Bhubaneswar, March 27, 2021: For most, touring Odisha means Puri beach, Jagannath Temple, soaking into the history of Konark and enjoying the boatside on the saltwater Chilika Lake. But Odisha is more than the temple city of Bhubaneswar. It has dense forests, misty waterfalls and tribal villages, which are excellent choices for quite travel. Such Nature lovers can also enjoy a stunning weekend getaway to the district Jeypore, with its dense forests, limestone caves and beautiful misty waterfalls. One such hidden gem is Desia Koraput.
Desia Koraput is community-based rural tourism
Located in Koraput district in Odisha, the drive to Desia Koraput is quite enjoyable. It cuts through meandering roads and untouched mountains, jungles, and lakes.
Desia is a community-based rural tourism initiative by Heritage Tours, Bantalbiri Village and a local NGO Barefoot.
The objective of this initiative is to bring the benefit of tourism to the local tribes and other communities living in the valley by making tourism a tool.
This also aims to preserve the rich tribal culture among the youths by promoting their festivals, music, cuisine, rituals etc. So, the cottages here — all equipped with modern amenities — have been made with local materials by the locals.
Local is the key at Desai Koraput
Remember how our Prime Minister Narendra Modi said vocal for local. Well, this is exactly what is practiced at Desai Koraput. The local community here runs the camp.
So, from your stay to your food, it’s the locals who will take care of all your amenities.
Desia Koraput is built with local materials, local community, designed by a reputed artist to give a contemporary artistic look with maximum level of comfort as possible for the place and uses non conventional energy. Starting from construction till your departure, one will find a local touch.
That is also the main intention of the community to. To make the guests feel at home.
At Desia eco tourism project, volunteers of Team Barefoot are also committed to provide capacity building, training for local youths in tourism.
Also special attention has been given to design and develop craft ability among the local women by providing training and professional intervention including marketing links based on fair trade.
Barefoot also intends to involve local children to develop their artistic skills and sports ability by organising special events on a regular time schedule.
Team Barefoot also welcome national, international volunteers, students from other cultural background who like to learn and share their knowledge with the local tribes in field of traditional farming, education, health care, tribal music etc.
Special focus is given to empower the local women below poverty line by providing training on various livelihood and craft development training based on the nature and local procurement.
Promotion of responsible tourism
The ethics at Desai Koraput is biased on principles of eco tourism and responsible travel where the part of the earning is spend to conserve the ecosystem of the region, to bring sustainable development to the region and to provide authentic rural and ethnic experience for the culture a nature loving guests who come to explore this less known but spectacular valley.
Tourism is a tool which can not only empower the community or provide opportunity to meet another culture but also can be an instrumental to bring peace and harmony.