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08 Feb 2021 by Pratik Sharma

Bastar is an unexplored, unknown land of the bounty with rich layers to its culture and history.   ‘Bastar’ is located in Chhattisgarh comprising of the Bastar, Dantewada, and Kanker districts. Currently, it is spread over 10,000 sq kms and is home to tribal communities that are more than 3000 years old. The Megalithic Gond, Maria, and Muria tribes largely inhabit the region, making it culturally and demographically unique and different. Surrounded by Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, it poses a hybrid blend of Odia and Andhra culture. Gondi is the main language in the region followed by Halbi. Bastar is predominantly an agricultural area, with rice being the major crop grown in Kharif season. The tribals depend on the forests for food security and employment. The forests are also rich with Bauxite deposits, especially the Bailadila mountain ranges which support two thriving steel plants. The influence of the vibrant tribal lifestyle can be seen in the region’s famous handicrafts which use the lost wax technique to make decorative items like jewelry and pots. Bastar’s woodcraft and bell metal artifacts show a great deal of skill and finesse and are unique.   The 75 day long Dussehrafestival showcases interesting elements of tribal life. The festival starts in July and ends in October, overlapping with the Navratra, but is not connected to the more popular legend of Lord Ram’s win over Ravan. Bastar Dussehra is a great way to immerse yourself in this ancient culture and to witness the vibrant colors of tribal lifestyle! The air is filled with joy and effervescence of celebration mixed with the taste of local brews and authentic tribal food. The palace was built by and still is inhabited by the rulers of the Bhanj Deo dynasty which took over Bastar from the Kakatiyas. Maharaja PravirBhanjDeo was the ruler of Bastar state during Independence. The tribals and locals worship him and believe that the Maharaja had some supernatural powers. The Palace has a rich collection of rare pictures, portraits of the royal family, and collectible masterpieces of tribal handicraft from the region.

Bastar Chhattisgarh