Discover Tribal India
Route : Delhi - Kanha NP - Karwardha - Raipur - Jagdalpur - Rayagada - Similiguda – Rayagada - Gopalpur - Puri – Konark - Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Delhi
Our comprehensive tour takes you to the very heart of tribal India – namely the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa where you get to meet indigenous tribes that have inhabited these lands for centuries. Your journey begins at the Kanha National Park – one of the country’s greatest tiger reserves. With a spot of luck, you may come across the famed Royal Bengal Tiger! If not, you can walk the villages of the Baiga and Gond tribes, their lively weekly bazaars and learn about their beautiful art forms, traditional practices and animist beliefs. Or, explore ancient temples and palaces – with erotic carvings and sculptures – that dot the dense forests and picturesque Maikalmountains. Continue your journey into the tribal heartland by visiting Benur – where the reclusive Abhujmaria tribe, living deep in the forest, holds its weekly bazaar. Continue your journey into their fascinating world (from a distance of course!) and beautiful weaves – for instance, the Kotpadikat weavers and the Kondhs (one of the largest tribes of India) and their beautifully embroidered shawls. This fascinating journey now brings you to the sleepy fishing village of Gopalpur-on-Sea along the Bay of Bengal where you can unwind amidst swaying palms and gentle sea breezes. Once refreshed, head out for some dolphin spotting at the Chillka Lake, an inland saltwater lagoon. Of course, any trip to India would not be complete without a visit to at least one of its holy sites. This trip takes you to Puri –home to the highly revered Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) Temple and the Sun Temple also known as Konark – a World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel. Wind up this extensive journey with a visit to Raghurajpur – a heritage village known for its incredible artists and craftsmen and of course, Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa with its lavishly decorated palaces and beautiful caves.
• Explore Kanha National Park, one of the most celebrated national parks of India.
• Explore Tribal village – BAIGA TRIBE and attend the lively weekly market where they gather.
• Visit the fascinating village of the Gond Tribes and the local markets.
• Visit the Muria village for a chance to enjoy the traditional dance and music.
• Visit the tattoo faced Village of Tumudi Bandh area.
• Visit the shrine at Tatopani Hot Springs and several villages.
• Spot dolphins in the saltwater lagoons of Chilka Lake, enjoy ferry journey.
• Explore the city of Puri and also an excursion to Konark Sun Temple.
• Explore Bhubaneshwar City – the ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire.
See Full Itinerary
Arrival TimeLate Evening or Late Night
Final DepartureLate Evening or Late Night
Dress CodeCasual, Normal Wear
Tour Itinerary : - Discover Tribal India
Day 1, Arrive Delhi:
Arrive at New Delhi International airport. After completing the immigration and custom, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance on arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
Overnight in Delhi
Day 2: Delhi – Raipur (Flight) , Raipur to Kanha National Park 250 km about 06 hrs
This morning, departure transfer to Delhi airport to board the flight to Raipur, the district capital of Chhatisgarh state, which is one amongst the closest airport to Kanha, the National Park of India located in Central India, Madhya Pradesh.
Meeting on arrival at Raipur airport and drive to Kanha National Park – Considered as India's greatest national park by some is home to many species in their natural habitat. In 1933, it was first declared as a small sanctuary and then in 1955, was upgraded to a national park. This national park provides natural shelter to the rare species of hard-ground swamp deer which was almost on the verge of extinction. The terrain consists of attractive forest with bamboo brakes, grassy plateaus and meadows in the valleys. A healthy population of the big cat is a major lure.
On arrival, check in at the hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure. You can take Nature walk around the resort as they are quite spread out.
Overnight in Kanha
Day 3: Kanha
Early morning embark on a safari through the Kanha National Park, which expands over almost 950 sq km of grassland and forest.
Later in the day, we will explore Tribal village – BAIGA TRIBE. We will explore the local tribe village of the Baiga people. Attend the lively weekly market where they gather.
For the Baiga tribes, the unseen power of nature plays a large part in their lives, along with music and dance. Once a nomadic people and now largely settled, the Baigas have lived in the forested highlands of central India from time immemorial. They are not Hindus: instead, they have ancient beliefs centred on a pantheon of forest and hill deities. Baigas work as agricultural labourers, bamboo basket weavers, and expert forest gathers, collecting honey and wild roots for sale. They are renowned for their extensive knowledge of medicinal plants. They do not interact much with outsiders or with other tribes.
