is completed by a sunset idyll at the Chitrakote waterfal, Bastar's very own 'Niagara' on the Indravati River : you will also visit some of the local Bison - Horn Maria tribe, renowned for their spectacular ceremonical dancing. Also visit a local market at Tokapal of local Maria Gond tribe. Evening back to Hotel.

Day 08 Jagdalpur – Kanger Valley National Park – Jagdalpur
An early breakfast allows time for a visit to the rich forests of the Kanger Valley National Park , the enchanting Tirathgarh waterfall and the extraordinary stalactite and stalagmite caves. Kanger retains the original intensity of the forests that once covered this whole region, and you will picnic in the natural habitat of leopard, tiger, sambhar, bison and the Bastar Hill Myna. Here too are forest tribal people in

their natural habitat. Afternoon visit a weekly market at Pakhnar of Dhuruwa and Maria Gond Tribe inside a remote forest. Evening back to Hotel.

Day 09 Jagdalpur – Jeypore
After breakfast drive to Jeypore enroute visiting Kotpad Tribal textile village. Check in at Hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 10 Jeypore – Onakudeli – Lamptaput – Jeypore
After early breakfast proceed to Ankadelli - 70 km to witness the most traditional, interesting & unique tribal weekly market of the Bonda tribes. The place is the border of the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh, divided by river Machkund, with interest waterfall, mountain & forest.

Free time in the market. Afternoon proceed to Lamtaput area to explore another traditional tribal community the Gdabas. Late afternoon drive back to Jeypore.

Day 11 Jeypore  – Rayagada
After breakfast drive to Rayagada enroute visiting Bara Paraja and Jharia Paraja tribe, who settle in big villages. Overnight at Rayagada.

Day 12 Rayagada – Chatikana
After breakfast proceed to dukum market. Evening back to Hotel in Rayagada. After dinner board the train for an overnight journey to Bhubaneswar .

Day 13 Bhubaneswar
Morning arrive at Bhubaneswar and transfer to Hotel. Afternoon visit of local ancient temples. Overnight Bhubaneswar .

Day 14 Puri – Konarak – Bhubaneshwar
Proceed for a tour of Puri after breakfast covering Jagnnath Temple and Konnark (The Sun Temple). Continue towards bhubaneshwar and overnight.

Day 15 Bhubaneshwar – Delhi – next destination
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Bhubaneshwar Airport to board flight to Delhi and then onto your onward Destination.

Tour- B

Day 1: Arrive at Nagpur. Assistance on arrival at Airport, later drive to Pench National Park. (Over night at Bagh Van). Total 90 kms.

Day 2: Early morning visit to Pench National Park. Visit the sanctuary famous for tiger, blue bull, wild dog, bison, leopard and other species of mammals and birds. Ride the elephant for tiger show. Later back to the Hotel for lunch. Post lunch session again drive to park to see till sunset is best time to visit the park. Overnight at Bagh Van.

Day 3: Fullday visit the Pench National Park. Overnight Bagh Van.

Day 4: Drive to Jabalpur, check in at Hotel Kalchuri in Bedha Ghat. Evening free at Marble rock.Total 200 kms.

Day 5: Early morning cruise in the river to see beautiful marble rocks, one of the world heritage sight of India. Later drive to Kanha National Park. Total 200 kms. Overnight Royal Tiger Resort or Tuli tiger Resort.

Day 6:Kanha National Park
In the morning, visit India's premier Tiger Reserve, in a naturalist's paradise of flora and fauna. Overnight RTR or TTR.

Day 7: Kanha National Park; Visit the Park with elephant ride to see tiger and other large mammals with avifauna. Overnight RTR or TTR.

Days 8-9: Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat
Two hours from Kanha, near the site of ancient Khajuraho-style temples, Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat marks the start of your tribal experience. Here, in rustic simplicity and full board basis, you will be able to tour the nearby 11th century Bhoramdeo Temple site - a smaller version of world-famous Khajuraho - and the surrounding Gond and Baiga villages.
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. The Maikal Hills are the eastern spur of the Satpura Range, ending at Amarkantak with the source of the holy Narmada, India's most ancient river. In these timeless highlands of great forests of hardwood Sal (Shorea robusta) still live tribal peoples whose way of life is quite different to the mainstream. These hills were once Gondwana, a vast forest area of tribal kingdoms and Gond clans many of whose descendants today maintain an animistic and close-to-nature way of life that the urban world can only dream of.
The Baiga are 'Pashupati' - Lords of the Animals - with esoteric natural powers. The term 'Baiga' is also used in the Gond world, not to refer to the distinct Baiga people, but as a title conferred on certain individuals with unusual spiritual gifts. Magic and the unseen powers of nature play a large part in the lives of these local tribes, but so do music and dance and a joy of living, even in often-difficult economic circumstances.
Mother Nature,the true Goddess, reigns over everything; so much so that for years the Baiga resisted the use of the plough, fearing it would wound their Mother's flesh. Markets, festivals and wonderful costumes add to the magic of a walk through this wild but hospitable country, a living journey through a time gone by.
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, you can simply relax at the farmhouse and soak in the delightful views. Evening can watch Baiga tribal dance.

