Day 01. Bhubaneswar:
Assistance on arrival (13.20) at airport and transfer to the hotel. Bhubaneswar is famous as the Temple City boasting of about 700 ancient temples. The most important temples of Bhubaneswar are Parasurameswar Temple (7th Century AD), Mukteswar Temple (10th Century AD), Rajarani Temple (11th Century AD ) and Lingaraj Temple (11th Century AD). Note: only the Hindus are allowed to enter the premises of Lingaraj Temple. We like to visit most notable among them today. Overnight.
Day 02. Bhubaneswar/Puri/Konark/Puri:
We drive (65 Kms, 2hrs drive) to Puri, where the ancient temple of Lord Jagannath is located, the most respected seat of God. We will visit (an hour) this temple from outside only as overseas nationals are not allowed in, which will offer wonderful architectural photo opportunities. Lunch at the hotel. Drive (35 Kms, 01 hrs drive) to visit the most imposing ancient Sun Temple at Konark and photograph its numerous sculptures including the giant wheels on which the main temple rests though partly damaged. A walking tour promising brilliant photography. Drive back to Puri. We can relax at the beach near the hotel. Overnight at same hotel.
Day 03: Puri/Odishan Villages/Chilika lagoon/Gopalpur: (200 KM, 06 hrs including sight seeing):
Drive to Gopalpur, en route visit typical Odishan villages, boat cruise to explore migratory birds on the island (we will visit the Bird Sanctuary at Mangala Jodi at Chilika lagoon), continue driving to Gopalpur-on-Sea. Overnight at Gopalpur-on-sea. Lunch.
Days 04 – 05: Gopalpur/Raygada:
(220 Km, 06 hrs including sight seeing): Drive to Rayagada, en route visit Taptapani (65 Kms, 1.5 hr drive), hot sulphur spring, and Saura tribal villages. Overnight at hotel in Rayagada. Lunch at a local restaurant. Overnight. Next day we will drive to Bisamkatak (55 km) to visit weekly market of Desia Kondh tribe at Dukum, later visit traditional craft village. After lunch (Missionaries Restaurant) we will enjoy a walk on Niyamgiri hills to visit the Dongaria Kondh hamlets (seeking special permit to visit this area). Overnight at Rayagada. (Weekly market only on Tuesdays).
Day 06: Rayagada/Chhatikona/Jeypore (220 Km, 01 hr drive to Chatikona and 3hrs drive to Jeypore):
We reach Chhatikona, the weekly colourful Dongaria Kondh market. Dongaria tribals come down with their forest produce to sell/barter with non-tribals, an interesting event to watch. Drive to Jeypore. Overnight at hotel in Jeypore. (Weekly markets only on Wednesdays). Lunch, check out after visiting the weekly market in the morning.
Day 07: Jeypore/Onkudeli/Jeypore:
(160 Km, 02 hrs drive): Drive to Onkudelli, the most interesting market of Bondos/Gadabas/Didayees, later visit Ollar Gadaba tribal villages and return hotel. Overnight in Jeypore. (Weekly markets only on Thursdays). Pack Lunch.
Day 08: Jeypore/Kunduli/Jagdalpur:
(80 Km): After breakfast drive to Kunduli where the guests will witness the largest tribal market of the Paroja people (Jeypore to Kunduli 70 Kms) and return to Jagdalpur via Jeypore again and have lunch at Jeypore and then check out to continue driving to Jagdalpur. En route visit Bhatra Tribal Market at Nagarner in the afternoon. Overnight at a Resort in Jagdalpur. Lunch at a nice restaurant en route.
Day 09: Jagdalpur/Kanker: (160 Kms, 03hrs drive): Check out from hotel and drive to Kanker. On the way we will visit (through the vehicle itself) the thick woods of Keshkal Ghat bordering Bastar (Bastar to Kanker is 125 km., Bastar is the district and Jagdalpur is the district headquarters). We will also visit Kondagaon which
is home to Bastar’s exquisite handicrafts, its excellent craft work in bell metal, wood, wrought iron and bamboo. We can experience the ‘Gotul’ ceremony of tribals in which the boy selects a girl as his wife. Packed Lunch from Jagdalpur.
We will reach Kanker Palace, the major attraction towards end of the tour. It was built in the first quarter of the 20th Century. It is set in a beautifully landscaped garden, it was earlier known as Radhanivas Bagicha. It served as the residence of the political agent during the British period. With its colonial architecture, part of the palace is home to the erstwhile royal family and the right wing has been devoted to host guests. A nice bar be que will be arranged for us at the Palace in evening. Overnight at Kanker Palace.
Day 10: Kanker/Raipur/New Delhi:
We can have lunch at the Farm house (30 km, 1 hr.) which belongs to the Kanker family. Drive (120 km, about 2.5 hrs) to Raipur airport to board evening flight to New Delhi (dep. 1930, and dep. 1825) reaching after about two hours. Transfer to a hotel. Overnight in New Delhi hotel.
Day 11: New Delhi:
We will visit some interesting places today in the capital like Jama Masjid (Big Mosque) area to experience a bicycle rickshaw ride in the most dense plazas, Gandhi Memorial, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple (Bahai faith), Nehru Museum and a stroll at India Gate having lunch in a city restaurant. Transfer to airport in time to board flight back home. Or overnight in the same hotel if the flight is to depart next morning. Farewell.
Note: It is a model itinerary. It will be worked out through discussions with guests about destinations, target-species, hotels, night-stay, departure-schedule etc., so that the detailed agreed final itinerary is developed for implementation. Extension to Corbett-Bharatpur, Kaziranga-Nameri, Eaglenest, both the Ranns of Kutch, Thar Desert, Western Ghats in South India, other Tiger Parks, Cultural sites, etc., will be offered on receiving a word. The ‘advance-deposit’ with VIGT is not ‘forfeited’ if the tour is cancelled by guests. Lot of flexibility favours VIGT guests: all departures to suit guests’ dates-duration, and even changes in the itinerary are effected while guests are actually touring.