Overnight in Kanha
Park is closed during the evening of Wednesday
Day 4: Kanha
Early morning and afternoon embark on a safari through the Kanha National Park, which expands over almost 950 sq km of grassland and forest.
Overnight in Kanha
Day 5: Kanha - Karwardha 100 km about 3.5 hrs
This morning after leisurely breakfast, drive to the town of Kawardha - a small town in the Chhattisgarh (“34 forts”) region. The Radha Krishna family temple with underground rooms, the Holy Water tank and other 11th century temples in the immediate region are also worth visiting.
This afternoon, we explore Bhoramdeo Temple, set amidst the picturesque Maikal Mountains and dense forests. Built between 7th and 11th century AD, the stone-carved temple is the perfect blend of religious and exotic sculptures, in the classic style of famed temples at Khajuraho, The main temple sits by a tranquil lake.
Nearby, we visit the Madwa Mahal, which commemorates the marriage of a Nagwanshi king and a Haihwanshi queen (Madwa is a word in the local dialect for marriage).
Overnight in Karwadha
Day 6: Gond Village/ Weekly Market
This day is dedicated to the visit of the fascinating village of the Gond Tribes and the local markets, where the traders from various regions come to buy and sell goods.
The Gonds being the largest tribal groups are traditional agriculturalists with a highly stratified society. Gond religion involves a distinct pantheon of gods and spirits, worshipped along with Hindu Gods. The tribe was once semi-nomadic farmers who also traded and sold cattle. Madhya Pradesh was home to several Gond kingdoms from the 15th century to mid of 18th century until the Marathas overthrew them. About half of the Gond are Hindus with the rest holding ancient animist beliefs.
Overnight in Karwadha
Note - Gond Village weekly Market is held on Thursday
Day 7: Kawardha – Raipur 120 km about 5 hrs, Visit Tharegaon Weekly Market
This morning after leisurely breakfast we continue the visit to the large weekly market at Tharegaon, who are also a part of Gond group.
In this area, close to the borders, the women tattoo their legs completely as well as part of their hands, and they wear huge rings as well as necklaces made of coins.
Later we drive to Raipur
Overnight in Raipur
Note - Tharegaon weekly Market held on Every Friday.
Day 8: Raipur - Jagdalpur 290 km about 07 hrs
This morning we set out early on a long journey, to the city of Jagdalpur – located in Bastar is a destination to explore some of the natural wonders. The city is a blend of natural and man-made bounties like lakes, forests, rolling hills, monuments, and palaces.
En route, we visit the Muria village for a chance to enjoy the traditional dance and music, as well as the villages of Kondagon and Khideichhapra.
We can also roam the weekly market (TIME PERMITTING) of the fascinating Abujhmarias tribe at Benur. It is another subgroup which lives in Abhujmar Hills, deeply into the woods which is inaccessible from the road of Narayanpur. This semi-nomadic group lives an isolated life and still perform old practices and rituals, totally cut-off from the modern world. The group performs hunting, gathering, cultivation, etc.
Overnight in Jagdalpur
Day 9: Jagdalpur - Visit Tribal Villages/Weekly Market
This day we explore Tribal Village and the Weekly Market.
Today’s exploration is towards the villages of the Maria Tribe. In one of the Maria villages, we enjoy the traditional dances of the Bison Horn Maria - a group named of the headgear worn by the men when they dance.
Later, we also visit the weekly tribal market and the Chitrakoot falls - the largest waterfall in India. We will stop at the local anthropology museum, which has an interesting display on tribal cultures.
Overnight in Jagdalpur
Day 10: Jagdalpur – Rayagada 200km about 05 hrs , Enroute visit Kotpad Weavers/ Kakiriguma Weekly Market.
This morning after breakfast, we proceed to Rayagada – the district is known as the most famous region of the state because of its longest human history.
The district was formed on 2nd October 1992, it holds great historical records which are represented by copper plates, a different type of coins, rock inscriptions which signify that this place been in existence since ages.
We will stop en route at Kotpad to visit the local weavers and attend the weekly market at Kakiriguma, where the Paraja people gather.
The word Paraja is taken from Praja which literally translates to the inhabitants who are controlled by a King of that place. These people are culturally colourful and hardworking.
