Extending over an area of about 35,600 square miles, Dandakaranya is the physical region in east-central India covering the Abujhmar Hills in the west and bordering the Eastern Ghats
in the east. It extends about 200 miles from the north to the south and about 300 miles from east to west. This vast forest expanse spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh
, and Andhra Pradesh
. It is very famous in the Ramayana
as the Dandaka forest.
The southern part of Orissa and adjoining Chhattisgarh of this forest region is an anthropological wonderland. Here, various tribal groups that belong to diverse ethnic and linguistic characters have been living side by side in primitive harmony from the time immemorial.
The main portion lies in the Koraput Plateau, about 3000 ft above the mean sea level. This hidden paradise offering glimpses of the eco-friendly life and socio-cultural pattern of the hill tribes has immense tourist potential. Ecotourism resources are abundant here.