Exploratory Trek around Rayagada, Odisha (Orissa) Tribal Areas – Part 2

This is in continuation of the first post. You might like to read it here.

We got up early in the morning and started winding up to carry on our trek. I didnt get much sleep because of the hooting of the owls. We were able to see two of them at night with their glowing eyes. Some grazing cows came close to our tents and was finding something to eat. They fled away when Vignan glowed his torch.

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I was excited about today as we will be passing through some villages and I will get to shoot people. We saw some villagers approaching us. He was smoking a roll of tobacco leaf; sometimes from the burning part touching their lips.

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We started out journey through the beautiful forest downhill.

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Unknown trails always gives you pleasant surprises. This was one of them.

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We approached a village. Generally there are about a dozen small huts in a settlement.

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Cultivation is the primary source of livelihood for the villagers.

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We continued our walk.

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We came across lot of trees with probably no ownership. Anyone who needs, uses the produce. This person was getting some tamarind from the tree.

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We came across many jack-fruit trees with fruits.

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We did not see any motor bikes in the villages. They either walk on foot or use bicycles.

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Diyanat stopped on the way to enjoy the beauty of the place.

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I was enjoying the trail to the fullest.

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We passed by another village. I decided to take some pictures there.

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Smiling faces

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The whole family gave us a see-off, even the dog too.

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Ration cards being updated.

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There are very limited modes of communication in these places. There are some private buses, one in a couple of hours. They are generally very crowded with lots of people on the bus roof. Made me recollect my interesting journeys on top of buses.

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A village school. One good thing I found in these places is that there every village has access to a school, not far away.

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The women-folk spend a lot of time collecting mahua (Madhuca longifolia) flowers. These are fermented to make local wine. Drinking is very common in these areas.

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An ant-nest

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We climbed uphill then witnessed something very interesting. Two tribal ladies were doing some religious ritual. They where chanting some hyms before the god followed by the sacrifice of a cock.

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The head is probably considered to be the important part was being carried as ‘prasad’. The body would probably be eaten after cooking.

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These tribals to not follow Hinduism. They follow primitive worship of some stone regarded as their god.

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We were hungry. Sukanto, our guide made some Maggi for us.

Then Dinanat asked – “Would you like to have some tea?”. I always crave for a cup of morning tea and said ‘Of course!”

The problem was that we did not have any vessels or any cups. Diyanat put his survival skills into use. He put water, tea and sugar in a polythene bag and said that he would use it as a vessel to make tea. I was surprised and was wondering if it would ever happen. He arranged the charred pieces of wook and placed the bag over it. And lo and behold, it started boiling.

Sukanto made cups for us out of leaves. It was an awesome experience.

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Some textures on a tree.

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As the day progressed, it was getting hot. The stream was very tempting.

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We jumped in and cooled our body.

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The walk starts again through dried stream bed.

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We always had enough stock of water. Even though, were always close to a stream, there were less outlets for drinking water.

This was a place between the rocks where we had one of the best waters. People from nearby villages come to fetch water from here. This is a good time to catch up with friends.

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The day was coming to a close with the setting sun. It was a beautiful scene.

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I decided to venture out to a nearby village. Some pictures from the place.

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The houses were beautifully decorated with traditional colours and designs.

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Some had quite vibrant colours.

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Mahua flowers being dried.

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In the evening, most villagers get drunk after the day’s work.

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The women-folk do most of the work. Here the lady is making rolls of the dried tobacco leaves. Men use them for smoking as you can see in a previous picture.

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It was time to try some slow shutter shots in the beautiful stream. Can you see the line of forest fire in the hills in the background?

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We had an awesome campsite today, sleeping beside this stream.

To be continued…

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Thanksgiving –

Being in such an inaccessible and remote place, this trip would not have been possible without help of the organisers of GHAC – Diyanat Ali and Vignan Tej. Thank you both. Also Thanks to our guide Sukanto.

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Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.

You can read my previous posts here.

This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
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3 Comments

  1. Awesome

  2. Great fotos ! Waiting for the next part !

  3. Very nice ,as the place beautifully narrated its visualized while reading.

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