The great wildernesses and Sprawling farmlands of Chhatisgarh, particularly in the Bastar region, Sustain Some of the most vibrant tribal communities in India. experience the ancient rhythms of life in Adivasi villages.
If you are looking for a culturally immersive experience withChhattisagarh’s tribal community, there is no better place than the Bastar Region (Particularly Bastar, Kondagaon and Naryanpur districts ) to the south of the state. Home to close to 40 tribes – the main ones being the Bison Horn Maria, Muria, Abhuj(or Hill) Maria, Bhatra, Dhruva, Halba, Dorla and Gadba -Bastar is one the most ancient enclaves in India. Even today its communities continue to follow age-old traditions and customs, their lives brushing only perfunctorily with modernity.
It is well worth the effort to wend your way to a tribal village and enter a strinking world of mystical rituals, local deities and legends of their magical powers. these belief systems have given rise to an extraordinary wealth of crafts, songs, dancers, tattoos, paintings and festivals. the other way to see tribal life at close quarters is at the time of local festivals and fairs that infuse a burst of energy in otherwise sedate towns and villages.
The best place to engage with the social and commercial life of the Adivasis is at the weekly hatts or markets. Members of various tribes trudge to these markets from far off distance with jungle Produce collected over the week. At the haat, they sell their wares to earn money. Which they can immediately earn money to buy things ( barter was not uncommon till a few years ago and is still present in some places ) that are not available in the recesses of the forest. Once these are obtained, cockfights can be enjoyed, fried snacks and liquor consumed and raucous fun had by all.
Bastar is famous for its exquisite handicrafts. most of which are created by tribal artisans. Most famous of all is the distinctive bell metal work called Dhokra, but also ubiquitous are handicrafts made from wrought iron Bamboo, sisal, cowrie shells and stone. If that’s not enough you will also find Kosa Silk, Tumba art(decorated gourd shells ) and Godna paintings(inspired by traditional tattoos)
The most exciting time to visit a destination has to be when there is festivity in the air and the place is abuzz with energy. Cultural adventures should plan their trip around local festivals or Madhai. Adivasi revelers travel from a distance as much as over 100km (some of them even on foot) to participate in weeklong congregations of gods and goddesses, which make for most of the festival themes. The most important festival of all in the state is the 75-day Bastar Dussehra.