Experience Tribal Life in Chhattisgarh`s villages

#1 Jan 15th, 2010, 22:25
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  • zvika_mr is offline
#1
i spent the last month exploring tribal areas in orissa and chatisgar. i found it hard to collect information about the region, so i put here quite a detailed description.

my best experience was a couple of week`s stay in a village, which allowed me to experience fascinating tribal daily life.

as for transportation, you can walk, hire bicycles, motorcycle (with or without a driver) or a car. there is a bus from jagdalpur to kawali and back (twice daily: 8:00 & 16:00, starting from a small temple 200 m north of jagdalpur`s bus stand).


i had the following itineraries (all distances from kawali):

-visiting many tribal villages. more than 10 villages are within walking distance from kawali. watching and understanding local agriculture and using of forest (the women collect roots, leaves, branches, fruits, spices, wild bamboo, ants - for eating..., silk cocoons, medicines, minerals etc), local economy (a family leaves on 300-400 rupees per week... very simple life), making bamboo baskets and carpets; trying local food and alcoholic drinks; hearing stories about aid provided by government, corruption, marriage habits, life stories.

-watching religious activities. i was lucky enough to participate in an annual local tribal festival at netanar (7 km), with recessions of the local villagers carrying their gods to a meeting with the local "king' (the grandson of the real last king of bastar); and watching a jatara ceremony, at which the local sirhas (religious leaders) gathered in the dense forest and scarified animals for the safety of their villages.

-visiting colorful and interesting weekly markets, at nangur (friday, 1 km) and remote koleng (saturday, 20 km, through the heart of kanger valley national park), the last is attended mainly by distant forest tribal people. not far away are tokapal (monday, 25 km) and dharba (wednesday, 30 km) weekly markets.

-cock fighting gathering at alnar (almost every day, 12 km).

-a day with bell metal craftsmen (sagar family at chilikuti village, 6 km. you can contact them directly 9406473159), using a unique technique of wax and clay.

-a day with a local teacher teacing in a tribal village`s school.

-exploring kanger valley natinal park, including tirathghar waterfalls (25 km, kutumsar cave and village (20 km), kailash cave (13 km), dense forest trails and roads.

-visiting gupteswar cave temple on orissa`s border (35 km, mainly in dense forest including huge old tick trees, the last one on foot, crossing the amazingly beautiful river hopping on huge granite boulders).

if you prefer to stay in hotels/guest-houses rather than homestays, you can use jagdalpur as a base, or - better - stay in beautifuly located rest-houses at netanar (7 km from kawali, 30 km from jagdalpur), tiria (25 km from kawali, 45 km from jagdalpur) or gupteswar in orissa.
or you can stay in remoter villages like milkul-wada, koleng, with shakeel`s friends. but it is a "no english land".

to summarize shortly - an amazingly interesting experience.
Last edited by Kingstonian; Jan 22nd, 2010 at 17:29..
#2 Jan 16th, 2010, 01:00
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  • Jorge Reverter is offline
#2
zvika_mr

Welcome to indiamike and many thanks for sharing the information about a very interesting experience in one of the most astonishing regions of India.

All the best

Jorge
#3 Jan 20th, 2010, 02:57
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  • sushagro is offline
#3
hey this sounds amazing
i will be in chattisgarh next week and will be visiting
raigarh
jangir
raipur
bhilai
rajnandgaon
bastar
jagdalpur
kondagaon
so if u know anything bout these places
and also is dantewara at all accessible
#4 May 17th, 2010, 00:42
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  • newislander is offline
#4
I wonder how you managed to get to do all this. How did you find out about the possibility of staying in a village. What vilage?

This post is a bit of a teaser rather than a help in my opinion. But you are right about one thing. There's practically no information available about visiting tribal areas in Orissa so your only option seems to be taking the guide.
#5 Jul 19th, 2010, 11:51
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Tribal District Orissa, India
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  • vinceorian is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by newislander View Post I wonder how you managed to get to do all this. How did you find out about the possibility of staying in a village. What vilage?

