trip
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2
Adventure touring
Activities
  • 12 days adventure touring
Accommodation
  • 6 nights basic hotel
  • 2 nights beachside resort
  • 4 nights tented camp
  • 1 night sleeper train
Meals
  • 11 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 12 Breakfasts

14 Days$3090USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: ODD

Odisha Trip highlights


  • A truly off-the-beaten track destination
  • Unearth the fascinating Adivasi cultures
  • Sample the unique Odishan cuisine, unlike any other in India
  • Explore the regions rich natural beauty
  • See the superb Sun Temple of Konark

You will be hard pressed to find a place in India further off the tourist trail. For those bold enough to venture beyond the comfort of 5 star western hotel chains Odisha provides an excellent opportuinity to experience the 'real' India away from the gaze of mass tourism. The 14 day tour will show you the rich cultural tapastry of the Adivasi tribal groups of the area at their weekly markets, the spiritual epicentres of Puri and Konark, the natural beauty and ecological diversity of Bhitarkanika National Park before ending in the thriving former colonial capital of Kolkata (Calcutta).


Today upon arrival you will be met at the airport and escorted transfer to your hotel for night stay. The rest of the day free. If you are interested and depending on your arrival time, we can visit the Simanchalam Temple in the afternoon. Overnight stay at hotel.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast we will drive from Vishakhapatnam to Rayagada via the Kakiriguma weekly market (210kms/4hrs). Paraja is derived from Praja which means the Inhabitants under the control of a King of the people of the country/villages. These people are very colorful by their costume & hard working. They work on the fields, roads & grow varieties of vegetables & sell them in the market & live a good life in comparison to many of the other tribes in the area. The people still practice traditional social rituals & worship their ancestral gods & goddess as well as nature itself. Lunch & free time for the the rest of the day. Overnight in basic hotel

Meals:  B,D

Today we will visit the weekly market at Kotgarh. (120kms/3hrs drive One way) We will also have an excursion to the Kutia/Desia Kondh village & their weekly market in the Tumudibandh Region. The Kutia Kondh are a part of the Kondh society living in the Phulbani & Kondhamal districts. Khonds are a Dravidian-speaking tribal people of India. Traditionally hunter-gatherers, they are divided into the hill-dwelling Khonds and plain-dwelling Khonds for census purposes; all the Khonds identify by their clan and usually hold large tracts of fertile land but still practice hunting, gathering and slash-and-burn agriculture in the forests as a symbol of their connection to and ownership of the forest. The Kutia people are known for their various forms of body art, especially tattoos so much so that locally their technique of tattooing is known as Kut locally. The tattoos are created by the women and usually of floral or geometrical style depending upon the clan they belong to. It is said that the tattoo are primarily used as a form of identification that lasts even beyond death. Following our day meeting these people and learning about their unique lifestyles we will make our way back to the hotel & relax for the rest of the evening. Overnight in basic hotel

Meals:  B,D

Today we will drive from Rayagada to Similiguda via Dongariya Kondh Weekly Market (210kms/4hrs). Dongariya Kondh is one of the very interesting Kondh groups, in the Kondhmala district, living in the Niyamagiri Hill Range. Once upon a time this group was known for the practice of "Mariah Sacrifice" which until stopped by the colonial government involved the sacrificial killing of human beings. The men & women of this society decorate themselves in a much similar way as the Kutia Khonds with the only difference being the use of nose rings byboth males and females. The name Dongariya is derived from the local name of Dongar, which means hill slope. This group lives on the hill slope as well as cultivate these slopes & produce a variety of fruits & vegetables, as well as herbs used for the medicine. Following lunch we drive to Similiguda, visiting the Paraja Village (if time permits) on the way. Overnight in basic hotel

