The East India Tribal Tour
ORISSA: Orissa, in southeastern India is a world of lush and green mountains with rice paddies and terraces everywhere. You will meet a few of the 62 tribal groups that inhabit this state, in particular the very colorful and unusual Kondh, Gadabba and famed Bonda, whose animist societies are totally separate from and in great contrast to the traditional Hindu societies found all over India. As we explore weekly markets be prepared to meet people whose features are far from Asian than Indian.
Kolkata – Bhubaneshwar – Puri – Bhubaneshwar – Taptapani – Rayagada – Jeypore – Vishakhapatnam – Mumbai
The East India Tribal Tour Itinerary
- Day 01: Arrive: Kolkata by: International Flight
You will arrive at Kolkata’s International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, a representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.
Calcutta was the capital of British India until 1911 and the character of this city, perhaps more than any other has been, shaped by the British Raj. Many colonial buildings remain and the British legacy can still be felt in the city’s social and sporting life. Amongst the most famous of the monuments in Calcutta are the Victoria Memorial, planned by Viceroy Curzon and referred to both as Curzon’s folly and the British Taj Mahal, and the Howrah Bridge, one of the largest cantilever bridges in the world.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in. (HOTEL CHECK-IN TIME IS 1200 NOON & EARLY CHECK IN IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 02: Kolkata
After buffet breakfast, you will proceed for sightseeing tour of Kolkata, you will visit Raj Bhawan, now the residence of the Governor, was once the residence of the Governor-General Marquis of Wellesley, the building was modeled to resemble Lord Curzon’s ancestral home. Writer’s Building, which is now the seat of the West Bengal Government – this is where the early servants of the East India Company toiled. Metcalfe Hall, which was designed after the Temple of Winds of Athens, and once housed the Imperial Library.
Howrah Bridge, which is the third largest bridge in the world and has over 2 million people crossing over it daily. Fort William situated between the River and the Maidan, it is an imposing fort and one of the most expensive forts of its time. It has a unique distinction of never having a gun fired in anger from its ramparts. Now it houses the local army headquarters.
The Maidan, which an open patch of huge dimensions, was kept as a free field of fire for Fort William’s guns. Though truncated in recent years for Metro Rail construction, it is still a favorite area for thousands in the early mornings. The Victoria Memorial, an imposing and monumental dream in marble. It took 15 years to build and is treasure trove of Raj relics, offers tree-lined walks in splendid parks, `lakes’ and houses a number of superb statues including that of Queen Victoria.
Also visit one of the very important temples is the Kali Temple at Kalighat. It is right next to Mother Teresa’s Home for The Destitute.
After sightseeing return to your hotel.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 03: Kolkata
After buffet breakfast, day is at leisure for independent activities. (No transportation cost envisaged on this day).Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 04: Kolkata - Bhubaneshwar by: flight Bhubaneshwar - Puri by Surface
After the buffet breakfast, morning is at leisure. Later a SITA representative will meet and transfer you to the airport in time to board your flight for Bhubaneshwar.Departure: Kolkata at: 1430 hours By: IC 7542 (Indian Airlines)
Arrival: Bhubaneshwar at: 1525 hours
Upon arrival at Bhubaneshwar, you will be met and assisted by our representative. You will be transferred to Puri (56 kms/ 1.5 hours), where you will proceed for check-in at the hotel.
Puri - the city by the sea- is a major pilgrim center in India. Adi Shankara founded one of the peethas here. Uri is also famous for its Golden beach ideal for swimming and surfing. But the fame of Puri emanates most from the Jagannath Temple, which contributed the word Jurrernaut to the English language. The 12th century temple is known for its annual Car Festival.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 05: Puri - Konark - Puri
After breakfast, proceed for half day excursion to Konark (31 Kms / 01 Hour).The Sun Temple at Konarak with its fantastic loneliness on the wind swept sand dues of the Bay of Bengal fringed with palm and casurina plantations is a breadth taking monument. Fashioned in the form of a chariot, drawn by seven spirited horses, the temple is profusely sculptured with exquisite figures and figurines fired by an astonishing energy trapped on stone. It is a stunning master piece of the 13th century Kalingan style of art and is one of the unrivalled technical marvels that the age has produced.