This post is a bit of a teaser rather than a help in my opinion. But you are right about one thing. There's practically no information available about visiting tribal areas in Orissa so your only option seems to be taking the guide.
Guides are mostly needed when touring the tribal district of Orissa, but are not necessary when visiting weekly markets. You will need a car though and the drivers can act as your guide also. Cars and guides can be arranged through the local hotels in Koraput and Jeypore. More information including how to easily get here and what accommodation is available, is towards the end of the post http://www.indiamike.com/india/off-t...rissa-t111034/

There is very little formal information about the tribal district and much is very poor, only coming from the tribal tour operators website tour itineries and many of those are misleading to varying degrees. I am trying to rectify that over time and will be uploading a new article shortly.
I have lived in this area for around 5 years extensively exploring it, visiting hundreds of villages and never tire of it.
The many seasons are varied and each have their highlights from the monsoon storms to the colour of the new mango leaves in March.
The main village festivals are usually held around April and continue for a few days and nights combining religious with entertainment.
There are festivals of the tribals, of the Hindus, or both which are held throughout the year. Although animal sacrifices has been banned it still does go on but not as much as it used to, but are still an integral part of these festivities worshipping the gods.
Wandering minstrels are part of the village culture with these entertainers from other parts coming through performing all sorts of weird and wonderful magic tricks and dancing.
The last passing wanderer a month ago after much razzamatazz buried himself in the village square in a 2 metre deep pit with his bicycle to emerge a sweaty 8 hours later at dawn.
His mission was to follow a dream he had one night in which he was told to do this in 108 villages, ours was number 68.
Only yesterday I passed some dancers from Mathura whose next stop was Damanjodi with their 4 ornament bedecked cows. (Stopped and talked 'stick language', Nick-H understands)
Very occasionally a couple of men roam from village to village on an elephant which causes panic at first but then the villagers cautiously return to the village when they realise it is safe, but are all on the ready to bolt at the slightest.
These are experiences that cannot be planned by any tour operator and can only be chanced upon and then treasured.
#6 Aug 29th, 2011, 19:52
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  • feefoo is offline
#6
This sounds fascinating! I would really love to visit a tribal community, was thinking around Bastar but I'm not picky(!), staying for a few days would be amazing but even a day visit would be wonderful... Please could you give us a rough idea of how one would arrange this and how much it would cost??? Thanks!
#7 Aug 29th, 2011, 22:33
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  • Jorge Reverter is offline
#7

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by feefoo View Post This sounds fascinating! I would really love to visit a tribal community, was thinking around Bastar but I'm not picky(!), staying for a few days would be amazing but even a day visit would be wonderful... Please could you give us a rough idea of how one would arrange this and how much it would cost??? Thanks!

First thing first. Go to Koraput or JeypOre and then arrange in the hotel or take a taxi to visit the weekly markets or the tribal hamlets easily approachables. Probably you must try to get information about tribal villages googling (not very easy).

For Bastar district in Chhattisgarh is more or less the same although the villages are not so accesibles and interesting than in Koraput district. Weekly markets are very much interesting in Chhattisgarh and you can reach all just hiring a car with driver in Jagdalpur. In my page you can fond lot of galleries of pictures taken at the tribal markets as well as in the haats or weekly markets

Jorge
http://jreverter.smugmug.com
#8 Aug 30th, 2011, 04:46
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  • feefoo is offline
#8
Thanks Jorge! Great pictures

