Experience Tribal Culture in India!

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India is known to be the land of diverse culture and is said to have the largest tribal population in the world, along with Africa. Around 533 different tribes represents 10% of India’s population. The lives of these tribals are closely tied to nature and stay at the most pristine and picturesque locations, untouched by the modern world. Listed below are India’s top 6 tribal destinations. Make sure you visit these tribal cultures to get an unforgettable insight into their existence and have an altogether an uplifting experience!

1. Nagaland
Nagaland is known to have 16 major tribes in itself. Whether you venture to the villages just a few hours from Kohima or to the far-off districts of Mon which is known for having the last surviving head hunters, you are sure to be engaged by the fascinating tribal life of Nagaland. While many travelers prefer taking an organized tour, you can opt for exploring solo if you feeling a tad bit adventurous. The Hornbill Festival takes place every December in the Kohima district, offers a popular tribal experience.

2. Odisha
Largest number of tribes i.e. 62 can be found in Odisha. These mystical people dwell in Odisha’s remote, deep forests and hilly territories. Though they are scattered all over Odisha, most of them can be found in the southwest part of the state. Organized tours are the only way of experiencing tribal culture as some of the areas are inaccessible and require permits. Puri and Bhubaneshwar are the best places to arrange tribal tours. These tours consist of 7 to 15 days, depending upon the amount of travel involved.

3. Chhatisgarh
Over a third of Chhhatisgarh’s population consists of tribal people, most of them living in the thick forest areas of the Bastar region. The tribes, predominantly Gonds are known for their artistry, music and dance, and unorthodox marriages. Young men and women live together in Ghotul huts and interact freely before getting married. Dusshera being the most important festival is celebrated in a unique way.

4. Gujarat
Tribes of Gujarat inhabit the rugged terrain adjoining the Aravallis, the western ridges of the Vindhya and Satpura mountain Range and the northern slopes of the Sahyadri Ranges. Tribes such as the Siddhis, Rabari tribe, Padhar tribe, Mers and Bharwads live in the coastal Saurashtra districts of Junagadh, Jamnagar and Kutch. The tribal people of Gujarat are religious and are animistic in religion. They worship animals, such as the tiger, crocodile and snake as Gods and also worship some plant Gods and a hill God (Thumbi Dev). They also have many Gods in common with the Hindus such as Chamunda, Kalka, Amba, Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna.

5. Rajasthan
Around 15% of Rajasthan’s population is said to be tribals. The Bhil tribe were amongst the original inhabitants of Rajasthan and are mostly located in southern Rajasthan. Don’t miss the five day Baneshwar tribal fair which happens every January/February in Dungarpur. The Bishnoi village provides an authentic experience of rural Rajasthan.

6. Maharashtra
The state of Maharashtra is said to have a large tribal population. The state is home to almost 50 tribes, the main ones being Bhils, Gonds, Mahadeo Kolis, Thakurs and Warlis.

The Mahadeo Koli tribe lives in harmony with nature, earning a living through farming. The village has just over 100 houses, and over half of them welcome guests. The Mahadeo Kolis are extremely warm and friendly, and will happily continue their regular activities unmindful of visitors.