The day started with a visit to the tribal village. We spent a lot of time in the village taking pictures and interviewing the villagers. An interesting episode we filmed was the traditional potter in the village making earthen pots and other items.
We spent time in the homes of the tribal villagers and discussed their aspirations and problems. We visited the Araku Museum, and then drove to Chilka through naxal affected territory. We had wanted to take a particular route but were advised not to go that side due to naxal activities.
We took a fairly long route and were pleasantly surprised to see a ‘village fair’ at one of the villages on the road. We stopped for some time to take pictures and interview the people there. Tribes of all types from the surrounding hills and settlements were there. The market sold traditionally grown agricultural items, livestock and tribal handicraft and textile products from various tribal communities. Side by side were the products of the modern age from Pepsi and Coca-Cola to insecticides, pesticides, modern textiles, Chinese electronic goods, DVDs, CDs etc.
The road after this crosses dense jungles on the mountains. It passes through Raigad, the hot bed of Naxals and Maoists! Signages were bad. Road on the mountains was bad. Our aim was to reach the National Highway No. 5 at the town of Palasa before dark as this area is a very problematic area for the police too.
The road goes through the historic town of Paralakhemundi. We reached Paslasa on time and then the good roads of the National Highway took us fast to Chilka which we reached only by 10.30 pm. we headed straight to the famous Chilka Dhabha, an eatery which is famous for its mouth watering food, especially sea food from the Chilka Lake. Over some refreshments, we had an excellent dinner and took pictures of the efficient kitchen and staff. We checked into a resort nearby for the night.
Distance Covered: 563 kms
States Covered: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha
Districts Covered: Vishakapatanum and Srikakulam in AP; Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam, Khorda, and Puri, in Odisha
The Araku Museum is a charming, red-roofed bungalow and one of the heritage museum of habitat, provides a glimpse of tribal life styles. It preserves traits of original tradition, culture, fine arts of primitive tribes of India. It depicts portrays of daily life of tribal and sculptures are more realistic. The tribe weapons, chunky silver jewels are very ornate and elegant. Tribal arts and craft center is filled with rich workshop of artisans.
The historic town of Paralakhemundi : Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deo, Maharaja of Paralakhemundi was the direct descendant of the historic dynasty of the Eastern Ganga dynasty Gajapati kings that ruled Odisha for more than seven centuries. During the regime of these kings, the boundaries of Odisha extended from the Ganges in the north to Udoyagiri in Nellore district in the South. Kolahomee, one of the sons of Gajapati Kapilendra Dev, the Gajapati monarch in the later half of the 15th Century came to this part of Paralakhemundi (then in Ganjam district) and founded the Royal family of Paralakhemundi. It was a very crowded area and we were able to catch a glimpse of the old palace from outside. Interestingly, the descendants of the Gajapathy Royal family now live in Chennai.
Kumara tribes of the Gonds; Bidi makers at the Gond market; local mini-transport owner.