Blog posts

Towards the Ankadeli market

Towards the Ankadeli market

East, India, Odisha

Jaypore turned out to be a pleasant surprise. One of the oldest and most prominent cities of Odisha, it is tucked away in the Eastern Ghats and has a rich royal history. though not much of it remains. Dense forests, waterfalls and a lively tribal culture make up contemporary Jaypore‘s urbanscape and it sees a moderate amount of tourist footfall. Being located very close to Chattisgarh and Telengana, Jaypore is home to many government offices, colleges and research centres. That is why the local hotels are much nicer, cleaner and professionally run and the city has a lovely mixed linguistic culture. Interestingly despite being so regionally important, Jaypore retained a charming lost world feel. Droopy banyan tree tunnels, lively tribal markets and hilly forested roads made the largest town of Koraput district of Odisha a very likable place.

I liked Jaypore a lot and was happy to make it my base for the next few days. That night, post dinner Sarat prepped me for my upcoming visit to the famous Ankadeli market and I listened to his strict instructions with open mouthed amazement. The Ankadeli market was used by the famous Bonda tribe and they were quite well known for their hostility towards outsiders. Belonging to the PTG (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group) category, Bondas are found only in the undivided Koraput area (Khairput area in Malkangiri district) and are perhaps one of the most photogenic tribes of India. The ladies of these rather small statured people adorn their bare bodies with multiple coral and antique coin necklaces, hollow aluminium and bronze neck rings, metal bangles, intricate ear studs and hoops. Coin finger rings and an elaborate headgear on their clean shaved head complete their attire and the only piece of cloth, they sport, is a tiny loincloth made from the bark of a local tree.

#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
A beautiful morning

A heavily beaded belt holds the loincloth in place and they tuck a weapon or two inside it. On market days because of the exposure with the outside world, the Bonda ladies throw blue wraps over their bare backs, which they otherwise keep naked. Their men also wear a loincloth which cover only the front and they always carry multiple weapons on their persons. An axe always adorn their shoulders, along with a dagger, a sheaf of arrows and a bamboo bow. In the past, these poison tipped arrows were generously used and even today, the Bondas are famous for being extremely hostile, pugnacious and heavy drinkers. Due to gradual commercialisation and growing contact with the outside world, the Bonda women have become friendlier over the years, but their men remain mostly hostile.

With such jaw dropping photogenic oppurtunities, it seemed a bit sad that photography was strictly not allowed at Ankadeli market, but the heavy insurgent infestation of the area made the situation pretty grave. Despite, all the troubles, Ankadeli was a very busy market and residents of the neighbouring Telangana state frequented it too. They were joined by the Bonda, Gadaba and Mali community people and each tribe was more eye catching than the other. Held every Thursday, near the interstate border of Odisha and Telangana, Ankadeli required a long drive from Jaypore and it was a beautiful journey through the pristine hinterland.

#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
Remote Odisha hinterland

The morning too dawned bright and beautiful and Jaypore was veiled with soft swirling mists. We left the city early to go with our long drive and the morning air was soft and scented. Flowers bloomed riotously scenting the air wild and huge patches of agricultural fields lay dappled in green and gold. Sarat, seeing my curiosity, stopped at a tribal village en route and we went for a walk around the hamlet. The village was called Janiguda and belonged to the Paraja tribe. It was big and well planned with a headman who also doubled up as the priestess. Fully equipped with a functional school, medical clinic and a ration shop, Janiguda looked thriving. Huge tracts of government allocated cashew nut plantations stretched around it and the villagers engaged in agriculture heavily. Animal husbandry, black pepper farming and forest development work also seemed to be in full swing and large signboards proclaimed them to be government funded enterprises.

Deep connection with nature, being the essence of tribal life, the local government introduced the projects to help them be financially independent. It was a far cry from the usual deprived, exploited image of the tribal society and as we proceeded towards Ankadeli, that morning became more and more eye opening.

TRAVEL TIP – En route to Ankadeli market, do stop by at the small Gunie Pada school in Lamataput area, if time permits. It is a residential school for the tribal children and the visit is guaranteed to be eye opening. The entire education system, method of learning etc are based around nature and the residential nature prevent children from skipping classes. Squeaky clean and fully equipped with learning materials, Gunie Pada school is just another example of progress in the tribal communities. Though, slow, but steady, modern development has reached most of the tribal villages of the area and in spite of their clinging onto traditional lifestyles, the indigenous communities had access to bore wells, schools, medical dispensaries, modern toilets  and special housing loans.

