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Enjoy tribal villages and scenery of Chattisgarh on a spectacular cycling safari

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India displays diversity unparalleled to any other country in the world. It is blessed with the highest mountains, the mightiest rivers, vast flatlands, dense forests, sun soaked beaches, a great desert and hundreds of tropical islands. Combined with a culture and people more diverse than its geography, fuelled by 3500 years of uninterrupted history, the country makes for a romantic affair for any traveler that sets foot on it.

The romance is best experienced on the quaint country roads, where you witness the simplicities and eccentricities of Indian rural life. Cycling on these country roads makes for the perfect pace to soak in the sights and sounds of this mysterious land. The unique luxury of staying in charming hotels or rustic wildlife lodges, located at cycling distances, makes for the perfect cycling holiday to experience the enigma that is India.

Embark on a very special journey early in the morning to make sure you experience the scenery in the best light. Initially the ride will skirt the forested boundary of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, crossing the scenic Banjar River and into various Gond villages.

After couple of hours cycling from village to village, you will gently go in and out of the forest, through paddy fields admiring the local architecture with houses painted in bright blue colour and terracotta roofs. The five hour journey from your camp to the first destination Supkhar would mainly consist of gentle terrain.

We set up your forest camp close to a traditional Baiga village. Tents will be prepared with cotton mattresses, fresh linen and duvets. A delicious local meal will be served after which you will have time to relax in the comforts of your tent. There will be sufficient time for you to explore the village or simply have time to relax and enjoy the surroundings before night fall.

Evenings could be cold but you will be extremely comfortable around the camp fire enjoying a bowl of chicken curry and rice, listening to interesting facts about the tribes. The team will make sure that you had plenty of duvets to get some good sleep so that you were ready for the journey ahead.

Next morning set off after breakfast, heading deeper into Gondwana land ‐ the tribal countryside of Chhattisgarh. The route drops into a narrow agricultural valley, flanked by forested hills and inhabited by mainly Baiga hamlets. Absolutely no tourism exists here, and local customs and practices remain prevalent.

Continue cycling along the eastern spur of Kanha Tiger Reserve arriving at the market town of Chilpi, an important gathering centre for both Gond and Baiga tribes. Try and time your arrival on a Friday as you can visit the market where fresh vegetables and spices are bartered along with local forest produce, bamboo weavers and potters come to sell their wares and people come to sell their tribal jewellery. The journey to Chilpi will be mainly uphill.

The final stretch will take you down the Chilpi Ghat – a 9km descent through the Maikal hills, entering the Bhoromdeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Though a part of the journey is on National Highway 12A which links these villages to Raipur the capital of Chhattisgarh, the scenery is outstanding and in a way you get a bird’s eye view while descending from the Maikal Hills.

The views are even spectacular en route in November as the crops aren’t yet harvested and the bright mustard crops bring life to the earthy back drop. Descending further you will reach your final destination, Bhoromdeo Jungle Retreat, a local‐feel farmhouse nestled at the foot of the hills. Walk across to the 11th century temple complex, which exhibits erotic carvings characteristic of the Chandela works of Khajuraho.

The unforgiving yet beautiful landscapes, the elaborate monuments, and the spiritual people are bound to make this your most memorable ride ever.

The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

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As a guide, the cost of our extraordinary and utterly bespoke journeys tends to start from $1200 per person per day excluding international flights.

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