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Jagdalpur

Jagdalpur, the district headquarter of Bastar. Situated on the banks of the seasonally turbulent Indravati, it has been the seat of an ancient kingdom ruled by several dynasties. The present Bhanj Deo-Kakatiya Ruling House traces its ancestry back to the 14th Century A.D., and even today commands an enviable loyalty among tribals. Jagdalpur is also a virtual museum of tribal life and arts. At any time of the year, Muria, Maria, Dhurwa, Bhattra and other tribal community, attired in the distinctive dress, headgear and ornaments, can be seen walking around its many tree-lined roads.

Workshops scattered about the town preserve and encourage an array of brilliant handicraft, developed with industry and ingenuity by a people living amidst nature. Wood, stone (especially the semi-precious corundum), Kosa (a local variety of silk), terracotta and bell-metal, among others, are fashioned into objects with a charm all of their own.

The real feel of the region, however, comes from a day or two spent in the villages and hamlets of Bastar, observing the timeless rituals and customs of the tribes. The Bison-horn Marias of Tokapal, known for their hospitality, dance and weaving, promise a wonderful time.

Within a radius of 30Km around Jagdalpur, a host of scenic sites take you deep into the jungle. The stupendous falls of the Indravati at Chitrakote, the deep caves at Kailash and Kotumsar, with their stalactite and stalagmite formations, the lively cataracts of Tirathgarh and the crocodile sanctuary at Bhaninsadarra, offer exciting prospects for exploration and picnic.