Untold Odisha offers a captivating way to explore the rich cultural heritage, mythology, and historical significance of the state. An opportunity to delve into the fascinating narratives that have shaped Orissa and continue to inspire generations.
by The Impact Society
Explorers x Photographers x Filmmakers x Writers
Artists x Change-makers >> This is for you
If storytelling is your thing, join this community of explorers, photographers, filmmakers, writers and creators, discover unseen & untold stories, gain insights by renowned professionals, exchange traditional knowledge, indulge in authentic explorations, meet inspiring local leaders and co-create magic on this journey of endless possibilities.
Untold by The Impact Society, is a storytelling journey designed for experiencing inspiring stories of natural history, cultural legacy, environmental & wildlife conservation, climate actions and sustainable leadership, with a tribe of conscious seekers & explorers.
Dates: 13th - 17th September
The district of Mayurbhanj is very rich in its arts and culture - a few iconic crafts include Dokra (ancient wax casting art form), Sabai Grass weaving (grass and date leaves handicraft) and Mayurbhanj Chhau (martial arts semi classical dance form). Mayurbhanj and The Belgadia Palace is a hidden gem and have played host to many famous personalities, such as dignitaries from the Tagore family, Mark Shand (Late brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, Queen of England) Gyanendra Shah, the present King of Nepal, to J.N. Tata, Annie Beasant and Keshab Chandra Sen (Bengal Renaissance Reformer) to name a few.
Join a league of storytellers & explorers, in this immersive experience of cultures and connections with our eastern borders. From embarking on a trail that showcases the traditional handicrafts and art forms to exploring artisan villages to witness the intricate craftsmanship, we have covered it all.
13th - 17th Sept' 2023
Thursday - Sunday
Story Trails of Odisha
Heritage | Culture | Art
Limited capacity experience
Travel & Transit:
SUV / Mini Tempo
Breakfast + Lunch
5 Star Grade
Vegetarian + Non-Vegetarian
Storytellers x Explorers
Photographers, Filmmakers, Artists, Writers, Social Leaders, Explorers
Handpicked & Curated Explorations
Discover nomadic folktales, heritage, environmental co-existence and culture through our thoughtfully picked authentic trails.
Local Exchange & Tales
Immerse in local experiences, document the nomadic life, discover traditional co-existing knowledge systems & thriving communities.
Travel with your Tribe
Travel with a resonating & conscious tribe who yearns to unlearn and explore just like you.
Hear from our host storyteller and meet inspiring change-makers, to unlearn the art of storytelling
Heritage & Boutique Stays
Discover the culture of the royalty with a stay at heritage resorts and live in camps to experience the life of a desert nomad.
While you are on this explorative journey, exchange thoughts, ideas and collaborate with a like-minded community to co-create Impact.
Experts on Board
Akshita & Mrinalika
Mrinalika and Akshita are the 48th generation of the Bhanj Dynasty, which were the rulers of the princely state of Mayurbhanj. They grew up between Odisha and Bengal in the eastern states of India and attended the United World College of South East Asia Singapore before attending college as Davis scholars in the United States, at Bard College and the University of Virginia.
Their vision in opening up the doors to their home was to build sustainable tourism with social impact at its core in the tribal-dominated region. Mrinalika is also a successful yoga practitioner and facilitates wellness retreats in India and abroad, whereas Akshita works at the intersection of technology and social good. Both sisters have been featured in numerous publications such as Yourstory, South China Morning Post. Insider, Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue and Times of India on their work in sustainability and arts.
A young photographer documenting the coexistence of people, culture, and environment.
Pubarun has been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and is the first Indian to win the Youth Photographer of the Year title in the Sony World Photography Awards. His work has been exhibited across galleries in France, Italy, Japan, etc, and has been featured on BBC, CNN, The Guardian, and more.
His work has been centred around the themes of cultural diversity, environmental conservation, and social inclusion. Currently working with the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy on a Freshwater Conservation Project, Pubarun has been highlighting the challenges faced by the Ganga ecosystem, in an effort to inspire action amongst stakeholders and drive sustainable community-based solutions towards its preservation.
Day 1: Arrivals & IntroductionsArrive in the blue city of Jodhpur and head to Kaner Retreat - India's first desert botanical resort. Refresh and meet your fellow storytellers for a quick round of introductions. Settle-in for the night and exchange stories of explorations and discoveries with our Fellow Storytellers.
