Bondas – The Lonely Survivors amongst Earliest Indians

This is the story of the land where Odisha meets Andhra and where the Machkund River has been rippling away for millions of years. Four thousand feet above sea levels, the Konda – Kamberu range, an arm of the Eastern Ghats surrounds this land. Locked on either side by mountains and interspersed valleys, here has … Continue reading Bondas – The Lonely Survivors amongst Earliest Indians

Deomali – Offbeat Wonderland

If you are touring Puri or Gopalpur-on-Sea, perhaps you are not told about the other side of Odisha, which is higher in elevation than Panchamarhi in Madhya Pradesh or Mt Abu in Rajasthan. Deomali or the God of the Mali tribe on Odisha-Andhra border is Odisha’s highest point at 1672 m. A solid rock mass, … Continue reading Deomali – Offbeat Wonderland

Breathtaking Duduma Falls in South Koraput – A Cultural Sojourn

Once upon a time! A Gadaba girl was bathing in the river. In the meantime, her younger brother was passing nearby. When he noticed his sister taking bath he threw an arrow to inform about his presence. The girl could not understand why the arrow was thrown at her. She did not care for it … Continue reading Breathtaking Duduma Falls in South Koraput – A Cultural Sojourn

Captivating Kanha – A Journey through Two Worlds

It was the peak of summer and the peak of the day around 12 noon. During my epic drive from Ahmedabad to Bhubaneswar for about 2400 km (including several detours), I arrived at Seoni, a dusty small town at the middle of Nagpur and Jabalpur Highway in south-eastern Madhya Pradesh. This was where the Jungle … Continue reading Captivating Kanha – A Journey through Two Worlds

Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

It was 6 PM on an October Day. I was at Salia Dam enjoying the pristine beauty of nature, sun going down against the western sky turning it into a pallet of golden and turmeric hues; and a fisherman sailing through the placid water after the day’s catch in his bamboo raft, a watercraft that … Continue reading Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

Lanjia Saura Hill Tribe of Odisha – A Travel Shot (Part 2)

On our day 2 at Lanjia Saura Hills After a sumptuous breakfast at Gunupur, we headed towards Lanjia Saura hills again through the mountain zigzag road. Our destination for the morning was Rebingtal, a large village of about 500 people in 8 lineages facing the broad expanse of paddy terraces stepping downwards from the village. … Continue reading Lanjia Saura Hill Tribe of Odisha – A Travel Shot (Part 2)

A Journey through Kondh Territory, a Tribe that Once Sacrificed Humans

‘Life is because of the Gods; with their sacrifice, they gave us life, which nourishes life’ An Ancient Mesoamerican Belief In 1521 CE, when the Spanish explorer Hemán Cortťs conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan what amazed him was the high intensity of human sacrifices performed in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in honour of their … Continue reading A Journey through Kondh Territory, a Tribe that Once Sacrificed Humans

The Heritage of Mahula Drink in Ganjam – An Anthropological Journey

Imagine 8th Century Odisha and in particular Bhubaneswar! A major Peeth of Tantra Sadhana practised by a group of esoteric Shaivites, called Kapalikas, who worshipped Bhairava/Shiva and his consort Chamunda!! The central ritual of their tantric communion was to get indulged in alcohol and sexual intercourse.  Kapalaikas were masters in converting both ascetics and lay … Continue reading The Heritage of Mahula Drink in Ganjam – An Anthropological Journey

Dongria Kondhs of Nimayagiri – Mother Nature’s Own Children

70,000 years ago! When the ancestors of modern humans left Africa for Indian Subcontinent what would have first attracted them is the lush green environment fed by region’s greatest gift of nature, the monsoon. Over a few thousand years they were spread and adapted to various geographical regions. Over thousands of years sustaining in their … Continue reading Dongria Kondhs of Nimayagiri – Mother Nature’s Own Children

The Ancient Hill Tribe of Lanjia Saoras – Journey with a Shaman

'When the world sunk into waters, the trees and hills drowned. But on a ground and floating on the water were a brother and sister who later broke the ground. They made the new world. They planted trees and made men. In those days men lived under trees. One year there was a great mango … Continue reading The Ancient Hill Tribe of Lanjia Saoras – Journey with a Shaman