Madai Festival is a major festival of what is considered Sanskritik Chhattisgarh. The festival not only brings forth the fun and frolic but also shows the rich tradition and culture of the state.
The festival is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm, especially by the people belonging to the Gond Tribe. It is observed from the month of December to March. However, the festival is celebrated at different locations by different tribes.
The tribes that celebrate Madai festival in Chhattisgarh are - Kurna and Charama communities of the Kanker district; the people of Bhanupratappur; Antagrah; Pakhanjore & Kondagaon; and tribes of Narayanpur & Bastar.
At this festival, people come out of their homes for a get together in a large open field. Their relatives and friends also visit them from different parts of the country. They perform the rituals together, enjoy their meal as well as the moments of togetherness that they cherish their entire life.
History of Madai Festival
The festival originated in ancient India, and the traditions and festivities with which it is celebrated reflect that very fact. It was started by the tribal people of the region, known as Adivasi or the ancient residents of India.
Their culture dates back to several centuries. Their ancient traditions are very well showcased in their exquisite costumes and amazing dances as well. Madai Festival, bringing forward tribal culture and myriads of folk dances of the native state, is also now one of the most popular festivals of Chhattisgarh and even of India.
Major Attractions of Madai Festival
1. Worship of Deity
Madai festival is celebrated with great zeal among the local tribes and communities. They worship the presiding deity during this festival. And at the beginning of the festival, the tribal people of Chhattisgarh launch a procession on an open field where a large number of devotees and general tourists gather to see the proceedings of the rituals. And while the ceremony goes on, the passers-by and the on-lookers maintain perfect silence offering their prayers to the deities.
2. Songs and Dance
When the procession is finished, there are many cultural events that take place such as folk dance, drama, and songs, etc. And owing to the fact that a huge number of villagers and locals gather, the Madai festival is always organized on a vast stretch of land.
3. Animal Sacrifice
Like many festivals in India, the Madai Festival is also marked with the sacrifice of an animal. Usually, a goat is sacrificed, following which everyone breaks into relishing lavish feasts, dance, and music.
4. Travelling Festival
This is one of the few festivals in the country where a festival after being celebrated at one place moves to some other place. After its start in the Bastar tribal area of Chhattisgarh, the Madai festival moves to the Kanker district from where it goes to Bhanupratappur, having stops in-between at Narayanpur and Antagarh respectively. This is still not the end as then it travels to Keshkal, Bhopalpattnam, and then finally to Kondagaon in March where it is ended. As Madai festival is a traveling festival, bringing in participation from various communities and tribes, the festival gives you an experience of unique exciting celebrations.
How to Reach
Celebrated majorly by the Kurna and Charama people along with the tribes of Bastar district, and Bhanupratappur, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Pakhanjore, and Antagarh which are small towns situated in the Kanker district; Madai Festival is truly a unique Indian festival to witness. To experience it, you will need to reach Raipur first.
This city is located at an approximate distance of 1,226, 1,127, 940, 1,373 km from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following travel details on how you can reach Raipur.
Deboard at the Swami Vivekananda Airport (RPR) aka Raipur Airport. The airport has fairly good flight connectivity with other Indian cities as many major airlines operate to and fro with good frequency. After getting off the airport, you can book a taxi or some other locally available means of public transportation to reach Kanker located (approx) 127 km away.
From Surat- Board IndiGo flights from Surat Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000-6,000
From Nashik - Board Air India, Air Asia, IndiGo flights from Nashik Airport. The airfares start from INR 7,000-8,000
From Guwahati- Board Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet flights from Guwahati Airport. The airfares start from INR 6,000-7,000
Deboard at the Raipur Junction which is situated on the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line and is located about 120-130 km away from Kanker district. The railway station is well-routed with nearby cities and towns. Due to the good train connectivity, it is also counted among the highest revenue-generating stations locally. From the station, you can easily book a cab or some other means of transportation to reach your destination.
Depending on your location, you can also consider travelling to Raipur via road networks. For travelling to the Kanker district, you can easily book state-run and private buses and taxis at affordable pricing. As the roads are easily accessible and motorable, you can also consider travelling by your own vehicle to reach here as well.
From Bhubaneswar - 700 km via NH53
From Bilaspur - 306 km via NH130 or NH30
From Nagpur - 294 km via Gadchiroli-Nagpur Highway