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Welcome to Orissa...

Orissa Lies along the northeast coast of India, on the Bay of Bengal. The city Bhubaneswar at one time boasted of around 9500 temples, now only few hundreds still survive. Orissa has fine long sandy Beaches, the Great Chilika Lake, Nature and Wildlife Reserves. Sacred Puri with Sun Temple. Now popular for tourist attraction these days are the ADIVASI (Tribal) areas of the southwest. Orissa occupies unique position in the ethnographic map of India for having the largest variety of tribal communities. Although they are found in all the districts of the State, yet more than half of their total strength are found in the districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Naurangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Nauapara, Kandhamal, Baudh, Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj.Any society - tribal or otherwise, comprises of organized groups of people who have learnt to live and work together interacting in the pursuit of common goals. Each society has its own rules of business and tricks of trade which helps its people to define their relationship with one another and live and work together. Therefore, a society functions and perpetuates itself on the basis of the rules for living together.The tribal people express their cultural identity and distinctiveness in their social organization, language, rituals and festivals and also in their dress, ornament, art and craft. They have retained their own way of managing internal affairs of the village mainly through two institutions namely, the village council and the youth dormitory. The dormitory is the core of tribal culture and it reinforces the age-old traditions, open space where dance takes place almost every night after the day's work is over. The dormitory is so to say a school of dancing and expression of the communal art of the people. The elders of the village assemble at the dormitory house every day for every important event in their corporate life. Here they discuss matters concerning the welfare of the village, settle the distribution of swidden and fix date and time for celebration of the village festivals, etc. In these respects the dormitory may be considered as the centre of social, economic and religious life of the village.The ceremonies and festivals of the tribes can be classified into two groups, that is, those that relate to the individual families and those that relate to the village as a whole. The ceremonies and rites relating to birth of a child, marriage, death are observed family-wise whereas those relating to various agricultural cycle, eating of new fruits, hunting, etc. are observed by the village community.

Population : 37 million
Season: November to March
Important Festivals

Some of the important festivals observed by the tribal communities of Orissa include Guar ceremony of the Saora, Gotar of the Gadaba, Push Punei of the Juang, Kedu of the Kondh, Karam festival of the Oraon, Chait Parab of the Bondo and Magha Parab of the Santal. With the advent of time, traces of borrowing from Hindu Pantheon and religious ceremonies are noticed among the tribes of Orissa. They have started worshipping Siva, Parbati and Lord Jagannath. Hindu festivals like Raja, Laxmipuja, Dasahara and Gamha are also becoming popular among them day by day.
The tribes of Orissa, despite their poverty and their pre-occupation with the continual battle for survival, have retained the rich and varied heritage of colourful dance and music forming integral part of their festivals and rituals. Among them, the dance and music is developed and maintained by themselves in a tradition without aid and intervention of any professional dancer or teacher. It is mainly through the songs and dances the tribes seek to satisfy their inner urge for revealing their soul. The performance of these only give expression to their inner feelings, their joys and sorrows, their natural affections and passion and their appreciation of beauty in nature and in man.
Some of the tribal communities like the Bondo and the Gadaba have their own looms by which they weave clothes for their own use.. The Bondo women who are considered most primitive, look majestic when they wear headbands made of grass, necklaces of coloured beads and girdles made of brass on their bodies. All these are expressions of their artistic quality and aesthetic sense.The tribal people turn out excellent handicrafts for their own use. The wood carving of the Kondhs, metal works by lost wax process among the Bathudis, cane and bamboo basketry works among the Juangs and Bhuyans, are all symbolic of artistic creation.
Tribes, Temples and tigers of Orissa - Tour

Orissa is to the west of the Bay of Bengal. In the north is the Ganges delta with vast mangrove forests, creeks and sand bars teeming with wildlife. Inland there are hills and forests inhabited by 62 tribes who retain their traditional way of life religious ceremonies, songs and dances. Some of the largest temples, the Juggernaut at Puri and Sun temple of Karnak are amongst the most important in all India. This tour has it all!

Duration 18 days with Extension of 4 days to Sunderban National Park Extension
Tour outline: Kolkota/ Balasore/ Similpal National Park/ Bitartrkanika Wild Life sanctuary/ Bhubenswar/ Tribal Tours: Baliguda- Rayagada-Jeypore-Taptapani/ Gopalpur/ Puri/Kolkota

Covering nearly 10,000 sq.km of mangrove forest and water (40% of which lies in West Bengal and the rest in Bangladesh), the Sunderbans are a part of the world's largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. An intricate network of inter-connecting waterways characterize this area, although very few carry fresh water, having been completely cut off from the main rivers due to geological factors. Most of these channels are maintained by the diurnal tidal flow, with tidal waves rising to a height of upto 7.5 m.
The entire mangrove forest extends over an area of 4,262 sq.km of which forests cover 2,320 sq. km. The name Sunderban comes from the predominance of the tree species Heritiera fomes, locally known as 'sundari' because of its elegant look.
Apart from being the only mangrove forest in the world, the Sunderbans contains a rich and unique biota - tigers, fishing cats, wild boar, spotted deer, rhesus macaque, a variety of dolphins (including the Ganges dolphin), crocodiles, estuarine terrapins, monitor lizards, water monitors and a wealth of birds, fish and crustaceans

Full Details available on request.
Discover North-East and Northeast (Culture-Himalayan ranges-Budhist Monasteries-Tea Gardens-Wildlife)

Duration 21 days
Destination covered: Delhi / Agra / Jaipur / Delhi / Fly Bagdogra / Darjeeling / Pemayangtse / Gangtok / Lachung / Gangtok / Kalimpong / Bagdogra fly Guhwati / Kaziranga National Park / Kolkota.

Full details available on request
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