Bastar is the great the tribal district in central India, which boasts of green foests, lush valleys, great waterfalls, dence forestes national parks and great Bastar Tribes
Bastar region is situated between 17° 46' and 20° 34' North latitude and 80° 15' and 82° 15' East longitude and at an altitude of 2000 ft .In the early centuries, during the British rule and even today Bastar is a misterious and very attractive land because of its primitive culture.
Bastar division consists of five southern most districts of the newly formed state of Cahattisgarh: Bastar, Kanker, Dantewada, Bijapur and Narayanpur. Bastar region has four boarders: that of Andhraparadesh, Maharastra, Orissa and of Chattisgarh itself. Though these boarder cultures make much impact on Bastar.
HolidayTravel.CO has selected Picturesque City Kanker for Site Seeing
The Kanker town (the district's headquarter) is situated on the National Highway NH-43. It lies between the two well developed cities of
Chhattisgarh namely Raipur (Capital of Chhattisgarh) and Jagdalpur (the district headquarter of the neighboring Bastar district).
|Package Category||Hotel||City||Peak season (July to Feb)||Off Season (Mar to June)|
|Standard Package||Hotel Shraddha Suman||Bastar||Rs.8,500||Rs.7,000|
|Delux Package||Hotel Naman Bastar||Bastar||Rs.11,999||Rs.9,999|
(The Gadiya Mountain)
Reach Kanker by Road
Kanker is connected by road from Raipur from where; a lot of cars & taxis can be hired. Raipur to Kanker is 106 Kms. Travel time by road is 2 hrs.
Reach kanker by Flight
In terms of airway, Nearest airport is at Raipur
Tribal Socio Cultural Aspects
Around 50 percent of total population is Kanker district is tribal. In view of this, most of the culture of Kanker district is tribal dominant even though an interplay of fusion with other cultures is clearly visible.
Bastar Tribal Languages
The chief languages or dialects used in the Kanker district are Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Gondi and Halbi. There were times when Halbi was animportant or language and all the work of administration was done in Halbi language. Halbi is a compound form of Hindi.
Bhatri is the main branch of Halbi language. There are a lot of words taken in this language from other languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Pharsi etc. Like Hindi, Halbi has also two genders masculine and feminine, but the feminine is more used.
The other languages like Bangla, Telugu and Oriya are also popular in the district because people speaking these languages are also living in different parts of the Kanker district.
Bastar Tribal Religion
Up to Nal dynasty the people were divided into four different classes namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodra. But after the downfall of Nal dynasty, a lot of people came from outside and also the main castes divided into sub castes.
There were around 62 casts in Bastar and Kanker states.
In tribes Maria, Muria, Bhatra are divided into Sub Cast San Bhatra,Pit Bhatra,Amnit Bhatra Amnit Hold Highest Status, Parja, Gadva, Halba, Ganda, Mahra, Chandal, Ghuruva, Dom, Lohar, Matrigond, Rajgond, Dorla, Nahar, Naikpod, Kuduk, Andkuri, Kumhar, Kosta, Chamar, Kenvat, Dhakad, were important and in other casts Brahmin, Vaishya, Kayasth, Teli, Kalar, Kshtriya, Kunbi, Dhobi, Marathi, Mohammedan, Pathan, Telanga, Orria and Rohilla etc. were important. Currently in Kanker district around 50 percent of total population is tribal.
So the culture of Kanker district is tribal dominant. Although in this modern era the culture has slightly changed.
Bastar Tribal Family structure
In all castes, people live as a joint family. All the families are male dominant. The oldest person is the head of the family and all other members obey his orders. The oldest person of the family has full authority on all financial matters. All sons have same share in the family asset but daughters have no share. In tribes, the women play an important role.
Bastar Tribal Marriage
Like all other cultured castes, the marriage ceremony is very important in the tribes of Kanker. In Halbas two types of marriages are popular, namely brief marriage and detailed marriage.
In Bhatras four types of marriages are popular namely arrange marriage, love marriage, widow marriage and dhariya marriage.
In Murias arrange marriage, love marriage and kidnapping marriages are popular. In all types of Gonds arrange marriage,love marriage and kidnapping marriages are popular.
Among tribes, if any woman chooses new husband then the new husband gives money to the old husband as compensation allowance. This compensation is settled by the leader of caste.
In tribes the marriage of widow is also popular. In Halbas any widow cannot be married with any unmarried person. In tribes, there is a popular tradition named Ghotul. Ghotul is a cultural centre of Gonds and Murias.
Bastar Tribal Customs at death
Among tribes, the customs of death are complex.
In Maria they bury the dead bodies. If a lady dies during her pregnancy, her body is buried. A child who is younger than 5 years dies then his body is also buried beneath of Mahua tree and his head placed toward east direction. They construct a little tomb on that place in memories of dead person.
The Gonds place the legs towards south in the tomb. In some tribes they place some wooden pole in memories of dead person.
Among tribes of Kanker and Bastar districts there is an important festival celebrated called Madai. In Bastar Region the celebration of festival starts from December. On Poornima people celebrate the Madai festival in respect of the goddess Kesharpal Kesharpalin Devi.
