Chhattisgarh trip in 10 days- History, nature, culture and tourism

Every state has something unique to offer to its tourists. Some are known for their temples, others for their monuments and sanctuaries, while few offer many exciting adventures. Chhattisgarh is one such state in India where you get to cover all these aspects under one roof. From monuments to spectacular landscapes, waterfalls, caves, heritage temples, and rich tribal culture, Chhattisgarh has it all. An offbeat tourist destination, there are several unfamiliar and implicit tourist spots where you can unwind and enjoy all that it has to offer. This green state is home to some timeworn historical sites, stunning waterfalls, bounteous flora and fauna, with culture-filled traditions and customs.

Swathi Hariharan (swathihariharan), a passionate travel enthusiast, set off on a captivating road trip with Savaari to discover the hidden gems of Chhattisgarh. During our journey, we explored lesser-known tourist spots that are often overlooked, providing an opportunity to unwind and experience the true essence of the state. The road trip also offered a chance to savour the region’s culinary delights, including unique delicacies like ant chutney, which added a touch of adventure to our gastronomic exploration. Here’s our 10-day road trip itinerary through this untamed land to help immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant heritage. So book a Savaari, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s hit the road to discover the wonders of Chhattisgarh!

Table of Contents

  1. Raipur, the capital city
  2. Sirpur, ancient ruins, and temples
  3. Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, a tryst with nature
  4. Kanker, tribal traditions, and culture
  5. Bastar, land of festivals and natural splendour
  6. Jagdalpur, temples and caves
  7. Raigarh, majestic forts and palaces
  8. Bilaspur, industrial hub with natural charms
  9. Tala, ancient heritage and wildlife
  10. Raipur, bid farewell to Chhattisgarh!

Day 1 – Raipur, the capital city

Begin your journey in the capital city, Raipur. History and modernity blend seamlessly to create an unforgettable travel experience here. As travel experts, we can’t help but get excited about all that Raipur has to offer. Picture this: You get off at the Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur, and a driver ready with a comfortable car awaits your arrival at the gate. You get in and tell him to take you exploring while the other passengers stand in long queues and break their heads over taxi bookings. 

You can stroll through the bustling streets, engulfed in the delightful chaos of vibrant markets filled with colourful textiles, aromatic spices, and mouthwatering street food. The rich cultural heritage of Raipur comes alive as you explore ancient temples that whisper tales of a bygone era. And when you need a break from the urban charm, nature awaits just a stone’s throw away. Imagine immersing yourself in the serene beauty of dense forests, where exotic wildlife roams freely. Raipur is a kaleidoscope of flavours, sights, and experiences, where every step promises a new adventure. 

Distance from Airport to City centre– 13 KMS

Time taken from  Airport to City centre– 30 mins

Things to do in Raipur

  • Explore its bustling markets and vibrant streets, and indulge in the local delicacies. 
  • Visit the Mahant Ghasidas Museum, housing an impressive collection of artefacts showcasing the state’s rich cultural heritage. 
  • In the evening, take a leisurely stroll around Vivekananda Sarovar, a serene lake surrounded by lush greenery.

Day 2 – Sirpur, ancient ruins and temples

Embarking on a road trip from Raipur to Sirpur is a captivating journey. It takes you back in time to the ancient era of Indian history. As you depart from the bustling city of Raipur, the urban landscape gradually gives way to the serene countryside of Chhattisgarh. The road winds through quaint villages and lush farmlands, offering glimpses of rural life and the vibrant culture of the region. As you approach Sirpur, the surroundings become infused with a sense of antiquity.

Sirpur is a treasure trove of history and enchantment just waiting to be discovered! One can’t help but gush about the charm and allure of this ancient town. Picture yourself stepping into a time machine as you wander through the remnants of grand temples and majestic ruins. The air is thick with mystery and whispers of forgotten tales, transporting you to a bygone era. Get ready to unleash your inner archaeologist as you uncover the secrets of the past, marvelling at intricate carvings and architectural marvels that defy imagination. And when the sun sets, the magic doesn’t fade. Sirpur comes alive with cultural performances, where the rhythmic beats of traditional music and graceful dance forms fill the air. 