Return back to Puri. Rest of the day at leisure.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 06: Puri - Bhubaneshwar
Afternoon visit of Bhubaneswar- The Capital city of the modern State and the ancient kingdom of Kalinga. Bhubaneswar is known as the Temple City of India. Among the finest of its 600 temples is the Lingaraj Temple of Shiva built in the 11th century, it is also the biggest in Bhubaneswar.
Visit the Mukteswara temple built in the 10th century and known for it’s stone and arch at the entrance and is richly sculpted. With the tales from the Panchatantra carved on it, the temple is a magnificent example of Orissan architecture. The Rajarani temple set in picturesque surrounding is noted for its intricate carvings of floral, animal and human figures. It is built in the 11th century and has no deity. Parasurameswara temple a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva built in the 7th century. It is one of the best preserved. It has sculptures featuring amorous couples, animals and floral motifs. Continue your visit of Caves- Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills were carved and tunneled, to create this multi-storied ancient apartment residence for Jain monks. They were the work of the first known Orissan ruler, King Kharavela, and probably begun in the first century BC. Kharavela was a king of the Mahameghavahana dynasty, who is known for expansion of the Kalinga empire and his installation of public improvements, such as canal systems. His queen was evidently quite a patron of the arts, and probably had much to do with the impressive sculptural decoration of the caves.Overnight at the Hotel.
- Day 07: Bhubanehswar - Chilka Lake - Taptapani
After breakfast, you will be driven to Bhubaneshwar (56 kms/ 1.5 hours).
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Tatapani (230 kms/ 05 Hrs. 30 Mins).
Enroute visiting famous brackish water Chilka Lake famous for its migratory birds and irawadi dolphins-cruise to see Kalijha Island and temple. (Boat ride on direct payment basis).
Continue your drive to Taptapani
The Saora tribes are mostly concentrated in Ganjam district of the State. The whole area is an intricate labyrinth of priciptious hills and valleys, which are part of the Eastern Ghat-the height of the hills varying from 2000 to 4000 sqft above sea level. They trace their origin to the Ramayana there is a reference of Savari, a Saora women whom Ram and Laxman met while moving about in the Dandaka forests in search of Sita.Overnight at the hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in.
- Day 08: Taptapani - Rayagada
After breakfast, you will be driven from Taptapani to Rayagada (160 kms/ 04 hours). You will visit The Saora Tribes.
The Saora tribes are mostly concentrated in Ganjam district of the State. The whole area is an intricate labyrinth of precipitous hills and valleys, which are part of the Eastern Ghat-the height of the hills varying from 2000 to 4000 sqft above sea level. They trace their origin to the Ramayana there is a reference of Savari, a Saora women whom Ram and Laxman met while moving about in the Dandaka forests in search of Sita.
Visit their weekly tribal market. This is the Monday market of tribes Saora.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 09: Rayagada
After breakfast, you will proceed for full day visit to Kutia Kondh Tribe and their weekly tribal market and villages. This is a Tuesday Market.
The Kondh Tribe- The Kondhs are one of the well-known tribes of Orissa who were famous in history for their Meriah -Human Sacrifice. Kutia.Kondh's life is full of festivities. The important festivals are at the time of sowing and harvesting. During festivals, feast is accompanied by singing, dancing and drinking. At the time of sowing seeds they worship Dharani Deota and make animal sacrifice to ensure good crop. The village women sing and dance joining hands and the boys standing around also sing and the entire atmosphere becomes joyous. During Sarupenu festival they resort to worship on the hills and enjoy the day with feasting and dancing. Their weapon is bow and arrow by which they defend themselves from wild animals.
The most important aspect of tribal culture is the music and dance. Among certain tribes young men cannot find brides unless they acquire special skill in dance and music. Dance and music are primarily meant to propitiate Gods and Goddesses. In social functions like marriage and feasting dance is their usual hobby. The dance is performed in a central place of the village or in the communal house and attended by almost all the tribesmen. Each tribe has it own pattern of dance and music.Overnight at the Hotel.