In January the people of Kanker, and the adjoining area Charama and Kurna celebrate the Madai festival. In the month of February the festival is celebrated in Bastar district and there the festival is celebrated in the respect of Cheri-Chher-Kin. In the end of February the Madai festival goes to Antagarh, Narayanpur and Bhanupratappur and in the month of March it is celebrated Kondagaon, Keshkal and Bhopalpattanam. This festival is a moving festival and moves throughout the Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada regions from December to March.
The festival is celebrated in the respect of local God and Goddess. This festival is celebrated in a big ground where thousands of peoples can go simultaneously. Festival starts with a procession of local God or Goddess after that the worship is done and then the festival starts. A lot of shops, Restaurant, crafts, dances and other cultural program can be seen in this festival.
Although the festival is of tribes but all the communities have faith, celebrate and enjoy the festival. Other important festivals are Mati- tihar, Gobar-boharani, Ramnavmi and Navakhani. Dusshera, Diwali, Holi is celebrated as usual like in other parts of India.
The tribal society of Kanker is famous for their excellencies in making exotic handicrafts with a variety of designs and shapes. These handicrafts include wood-carvings, bell-metal items, terracotta items, bamboo items etc. Kanker, Being a forestry district containing good qualities of woods from which very attractive wooden-carving crafts and various types of furniture are being made by the skilled hands. These items attract locals as well as outsiders.
Wood and Bamboo Crafts
This is one of the most famous, beautiful and unique art of wooden carving of tribes. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teak wood and white wood. These wooden crafts include models, idols, wall panels and furniture items etc. These handicrafts are generally exported to different places of the country and it has demand even from foreign countries also. The tribes are excellent in making bamboo crafts also.
Bamboo crafts include wall hanging, table lamp, table mats etc.
This place is very renowned for its royal palace including the tribal villages and the deep forests. The possession of the palace is with the esteemed royal family that belonged to the 12th century. The family of Late Maharajadhiraj Udai Pratap Deo resided here, since 2002. Now some section of the palace is being converted into a hotel.
The Gadiya Mountain
The Gadiya Mountain came into light at the time of Kandra dynasty. When the Kandra king Dharma Dev won the Kanker. He declared his capital on Gadhiya Mountain, which is a natural form of a fort. On the mountain there is a tank which never dries and fulfill by water throughout the year. One part of this tank is called as Sonai and the other part of this tank is called as Rupai.
Actually Sonai and Rupai were the two daughters of Kandra king Dharma Dev. On the southern part of this tank there is a cave named Churi pagar. The entry of this cave is very much narrow. On any outer attack the King and his family lived safe in this cave.
The space of the cave is sufficient to accommodate 500 people inside.
The exit door of this cave is towards west direction. In the south east part of Gadiya mountain there is another cave called Jogi cave. The length of this cave is 50 meters. In ancient time lot of monks lives here alone for their meditation. There is a small pond in this cave. The water of this cave flows on the rock like a water fall. On the bottom of Gadiya mountain the Doodh river flows.
Legend of Gadiya Mountain and Cave
Legend Years ago it is said that in the Gadhiya Mountain lived a King.He had two daughters named "Sonai" and "Rupai". Both were playing near the lake over the hilly area. Suddenly they both fell in the lake that lake was later named as "Sonai Rupai Talab". It is said that the water of that lake never dries and there are two fish on very depth of that Lake. One fish is of gold and another one is of silver. Both fishes are alive till now also. So many people of Kanker claim that they have seen both the fish.
On the mountain there are two rocks behind the main "Sheetla Temple" and the door between those mountain are very thin that only thin persons can enter there but after entering the middle there is a Big Hall in which about 300 people can be seated. People say that the King used to stay with his soldiers during any war on that particular place.
Malanjhkudum Water fall
About 15 kilometers away towards south form Kanker, there is a small mountain. On this mountain there is a spot named Neele Gondi from where the Doodh river takes its shape. After crossing the 10 kilometers there is a place named as Malanjhkudum from where the river produces three waterfalls. The heights of these waterfalls are 10 meters. 15 meters and 9 meters respectively. The slope of this water fall is like a ladder.
The wave of this water fall is very attractive and challenging. This is an ideal place for picnic. The road is available to reach this spot.
Charre-Marre Water fall
This is another beautiful water fall situated in Kanker district. This water fall is situated 17 kilometers away from Antagarh block of Kanker district. There is a place named Charre-Marre on the way from Antagarh to Aamabera. The water fall produces by the river named Jogidahara which flows in Matla valley. The height of this water fall is 16 meters. The slop of this water fall is jig jag.
This temple is situated in Kanker city. This temple is called Shivani Maa temple. The statue of goddess is excellent. According to a myth this Goddess is a combination of two Goddess name Kali Maa and Durga Maa. The vertically half part is of goddess Kali and the remaining half part is of goddess Durga. This type of statue is only two in numbers in whole world. One is in Kolkata and another is in Kanker.