A Gujarat tribal tour is one of the most under-estimated and non-popular tour itineraries. However, now that the pandemic has forced people to find the best vacation spots, the Gujarat tribe comes to the limelight, and many favour these places.
The other side of modernization is that we lose most of our traditions and culture. So we have to dig deeper into ourselves to find the true essence of our country. This is where the significance of tribes and tribal culture comes to light. Gujarat is a state that is right on top of the must-visit states in India, but not many people are aware that there are several unexplored tribes and tribal areas here. Let us find out a bit more about the various spots for a tribal tour in Gujarat.
Garasia Tribe in Poshina
Poshina is a small village in Gujarat where the Garasia tribe resides. This tribe is known for making the terracotta horses, their trademark piece of art. There also are other handicraft items to check out. The colourful attire of the members of this tribe is one of the major attractions. The only place to stay here is the Darbargadh Palace. One can reach here from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, or Himatnagar by GSRTC bus, where the destination should be Ambaji. Take a cab to reach the palace and later take a tour from there.
Mir is a tribal community who are believed to be the descendants of the Kashmiri tribe Butt. They are located at Dasada, some 95 km away from Ahmedabad. The distinctive feature of the women of this tribe is the large ring they wear on their noses. Their attire is made of intricately embroidered clothes accessorized with handmade jewellery. The jewellery and the clothes made by them are popular among the urban public and are widely available. One can book an online ticket for the direct bus between Ahmedabad and Dasada.
Rabari tribes used to be nomads and were mainly seen in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab. These days they are mainly seen in the Kutch area where they herd cattle and are seen in the Rann of Kutch during the rainy season. The tribal members are weaving artists, and one can find their work at the local shops and stalls. While visiting Bhujodi village, one can even witness them weaving their magical work. Both GSRTC and private buses are available to Bhuj from Ahmedabad, Gandhidham, Bachchau and other areas.
Little Africa in India!
Did you know that there is a place which is termed Little Africa in India where you can find African tribes? Yes, they are named Siddi, Sheedi, Sidi, etc. The African tribe in Gujarat is the direct descendants of the Bantu Tribes in the African Great Lake region. The Siddi tribe in Gujarat resides at the Jambur village in Talala taluka, which is approximately 20 km or 30 mins away from the Gir. Most of their traditions are now mixed with Gujarati traditions, but they still follow several Bantu rituals and traditions. GSRTC buses are available from Junagadh to Sasan Gir from where you need to get a cab to reach this village.
Otherwise known as Chhota Udepur, this district is close to Madhya Pradesh. It could also be called the tribal district in Gujarat due to the presence of plenty of tribal villages. One of the popular villages is Rathwa that hosts weekly tribal markets where they sell their handicrafts. During the Holi festival, they conduct the Rathwa ni Gher dance which is marked by intricate makeup, vigorous whirling and steps in perfect synchronization. Reach here on a bus from Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Ambikanagar, Anand, etc.
Gamit tribe is seen in the Surat area of Gujarat. They speak the Gamit language, which is a spin-off from the Bhil language. The women wear necklaces made of shells, and they sing community songs during the festivals instead of dancing. They live in huts made of bamboo and mud with tiled roofs.
Other places of interest near these tribes
- Modhera Sun Temple is on the way to Poshina, where you will see the Sun temple built in 1026 AD. The temple shows intricate rock carvings on the walls and a well designed well with steps for water storage.
- Rani ki Vav is a stepwell used for water storage. This beautiful stepwell is multi-storied with various carvings and designs etched on the rock pillars. It also happens to be the largest step wells.
- Jambughoda is known for the ruins of the Harappa civilization. One can see the Lothal ruins and spend some time there.
- Banni village in Kutch is famous for the embroidery and mirror work on the clothes. There also are wall hangings and accessories made of mirror work and beads.
How to go for a tribal tour in Gujarat?
One can find various tour packages for the tribal tour, but going on an unplanned solo trip or a small group would be more adventurous. Most of these tribal areas have a nearby town or city area from where buses are easily available to the nearest location. GSRTC buses operate in most remote areas. From there, one could either get a cab or find other transportation facilities such as a jeep or even a bullock cart, horse cart etc. After all, arriving in a car does not go well with tribal life and culture. One must be able to blend with them.
Going for such a tribal tour will surely open our eyes to the olden culture and the diversity offered by our country. These tribes clearly show that people can still live without technology or other hi-tech facilities and be happy and content with their life. Taking some time away from the busy technological world and cities for a few days will help us find a new perspective towards life. We can probably enjoy life and such journeys even more, without having to spend too much.
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