They work in the fields, roads and grow varieties of vegetables and sell them in the market to live a good life. They still practice a strong Social Rituals and worship their Ancestral Gods and Goddess as well as the Nature.
The Kotpad weavers traditionally worked on pit looms, making fabrics for all the tribes around Orissa. They are ikat weavers and work only with cotton, using natural dyes made from roots. With the recent help of some NGOs, they are now working with silk.
After the visit, we continue to Rayagada.
Overnight in Rayagada
Note – Kakiriguma weekly Market held on every Monday.
Day 11: Rayagada - Visit Kutia/Kondh Village and Market about 2.5 hrs drive each way
This morning, after breakfast, we depart for Tatoo faced Village of Tumudi Bandh area and visit the village.
Among the primitive groups of Kondh Society is Kutia Kondh. The group lives in Phulbani and Kandhamal District. The name Kutia translates to the people who make tattoos on the body. The art of tattooing is known as KUT in the local area thus the people are known as Kutia. The women of the group make floral and geometrical shaped tattoos as per their clan. The belief behind making tattoos is that their men would recognize them in the society, which survives even after death.
Overnight at Rayagada
Note - Kutia Kondh weekly Market held on every Tuesday
Day 12: Dongariya Kondh Weekly Market/ Similiguda about 4 hrs
This morning after breakfast, leave for the visit to the weekly market of the Dongariya Kondh people.
Enjoy the walk in this big weekly market where the people from this group of about 30 villages come down from the hills around to attend the market.
Dongariya Kondh is one of the interesting Kondh group in Kondhmala district living in the Niyamagiri Hill Range. Once upon a time, this group was known for the Maria Sacrifice. For the Good Crops, they were sacrificing Human being which was stopped before independence by the British Government. The men and women of this society decorate themselves in the same way and only difference of the jewellery is the Nose ring, which are two in Numbers with the boys and three for girls.
The name Dongariya derives from the local name of Dongar meaning - hill slope. This group live on the Hill slope as well as cultivate these slopes and produce varieties of fruits & vegetables as well as herbs used for the Medicine. We drive to Similiguda - a small town located in the Koraput district
Overnight at Similiguda
Note - Dongariya Kondh weekly Market held on Every Wednesday.
Day 13: Similiguda - Onukudelli Market- Similiguda 100km about3 hrs
This morning, after early breakfast we set off to proceed for the weekly market at Onukudelli - to interact in best possible way as well as for the photography, we will walk in the market to explore and get to know the life of the tribes.
Bonda Tribe, lives at the altitude of 1000 m above the sea level. The strong belief in the society still prevails and the women of this group keep their head shaved cover with a nicely made Bead Cap fixed with clips & grass made rope.
The Bonda men marry elder women in their society. The group has got a completely different lifestyle and practices which makes them unique and different from other Tribes of Orissa. They have their own dialect which has not been cultured till date by anyone.
Gadhaba or Gadaba are believed to the Ancestors of Bondo Group who came down the Hills and out of Jungle to settle themselves in the plain land of Koraput in South Orissa. Bara Gadhaba is the main subdivision however, the society has several other Gadhaba groups.
We drive back to one of the Gadhaba villages. Enjoy a picnic lunch. Wait with patience for the dancers to reach us one after another. Guide will organize this depending on the situation of the village during this particular day.
Overnight at Similiguda
Note - Onukudelli weekly Market held on Every Thursday.
Day 14: Similiguda – Rayagada 150 kms/about 3 hrs Visit Paraja weekly Market and Village
This morning after breakfast, we proceed for the visit to the weekly market of the largest Paraja group.
We will visit the potters' area villagers at their work at their wheels to make household items used by other tribal groups.
After visiting several villages in the area we continue to Rayagada.
Overnight at Rayagada
Day 15: Rayagada - Gopalpur - On – Sea (230 km/about 6 to 7 hrs)
This morning after early breakfast, we head to the coast, with a visit to the shrine at Tatopani Hot Springs and several villages.
The destination is Gopalpur–On–Sea, a sleepy fishing town along the Bay of Bengal and once the ancient port of Paloura. Sand dunes and groves of coconut palms separate the town from the beach.
After the long drive, we have time to relax.