Meals:  B,D

Today's journey takes us from Similiguda to another weekly tribal market then on to Koraput (110kms/3hrs) visiting the Koraput Jagannath Temple and Koraput tribal Museum before finally returning to Rayagada (120kms/2hrs). Through out the day we will encounter people of the Bonda, Gadhaba and Didayee tribal groups. The Bonda Tribe lives high in the Eastern Ghats with the most identifiable feature being the practice of women of this group shaving their heads and then using hand crafted caps made of beads, fixed with clips and grass made rope. Their bodies are also decorated with colorful beads, aluminum neck rings and aluminum bracelets, making them one of the most iconic of the tribal groups in South Odisha. Their social practices are also unique in that Bonda men marry elder women in their society. The Gadhaba are believed to the Ancestors of Bondo Group who came down from the Eastern Ghats to settle in the plain land of Koraput in South Odisha. This group is divided into two main sub-groups known as Bara Gadhaba and Sana Gadhaba. Perhaps the most iconic feature of these group's practices involved married women being required to wear heavy silver neck rings after marriage, weighing about a kilogram. These were only removed after death by the blacksmith and duly passed to the first daughter-in-law of the house. Due to the influence of outside cultures and societies this is a practice that has been ceased by many though some in remote villages still practice these age old rituals. We will arrive in Koraput in time for lunch before paying a visit to the Jagannath Temple believed to be the birth place of the Jagannath cult. It is believed that it was here that Vishnu, in the form of a Blue Stone Idol worshiped by the Sabara King, vanished. Here westerners are allowed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum allowing a unique opportunity to observe the murals and statues within. The Tribal Museum at Koraput has a very rare collection of the jewelry, art and artifacts of all the Tribes of Odisha and worth visit. After and action packed day we will arrive once again in Rayagada for a well earned nights rest. Overnight in basic hotel.

Meals:  B,D

This morning begins with a drive from Rayagada to Chandragiri (120kms/4hrs), then Taptapani (35kms/1hr) and Gopalpur On Sea 75kms/2hrs. On our drive to Gopalpur On Sea we will be visiting the Chandragiri Tibetan Settlement and Monasteries as well as the Taptapani Hot Sulphur Spring Shrine. Chandragiri is now known for the Tibetan refugee settlement. Here the Buddhist community live harmoniously with the Saura tribal people. Here we find a pleasant monastery built with the help of the Swiss Government as well as an adjacent weaving center where community members produce traditional carpets. Taptapani is the entry point to the Tribal Belt of South Odisha. Overnight in beach side resort.

Meals:  B,D

Our journey today takes us from Gopalpur On Sea to Mangalajodi on Chilika Lake and on to Puri . After breakfast we drive to Mangalajodi (220kms/3hrs) on Chilika Lake. Here we enjoy boating, in row boats, at the lake before lunch at a local community-run restaurant. From here we drive to Puri (120kms/2.30hrs) Overnight beachside resort.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will begin with some sightseeing in Puri, this includes a visit to the potters at Kumbharpara and the Jagannath temple area. We will also visit the Raghurajpur Heritage Artisans’ village. Puri is one of the four Dhams of Hindu people, akin to Mecca for those of the Muslim faith. It is an extremely sacred pilgrimage sight for Hindu's and as such only Hindu's are permitted to enter the temple As a non hindu you are permitted to use the platform (closed on Sunday and local holidays) in front of the Temple to watch the activities partially inside the temple. Declared as the heritage village of Odisha, Raghurajpur is the only place where you can experience the artisans working on the silk, paper, beetle nuts, coconuts, cow dung, coir and many more. Your visit will introduce you to the age old Patta painting workers in the village and their working style. Raghurajpur is also the only village in Odisha where the gurus (teachers) operate an ashram that trains local boys to perform world famous Gotipua dance. Gotipua Dance, formed in 12th Century AD after the Mughal invasion to Odisha, is a modified form of Odishi Dance and one of the seven classical dances of India. We will enjoy a traditional Gotipua dance here before moving on to Konark in time for lunch. In the evening we enjoy the light and sound show at the Sun temple. Overnight in tented camp.

Meals:  B,D

The Sun Temple of Konark, one of the most important heritage sites in India, is the pinnacle of Odiya architecture. Built in a form of a chariot, this temple has attracted travellers from all over the world on account of the intricate stone work on display here. The chariot is drawn by 7 horses representing seven days of the week and seven colours of rainbow and represents the visit of Sun God, the controller of time, from East to West. The twenty four wheels around the Hall Of Prayer make up a unique take on a sun dial with the wheels representing the twenty four fortnights of the year. Overnight in tented camp.