What about staying for longer?
#9 Aug 30th, 2011, 12:41
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Tribal District Orissa, India
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  • vinceorian is offline
#9
Hi Feefoo
http://www.indiamike.com/india/off-t...4/#post1252952 will give some details of where and how. It's a reasonably long thread but valuable info from most of the posters and gives a broad picture covering most aspects of the Koraput district regarding tribals and tourism.
Don't be restricted by the traditional Indian tourist season and in my opinion, not the best time to visit these parts as you will discover in the above thread. Each month of the year has its own charms be it dazzling colours of the new mango leaves in March or the many festivals and religious events that pepper the year through.
The tribal distict or Koraput is not a place to chill on the fringe like Puri, but a part of India that with a bit of effort allows you see and even become part of an ancient culture largely unchanged over the centuries.
Although conditions continually change in this region and that doesn't mean continual improvement, it's the opposite if anything in a state where the majority of govt workers are employed not to work. Infrastructure is appalling with most roads being pretty brutal even by Indian standards, communications are poor and services hopelessly in adequate.
But these conditions add to the colour and also preserve this area as it is (negative growth), which is unfortunate for the locals but fortunate for us culture addicts and those searching for India of times past.

Opt away from the traditional tours in the human zoo caravans out of Bbsr/Puri, which travel the same routes visiting the same villages collectively for the past 20 years, and discover a different world than they can offer by using local people with local knowledge.
Take the plunge by following myself, Jorge Reverter and a precious few others who have discovered a time and place that will be lost forever in a few short years.
#10 Nov 8th, 2011, 13:25
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  • shakeelrzv2011 is offline
#10

Thumbs up prefer safty first

Quote:
Originally Posted by zvika_mr View Post i spent the last month exploring tribal areas in orissa and chatisgar. i found it hard to collect information about the region, so i put here quite a detailed description.

my best experience was a couple of week`s stay in a village, which allowed me to experience fascinating tribal daily life.

as for transportation, you can walk, hire bicycles, motorcycle (with or without a driver) or a car. there is a bus from jagdalpur to kawali and back (twice daily: 8:00 & 16:00, starting from a small temple 200 m north of jagdalpur`s bus stand).


i had the following itineraries (all distances from kawali):

-visiting many tribal villages. more than 10 villages are within walking distance from kawali. watching and understanding local agriculture and using of forest (the women collect roots, leaves, branches, fruits, spices, wild bamboo, ants - for eating..., silk cocoons, medicines, minerals etc), local economy (a family leaves on 300-400 rupees per week... very simple life), making bamboo baskets and carpets; trying local food and alcoholic drinks; hearing stories about aid provided by government, corruption, marriage habits, life stories.

-watching religious activities. i was lucky enough to participate in an annual local tribal festival at netanar (7 km), with recessions of the local villagers carrying their gods to a meeting with the local "king' (the grandson of the real last king of bastar); and watching a jatara ceremony, at which the local sirhas (religious leaders) gathered in the dense forest and scarified animals for the safety of their villages.

-visiting colorful and interesting weekly markets, at nangur (friday, 1 km) and remote koleng (saturday, 20 km, through the heart of kanger valley national park), the last is attended mainly by distant forest tribal people. not far away are tokapal (monday, 25 km) and dharba (wednesday, 30 km) weekly markets.

-cock fighting gathering at alnar (almost every day, 12 km).

-a day with bell metal craftsmen (sagar family at chilikuti village, 6 km. you can contact them directly 9406473159), using a unique technique of wax and clay.

-a day with a local teacher teacing in a tribal village`s school.

-exploring kanger valley natinal park, including tirathghar waterfalls (25 km, kutumsar cave and village (20 km), kailash cave (13 km), dense forest trails and roads.

-visiting gupteswar cave temple on orissa`s border (35 km, mainly in dense forest including huge old tick trees, the last one on foot, crossing the amazingly beautiful river hopping on huge granite boulders).

if you prefer to stay in hotels/guest-houses rather than homestays, you can use jagdalpur as a base, or - better - stay in beautifuly located rest-houses at netanar (7 km from kawali, 30 km from jagdalpur), tiria (25 km from kawali, 45 km from jagdalpur) or gupteswar in orissa.
or you can stay in remoter villages like milkul-wada, koleng, with shakeel`s[cell no.-8103052157] friends. but it is a "no english land".

to summarize shortly - an amazingly interesting experience.
the place like Netanar,Milkulwada,Tiriya,Pulc ha are fully dangerous now a days and CRPF has occupied theses areas.

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