I recenly got a rare chance to go for an exploration trek to the unknown hills of Rayagada, Odisha with GHAC.
This district of Odisha is bestowed with unexplored forests, waterfalls and are inhabited by many aboriginal tribal groups.
The beauty of the place is mesmerising as you will see in the pictures to follow.
We took an auto from the station and went to the starting point of the trek which was about 15 kms from the railway station. The roads were scenic.
Our autowallah was a sturdy man with awesome mustaches.
We went a bit off the road and saw a beautiful rivulet. At that time I was oblivious of how many time our paths will cross each other.
It was a hot summer afternoon. What better idea than take a dip followed by a nap…
But we had miles to go before we sleep…
Our trek started close to this temple.
The trek starts…
Little further, we saw a strange hollow tree. Our leader, Diyanat went inside to quench his curiosity.
We continued to walk (or rather leap) over the huge boulders.
Trekking brings very pleasant surprises every now and then. We found this water source and paused to fill our water reserves. What could be a better elixir than cold mineral water in the hot sun.
We continued through the dense vegetation.
Then came another pleasant surprise. We saw some tribals coming our way. I was really excited to see them for the first time. After taking permission, from our local tribal guide – Sukanto, I shot some pictures. These people find it very odd to face the camera. They would always look away. Sukanto helped me communicate with them and get a good shot.
This is a typical way in which the tribals carry their babies.
In some time, they disappeared into the forest.
Our guide Sukanto, a tribal from the area had very good knowledge about the route.
This is the plant that is used to make the soft brooms used in our houses.
These flowers are used to decorate tribal homes.
A moment of delight for our leader, Diyanat.
We passed by numerous huts which were probably used as temporary store-houses for the produce. On the foreground, you will see a castor plant.
The tribals are very fond of drinking. They make a lot of efforts collecting them.
Sukanto testing the drink.
Another drinking spot made by the tribals – it was so refreshing to drink this water.
Then I saw something for the first time in my life – a forest fire. It was so disheartening to see our rich resources turning into ash.
We kept walking to the top of the hill and then decided to stop for the night. We pitched our tents and were ready to eat.
While our food (khichdi) was being cooked, our leader, Diyanat used his knife skills to carve out spoons for us.
Being in such an inaccessible and remote place, this trip would not have been possible without the organisers of GHAC (Great Hyderabad Adventure Club) – Diyanat Ali and Vignan Tej. Thank you both. Also Thanks to our guide Sukanto.
This article is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a professional wedding photographer and a photography trainer. He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer’ through his Photo tours and Photography workshops.