Guest post by Anne Bailey
Odisha, formerly Orissa, is one of India’s 29 states and lies on the east coast bordering the Bay of Bengal. Here you can sit on the long beaches and listen to the thundering of waves while watching the fishermen land their catch; you can travel inland through rolling green hills past ever more remote villages where farming remains traditional, rice is grown and the sound of silence is hypnotic; you can travel into the tribal area and at the weekly markets explore the produce and handcrafted products of local tribes - Dongria Kondh, Bonda, Gadabba and Paraja; and through all this you will meet few if any other western tourists. You travel back in time, off the tourist trail and to a very special area of India that I feel privileged to have visited.
A journey with Tulsi Travel took six of us into Orissa in November 2016. Travelling with Pie Chambers we arrived in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa, on the train from Kolkata. Our local guide and drivers were waiting and we were off in three cars to travel through the forest and reach some of the remote villages. The next ten days brought to life our itinerary.
The exquisite temples in Bhubaneshwar introduced architecture and culture and in Puri we explored further - the stunning Konarak sun temple and Jagannath temple; we watched beautiful Tussar silk ikat being woven on looms in small, mud houses in Nuapatna; visited Pipli, famous for its applique work; explored mud hut villages to see the lost wax method of metal casting and viewed the many beautiful brass items displayed with pride; learnt about palm leaf engraving, one of the most ancient crafts of the world, from a master craftsman in the artist village of Raghurajpur; watched displays of Gotipua traditional dance performed in the temples; shopped in the tribal markets for tribal jewellery; sitting quietly in roadside villages we watched and learnt about life, often to the amusement of young children; we connected through smiles, laughter and sometimes English when school children wanted to practise – 'Aunty, Aunty, what is your name?'
This was a very special journey. When Tulsi Travel advertised their November 2018 Tribal and Textile Tour of Orissa and Chhattisgarh I had no hesitation in signing up - it is a journey to look forward to.
Exciting Indian Journeys for Winter 2018-2019...
Tribal & textile tour of Orissa & Chattisgarh, Short extesion to Kipling camp & Kanha Wildlife Reserve (Nov 2018)
Textile & craft tour of the Rann of Kutch with visits to important textile museums in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (Jan 2019)
Craft & textile journey through Rajasthan ending with the craft mela in New Delhi (Feb 2019)
Individual unaccompanied tours to India and Bhutan can be arranged at any time. For brochures and further information please contact:
Pie Chambers, Tulsi - The Travel Company, Weavers Cottage, 33 Sturford Lane, Temple, Corsley, Wiltshire BA127QR, telephone: 01373832856, email: email@example.com