Day 10: BJR to Raipur to Kanker Palace
Morning after breakfast drive to Raipur and also visit Sirpur group of temples, both Hindu and Buddhist.In the afternoon we will drive south on the excellent National Highway 43 (about 2 hours) to Kanker Palace, Gateway to Tribal Bastar, arriving in time for tea.
Your princely hosts and guides are Rajkumar Surya (known as Jolly) and younger brother Ashwini (aka Jai) of the Kanker Royal Family. (Their elder brother Aditya, current Maharajadhiraj of Kanker, teaches history at St Stephen's College in Delhi.)
Familiarisation with Kanker, the region and its history before settling in with welcome drinks and traditional local entertainment. Kanker Palace/Bastar tours are inclusive full board packages, where the only extras are laundry, alcoholic drinks and discretionary tips.
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.

Day 11 Kanker to Jagdalpur
After an Indian or English breakfast at the Palace, you climb the beautiful, forested Keshkal Ghat thirty kms south of Kanker which marks the border of Bastar 500m above the plain.
Bastar was once a substantial State and for long India's largest administrative district at well over 39,000 sq.kms. (25,000 sq miles). The majority of its peoples are still tribal with unique though rapidly disappearing lifestyles.
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 on NH43, have a picnic lunch in the forest, and a little farher down the road visit the Saathi NGO handicrafts project set up at Kumharpara (Potters' Enclave) near the market town of Kondagaon to maintain and develop the considerable variety of traditional arts and crafts of the region.

You will reach Bastar's capital Jagdalpur In the afternoon to check in to the recently established Naman Bastar Resort about 5 kms outside the crowded city.

There may still be time for a visit to a nearby tribal weekly market before a short evening tour of the historic city and handicraft outlets before dinner at Naman Bastar.
Note that Naman Bastar's excellent restaurant only serves vegetarian food. Arrangements can easily be made for non-vegetarian meals in Jagdalpur City.

Days 12-13 Jagdalpur and South Bastar
Over these two days you will travel out of Jagdalpur into the country of the Bison-Horn Maria and Dhurwa tribes.
You will see a performance of the spectacular local dances and get a good look at village life, costumes, ornaments and customs.
You will visit Tribal Weekly Markets (exact locations depending on the day of the week) and see the Chitrakote Waterfall on the Indravati River which is illuminated after sunset. In the evenings there will be a further opportunity to explore Jagdalpur's absorbing city markets.
You may 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 original intensity of the forests that once covered this whole region - the natural habitat of leopard, tiger, sambhar, bison and the musical Hill Myna, Bastar's most famous bird.

Day 14 Jagdalpur-North Bastar-Jagdalpur.
Leaving Jagdalpur after breakfast for Narayanpur - principal town of North Bastar - you will visit en route a Muria village to see an example of traditional dance by young Gotul members. Narayanpur market on Sunday. Mardoom market of Marias on Saturday, close to Chitrakoot waterfall.

Day 15: Jagdalpur - Kotpad -Kakariguma Market-Rayagada.( Monday): Morning drive to Kotpad small tribal textile village in Orissa, 30 kms from Jagdalpur. Later visit the Kakariguma tribal market. Further drive to Rayagada enroute visiting Paraja villages near Laximipur areas. Sunset at Hathi pathar, where the river Nagaballi cat the mountains with big boulders with religious significance. Overnight at Hotel Sai International

Day 16: Rayagada - Dukum - Niyamgiri-Rayagada: Morning after breakfast at hotel starts for Dukum market of plain Kondhs. After visiting drive to the village of Agaria, metal smith who craft Jewell Aries for Hill Dongaria Kondh people. Later back to Rayagada.

Day 17: (Wed); Rayagada - Chatikana - Jeypore: After breakfast proceeds to Chatikana to visit the weekly market of Dongaria Kondhs, coming from the mountain to sell their forest produce and animals. After spending a good time, drive back to hotel for lunch and later proceeds to Jeypore ( three hours) enroute visiting two villages of ornamental Baro Paraja tribe. Overnight Hello Jeypore

Day 18: (Thurs): Jeypore - Onukadalli - Gupteswara - Jeypore:
Bondos are the most traditional tribes of Orissa living in the
mountains called Bondo hills. Their language is called Remo, which comes under Austro-Asiatic language belonging to mundari group. Later proceeds to Gupteswara area to see the Dhuruba tribes. Evening back to the hotel. Total 6 hrs drive + visiting time.

Day 19: Jeypore - Kunduli - Vizag : Morning proceeds to Vishakhapatnam enroute visiting the tribal weekly market at Kunduli of Mali and Paraja tribe. Late afternoon arrive at Vizag. Overnight at The Park, The Taj, Grand Bay or Green Park.

Day 20: Vizag - Simhachalam Temple - Mumbai/ Delhi: Morning drive to Airport for departure enroute visiting 11th century Simhachalam Temple.

Tour Ends.

Picture By Kristina at Kanha/2007