Day 2: Landscapes & EnvironmentKickstart the day with a short stroll to the sacred grove, locally known as Oran, opening the doors to the world of desert plants. Experience miles of untouched desert wilderness and a walk through hundreds of indigenous as well as cultivated plant species. Session Perspectives: Through stories and anecdotes from local culture, we explore desert botany and its role in the culture of the Thar Desert. Come back for a traditional lunch and reconvene for the evening session and presentation, over tea and coffee, with our fellow storytellers. The presentation will give you insights over diversified forms of art and storytelling, using photography and films. Session Perspectives: Diversify your learnings and knowledge on 'Broadcast and Film Journalism' and 'Environmental Portraits' as means to create impact storytelling. End the evening with a showcase musical performance by the Bhil tribe, and post the performance a short Q+A with artists.
Day 3: Culture & Co-existenceExplore the dunes of Thar and discover the life of nomads, their culture, and untold stories of co-existence with nature. Spend the day at Kheechan, a village cluster in Jaisalmer, known for the resting grounds of Demoiselle cranes. Every September, these cranes take flight above 16,000 feet from Mongolia, crossing the mighty Himalayas and landing in a small village in Rajasthan – Kheechan. Locally known as ‘Kurja’ these birds are fed and looked after by the villagers who collect money to feed them tons of grains in the ‘Chuga Ghar’ or feeding point. Kheechan is also home to beautifully carved havelis, telling tales of merchants who were once part of the silk route. Session Perspectives: Through storytelling and field-documentation, we will shape narratives of conservation & communities, that can tell a tale of preserving our lasting habitats. Come back to experience a starry night in the dunes and explore some night photography.
Day 4: Reviving Arts and Artisan CommunitiesCommunities play an important role in shaping society and drive social change. A day we spend on understanding Rajasthani craftsmanship and skill at Pokhran. Pokhran is home to exquisite handicraft work, a dying skill that needs to be revived to preserve the heritage of this place. Gomat a tiny village in Pokhran is home to these exceptionally talented weavers who produce the “Pattu work “on variety of shawls, bedsheets, Kurtis, cushion covers etc. Weaving has instilled courage in the women living in the veil to be financially independent and earn a respectable place in the society. It has not only generated employment for the village, but also empowered women to take part in decision making. Session Perspectives: Document the intricate challenges and underlying narratives in traditional arts and artisan skills. Come back to exchange perspectives, reflect on narratives, build and shape stories and exchange our collective experiences. The night ends with a celebratory dinner on the dunes.
Day 5: Closing & DeparturesCheck-outs are at 12pm. We close the program with a pledge to continue the trail of stories through our art. Spend the day at Jodhpur city and take the evening flights, while keen adventurers can stay back to explore the blue city.
Group transfers from Kolkatta airport (To & Fro)
4 Nights stay with (breakfast, lunch & dinner) at The Belgadia Palace
All workshops, experiences, photo-walks and story-trails
All internal transfers and in-city visits
Mentorship and guidance + Experiential Sessions on 'The Art of Impact Storytelling'
Stationery for your hacks & mentor notes
Expertise by The Impact Society + Mentors on board
Give-aways & gifts
Meals during transit (Kolkatta to & fro)
Any food/drinks purchased (During walks/explorations/trails) which is not a part of the inclusions.
Air/Train fare (To&Fro) from destination to Kalkotta
Medical/Personal Expenditures done during the tour
Any personal expenses that are not within the itinerary
Any project/material cost for any personal showcase that's not a part of the group or collaborative plan.
Stay at The Belgadia Palace
Tucked away in the quaint heritage town of Baripada in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, the Palace is a beautiful piece of Kalinga history that redefines the idea of a hotel, and is 4-5 hours from the state capital of Odisha, Bengal and Jharkhand.
Built in the 1800s in the Victorian architectural style with elements of Georgian decor, it was envisioned as a property for visiting foreign dignitaries, guests of the royal family of Mayurbhanj. During the merger of the princely state to the Union of India, the property was titled palace as to pay homage to the royal family that moved into it post independence as their primary residence.
Meet change-makers on this unique journey
Travel & Wedding Photographer
Author & Travel Photographer
Biologist & Science Journalist