How to choose a Tribal Tour

India has always been an abode of diverse cultures and traditions. Unity in diversity has been the cultural principle since its inception and has shown continuity across the times.


Tribal community constitutes a significant proportion of Indian population and their concerns are of paramount importance to the government as well as various think tanks working for their rights and benefits. Tribes have come a long way from isolated habitats to mainstreamed governance. Due to their self sufficient economies, geographical isolation, local dialects and inward gazing social structure in terms of basic institutions of marriage, religion, and political participation, etc., tribes have lead an independent lifestyle making use of local resources available to them. Their cultural distinctiveness is marked in their life style due to their commitment to ecological niche, customs, forest conservation and expressive traditions.

Tribal tourism is a showcase of tribal life, art, culture and heritage. Tribal tourism enables interaction between the tourists and the local residents for an enriching experience.

Indigenous tourist attractions include museums and cultural villages, nature-based tours, Indigenous fairs and festivals or events and art galleries. Cultural, environmental and spiritual aspects of Indigenous heritage and traditions are especially featured in Indigenous tourism. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development highlighted the key role of Indigenous peoples in the conservation of natural areas and species on their lands. Indigenous people comprise five percent of the world‟s population but embody 80% of the world‟s cultural diversity. They are estimated to occupy 20% of the world‟s land surface but nurture 80% of the world‟s biodiversity on ancestral lands and territories. India has a large number of tribal people who still belong to a social set-up, of which very little is known. These tribes who stay in different parts of the country are still to come out of their traditional way of life and join the mainstream.

Not-with-standing this apparent aloofness, these tribes are very much a part of Indian society. Having a culture and tradition that is distinctly different from others, the tribes still occupy the yet to be discovered horizons. Modern India has many indigenous tribes, that even today, have been able to retain their primitive customs and their lives are directly associated with their natural surroundings. The tribals in India, are the pro-environmental communities who are fighting to protect rivers, lands and forests that are the sources of their livelihood. The congruity that exists between local tribal and Nature only helps in making tribal territories full of exotic biodiversities. In the western part of the country, in Rajasthan and Gujarat one can witness a way of life that is colorful, while in South India, the skillful craftsmanship of Todas of Nilgiri Hills will fascinate. Their pastoral way of life clearly brings out the beauty in simplicity. In Central India, in the picturesque Jharkhand, you will get to see the Santhals and the tribals of Bastar. The Santhals are one of the oldest tribals living in India. Again, the north-eastern tribes of India are known for their traditional songs and dances, their colorful handmade clothing and intricately woven bamboo handicrafts. There are often more to be seen than what meet the eyes. The tribal society is always a thing of great interest. With a well chalked out tour to any of these places you will be able to explore the roots of a multicultural and multilingual India, where unity in diversity is the essence of national spirit.

Tribes of India



The people of Muria tribe are inhabitants of Bastar district in the state of Chhattisgarh. They are relatively prosperous when compared to other tribes in the district. They are self sufficient in producing chickpeas, dal and lentils. The tribe follows pre-marital sex. The youth are expected to engage in sexual activities while they are discouraged to become emotionally attached to the sex partner. The Muria tribe worships village and clan deities.


People of Korwa tribe live in the hills and forests of Chhoanagpur, Chhattisgarh. The Korwa community consists of four sub groups namely Agaria Korwa, Dam Korwa, Dih Korwa and Pahar Korwa. All four sub groups worship the same deity named Dih. People of Korwa tribe speak Korba language, which is also known as Ernga, Singli and Bhashi.


The Kharia people are found in the Indian states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam. There are a few inhabitants in Andaman Islands also. There are mainly three tribes which constitute the entire Kharia. They are: Dudh Kharia, Dhelki Kharia, and Hill Kharia. They practice hunting, gathering and collecting of forest resources for their livelihood.


Koya tribal people are inhabitants of Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha. They are also referred to as Koi, Koyalu, Koyollu and so on. Their language is known as Koya, which does not have a script. The Koya people are primarily cultivators and artisans.


