13 Days • Viskhatapatnam - Puri
A tribute to the original spirit of discovery! An unforgettable journey crammed with quintessential India experiences; from train journeys whistling round hills to prehistoric cave temples and lively local markets. Following in the footsteps of India’s ‘original people’ tracking indigenous heritage and ancient ways of living. Cruise along tranquil Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest salt lake lagoon. Marvel ancient India’s earliest temples and explore the sea swept temple town of Puri. An adventure of a lifetime bursting with new experiences and amazing discoveries!
Days 1 - 2 Arrive Visakhapatnam (Vizag)
The picturesque port city of Visakhapatnam, surrounded inland by shrine-crested hills and on the coast by a natural harbour, comes as a pleasant surprise. Friendly smiles, fiery curries and hilarious filmy placards dot the city. Explore India’s 2nd largest ship graveyard, rub shoulders with pilgrims at the 11th century Simachalam temple and sip coconut juice on the beach.
Days 3 - 4 Jeypore
Traversing spectacular scenery our train winds around the hills of the Eastern Ghats separating Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Passing through forested hills, across rivers and lush valleys into the tribal territory of Odisha. Ascend the limestone hill of Gupteshwar, and enter the sacred cave temple of Hindu God Shiva, ‘Lord of Destruction’. Enjoy a hilltop picnic lunch. Walk ancient tracks through dense forest and drop into a local weekly market.
Tribes of Odisha
Adivasis literally "original inhabitants" are the indigenous population of India. Nestled in the hills of the Eastern Ghats they constitute 25% of Odisha's population; the most populous Adivasi region of all India. They comprise 62 diverse ethnicities and although co-dependent, fiercely guard their own distinct traditions. We will meet the Dharua, Gond, Mali, Didayi, Paroja, Kutia & Dongria Kondh tribes and witness a way of life relatively unchanged throughout centuries.
Days 5 - 6 Chandoori Sai
Optional visit to discover ancient organic handloom at a traditional weaving village. Continue onto Odisha's tribal heartland to your village retreat. Receive an orientation by your indigenous hosts and explore their handcrafts terracotta pottery. Walk with the village to their local indigenous market. Polish up your bartering skills and pick up some fresh produce for diner.
Local Weekly Markets: Haats
A melting pot of indigenous cultures where independent tribes gather and trade local produce once a week. A healthy balance maintained between co-dependency and individual identity is most apparent during these occasions.
Day 7 Muniguda
Jump onto the morning train and pass over rivers through forest and into a string of numerous tunnels. This is one of the most scenic train journeys in India! Transfer to our sister foundation New Hope responsible for improving education and health care in neighbouring tribal villages.
Day 8 Gopalpur
Visit the vibrant Chatikona market; join the Dongria Kondh fawn over fancy items and admire their countless hairpins, earrings and nose rings. Stroll through nearby villages before embarking on an epic road journey that takes you from the forest to the coast. Delight in the eclectic colonial town of Gopalpur.
Day 9 Chilika Lake
Unwind on the tranquil waters of Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Spot rare migratory birds & playful dolphins. Stroll through fishing villages, bask in the tropical sun and feast on fresh seafood. Enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Bay of Bengal and camp under the stars.
Days 10 - 12 Puri
Soak up the traditional cultures of Puri; wander through the old city, stroll along the beach and pick up local souvenirs at the lively night market. Cycle through lush countryside and bumble through back roads. Meet village craftsmen skilled in the hereditary craft of traditional painting. Behold the famous UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark. Conceived as a giant solar chariot, and executed to perfection, this is one of India’s most sublime monuments.
Day 13 Depart Puri
You are free to depart anytime today. We can provide Additional Accommodation and Departure Transfers for your convenience, please let us know at the time of booking.
Accomodation: Hotel (8 Nights), Village retreat (2 Nights), Community Guest House (1 Night), Tented Camp (1 Night).
Meals: 4 Breakfast, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners. Please allow approx. €10 per day for additional meals.
Transport: Private transport, day trains, local ferry, bullock cart, pole boat, cycle rickshaw, bicycle and foot.
Activities: Viskhatapatnam City Orientation, Cave Temple, 3 Weekly Markets, 6 Village Visits, Sunset cruise on Chilika Lake, Puri Old City by Cycle Rickshaw, Heritage Painting Village (Raghurajpur) Visit, UNESCO World Heritage Konark Sun Temple Entry.
Support: Passionate Local Leader throughout
Arrival/Departure: Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and Puri (2 hours to Bhubaneshwar) are well connected to the rest of India by Domestic Airlines and the Indian Railway network. See the Travel Essentials for more information.
Grass Routes | Orissa Tour | Tribal Tour | Puri | Responsible Travel | Sustainable Travel