Distance from Raipur to Sirpur– 83 KMS

Time taken from  Raipur to Sirpur– 1 hr 30 mins

Things to do in Sirpur- 

  • Step back in time and admire the exquisite architectural marvels of the Laxman Temple, adorned with intricate carvings and captivating sculptures.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural heritage of Sirpur by witnessing traditional music and dance performances that will leave you spellbound.
  • Unearth the spiritual roots of Sirpur at the Buddhist Monastery. Explore ancient ruins and soak in the serene ambience of this sacred site.
  • Enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the tranquil banks of the Mahanadi River as you soak in the scenic beauty and embrace the calming serenity of nature.
  • Satiate your curiosity at the Archaeological Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of artefacts and relics, offering insights into the rich history and culture of Sirpur.

Day 3 – Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, a tryst with nature

A road trip from Sirpur to Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a thrilling escapade into the heart of nature’s sanctuary. Leaving behind the ancient ruins and temples of Sirpur, the road leads you through the enchanting countryside of Chhattisgarh. As you traverse the roads, the landscape transforms from lush green fields to dense forests, building anticipation for the wildlife sanctuary that awaits.

This hidden gem is an abode of biodiversity and wildlife wonders. Venture deep into the dense forests, tiptoeing on a thrilling safari amidst the home of majestic tigers, playful elephants, and elusive leopards. Keep your camera ready; you never know when you might stumble upon a majestic deer gracefully leaping through the wilderness. And if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of a slumbering sloth bear or a mischievous troop of langurs swinging from tree to tree. Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is not just a sanctuary for animals; it’s a sanctuary for adventure-seekers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking to reconnect with the untamed beauty of the world. 

Distance from Sirpur to Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary- 33 KMS

Time taken from Sirpur to Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary– 1hr

Things to do in Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Go on an exhilarating wildlife safari to witness majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Delight in the diverse array of bird species through captivating birdwatching sessions.
  • Explore the sanctuary’s beauty on foot with nature trails that offer encounters with unique flora and fauna.
  • Experience the magic of camping under the stars and indulge in mesmerizing stargazing opportunities. To explore more stargazing spots near you, click here. 
  • Capture unforgettable moments with your camera as you photograph wildlife against the backdrop of the sanctuary’s lush greenery.

Day 4 – Kanker, tribal traditions and culture

Leaving behind the captivating wilderness of Barnawapara, the road takes you through the picturesque countryside of Chhattisgarh. As you travel the meandering paths, you are treated to breathtaking views of rolling hills, lush greenery, and vibrant landscapes. Along the way, you may come across charming villages and encounter glimpses of rural life, offering a glimpse into the authentic cultural fabric of the region. As you approach Kanker, the scenery transforms, revealing the grandeur of this historical town. 

Kanker, where time seems to stand still, and age-old traditions thrive. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of tribal music as local performers sway gracefully in traditional attire, their vibrant costumes a feast for the eyes. Indulge your taste buds in a culinary adventure, savouring traditional tribal delicacies bursting with flavours passed down through generations. Explore the markets with intricate handicrafts and colourful textiles, each telling a unique story of the region’s indigenous communities. But the real magic lies in connecting with the warm-hearted locals, who eagerly share tales of their folklore, customs, and rituals, inviting you to partake in their festivities. From joining in tribal dances to trying your hand at ancient art forms, Kanker promises a journey that will leave you enchanted. It is advisable to have a local with you for the best experience. Book a Savaari and have a local chauffeur drive you around the state. 

Distance from Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary to Kanker– 214 KMS

Time taken from Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary to Kanker 4 hrs 30 mins

Things to do in Sirpur to Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary- 

  •  Interact with the local tribal communities and learn about their unique traditions and customs. 
  • Visit the Kanker Palace, a magnificent structure that reflects the grandeur of the past. 
  • Experience the tribal dance performances and savour traditional delicacies for a truly immersive cultural experience.
  • Buy wood handicrafts. Teal wood and white wood are specialities of the area. 

