PRISTINE VIATAS, LEGENDARY TEMPLES AND TRIBES
To the east, pristine and unexplored, lies Odisha, the land of myths and legends. This tour explores the diverse aspects of a comparatively less trodden region of India, home to ancient tribes who continue to dwell in remote forests and hilly interiors, keeping alive their tribal heritage.
Our journey begins in Bhubaneshwar, the city of temples, where as many as 1000 temples flourished, at one time. Next, we visit rural Odisha to see how local tribes live. Odisha has nearly 62 tribes, constituting almost 24 percent of the population and their lifestyle, based on food gathering, hunting and fishing, is fascinating. We visit some of the most primitive ones; The Kutia Kondhs, Dongria Kondhs and Bondas an experience first-hand their rich knowledge of the forests and how they bring different kinds of forest fruits and livestock, to sell in the local weekly bazars.
We also visit the spectacular Jagannath Temple, Puri and the unparalleled Sun temple at Konark with its exquisite carving. From there on to Kolkata via Bhubaneshwar, we enjoy some local sightseeing in kolkata, a city with gems of colonial architecture and a mesmerizing history showcasing its rich culture and literary heritage. The city is a happening place where fine arts, music, dance, theatre and writing traditions continue to flourish.
Note: This itinerary is very sensitive. Dates of arrival and departure should be selected in accordance with weekly market. For this reason, we have mentioned the day in the caption of itinerary. Your arrival day in Kolkata should be Thursday
- Kolkata sightseeing and local attractions
- Bhubaneshwar, the ‘Temple City of the East’
- The lifestyle of tribes and their fascinating weekly bazaars
- Taptapani – a hot water spring
- The 12th century Jagannath temples at Puri
- Chariot-shaped Konark Sun Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 1Traditional welcome on arrival (Thursday)
Upon arrival at the International airport and after the traditional welcome ‘Swagat’, we are transferred to the hotel. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly river, Kolkata is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port.
Day 2Fly to Bhubaneshwar and sightseeing of Town (Friday)
Kolkata - Bhubaneshwar
Today we are transferred to domestic airport to catch our flight to Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha.
This city is famously called the ‘Temple City of the East’ and has countless wonders to offer. Upon arrival, we check-in to the hotel and leave for the sightseeing tour of Bhubaneswar. We visit the splendid Bhubaneswar Lingraj Temple which is quite unique and oldest of all in Odisha(Orissa). This temple impeccably exemplifies the excellent Odishan architecture. Later we explore holy Bindu Sarovar and Kedareshwar Temple
Day 3Excursion to Lalitagiri – Khandagiri – Udayagiri (Saturday)
Early in the morning after breakfast, we leave for an excursion to see some awesome architectural heirloom of Lalitagiri, Khandagiri and Udayagiri. These sites exhibit picturesque Buddhist attraction enveloped in breathtaking beauty. We first visit Lalitagiri to witness the quaint lifestyle of the people, alluring crafts and majestic pottery of older times. Our next halt is at the fascinating Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves which are meticulously carved out of the twin hills. In the evening, we return to the hotel in Bhubaneshwar.
Day 4Bhubaneswar – Gopalpur (Sunday)
Bhubaneshwar - Gopalpur
Post breakfast, we begin our drive towards Gopalpur which is an amazingly dazzling town.The town is popular for its striking sea sides and gorgeous temple devoted to Lord Krishna. We can have blasting moments at the beach. Overnight stay will be at the hotel in Gopalpur.
Day 5Gopalpur – Raygada (Monday)
Gopalpur - Rayagada
Early in the morning after breakfast, we drive to Raygada where we are thrilled at sighting bizarre tribal people in their unique traditional clothing, style and ornaments which distinguish them from rest of the population. Apart from this Raygada offers spectacular scenic beauty. On our way, we also visit another tribal village called Langia Soura. It is time to make the most of this opportunity interacting with the inhabitants to know more about them. Upon reaching Raygada, we visit Hathipathar, an elephant-shaped rock. In the evening, our visit to the distinct and attractive Kutia Kondh Tribe market is the culmination of our day’s exploration.
Day 6Raygada (Tuesday)
Today we wake up in the serene, peaceful and soothing ambience of Raygada and leave for full day sightseeing. First we visit Minajhola, a gorgeous picturesque site. Thereafter we drive to Padmapur which is a beautiful tribal village popular for its breathtaking Manikeshwar Shiv Temple. This entire tour gives us a fantastic chance to interact with the tribal people to gain some insight into their life and culture.
Day 7Raygada – Jeypore (Wednesday)
Rayagada - Jeypore
In the morning, we drive to Jeypore. It is an astonishing destination drowned in majestic natural beauty; it is dotted with stupendous hills, fantastic lakes and other attractions carrying hypnotic traits. Upon reaching there we check-in to the hotel, and after some relaxation, leave for an excursion trip to Kali temple and Neelkantheswara temple, among ancients temples of India. Later, subject to availability of time, we also make an OPTIONAL visit to Jeypore Fort.
Day 8Jeypore – Onukudelli – Jeypore (Thursday)
Today we visit Onukudelli, a must-visit site on account of being another paradise with exquisite picturesque landscape. It is an isolated village with an enormous hydroelectric power plant. Apart from the tribal communities, people categorized as ‘lower caste or scheduled caste’ also live here since their last few generations. The place takes pride in its natural panoramic view – lush green woods, cluster of hills, tranquil surroundings with a rich endowment of flora and fauna, and above all, the tribal societies dwelling in this area. Here, we get a chance to explore immensely the appealing and interesting markets of Bonda, Gadaba and Didayee tribes. From here, we can buy some typical adornments and souvenirs related to these tribes. After relishing the enchanting beauty of Onkudelli, we drive back to our hotel in Jeypore.
Day 9Jeypore – Taptapani (Friday)
Jeypore - Taptapani
Today we come back to the plains through the beautiful mountain roads, en-route visiting some of the other tribal communities. Upon arrival at Taptapani we are transferred to our hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 10Taptapani – Chilka Lake – Puri (Saturday)
Taptapani - Puri
In the morning, we enjoy the beautiful surrounding of Taptapani - a hot water spring. Later we drive down to Puri; en-route visiting some typical South Odishan Villages. Before reaching Puri, we stop at Chilka Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in India and beautiful enough to mesmerize anyone. Also, it is the largest wintering site for numerous migratory birds that further add to its charm. From here,we proceed further to a holy and spiritual city, Puri, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Puri is an amalgamation of sacred temples, stunning beaches, charming dances and interesting shops.
Day 11Excursion to Konark (Sunday)
In the morning, we visit the famous Jagannath temple in Puri which is one of the four Dhams (places of sacred pilgrimage) – Note: Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. The extraordinary form Jagannath takes in this famous temple is said to be the unfinished work of the craftsman God, Vishvakarma. This 12th century temple is known for its Annual Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival. In the afternoon, we leave for an excursion to Konark, famous for its Sun Temple, built by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the golden era of Odishan art. This crowning piece of Odishan architecture and sculpture is sheer poetry in stone. Early evening we drive back to Puri and enjoy our time at Puri’s soothing beaches.
Note: Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the Jagannath Sanctuary.
Day 14Visit Kolkata and Departure (Wednesday)
Today, we first visit the royal, grandiose and gorgeous Victoria Memorial. It is the most popular building of Kolkata made up of white marble in a European architectural style. It houses several rare and unique antiques. Later we visit the divine Kali Temple situated on the bank of Hooghly (the Ganges) River. This huge and artistically constructed temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali and is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas.
Check-out from the hotel and transfer to the International airport or any point of convenience for onward journey to respective countries.