An Extraordinary Photo and Cultural Tour of Odisha and Chattigarh
We found ourselves in eastern India a month ago and I’m not sure why. Over the years we have traveled to some very remote locations and this sounded interesting. The roads in eastern India are fairly good and what you will encounter on them can be exciting if you’re not used to water buffalo pulling carts, bicycles loaded down with coconuts or trucks that look like they came off the set of Mad Max.
We were on our way to ancient tribal villages and markets to meet and photograph some wonderful people full of laughter and friendship. At one point, my wife almost reduced to tears when the women in one village grabbed by the arm and included her in one of their dances. There were hugs exchanged and a feeling of warmth spread across her face. I, on the other hand, sat by and watched as these are matriarchal societies.
These are Matriarchal societies. In most of these pictures you’ll only see men in dances ,working in the fields, tending the animals or playing musical instruments. These women are very self sufficient and only let the men do the heavy labor.This is the way the women run things. I had great opportunities to photograph these hard-working women at the markets and in their villages. They were great to work with and our guide, who spoke the local dialects paved the way for me asking them to pose or for that matter just hold still for a moment.
By the way, the villages were well kept and very clean unlike some of the cities.
My biggest joy was to see all the colors they would wear and the beautiful jewelry they were wearing. Tattoos are part of some of the tribal cultures with variations from tribe to tribe like the jewelry.
We went into one area where the people are fighting big business for their survival. They have bauxite other land (used to make aluminum). Legal fights have ensued and so far the tribe is winning. Sounds like a movie by the name of Avatar, right? In another location, we saw a dance where men wear bison horns on their heads and again it looked like a movie set.
We decided to extend our trip in India by doing a Taj Mahal extension so we flew back to Delhi and spent the night there. The next morning we were met by our driver and we drove to Agra. My wife was amazed by all the camels and I had wonderful conversations with our driver.Everyone knows the saying “ a picture is worth a thousand words” I’m here to say as a photographer the saying is a 100% incorrect! The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building created You have to see it with your eyes and heart. There is Love in every piece of its marble.. It is sensual and graceful and can only be appreciated to it fullest when you see it in person. In all our travels I have never seen a more beautiful piece of Art. If you haven’t read its history please do before you go. I hope you fall in love with it the way we did.If you go to India and don’t visit the Taj Mahal you’ll have done yourself a huge disservice . The people of the tribal villages and the Taj Mahal stole our hearts.
This turned out to be the greatest trip we have ever taken. Food was great, accommodations were luxurious in the big cities where we started and ended the trip and in the rural areas the rooms were adequate and clean.
The trip was put together by Teri Goldstein, owner of TG Travel Group LLC. http://differentperspectivetours.com Everything was done in a professional manner and nothing was left to chance. Kudos to TG Travel Group and thank you again Teri.
Bernie and Carla Guzik have traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, Europe, Asia and Africa. His pictures have been in travel brochures and he has won awards in photo competitions.