Discovery to air a four part travelogue on 'Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet'

MUMBAI: This year infotainment channel Discovery increased the number of hours devoted to India themed programming. Each week Discover India airs in a two hour block now instead of just one hour in the past.

Now in its endeavour to present India's cultural heritage and natural diversity, Discovery has produced a special four-part programme on Chhattisgarh. The travelogue Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet the channel says will present a journey of surprise and enchantment, uncovering the mystical, traditional place.An Indian commission, Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet will air on consecutive weekends (Saturday and Sunday), 9-10 December and 16-17 December at 10 pm.

Discovery India executive VP, MD Deepak Shourie said, "Discovery Channel has showcased India's diverse cultural and natural landscape through captivating programmes. Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet explores the state's inimitable and unexplored attractions and will serve as a gateway for eco and ethno-tourists from across India."

The Honourable Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr Raman Singh said, "Chhattisgarh is endowed with a rich cultural heritage and attractive natural diversity offering an interesting blend of nature, ethnic, heritage, wild life and eco-tourism. The state is full of ancient monuments, rare wildlife, exquisitely carved temples, Buddhist sites, palaces, water falls, caves, rock paintings and hill plateaus.

"Most of these sites are untouched and unexplored and offer an alternate experience to tourists. I am delighted that travellers across India will be able to explore the state's unique attractions on Discovery Channel - an ideal partner in our endeavour to showcase Chhattisgarh's tourism potential."

Honorable Minister of Tourism and Chairman of Chhattisgarh Tourism Board Brijmohan Agrawal said, "It is my firm belief that in the coming years Chhattisgarh will emerge as a leading tourist destination and will leave its mark on the international tourist map. I am confident that Discovery Channel's programme Chhattisgarh: The Tribal Planet will help position the state as an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign tourists."

Presenting one of India's least explored eco and ethno-tourist destinations, the show will take viewers through the state's history, culture, architecture, wildlife and its varied tribes. Providing a holistic view of the state, the programme will cover Raipur, Kawardha, Bhoramdev, Kumhapura, Jagdalpur, Sirpur, Turturiya, Kanger National Park, Tirathgarh and Chitrakoot waterfalls, Bastar tribes, forests, tribal 'Haats' and villages and craft centers.

Covering the Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh, the first episode presents its large tribal population and abundant natural resources. Exploring the state's traditions, this episode will take viewers through the weekly markets called 'Haats', local food, customs, dance and festivities. It will uncover the state's handicrafts like terracotta at Nagarnar village through interactions with the artisans. The episode will also showcase the ancient temples at Barsur.

The second episode highlights the heritage of the state in terms of its history and architecture - excavations at Sirpur, Laxman temple, Rajiv Lochan temple, Danteshwari temple, Bhoramdeo temple and Mainpat, a Tibetan settlement. The viewers can also witness Teejan Bai's captivating performance at the Laxman Temple at Sirpur.

The third segment is an ode to the artistic traditions of the state. It gives a glimpse into the crafts and costumes through interactions with tribals and artisans. Viewers will discover their culture, unique delicacies like the red ant chutney and interesting traditions like Ghotul. Viewers will also learn the rare craft of bell metal from master craftsman Jaidev Bhagel. Apart from the cultural aspect, the episode would also showcase the natural beauty of the state including the spectacular waterfalls at Chitrakoot.

The final episode takes a look at the natural splendour of the state, showcasing its many national parks and flora and fauna. Viewers will get to see picture-postcard waterfalls at Tirathgarh and the verdant valley. They will get a taste of life in a jungle and a glimpse of its wildlife - leopard, deer and bison. Apart from the sanctuaries in Bharnawapara, Kanger and Udanti, viewers will also visit the megalithic rock site of Karkabhat with archaeologist A K Sharma.

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