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Thread: Interior Chhattisgarh/Sourthern Orissa->Tribes-Falls-Forests

  1. #1

    Interior Chhattisgarh/Sourthern Orissa->Tribes-Falls-Forests

    All pictures are copyright of respective owner/s. Pictures by adc and shovan. Shot with Canon 400D with kit lens and Canon S3 IS Powershot
    As the Puja holidays [Oct 2009] neared and all known places booked before hand that too with exorbitant rates; searched for some interesting unknown place, one news item suddenly caught my mind - around half a lakh foreign tourists visit a place near Ankadeli, a tribal village beyond Jeypore, Orissa, - more so as a tri-state place where the borders of Orissa, Chhattigarh, and Andhra Pradesh meet.

    And more we came to know about this tribal land and its people and desolate roads and caves, the more we were fascinated. Here is a place where we Indians dont know about and yet when I ask for a hotel room, I find out that all hotel rooms in the good hotel are booked all Thursdays till mid 2010 by foreigners. Why? As we encountered that Thursday, we were fascinated by the people, whom we call the most primitive tribe other than the Jarwas till now and yet one can but be enchanted by their simple life, market scenes, and their way of living.

    Now any place such as this evokes a immediate concern - Maoist presence and soon I find that there are more than enough out there. All the nearby police stations have been blasted as recent as July. So reasoned like, if a foreigner could come up and visit out here, so could we. With that also grouped the Chitrakote falls, India's Niagara, which is magnificient to watch during the monsoons but since late rainfall happened last year, it was still in magnificent flow.

    All in all we had a fantastic journey, not a glamourous one like a Ladakh or a Goa tour would be, but a journey to kind of discovery of tribals, places, people and roads, and to see the waterfall also known as the Niagara of India!

    Chitrakote Falls - In all its splendor!!
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    Among the Bonda tribe
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    Somewhere in Interior Dantewada
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    We left at 10:30 pm, night, reached at 3:30 pm, afternoon, at Jeypore - fantastic road till before Balasore - amazing to see a the Cal-Puri Volvo going at 115 kph as we overtook it. After that it is a hell road with averages coming down till we get on to the double roads after Berhampur and then on the State Highways of Andhra Pradesh, again slow but the roads are good, single laned.

    Jeypore to Jagdalpur/Chitrakote around 120 km. We based ourselves 1 day at Jagdalpur and 2 days at Chitrakote Resort, just near the Falls - fantastic location. From Jagdalpur covered the Tirathgarh falls beyond Kanger, Danteshwari Temple at Dantewada, and Kirandul/Bailadala mines. At Chitrakote just relaxed for 2 days.

    From there Chitrakote we moved to Rayagada, Orissa. Followed this route as wanted to see the interior desolate roads. Amazing views, total emptiness, narrow roads for a halt at Rayagada.

    After a night halt at Rayagada, we started at around 10 am again followed the state highway to the NH5 at Berhampur/Ganjam. Again a journey through the eastern ghats among near empty roads till we come near to Berhampur. Reached Kolkata the next day at around 6 am. Had a puncture near Panskura on NH6, it sure takes the gut out to change a Safari tyre after some 16 hours of driving.

    In all Orissa state highways and national highways are deteriorating and both are in condition of disrepair - latest update is some part is patched up like - we know soon as heading to Satkosia this weekend. Road infrastructure of Chhattisgarh and AP, what we encountered, was much improved.

    Travel Route:

    Calcutta to Jeypore[2 days] -- 1050 km -- 17 hours
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    Chitrakote - Rayagada [1 day] - 250 km
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    Rayagada - Calcutta via Taptapani - 1150 km -- 20 hours
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  3. #3
    Day 0 and Day 1 - Kolkata - Jeypore - 1050 km - 17 hrs

    Morning Day break around Chilka Lake, Orissa

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    It does confuse for a few seconds from distance, going direct towards you or from you!
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    Soon enough the eastern ghats as we enter the State Highways of AP to enter Orissa again
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    We enter Orissa through the absolutely desolate highway plus did not encounter any border checkposts between these 2 states on this state highway road!
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    Again desolate roads but with rains and greenery all around, it was a great experience and feeling to drive.
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    We went through Koraput [saw a local market there but was apprehensive to take photos] and then to Jeypore for a much needed rest for that day - it has been a long journey
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    Morning next day we were headed towards the unseen and unknown - roads empty out soon thereafter. After dark, no one roams around this place
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    Just beyond Jeypore, to go to these places we cross a British 1931 bridge.
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    Empty rural roads, almost zero traffic other than the local transport jeeps, but visually stunning scenery with all the mist and the colours of earth
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    All good and well until you face the reality of places, all the police stations blasted out, no administration around - these happened as recent as July 2009
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  5. #5
    Jeypore-Lamptaput-Gupteshwar-Machkund ..contd

    Road to Gupteshwar Temple through the forests

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    The Jalaput Dam built across the Machkund River of Orissa stands as a boundary between the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The dam is situated near Ondra Gadda in the district of Vishakapatnam and is placed along the Mudugal hills. The dam has a steep fall along it known as the Duduma Falls. The Jalaput Dam has been functioning from the year 1955 and it holds around 34.273 TMC of water under the Machkund Hydro-Electric Scheme (MHES), down stream.

    The name Jalaput is basically a tribal name which has acquired its name putting together the two words Jal and Put. The word Jal means water and Put means store house. As Jalaput Water Reservoir provided water to many of the local tribes the dam came to be known as the Jalaput Dam.
    Jalaput Dam
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    And soon rain and mist enveloped us - amazing to drive, just like a hill station minus the crowd - in fact zero traffic
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    Gupteswar is a cave temple located on the banks of Kolab River, about 80 km from Koraput, in Koraput District, Orissa. Situated on a lime stone hill amidst scenic bliss, the cave shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple houses a sacred swayambhu Shivling called Gupteswar, which literally means the ‘Hidden God’. Shivratri is the major festival celebrated here amidst much pomp and splendor.

    The fame of the temple is not restricted to Orissa but it is also well known in other parts of the country. The people of Chhattisgarh refer to the shrine by the name ‘Gupta Kedar’.

    Gupteswar can be reached through a forest tract which starts from the east of the Ramagiri

    Gupteshwar temple
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    Behind Gupteshwar temple there is a absolute dark cave, took one of priests with torches to see some unique limestone rock formation
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    Duduma Waterfall, Machkund: The majestic waterfall, also known as “Matsya Tirtha” falls from a height of 175 meters. A hydro - electric project with its winch developed amidst deep greenery is a place for pleasure.
    Duduma Waterfall at Machkund
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    And then to Machkund mini hydel plant for the trolley ride and the Duduma Falls. One cannot go up to the falls but see it at a distance as it all dense forest surroundings. The trolley ride was missed as the caretaker was out somewhere, who knows, met a local person tending cattle and chatted with him up for some time. Quite informed and well dressed and good to chat with someone, after all in all this journey out to this particular place here, first time I am talking to a local.

    The stairs and winch trolley lead right down to the bottom where the turbines are located.
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    Of course, Machkund Police Station is also blasted out - this done around July-Aug 2009.
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    After a very satisfying drive and travel to these unknown parts, we return to Jeypore town just around dusk. On the next post, I write down about our travel to the Bonda market at Ankadeli, one of the main reason for us to come out here. This market happens only on Thursdays each week.


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