Day 5 – Bastar, land of festivals and natural splendour

The road trip from Kanker to Bastar is a fascinating journey that takes you through the heart of Chhattisgarh’s tribal region. Leaving behind the historical charm of Kanker, the road winds through picturesque landscapes, revealing the raw beauty of the countryside. As you drive along, you’ll pass through quaint villages, where you can witness the vibrant tribal culture and traditions of the region. The road trip offers stunning vistas of rolling hills, dense forests, and meandering rivers, immersing you in the captivating natural beauty of Bastar. 

Get ready to be awed by the intricate craftsmanship of Bastar’s tribal artisans as you peruse the vibrant markets, brimming with colourful handicrafts and traditional artwork. Explore the mystical Bastar Dussehra festival, a unique amalgamation of tribal rituals and grand processions that showcases the region’s rich heritage. Indulge in the delectable flavours of traditional cuisine, bursting with local spices and tantalizing your taste buds. And when nature beckons, venture into the lush forests, where you’ll encounter breathtaking waterfalls, pristine rivers, and a wildlife haven that will leave you in awe. Bastar is a journey into the heart of tribal traditions, where authenticity and warmth abound, inviting you to explore, connect, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Distance from Kanker to Bastar– 140 KMS

Time taken from Kanker to Bastar– 3 hrs

Things to do in Bastar- 

  • Immerse in the Vibrant Bastar Dussehra Festival: Experience the grandeur of Bastar’s famous Dussehra festival, a cultural extravaganza of rituals and performances. To learn more about Duseera in Bastar, click here. 
  • Explore the Enchanting Chitrakote Waterfall: Marvel at the breathtaking Chitrakote Waterfall, a stunning natural wonder amidst lush greenery.
  • Discover Tribal Art and Crafts: Dive into the artistic traditions of Bastar by exploring local markets. Interact with skilled tribal artisans.
  • Explore the Mystical Kotumsar Caves: With their stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, creating a surreal underground world that will leave you in awe.

Day 6 – Jagdalpur, temples and caves

A road trip from Bastar to Jagdalpur is a journey that delves deep into the heart of the enchanting region. Leaving behind the tribal heritage and natural wonders of Bastar, the road winds through breathtaking landscapes, offering glimpses of lush green forests and picturesque villages. As you traverse the meandering paths, you can feel the rhythm of the vibrant culture of the region. The road trip allows you to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Bastar, known for its unique tribal traditions and handicrafts.

Jagdalpur boasts a storied history of political engagement and has nurtured a diverse and thriving culture throughout the years. Presently, it is renowned for its remarkable monuments, palaces, and the preservation of natural marvels such as pristine lakes, breathtaking waterfalls, and untouched forests that have yet to be heavily influenced by tourism. Jagdalpur has emerged as an up-and-coming destination, receiving substantial support from the state’s tourism department. Consequently, the government has made significant efforts to provide all essential facilities to visitors, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for tourists. Book a taxi service in Jagdalpur for a hassle-free trip. 

Distance from Bastar to Jagdalpur– 23 KMS

Time taken from Bastar to Jagdalpur– 30 mins

Things to do in Jagdalpur

  • Discover the ancient beauty of Jagdalpur as you visit the famous Bastar Danteshwari Temple, dedicated to the fierce goddess Danteshwari.
  •  Explore the Kanger Valley National Park, home to dense forests, picturesque waterfalls, and fascinating limestone caves. 
  • Don’t miss the enchanting Tirathgarh Falls, where water gushes down a series of steps, creating a captivating sight. 

Day 7 – Raigarh, majestic forts and palaces

As you leave behind Jagdalpur, the road leads you through the captivating countryside. The panoramic views of rolling hills and verdant farmlands are a view to behold. The route takes you through quaint villages, where you can experience vibrant rural life. As you continue on your road trip, the terrain gradually changes, and the lush greenery gives way to expansive plains. 

