‘Ati’ ko phulyon sannno, dal pat snu jaye.’
‘Just as the Sannana tree flowers profusely, only to lose all its leaves and twigs, a person who indulges in an excess of anything is destroyed.’
– Bhil Proverb
At 533 and counting, India’s tribal population is scattered in remote corners of the country.
From the camel-herding Fakirani Jats to the matriarchal Rabaris, Encounters Asia has developed strong connections over many years with these tribes who roam across the Rann of Kutch and southern Rajasthan.
Regardless of whether you want to learn more about tribal culture, interact with members of different tribes, or photograph them, Encounters Asia’s long-standing relationships allow you engage with multiple tribes in an ethical manner, without exploiting or overwhelming them. Events like the Kavant Mela in Gujarat connect you to tribes like the Mir, Ahir, Wagadiya and Garasiya, who live in very remote areas.
With a home base in the jungles of Central India for generations, Encounters Asia has cultivated deep relationships with the Gonds and the Baigas, who are native to this region.
The Gonds are known for their art, which is inspired by nature and spirituality, and steeped in legend and folklore. The rugged Baiga, are known for a different sort of art — the tattoos that the women sport all over their bodies! Tattooing is common to several tribes, and the body art symbolises status and beliefs.
Our close relationship with the Baiga has given us incredible insight and access to understand their unusual lifestyle, and you will be fascinated to learn about their strong sense of community living, and open-minded approach to relationships.
In the Himalayas, we love to engage with the Drokpa in Kashmir and Ladakh.
Legend says that they are the original descendants of Alexander the Great’s army, which invaded the region centuries ago. They take immense pride in their fresh produce, unique customs, and striking outfits, which are enhanced with chunky silver jewellery and flowery head-gear! Free-spirited and joyful, you will be charmed by their smiles and charisma.
Working with tribes is an intrinsic element of our commitment to community-based tourism initiatives, especially in the remotest regions of the country. At Encounters Asia, we have grown close relationships with many tribes in different parts of India. Each tribe offers you a glimpse of a very different facet of India, and there is a lot you can learn from their ancient traditions and wisdom.
The take-aways are very rewarding, and our connections are based on respect and mutual understanding.
As a result, we open doors to authentic tribal experiences, and our guests experience an untold level of engagement that comes straight from the heart.