After the epic arrival from Araku, Jagdalpur proved equally moving. Even in the in the late afternoon, the Sunday market (haat) was still in full swing allowing me to push my sampling of fruit even further. Jagdalpur is the administrative centre of Bastar District in south Chhattisgarh. It is a medium-sized pleasant city of about 150,000 inhabitants which also serves as the main economic and transportation hub of the area. I was attracted to Bastar by my book’s suggestion that this was a wonderful area, if remote, from where to visit Adivasi (Indian tribal aboriginals) towns.
Thus I boarded the train and nestled in for the epic ride up Araku Valley. One of few trains which bears letter in its serial name, the 1VK links Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh with Koraput district in southwestern Orissa and ends in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh.
From a 7th century sculpture, good Hindu married life includes –
Good-day from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Since my last trip update in Kanyakumari, I have been working my way up through central India. I was covering most of my original planned landing points until I had a terrible experience with an extended night bus under monsoon rain.
The presence of women in public spaces is not always equal to that of men in India. I have commented for example that in Tamil Nadu and as I recently experienced in Kerala, women are very visible and actively present in public spaces, coming close to representing the actual 51% or more proportion of the total population which they comprise. But men are predominantly the ones hanging out at the chai stand or in front of their friend’s shop, young boys play on the street everywhere but not girls, and men are the ones spitting, smoking, urinating like they own the space.
The landscape has changed a lot over the last 5 days.
I have made my way down to Cape Comorin. Outside of my window (to my left at the present) cloudy skies glow faintly with the setting sun. Pilgrims, tourists and their concessions are everywhere but the streets are quiet and peaceful, as if everyone were silently reflecting upon their geographical position at the tapered end of the subcontinent while a light marine breeze keeps one cool from all directions.
From Shri Ranganathar and Thayumanavar Rockfort temples in Trichy (Tiruchirapalli).
Best dish I’ve had so far.
My two weeks of work are over and I will be back on the traveling route as of Friday evening. I am planning a 10-day loop through Tamil Nadu which will allow me to coincide with some colleagues for a day of process-documentation in the middle of the hot southern plains.