Bhils, also known as Bheels, are the tribal people inhabited in the central India (mainly in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tripura) and also in certain parts of Sindh in Pakistan. They are the largest tribal group in India and they speak Bhil language. The Bhils include several clans and lineages such as Barda, Vasava, Bhil Mavchi etc. An important element of the Bhil culture is the Ghoomar dance.


Jarawa or Jarwa is one among the several indigenous tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands. The name Jarawa means “people on earth”. They speak Jarawa language, one of the Ongan languages. They are believed to have inhabited Andaman islands for about seven thousand years. They were totally isolated from the outside world till few years ago.


Kamar is one of the tribes in India who lives in the Raipur and Rewa districts of Madhya Pradesh. Their local language is called Kamar. Military service is considered to be their traditional occupation. Farming is the occupation of most of the Kamar people. There are four sub groups called Gots in the Kamar tribe. They follow Hinduism and each home has its own family God.


Juang tribal people are the inhabitants of Gonasika hill range in the state of Odisha. They belong to the Munda ethnic group. The primitive Juang people were mainly hunters and gatherers. Father and all females of one family live together in a hut, whereas boys live in separate huts at the entrance of their village. They were forced to take up basket weaving as their occupation after the British declared their forests as reserves. The Juang people worshipped forest spirits in the olden days. The contemporary Juang people worship Laksmi and are considered as a Hindu caste with basket- making as occupation.


The Galo tribe people live in the central eastern Himalayas. They are the descendents of Abotani and speak Galo language. They are also referred with names such as Duba, Doba, Dobah Abor, Gallong Abor, Galong, Gallong Adi, etc. The Galo people follow monogamy, but the elite people of the tribe follow polygamy. They follow the religion Donyi Polo and now Christianity is spreading rapidly.


The Gondi or the Gond is the tribal people of Dravidian origin who are inhabited in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and so on. Their main languages are Gondi and Hindi, but other Indo-Aryan languages are also spoken. The script called Gunjala Gondi Lipi is used to write Gondi language. The Gonds are well known for their knowledge of astronomy.


The Urali tribe is one among several tribes inhabited in the south Indian state of Kerala. Agriculture is their prime occupation. Hunting, mat weaving, basket making, pottery etc., are also done by Urali people. They worship nature and believe that sun is the creator of all souls.


Munda people are found in Indian states of Jharkhand, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Tripura and Madhya Pradesh and in Bangladesh. Munda is one of the largest tea tribes of the nation. They speak Mundari language. The contemporary culture of the Munda people is a mix of Sarnaism and Christianity. The traditional occupation of Munda people is hunting, but now-a-days they are employed in various sectors.


The people of Bhumij tribe can be found in the Indian states of Assam, Jhakhand, Odisha and West Bengal. They speak Mundari language. The term Bhumij means one who is born from soil. Although they have traditional beliefs, the modern Bhumij people adopted Hinduism as their religion.


The Badagas are tribal people, inhabitants of the Nilgiri Hills of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are the largest indigenous tribe in the Nilgiri Hills and they speak Badugu language which has no script. They depend on agriculture and their population is spread across nearly 440 villages. Even though their main deity is Hethai, they also worship several Hindu deities.


Apatani, also known as Tanw, Apa and Apa Tani, are the tribal people inhabited in the Ziro valley in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The tribe follows democracy and their village council is known as Bulyang. Their oral folk tales are known as Miji and Migun. They worship the nature and believe that every object in the nature has divine power. They are known for the nose plugs and face tattoos.


Mikir, also known as Karbi, is an important tribe in the North-East India. The Mikir people are mainly inhabited in the state of Assam. Linguistically, the Mikir people belong to Tibeto-Burman group. The tribe includes five major clans and marriage between people of same clan is not practiced. Rongker and Chomkan are important among the various festivals celebrated by the Mikir people.