#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
The morning of the
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
Ankadeli market visit
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
Dispelled many myths
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
And images from my mind.                                  Image Credit – Lou Wilson
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
The Gunie Pada school
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
With its neat rows of students
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
And the Janiguda village
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
Made me see the adivasi lifestyle
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
And its deep connection with nature
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
With a much clearer perspective.
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
It is a culture embedded with sense, values
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
And gratitude
#odishatourism #odishatribaltour #travelbloggerindia #travelblogindia
To nature.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE

 

 

 

 

About the author

Hi! I am Svetlana, a cloud gypsy, a story teller and a Maverickbird. A mother, writer, entrepreneur, traveler, foodie and an animal lover, I am a Super girl from India.

23 Comments

  1. kokilagupta
    July 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    Reply

    Beautiful and amazing as always …the children in the classroom and the golden corn , got engraved in my mind 🙂

    • maverickbird
      July 27, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you very much Kokila.

  2. Pescasaurus
    July 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Reply

    Reblogged this on sperrydox and commented:
    Awesome insight into a foreign culture, I’ll definitely stay tune for her latest journeys abroad.

  3. hellvik
    August 23, 2014 at 12:24 am
    Reply

    What an amazing post! The pictures are just stunning!I love to read things like this. You like me interesting in really getting to know the people where you are. Would love to meet this tripe myself one day.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Hanne

    • maverickbird
      August 23, 2014 at 1:09 am

      You are welcome. Thank you for your kind words. I am a very inquisitive person.

  4. Holistic Wayfarer
    November 21, 2014 at 6:24 am
    Reply

    What a rich, lovely post. This is a world away from me. I always learn so much here. I’ve never given thought to cashew plantations. Gorgeous photos. And I love your gravatar, btw. =) Vivacious.

    Diana

    • maverickbird
      November 21, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Thank you very much Diana. Glad that you liked the post.

  5. Moon
    December 2, 2014 at 11:45 am
    Reply

    Wonderful post Svetlana! Thank you for bringing out the truth about our tribal community. Truly speaking I didn’t even know about their existence. Your elaborate and vivid description of the tribal lifestyle once again proves how rich and diverse our country is.

    • maverickbird
      December 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you very much. India is absolutely crammed with such diverse and mind boggling jewels. Glad that you enjoyed the post.

  6. click it AB
    December 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    great info and superb pics, best of luck for future
    stay connected with https://clickitab.wordpress.com

    • maverickbird
      December 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you very much.

  7. gustasp and jeroo
    March 1, 2015 at 11:46 am
    Reply

    Loved the way you captured the spirit of the land and its people

  8. wiseguy from the east
    March 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm
    Reply

    you have lived the life I dreamt of but coudnt

  9. Beverly Pereira
    March 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm
    Reply

    What a wonderful post. You are a great photographer too. Thanks for letting us have a peak into your travels!

    • maverickbird
      March 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you very much Beverly. I am happy that you enjoyed the post. It’s simply another planet.

  10. Subhadip Mukherjee
    April 14, 2015 at 10:45 am
    Reply

    I am surprised that you have visited the Bonda tribes of Odhisa. I remember going there in 2003 and was completely shocked. I was lucky that i was a part of youth NGO wing and thus managed to stay with them for a couple of days. Staying in India i had never imagined that this existed and was a real great experience. After reading your blog i suddenly felt back in time, unfortunately i could not photograph them since digi cameras were non existent then but that has been compensated by your blog. Thanks you.

    • maverickbird
      April 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you Subhadip. Visiting the Bondas had been an eye opening experience. I am glad that you liked the post and they reminded you of your experience with them.

  11. Ranjitha
    June 2, 2015 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    Fascinating to read about this little known tribe.Dont you feel that the real charm of India lies in its villages?

    • maverickbird
      June 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you. Yes real charm of India lies in the villages and hinterland.

  12. Thailand Everyday
    July 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    Lovely pictures and a great write up.

    • maverickbird
      July 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you very much.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *