Dandeli is a fascinating, picturesque, and an emerging tourist destination in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka state. If you are looking for a holiday far away from the madding crowd, fast-paced city life, bustling crowd, chaos of a town, and want to get lost in the serenity of nature then Dandeli is the place to be. This holiday season, plan a trip to Dandeli to go birding, spot a tiger, or river rafting. Dandeli is enriched with natural splendors and an array of interesting activities and vibrant wildlife. It is situated amidst thick forest and is enhanced by the Western Ghats. It is located on the banks of the mighty Kali river. Dandeli is home to all adventure lovers as it has lots to offer right from wildlife and bird sanctuary to river rafting, kayaking, boating, and much more. It is bestowed with the never-ending songs of the birds that make one feel alive, hymns of the wind whispering through the woodlands along with fresh oxygen. All the sounds and the sights of the wild will take your breath away. With its air of tranquility, serene beauty, and dense forest, Dandeli is a perfect destination for unwinding, relaxing, and getting a break from city-induced stress. We had a wonderful stay at Dandeli and did many activities there.
Here is a list of 7 best things to do while you are in Dandeli:
1. Whitewater rafting and Natural Jacuzzi at Kali river: Kali river offers thrills, fun, and stimulation to your senses. It arouses interest in all the water sports lovers as it offers white water rafting, kayaking, natural Jacuzzi, river crossing, and boat riding. Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating experiences and a top pick here. Go there in the afternoon and spend a few hours here with water activities. The rafts can accommodate 7-8 people and all the tourists will be trained and guided properly before the rafting begins. Helmets and life jackets are provided for safety and basic lessons and rules are given on rafting. There is also a spot in between the river where there is a natural Jacuzzi and you can see bubbles of water formed. Sitting there will relax your back and take away all your stress. Just sit and relax in the water amidst the river and flex your muscles and rejuvenate your soul. You will not get enough of this place.
2. Bird Watching at Dandeli Timber Depot: Dandeli Timber Depot is very famous for its teak wood and also one of the best and rewarding places to spot birds in their natural surroundings. Dandeli forest is very well known for its nesting birds. It is a treasure for bird watchers and naturalists. There are about more than 200 species of birds in and around Dandeli. It is mainly a home for 4 species of Hornbills out of 9 species. The wide range of exotic birds found here will leave you to spellbound. Some of the birds spotted here are Malabar pied hornbills, black-crested bulbul, Sunbird, Giant Malabar squirrel, Indian roller, woodpecker, and an eagle to name a few. Dandeli is an exclusive habitat for “Malabar Trogan” the rare bird species that are found mainly in these parts and attracts professional bird photographers from all across India to Dandeli. (Note: All the pictures of the birds have been clicked by an enthusiast bird photographer named Sandeep Rane whom I met at Old Magazine House in Ganeshgudi. So all the due credits go to him and I would like to thank him for allowing me to use these beautiful pictures of the birds for my blog).
3. Jungle safari at Dandeli Arshi Tiger reserve: Embark on the Jungle Safari in the wild which is an exciting and adventurous experience. The forest is vibrant with hues of green, gold, rust, and brown. This dense forest gives a glimpse of spotted deer, barking deer, Malabar Giant squirrel, black panthers, and tigers. The deep forests of Dandeli are home to world-famous teakwood and rosewood. Jungle safaris are conducted in an open-top jeep to have a great view of the greenery, wild animals and flora, and fauna. Safaris are conducted by wildlife reserve authorities with professional guidance. Jeep can accommodate 7-8 person and the total duration of the ride is 2 1/2 hours. There is also an S.R. Bhagwat sunset point that is not to be missed. The view from this point is spectacular.
4. The coracle ride on Kali River: The coracle ride on the Kali river is the most fascinating and lovely experience one can have. A coracle is a small, round bamboo boat that is light in weight. This boat is made up of split and interwoven rods tied up with the bark. The outer layer of the boat is waterproof and the round shape of the boat helps in evenly distributing the weight. It can accommodate a maximum of 4 people to even the weight. The ride lasts for 20-25 minutes and at times you can spot crocodiles and even hornbills. The still and serene river surrounded by lush green trees makes it an enchanting sight. This place is scenic and extremely beautiful. You need to do a prior booking for this ride at your resort. We had our ride through Old Magazine House at Ganeshgudi and it was worth every bit of it.
5. A visit to Syntheri Rocks: Syntheri rocks is a monolithic granite structure with a height of 300 feet and is located in the wild and dense forests of Dandeli. It is one of the topmost attractions here. Some information from the internet: Syntheri Rocks is a huge, massive limestone rock formed due to volcanic eruptions million years ago. It is named after an English lady called Ms.Cinthera who is believed to have discovered this place in the 20th century. River Kaneri passes along the side of this rock. Owing to the flow of the river from the vicinity, erosion has resulted in the rocks getting hollowed. The corners of this place are thrust by pigeons, honeybees, and its home to lots and lots of beehives. Entry to this venue is controlled by the forest department and it can be reached by local jeep. There is a nominal fee at the entrance and then the jeep or other vehicles can go up to the parking lot and park their vehicles. There are approximately 200 steps downwards that lead to the base of Syntheri rocks. The steps are very deep and uneven, so be careful while going down the stairs. There is a viewpoint in between where the entire view of the rocks can be seen. Stop there and click some pictures and then head downwards. This place is a home for umpteen number of beehives and you can actually spend time just counting or looking at them.Sit here for an hour and feel the beauty of this breathtaking place. Swimming here is dangerous and prohibited. Simply sit here on the rocks, relax and listen to the gushing sound of the small waterfalls that flows into a deep rocky ravine.
6. Visit Crocodile park: On the banks of the Kali river, you will find many crocodiles swimming. There is a nominal fee to enter this park, and the area is well fenced. You can have a look at the crocodiles swimming, sleeping, or yawning. The ideal time is to visit them is in the afternoon. We had visited this place in the morning and all the crocodiles were sleeping.
7. Visit a tribal shop: Dandeli is home to many tribes who live here for ages. They make many handmade products like wooden toys, pen stands, and home decors. There are also many terracotta pots that are beautifully decorated by the local tribal living there. They also produce fresh spices that are so aromatic and sell raw honey. Do visit this shop and buy product from here.
Courtesy: My trip to Dandeli was arranged by https://www.dandeli.com a website dedicated to developing and promoting tourism in Dandeli, Karnataka. They made all the arrangements for stay and customized the itinerary as per my interest and liking. You can plan a trip from their website. My heartfelt thanks to them for arranging and giving me the opportunity to explore and experience such a beautiful place.