The vibrant city of Raigarh, where history, industry, and charm come together to create an unforgettable experience! As you step into this lively destination, get ready to be captivated by its unique blend of old-world heritage and modern marvels. Picture yourself strolling through the bustling streets, lined with shops offering traditional handicrafts, delectable street food, and the latest fashion trends. Indulge in the rich culinary delights of Raigarh, where local flavours and aromatic spices dance on your palate, leaving you craving for more. But Raigarh is not just about gastronomic delights; it’s a treasure trove of historical wonders. 

Distance from Jagdalpur to Raigarh– 511 KMS
Time taken from Jagdalpur to Raigarh- 10 hrs 15 mins

Things to do in Raigarh- 

  • Visit the magnificent Raigarh Fort, perched on a hilltop, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. 
  • Explore the Pahad Mandir, a temple complex known for its intricate architecture and religious significance.
  •  Experience the warm hospitality of the locals as you delve deeper into the city’s rich past.

Day 8 – Bilaspur, industrial hub with natural charms

As you leave behind the bustling city of Raigarh, the road unfolds before you, offering picturesque views of the countryside. The journey takes you through charming towns 

and villages, where you can witness authentic rural life and immerse yourself in the local culture. As you approach Bilaspur, the surroundings transform into a vibrant cityscape with bustling markets and modern amenities. The journey is a long one and can get really tiring. Booking a Savaari allows you to conserve energy for your next location while your driver navigates the roads for you. 

As you step into this lively destination, get ready to be captivated by its unique blend of old-world heritage and modern marvels. Picture yourself strolling through the bustling streets. Shops offering traditional handicrafts, delectable street food, and the latest fashion trends. Indulge in the rich culinary delights of Raigarh. The local flavours and aromatic spices dance on your palate, leaving you craving for more. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an adventurer at heart, Raigarh has something to offer everyone. 

Distance from Raigarh to Bilaspur– 146 KMS

Time taken from Raigarh to Bilaspur– 3 hrs 30 mins

Things to do in Bilaspur

  •  Explore the Khutaghat Dam, a serene reservoir offering breathtaking views and boating opportunities. 
  • Visit the popular Ratanpur Temple, dedicated to the goddess Mahamaya, and admire its exquisite sculptures. 
  • Take a leisurely walk along the bustling streets of Bilaspur and savour the local street food.

Day 9 – Tala, ancient heritage and wildlife

Leaving behind the bustling city of Bilaspur, the road meanders through picturesque countryside. It offers panoramic views of lush green fields and rolling hills. As you venture further, you may pass by quaint villages. These villages provide a glimpse into the authentic rural life of the region. Approaching Tala, the scenery transforms, revealing the majestic allure of this small town. As you step into this hidden gem, get ready to be enchanted by its serene ambience and warm hospitality. The picturesque streets are lined with quaint shops offering traditional handicrafts and local delicacies that will tantalize your taste buds. 

Immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings as you explore the lush green landscapes adorned with blooming flowers and swaying trees. Tala is also home to the famous Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is where thrilling encounters with diverse flora and fauna will leave you awestruck. And when it’s time to relax, find solace in the tranquil ambience of Tala’s temples, where spirituality and serenity harmonize seamlessly. With its captivating beauty and welcoming atmosphere, Tala promises a delightful escape from the chaos of everyday life.

Distance from Bilaspur to Tala– 27 KMS

Time taken from  Bilaspur to Tala– 1 hr

Things to do in Tala

  • Visit the impressive Tala Fort, an architectural marvel offering a glimpse into the region’s history.
  •  Embark on a safari in the wildlife sanctuary. Spot a diverse range of animals, including tigers, leopards, and sloth bears.

Day 10 – Raipur, bid farewell to Chhattisgarh!

On day 10, drive back to Raipur to relax, rest and frantically shop for all the souvenirs you weren’t able to buy before. You can also read about the famous regional souvenirs of India in this blog. Reflect on the captivating experiences. Cherish the memories of the untamed beauty, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality you encountered along the way. You can also just spend the day chilling with a picnic mat. Laze around one last time before you head back to the chaos of working. 

