Dandeli: Into the Wilderness


Overview: I recently got an invite, from my friend, who owns a travel company (www.dandeli.com) to visit Dandeli and pen down all my experiences there. I was happy with the invitation and decided to visit Dandeli with my friend as I had not visited the place before and it was in my wish list. We started my journey by bus on Friday night and reached Dandeli early morning on Saturday. After having a word with Sanjay from dandeli.com, I proceeded to Dandeli Jungle Camp at Pradhani, around 11 kms from Dandeli bus stand. I was greeted by Mr. Dharmesh who is the manager at the Jungle Camp and showed us our room. The room was pretty impressive with natural beauty of the forests all around. The only sound we could hear was the chirping of birds and the gentle breeze blowing across the swaying trees.
Our first plan post breakfast was to visit Syntheri Rocks, around 8 kms from the camp into Ulavi checkpost. It is a huge monolith of about 300 feet height with the fierce Kali river flowing at its base. Also at the depth there are some cave formations giving it a mythical look. Several types of rocks are found here at this site and a sample of each is displayed on the way down to Syntheri Rocks. One has to climb down the stairs from the parking space to reach the base of the monolith. We were greeted with strange rock formations at the base. The purity and rich colour of the river Kali could be seen from a distance.It is a dangerous place to venture out in the waters though and flags are displayed as a warning to the tourists.

We returned to the camp for lunch. Post lunch, we set out for the backwater view behind Supa Dam. It was amazing to see calm waters and lot of birds. On the way back we visited Kadumane where we saw the honey extraction unit. Its completely natural and Mr. Narasimha was kind enough to explain us that bees don't harm us unless we do something nasty to them.

The plan for the evening was to take a leisurely walk into the woods to check out some birds. We could not spot too many birds or wildlife though we got a glimpse of the very popular Hornbill in those areas and also the Malabar Giant Squirrel.

That was day one for us. A lovely campfire was arranged for us at the Jungle Camp. We began Day 2 with a walk in the woods to catch the morning sun and some birds if possible. Post breakfast we went for a steep hike at Ganeshgudi. On the way we saw trails of wildlife and saw glimpses of some birds which were too high to be captured. The view from the summit was simply superb with waters across the horizon. We also saw the Serpent Eagle hovering around at the top looking for lunch. Its around 25 mins hike which involves steep climb inside deep forest.

Post lunch we went for some water activities like Rafting and Coracle ride on the rapids of Kali river. White water rafting at Kali river is one of the few places for this activity in southern India and one of the best rapids can be experienced throughout the year.

In the evening we proceeded back towards Dandeli bus stand for our return journey. On the way we stopped to spot some colourful birds. Also in Dandeli town we saw the West Coast Paper mills which is one of the oldest paper mills in India.

A few things we missed out were the Kavla Caves which is believed to be inhabited during prehistoric times. We could not visit this place due to the Tiger Census which was going on. The other place was the Ulavi Channabasava temple which is a very popular pilgrimage centre. Apart from this there are several activities like Jacuzzi Bath, Rappelling, Kayaking, etc. to do in the river Kali. 
How to reach: Best way is to drive along NH4 via Davangere, Hubli. Then take a diversion towards Dandeli from Haliyal.
By Bus: KSRTC operates Karnataka Sarige and Rajahamsa services every evening. VRL and SRS travels also have their service from Bangalore to Dandeli.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Alnavar on Bangalore-Goa/Mumbai route.
Accommodation/Activities: There are a few resorts in Dandeli which offer good accommodation and food. The one which we stayed was pretty decent. Please contact Mr. Ramnath or Mr. Sanjay from www.dandeli.com for bookings/itinerary (Ph: Ramnath- 9900547763, Sanjay- 9448797270)


  1. Nice account Arun and that's the Malabar Giant Squirrel :)

  2. Thanks for correcting Santosh! I was looking for the name :)

  3. Dandeli sounds exciting. Nice post. Am headed there next month.

    1. Thanks Niranjan. Hope you have a nice trip to Dandeli next month..

  4. Lovely coverage of Dandeli bio diversity........do we find king Cobras too over there, Wishing you a very happy new year to you and your family Arun

    1. Thanks Umesh. Happy New year to you as well.. Yes we do find king Cobras there according to the locals.

  5. Dandeli appears to be a fascinating place. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

  6. Wonderful photos and nice write-up... I'm heading there soon :)

  7. Dandeli, a small river side town in North West Karnataka which is famous for Wild sanctuary, Paper Mills, Syntheri Rock and Forest Resorts. You can check out places to visit in dandeli so that the next time you plan your holiday there.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing such informative post.
    Adventure Activities

  9. Your post reminded me of the best moments spent in Dandeli. Hope to visit this place soon.

  10. Thank you for sharing your incredible Himachaladventures through your captivating travel blog! Your posts are like windows into a world of excitement and wonder, filled with breathtaking destinations and unforgettable experiences. Your dedication to documenting your journeys is truly admirable, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to tag along vicariously. Your blog has become my go-to source for travel inspiration, and I can't wait to see where your next adventure takes us!


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