Meals:  B,D

This morning we drive to Bhitarkanika via the buddhist sites of Ratnagiri and Udaigiri, both dating back to the 10th century AD. The three hills and their surroundings comprise a remarkable Buddhist complex. Hiuen T’sang, a Chinese pilgrim who travelled India for 16 years in the 7th century, found it to be the location of a flourishing Buddhist University called Puspagiri. This is thought to be what today are referred to as the ruins of Ratnagiri, Udaigiri and Lalitgiri. The extensive ruins of brick pagodas, sculptured stone portals and esoteric Buddhist images are significant clues of an ancient glory with much of the structures uncovered dating back to at least the 9th century. Ratnagiri is the gem of this complex. Udaigiri, while still under excavation, tells the story of the monks and students living here in 10th Century AD with its interesting stupas, temple and well. Lunch is at a local restaurant in Ratnagiri. From here we will continue the drive to Bhitarkanika, check in to the Camp and walk around the village. Overnight in tented camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our adventure continues as we undertake a nature trek and boat safari to experience the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 672 square kilometers and comprises of mangrove forests, meandering rivers and innumerable tidal creeks, providing refuge to the already endangered salt water crocodile. Besides estuarine Crocodile, the sanctuary is rich in avian, mammalian and reptilian fauna. Theses mangrove forests are good habitat for King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard. During 2002 the Bhitarkanika mangroves were declared as a Ramsar site being a wetland of international importance. Overnight in tented camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will drive from Bhitarkanika to Lalitgiri (120kms/3hrs) and Bhubaneshwar (100kms/2hrs) today. On the way to Bhubaneswar we will visit the Lalitgiri Buddhist site of the Buddhist Triangle. Overnight at The Crown Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B,D

The morning we will visit the Khandagiri & Udaigiri Jain Caves, a network of 92 caves dating back to the 1st century BC. Here we gain insight into the royal, social and cultural life of the King & the people of Kalinga. The Tribal Museum (closed on Monday and local holidays) is an excellent place to visit during the sightseeing of Bhubaneswar. It has the best collection of Tribal people from all over Odisha. Display of the jewelries, artifacts and the technology used, to understand it in the best possible way, will take hours to roam around the place. It has a nice library, souvenir shop and a restaurant serving Tribal food. Then we will enjoy an afternoon of visits to Bhubaneswar's many temples in chronological order from 7th to 11th century. It is for these that Bhubaneshwar is known as the "Temple City of India", once housing some 7000 temples around the city of which 500 temples remain with origins ranging between the 5th and 11th Century AD. There of course is not time to see them all however we will visit Parasurameshwar, Mukteshwar, Rajarani, Brahmeshwar, Vaital & Lingaraj temples. These temples belonging to different periods with thier designs and methods of construction reflecting changes in taste, style and technique with the 11th century Lingaraj Temples representing the culmination of the temple construction at Bhubaneswar. Dinner this evening is at local restaurant before you are dropped at the station for the overnight train to Kolkata

Meals:  B

Upon arrival in Kolkata the trip concludes with transfer from the station to the airport or a local hotel.

Meals:  Nil


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 11 dinners
  • simple, basic hotel accommodation on a twin share basis, beachside resorts and tented camps
  • airport transfers
  • private vehicle and driver/tour coordinator
  • sightseeing with local guides including entrance fees

  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, bottled mineral water, soft drinks, alcohol etc
  • Optional activities and sightseeing during free time
  • Still/video camera fees at monuments

Departure dates

Departs Sundays October to April

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

NB:
This trips involves a journey by train. Trains in India are a very popular mode of travel for visitors with only limited places available. These can book out up to 4 months in advance. To avoid disappointment we recommend booking early and providing the necessary details to your sales consultant.
Note:
This trip is scheduled to depart Sunday to make the most of the regions weekly markets

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Total Priceper person from

$3090USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$710
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Odisha In Depth trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Odisha Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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