Distance from Tala to Raipur– 97 KMS

Time taken from Tala to Raipur– 2 hrs

Unique experiences in Chhattisgarh for every traveller

Embarking on the road trip with Swati, the most delightful discovery was that Chhattisgarh caters to the diverse preferences of all types of travellers. This captivating state offers an abundance of unique experiences that truly set it apart. Chhattisgarh encompasses a plethora of reasons why it should unquestionably feature on every traveller’s must-visit list.

Immersive nature retreat

With lush green mountains, frivolous streams and waterfalls, Chhattisgarh is the perfect retreat for nature lovers. From the magnificent Satdhara Waterfall in Bastar to the lush green pastures of Mainpat and the majestic Chitrakoot waterfalls in Bastar, Chhattisgarh boast a bounty of natural wonders untouched by humans.. Some of the other places you can visit are Tirathgarh Falls, Rajeev Smriti Van, Neelam Sarai, Maitri Bagh, Taat Pani Hot Springs and Jogidhara River to experience the true essence of the land-locked state.

Historical heritage

Filled with several royal palaces and historic monuments, each with a unique traditional and cultural value associated with it, it is a pleasure for every history buff to explore the several sightseeing attractions of Chhattisgarh. Bastar Palace is one archaic palace that served as the chief administrative building of the Bastar district. Constructed when the kings of Bastar moved their capital to Jagdalpur, this is one of the top historic tourist places to visit in Chhattisgarh today, and you will at once feel transported back to the times of kings and queens.

A mysterious idol of Lord Ganesha is located on the peak of Dholkal hillock, at a height of 2994 feet from sea level. This beautiful stone idol of Lord Ganesha believed to be made during the Naga dynasty between the 10th and 11th centuries is the main attraction of the site. You can also visit Palace Kawardha, royal hideout Gadiya Mountain, Ratanour Fort and Kanker Palace to soak in the history of Chhattisgarh.

Sacred temples

Chhattisgarh is culturally rich and is blessed generously in terms of ancient temples and unique tribal culture. Chhattisgarh has a lot of religious destinations that bring devotion and natural beauty together. Not only are there a ton of intact old temples in the state, but Chhattisgarh also attracts a lot of archaeologists because of the number of ruins and architectural remains found here. Some famous temples in the state include the Maa Bamleshwari Devi Temple in Dongargarh, the Danteshwari Temple at Dantewada, and the Amarkantak Temples in the Maikal Mountains.

Cuisine that made it to Gordon Ramsay’s menu

If you are an adventurous foodie, there’s one dish that has to be on your bucket list. It’s a rather unusual chutney called Chapda Chutney which is made of red ants and their eggs and is a local delicacy in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. You’ll also be surprised to know that the tribal delicacy of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar has made it to Gordon Ramsay’s menu. Chapda chutney is chutney made of red ants, which is deemed not only healthy but also a food item that keeps diseases at bay. Collecting the insects from local forests is an arduous task. Each nest is surrounded by protective rings of male ants guarding the egg-laying females. At the slightest sign of danger, the males will attack. As they endure painful bites, the harvesters crush the males, add them to their bags, and then move on to the females and their eggs.

To make the chutney, villagers first crush and dry all the ants and eggs, then grind them with a mortar and pestle. Then they’ll add tomatoes, coriander, garlic, ginger, chilli, salt, and a bit of sugar to create a smooth, orange paste. Sometimes, they might cook the paste further with oil and chopped onions. First-time tasters take note: It will be very spicy. The ants’ high levels of formic acid, coupled with the added seasonings, make this chutney extremely hot.

Bustling tribal markets

The tribal haats in Chhattisgarh, notably in Narayanpur within the Bastar region, are bustling weekly markets that offer a vibrant spectacle of colours and cultural richness. Here, you will encounter tribal women engaging in the sale of “suksi.” Suksi is dried fish prepared through a process of smoking and drying. The market is adorned with an abundance of locally grown vegetables, showcasing a variety of fresh greens with intriguing names like karmotta bhaji, chaati-bhaji, kanda bhaji, chunchunia bhaji, khattha bhaji, jirrah bhaji, and bohar bhaji. You can also witness cock fights in these haats. These markets provide a captivating glimpse into the local way of life, where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and experience the diverse culinary and artisanal traditions of the tribal communities.

