Kanker Palace

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Kanker is about 3 hours drive from Raipur enroute to Jagdalpur. In town is Kanker Palace whose front façade u see. It was built in 1937, is not a very big property but does have old world charm. Part of the palace is occupied by the Maharaja whilst the rest is a hotel. It is run by Surya Pratap Deo (known as Jolly Deo) brother of the present Maharaja.

As you enter this is the main hall. High ceilings, old Crompton fans, tiger faces on the walls etc. According to tradition Kanker was the land of the Rishis. A nos of Rishis like Kank, Angira, Lomesh and Shringi lived here. Visit Gadiya Pahad also known as Kila Dongri, the highest mountain in Kanker district. It is noted for a tank that never dries up even in hot summers - missed it.

Close up of a Tiger, was probably killed in shikar (hunting) decades ago. Jolly Deo has good knowledge of local area and tribes. He offers a 1st hand tribal experience in a interesting but human way which does not disturb the tribal people. Jolly told me he is a very good cook who can delight you with a variety of food. I stayed too short to enjoy his food.

Main Palace has 8 rooms. This is the biggest and the one I liked most. Temperature in this room is a few degrees lower than outside, be it summer of winter. The Palace offers its farm house at Girhola for those who wish to enjoy the countryside. Close to the farmhouse u can go for a boat ride in the backwaters of the Gangrel reservoir in the river Mahanadi.

U see round circle dance of deer horn Maria tribe near Kanker. Photo courtesy Kanker Palace. I thought the hotel rates were high so negotiate well esp. if u are not going through a travel agent.

Bison Hon dance of Maria tribe. Photo courtesy Kanker Palace. If you want to live in modern comfort, make it a base to visit other parts of Bastar. Jagdalpur is about 3 hours, Chitrakoot waterfalls 4 hrs, Tirathghat Waterfalls 4-5 hours, Kondagaon 1-2 hrs to see products made by tribal communities. Locally visit the Sinhvasini Maa Temple. The presiding deity is a combination of 2 Goddess. One half is Kali and other is Durga.

Me outside the entrance to the Palace. Note Royal Emblem in the background. To know about hotel, local festival dates visit site Click here

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