- Day 10: Rayagada - Jeypore
After breakfast, proceed for Excursion to Chatikona (40 kms/1 hour) - to see the Dhongria Kondh tribe and their weekly tribal market that occurs once every Wednesday.
After your tour continue your drive for Jeypore enroute visiting Paraja Tribe and villages.
The Parajas are mostly found in Koraput district. Their language is Parji .The Parajas have a number of totemistic septs like Bagh-tiger,Bokda-goat, Netam-Dog,Pandki-Dove, and the like, and harming or eating the totem animal is forbidden. Instead such animals should be respected. They worship various gods and goddesses residing in hills or forests. During wedding Parajas resort to dance and music.
Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at the hotel.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 11: Jeypore - Mundiguda - Vishakhapatnam
After breakfast you will proceed to visit Mundiguda where you will see the famed Bonda tribe and their weekly tribal market.
A two-hour drive from Jeypore. Bonda Tribe-In the district of Koraput,on the high hills to the north-west of the river Machkund,live the wildest, rudest and possibly the most interesting tribe, which is known as Bonda or naked people. The scanty dress of Bonda women and homicidal tendency of Bonda males have made them most fascinating and thus they stand in sharp contrast from the neighboring castes and tribes of Orissa.The Bondas call themselves Ramo and speaks a very difficult Austro-Asiatic language. Amidst picturesque scenes,Bondas live on high hills surrounded by fruit groves. They are generally agriculturists and are expert cultivators. The irrigated and terraced paddy fields on high hills prove their skill in rice cultivation.Bonda dormitories for the unmarried boys and girls are very interesting. In spite of their primitiveness and so-called poverty, the Bondas enjoy a high degree of economic sufficiency.
After visit of Bonda tribe market you will also visit the Gadabba tribe and their villages The Gadaba are of austro origin, their dress is distinctly different from the Bonda.The women wear a long strip of cloth tied around the waist and a second piece of cloth is worn across the breasts and tied over one shoulder. They also wear a number of ornaments including necklaces,earrings,nose rings, large silver hoops in their hair. Older Gadaba women also wear two very thick silver neck rings, which are not removed until they die.Gadaba men wear loin cloths. Younger Gadaba girls are becoming increasingly more modernized often wearing large flowers in their hair.
Later, in the afternoon, you will be driven to Vishakhapatnam (5 hours drive from Jeypore) enroute visiting typical villages and Simachalam temple. Simachalam is a temple of the 'Narashima Avatar’, it is situated on the small hill Simachala on the outskirts of Vishak.In the way we saw one of Vishak's drinking water reservoir. The roads doesn't have much traffic. There are city bus facilities available to the temple from the Central busstand(Complex). The temple has its own bus service from the ground to the temple. Through our way to the temple we can see a lake, where boat festival(boat race) is conducted once a year. The temple is nice, with architectural beauty. The statues of the Lion(Narashima) is everywhere.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 12: Vishakhapatnam - Mumbai by: Flight
After breakfast, a SITA representative will meet and transfer you to the airport in time to board your flight for Mumbai.
Departure: Vishakhapatnam at: 1115 hours By: IC 7562 (Indian Airlines) Arrival: Mumbai at: 1400 hours
Upon arrival at Mumbai airport, a SITA representative will meet and transfer you to the hotel, where you will proceed for check-in.
Bombay was once a group of seven islands whose inhabitants, the Kolis, have given the city its Indian name, MUMBAI, after their goddess, Mother Mumbai.
Bombay is a city of paradoxes: renowned as the country’s financial nerve centre, it is an important centre of theatre, art, music and classical dance.
Today the cosmopolitan population of the city consists of people from all over the country. It is centre of industry, commerce and foreign trade, a city of skyscrapers and huts (a result of too quick growth and inadequate accommodation), a city of milling crowds and vitality, a city on the move. A city steeped in tradition, and a rich historical past, it is yet a city where contemporary scientific and business practices flourish. A vibrant, colourful and busy metropolis, Bombay is the premier city in western India.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 13: Mumbai
After buffet breakfast, day is at leisure for independent activities. (No transportation cost & Sightseeing envisaged on this day).Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 14: Mumbai Departure
After midnight, a representative will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to the International airport in time to board your flight back home.