The Adivasi Academy is located in Tejgadh, a tribal village situated 90 kmseast of Vadodara city in Chhotaudepur district in the state of Gujarat,
India. Tejgadh is situated on the borders between Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh
and Maharashtra. The campus of the Academy is situated on a beautiful 10
acre piece of land at the foot of the majestic Koraj Hill, full of craggy-rocks
and entirely unpopulated. An archaeological site bearing pre-historic rock
paintings, dating back to 10000 BC, and a medieval fortification belonging
to the fifteenth century, within walking distance of the Campus, have given
the location of the Academy a special feel of a heritage venue. In the
background off the campus is the majestic Koraj hill, full of craggy-rocks
and entirely unpopulated.
The tribal village of Tejgadh is situated 90 kms east of Vadodara city in the state of Gujarat, India. Nestled between the Bodeli and Chhotaudepur towns, Tejgadh lies on the main highway connecting them. The Adivasi Academy is located half a kilometer from the village market, Limdi Bazaar on the Tejgadh-Zoz Road, at the foothills of Koraj Hill. From the Academy one can oversee the great expanse of land spreading from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra populated by clusters of tribals, identified as Bhils and speaking varieties of the Bhili language belonging to the Indo-Aryan family.
Tejgadh and Vadodara are well-connected by road. There are two routes connecting Tejgadh to Vadodara.
One can take private buses from Soma Talav in Vadodara on the outskirts of Vadodara to reach Tejgadh (Limdi Bazar) via Dabhoi, Bodeli and Pavijetpur. The buses are available every half an hour from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm. and take 2.30 hours to reach Tejgadh
Alternately, one can hire a private vehicle and travel along the Vadodara-Dabhoi-Pavijetpur-Tejgadh route or along the Vadodara – Halol Highway via Champaner, Pavagadh, Shivrajpur, Jambughoda, Bodeli (where the road joins the Chhotaudepur highway) and Pavijetpur to reach the Adivasi Academy.
There are trains between Vadodara and Chhotaudepur, Tejgadh is just one stop before Chhotaudepur. Tickets need to be availed on spot. The train timings are available on the Indian Railways website.
Architecture and Design
The Adivasi Academy is designed by the eminent architect Karan Grover in keeping with the Adivasi aesthetics and the local surroundings. The buildings, all created in exposed brick and brick-jaalis, combining features of local architecture and historical monuments found in the area.The buildings on the campus have been built brick by brick with the support of the Adivasi community and well wishers of Bhasha. It took nearly four years of continuous construction work for the Museum and Library, the first major buildings of the Academy to be completed, so intricate is the craftsmanship invested in creating the combination of simplicity and majesty. The Advisors to the Academy and the Community of Activists associated with the Academy decided not to have any formal ‘inauguration’ ceremony for the structure. Instead, they decided to install a plaque declaring that the structure, which is named Vachaa, The Voice, has been blessed by Mahashweta Devi on the 15th August 2004.
Mahasweta Devi Memorial
For eminent writer-activist Mahasweta Devi, Gujarat was her second home. Having delivered the second Verrier Elwin Memorial Lecture on the Denotified Tribes (DNTs) in Vadodara in 1998, Mahasweta Devi and G. N. Devy formed the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Group for the social justice of India’s six crore denotified peoples. The DNT Rights Action Group went on to steer a movement for the cause of these communities. Mahasweta Devi visited the Adivasi Academy on several occasions over the years and became closely attached to the place. Her own belief that communities alone can bring change found resonance in the Academy’s endeavour to bring self-reliance among Adivasis. So firm was her faith that the Adivasi Academy alone can ensure the future of the Adivasis in the country, that Mahasweta Devi desired to be laid to rest at Tejgadh.
In keeping with her wishes, Bhasha Centre has placed her asthi and created a Memorial in her memory. Inspired by her own struggle, the institution continues her legacy of bringing voice to the marginalised through constructive action.
The memorial is designed by Karan Grover and embodies her journey and spirit.
Visitors to the Adivasi Academy can stay at the “Tur” residential block located within the campus. ‘Tur’ offers two dormitories, separate for women and men, with a capacity of 30 each. In addition, there are two well-equipped guest rooms, each of which can accommodate maximum three persons on a shared basis.
The Academy’s Rasoda or kitchen provides simple rural meals at nominal cost to all who come to the Academy.
One needs to book accommodation and meals in advance by contacting the Adivasi Academy’s PRO.