Chhattisgarh is like a buffet spread, offering you a wide selection to satiate your palate!

Posted By: Kuki Grewal                

I was eager with anticipation as I packed my bags for Chhattisgarh. This state has so much to offer to the discerning traveler. It's like a buffet spread, that offers you a wide selection to satiate your palate! Temples, monuments, archaeological sites, wildlife, nature, palaces and of course the indigenous people, which is where I begin my exploration of the state - at its roots.

Now even though you are reading this on the Internet, I must admit, Chhattisgarh is not a destination to read about, it's a destination to unravel and explore for yourself. If you are tired of overcrowded, commercialized, done to death touristy destination and are up for a raw, rustic, mystifying and exhilarating experience. Then, surrender to the bounties of Chhattisgarh and let the land surprise you.

The flight to Raipur from Mumbai is just 1 hour 20 minutes. On our arrival, we straight head by road to Bastar, a perfect start to our exploration. The drive was enchantingly scenic, making our way through dense forests, the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. There are as many as 36 tribes in the state, the Gonds being the majority. I was delighted to spend my day with the Muria tribes, a sub sect of the Gonds. They were warm, welcoming and such jovial people. They instantly opened their home to me and I got the best experience of their way of life. We went red ant hunting together, much to their amusement, I was attacked by ants in full fury, within seconds they were inside every bit of my clothing. Oh yes! We are literally talking about "ants in my pants" here. Red ant chutney is popular amongst the local tribes, and a must try. It is astonishingly yummy!

Another must try is Sulphie. Oh! I just could not get enough of Sulphie. Known as Bastar beer, you can drink it literally off the tree, on leaves. This frothy drink is organic, palatable, light and gives you a happy buzz. I could wake up under a Sulphie tree every morning with great delight. For those looking for something more potent Mahua drink is another popular choice of tipple.

Taking a walk around the village was humbling. Here I was in a world I knew nothing about, a world so far removed from my own! I embraced it with all humility and joy, no place for vanity. The indigenous people have retained much of their culture, colorful attires, exotic jewellery, intriguing customs, vibrant festivals, and simple living. The tribal celebratory dance forms are joyous and rhythmic, I couldn't help but join the revelry and shake a leg.

The Ghotul is a fascinating custom. I was impressed and intrigued as I discovered how forward and liberal the tribal people are.

My tribal experience was unparalleled to any. I left Bastar with memories to cherish a lifetime. After experiencing the Murias, I set forth with a rekindled spirit and a hunger to explore this mystical land further.

Experience the rich tribal culture of Chhattisgarh here in video below:-

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