Friday, November 07, 2014

Road to Araku

From Rajahmundry, we left the coast headed into the hills, to the tribal belt of Orissa. Blandine wanted to check out the nomadic tribes of Koraput and Bastar. Me, I prefer to leave the tribals alone. The way I see it, they have enough troubles of their own without having tourists coming and ogling at them. But Blandine sees it differently, and on these trips, Blandine is the Boss. I am merely the chap who drives T-Bird. Or rather, I'm the chap who does not drive T-Bird, for T-Birds go wherever they please. I'm merely the chap who holds the handlebars and looks cool in a cherry red helmet.
Our target was the town of Koraput, which we were planning to use as our command center for various explorations into the tribal belt. But instead of going all the way to Koraput in one go, we decided to stay the night just 100 km short, in the scenic Araku Valley, which is right on the border of Andhra and Orissa, and is actually the start of the tribal belt.
Here is T-Bird on the road to Araku:
From Bangalore to Rajahmundry via Nellore, we had followed the National Highway. For this leg of the journey, we left NH 5 at the small town of Tuni, and dug into the raw Andhra countryside. We took the scenic route to Araku, through places known for Maoists incidents. Luckily, nothing happened. Newspaper make places like these seem terrifying, but they look like Heaven on Earth, at least, while biking through them. Of course, when once in a while things go wrong, they go terribly wrong - but the same can be said for crossing the street outside your own home.
More pics of the lush countryside.

We ran into these tribal women on the way. They kindly posed for us.

We stayed in a govt run tourist hotel, just beside the Tribal Museum in Araku Valley. Here are pics of the Tribal Museum from the outside. You aren't allowed to take pics inside. But there is a place where you can practice archery using tribal bows and arrows. You are free to take pics of yourself foozling your shots. Her I am, foozling mine.

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