Overnight at Gopalpur- on- Sea
Day 16: Gopalpur/ Chilika Lake/ Puri 180 km about 04 hrs
This morning, after breakfast we set off to Chilka Lake – the boat (Ferry time is around 45 minutes) will pick us up for some dolphin spotting around this inland saltwater lagoon. Rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins are often found in the rivers and estuaries of the Bay of Bengal and the lake is also a major wintering ground for migratory birds.
Later, we head to Puri, one of the seven holiest pilgrimage centres for Hindus. The city was in the past a flourishing port identified with ancient Dantpur.
Overnight at Puri
Day 17: Puri – Konark – Puri about 1 hr drive each way
This day we set off to explore the city of Puri and also an excursion to Konark Sun Temple.
The city of Puri is world-famous for its cult of Jagannath, which originated times back when the local people here would worship trees which led to carving his image in the wood. Puri’s fascinating Jagannath Temple is a highly revered monument dedicated to the Lord Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) Non – Hindus are not allowed to enter it, so we will view it from outside. The crowded streets around this mighty temple teem with commercial and religious activity and we explore the markets around the temple. Later we continue to the coast to visit the stunning World Heritage Site of Konark one of the major architectural treasures of India.
Konark temple: The 13th century sandstone temple at Konark is one of the world’s finest religious buildings with galloping horses carved into its flanks and 12 pairs of exquisitely carved wheels lining a raised platform to create a chariot for the sun god Surya. The entire temple is built in the form of a giant war chariot. In Hindu mythology, the sun god traverses the sky in a chariot drawn by seven horses, each representing a day of the weak. The 12 pairs of wheels on the temple may represent the months of the year. Each wheel, divided into 8 sections, functions as a working sundial.
Overnight in Puri
Day 18: Puri - Bhubaneshwar Via Raghurajapur/ 64 Yoginis/ Dhauli Hill/ Pipli. about 04 hrs
This morning, after breakfast we proceed to Bhubaneswar – set in the lush green delta of the Mahanadi River on the Bay of Bengal is a city of temples. There were once over a thousand of them; a large number are still standing and active.
En route, we enjoy a visit to Raghurajpur, a tiny village known for its artists and declared an official Heritage Village of Orissa. Traditional crafts here include Patta paintings, palm leaf paintings, stone carvings, paper Mache, wooden toys, masks and wood carvings. Raghurajpur is also known for its unique Gotipua dance tradition, in which young boys costumed as girls, perform intricate and acrobatic ancient dances in praise of Krishna. Gotipua has been performed in Orissa for many centuries.
We also visit Heerapur’s 64 yogini Temple, an exquisite roofless temple set amid rice paddies the edicts of BC, and the little village of Pipli, noted for its appliqué handicrafts made of embroidered cloth.
Overnight in Bhubaneswar
Day 19: Bhubaneshwar/Parsurameshwara/ Khandagiri & Udaigiri Cave
This day is dedicated to the visit of Bhubaneshwar City - the ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire. The city has several sites which prove that this place existed during 7th to 10th century AD, during the reign of Kalinga Kings who had their kingdom in Orrisa and even far. The highlights of the visit are –7th century Parasurameswara, lavishly decorated and set in the shade of a huge Banyan Tree, and 10th century Mukteswara, a gem of Orissan architecture with graceful female figures and pilasters carved with snakes. It exhibits an impressive mixture of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain feature which can be observed in most of Orissa’s temple craftworks. We also visit the Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udaigiri dating from 3rd to the last century BC and detailing the royal and cultural life of the king and the people of Kalinga. Among the 92 caves are caverns dedicated to Jain monks, Hindu deities, and the Queen cave, depicting royal celebrations.
Overnight in Bhubaneshwar
Day 20: Delhi - Depart International Flight.
Today you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight to Delhi for your onward international flight back home taking back sweet memories of the Central India Orissa Chattisgarh Discover Tribal India.
Note – 1. For this type of a Tribal Adventure Discovery Tour, it is necessary that clients are well travelled, broad-minded and flexible. At few places, accommodations are just simple and basic as the infrastructure in the deep Tribal areas are just basic, simple and under developed. Clients should also respect the privacy of the local tribal people and should be considerate of their different way of life which can be primitive in many ways. At some places, photography is not allowed.
1. In keeping view the visit of some important Tribal weekly market we suggest to arrive in Delhi on Saturday night.
Discover Tribal India
Delhi – Raipur (Flight) , Raipur to Kanha National Park
Bhubaneshwar to Delhi Flight
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Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
02 paying persons in a Double Room