This trip, Indigenous India (Orissa & Chhattisgarh) was arranged through Grass Routes, a travel company located in India. The state of Orissa, recently renamed Odisha, is located on the Bay of Bengal in northerly India; Chhattisgarh State adjoins Odisha. Although the trip concentrated on the tribes of the area. there was much more to see and do.
This oustanding archaelogical site, the Heritage Sun Temple, is located in Konark. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it attracts considerable attention of travelers from everywhere.
Another of the extraordinarily beautiful ancient temple strucutures in India.
There is an annual Hindu religious pilgrimage to the holy city of Puri. Many people gather at a place outside Puri where family ceremonies are performed by holy men. One family at a time goes through the cermony at one of the eight or ten designated spots equipped with a cement pit for a fire where ceremonial offerings of several types are placed in the fire.
Another of the ceremonial gatherings.
In Puri itself many Hindus come to enter the Jagannath temple. The main street is closed to traffic and fencing is put in place to guide the long line of people coming to the temple.
Of course, when entering the temple certain articles are prohibited -- shoes, sandals, umbrellas, purses, cameras, telephones. This "Shose Stand" located in an area near the temple provides a place to place those items before entering the temple.
A Hindu holy man.
Our guide in Chhattisgarh State, Jai, comes from a royal family. Things changed for the kingdoms in India when independence came in 1947. Jai still lives in Kanker Palace with other family members. The palace itself has been modified to accommodate a few guests at a time. Jai entranced our group with photographs and accounts of his brother's royal wedding of just a few years ago.
When visiting the tribal areas, the crowded local weekly markets provided the opportunity to see and visit with the local people and the merchants.
Inexpensive plastic bracelets seemed to be a major item in every one of the several markets we visited.
Activity at another market.
And yet another market that also featured the sale of livestock.
Traveling the roads was a major challenge for our very capable drivers. The usual one-lane paved roads accommodating traffic of all types -- vehicles, pedestrians, animals -- provided many thrills. Here a greatly overloaded and obviously unregulated truck blocks traffic as it very gingerly crosses a bridge with great difficulty. As one guide said, there are three things needed for safe driving in India -- "A good horn, good brakes, and good luck!"
Cockfights are apparently a tradition in India. We happened to stumble on an arena where action was taking place, including considerable betting on the outcome. I was even offered the body of one of the dead roosters that didn't fare very well in his fight.
In one of the tribal villages we visited a wedding banquet was taking place. Here the woman are sitting together to eat their meal with their right hand. The huge mound of steamed rice and stew was placed on a palm leaf.
More of the women at the banquet.
Seconds were readily available.
A duffle bag of used children's clothing was brought along for appropriate distribution. This is part of a family encountered as we stopped for a picnic lunch in a secluded spot near a stream. The clothing items they chose seemed to be well appreciated.
And here in a village our local village guide helps to get the right sized clothing to the right child. There were many happy faces and smiles for the great variety of items that was given out.
When visiting a local home in one of the tribal villages we were treated to a drink of palm wine just gathered from the very top of the nearby family asset. The wine itself is poured into a folded palm leaf for drinking.
I could manage the drinking, but the palm leaf folding provided a major challenge. The custom is to spill a few drops of the wine on the ground before the drinking.
Indian women were seen everywhere carrying various loads on their heads -- baskets, water containers, bundles of wood, bags of whatever, etc. They often were also carrying items in their hands and arms.
In one tribal village these young girls were developing the skills for being able to carry items on their heads.
In six of the native villages we visited we were treated to dance performances, most of which also involved various forms of gymnastics. This group appeared to me to be all young girls, but visiting with them after the performance I learned most were boys!
This lively performance, accompanied by live music, took place along the main "street" of the village. The entertainment was viewed by crowds of the local people. And in the middle of the performance a herd of cattle was guided along this street.
And yet another dance performance at another village.
One of the elaborately costumed dancers.
More dancing, more gymnastics, at yet another village.
In every one of the villages we visited the numerous children were alsways very polite and the adults very friendly. Many groups of people appeared on the scene to look at us as we looked at them.
This and the remaining pictures are selected from among the hundreds of people pictures I enjoy.