A variety of local alcohol

In Bastar and other tribal regions of Chhattisgarh, the consumption of native liquor is deeply ingrained in the local culture. It is widely accepted without objection. For the tribal people, alcohol serves as a source of confidence, assisting them in navigating their lives in the jungle. Exploring the vibrant tribal haats, one can come across a variety of alcoholic beverages available for sale, such as Mahua wine, crafted from the blossoms of the mahua tree that bloom during the summer. This unique alcoholic beverage possesses a smoky flavour reminiscent of vodka and is prominently enjoyed during festivals.

However, it is important to exercise caution when trying it, as it carries a robust taste and high potency. Another notable beverage is Salphi, derived from tapping the salphi (fishtail sago palm) tree, offering a distinct flavour similar to over-fermented beer. Landa, on the other hand, is prepared through the fermentation of rice. As you wander through the haat streets, you’ll find women lining the way, their pots of drinks accompanied by ladles. They will readily pour the beverages into disposable bowls made of various leaves.

A melting pot of unique festivals

Chhattisgarh is a treasure trove of cultural richness. One of the most captivating events is the Dussehra festival, celebrated throughout India. However, the Dussehra festival in Bastar holds a distinctive charm that sets it apart and is the world’s longest celebration. Rather than commemorating the defeat of the demon king Ravana, the tribes in Bastar pay homage to Devi Mavli, the native deity of the region. She is revered as the elder sister of Devi Danteshwari, the goddess of the Kakatiya family. This unique celebration showcases a fusion of tribal traditions and spiritual fervour, making it a truly mesmerizing and unforgettable Dussehra experience.

A treasure trove of wildlife

Chhattisgarh is one of the greenest states in India, with 41.33% of its total area covered by dense forests. It would not be an exaggeration to state that Chhattisgarh’s way of life is built around the virgin forests and their rich bio-diversity. The untouched beauty of Chhattisgarh’s flora and fauna, makes you fall in love with this state. One of the prime tourist attractions of the state remains its wildlife areas. Chhattisgarh has 3 national parks and 11 wildlife sanctuaries, which can give you a supreme animal sighting experience. You can visit Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary in Mahasamund, Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary in Dhamtari, Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary in Raipur and Kanger Valley National Park in Basta for the ultimate wildlife experience!

Embarking on a 10-day road trip through Chhattisgarh is a thrilling adventure. It unravels the rich tapestry of this captivating Indian state. Starting from the capital city Raipur, your journey takes you through diverse landscapes and cultural gems. Explore the historical sites in Sirpur, where ancient ruins and temples transport you back in time. Continue your expedition to the enchanting Bastar region, where tribal villages, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls await.

Immerse yourself in the tribal culture, witness mesmerizing traditional dance forms, and indulge in local cuisine. Next, venture towards Bilaspur and experience the city’s vibrant markets and historical landmarks. Discover the architectural marvels of Tala and the wildlife sanctuary at Achanakmar, where you can encounter diverse species of flora and fauna. Visit the stunning Chitrakote Waterfall, known as the Niagara of India, and explore the royal heritage of Kanker. The road trip through Chhattisgarh allows you to connect with the state’s rich history, natural wonders, and vibrant culture, creating a memorable journey filled with diverse experiences and lasting memories.

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Swati Deol

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Chhattisgarh trip- History, nature, culture and tourism
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Chhattisgarh trip- History, nature, culture and tourism
The road trip through Chhattisgarh allows you to connect with the state's rich history, nature, and vibrant culture.
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About the author

Being a passionate wanderer and storyteller, Aarushi's love for exploration began during her childhood adventures across India. With a background in teaching, she crafts narratives that intertwine cultural insights she learned and observed with travel experiences. Her articles reflect a deep connection to heritage and an insatiable curiosity about India's diverse landscapes.

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