The capital of the Bastar region is an ideal base for exploring tribal Chhattisgarh. The town itself hosts a haat every Sunday where you’ll see Adivasis (tribespeople) buying, selling and bartering alongside town traders, but it’s in the surrounding villages where Adivasi life can be fully appreciated.
You can get to many local Adivasi villages by bus – this is certainly an option on market days – but some are pretty inaccessible, and if you want to actually meet tribespeople, rather than just look at them, a guide is essential as a translator if nothing else. They can also help you arrange homestays. Awesh Ali comes highly recommended.