Jan 13, 2011

Dandeli Trip - 25th of Dec 2010

Dandeli..When we hear (the name of this place..., thick forest , rich flora and fauna , Kali river, Paper factory, Tiger reserve and Hornbills comes in our mind. 

I had  never heard about Hornbills till a couple of months before. , though I had seen them in Mysore zoo. A couple of months of back Karnataka Govt. announced Dandeli as Hornbill Sanctuary. Till that day we were misunderstanding that the Hornbills are foreign birds. We read a series of article about hornbills in news papers. It developed some interest in us to visit Dandeli.

It was strange that even though I am from the same District (North Kanara), I had never been there. So it encouraged our plan to visit Dandeli. I have been to so many places in Karnataka, but never visited the tourist places, beaches, falls and forests of North Kanara District. How could I miss my own place?
After discussing and arguing with friends, finally we decided the dates in Christmas holidays and booked train tickets to Dandeli.

As per our plan, we reached Dharwad  by Rani Chennamma train at around 8:30 am of 24th Dec
We left to Dandeli by bus after having breakfast at my room-mates home in Dharwad.
Finally we reached to Dandeli by afternoon. The vehicle from Stanley’s Farmhouse (the home stay we booked) came to receive us at Dandeli Bus stop. It took more than half an hour to reach the home stay. We got frustrated. when we saw the place. We had imagined that, the home stay might  be either on the banks of Kali River or in forest.But it was on a plain ground

The first thing we did when reached the home stay was- Lunch. All of us were so tired that we were not in a position of walk without having any food.

The first day program was White water rafting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafting) on Kali River.
Kali River is flows on stones and  rocks of black colour  which makes the water look black. hence the name Kali.

Till this day, majority of us had never experienced river rafting.  Rafting in turbulent Kali River was an amazing experience. They divided us in 2 groups of 5 members and teamed up with some other people. One father and son joined our rafting team. A Nepali man called Kim was our instructor.    We were fully equipped with life jackets and pedals. He instructed us how to raft forward, backward, turning with the pedals given. While rafting, we were throwing water on other teams and vice versa. We watched so many Hornbills, the great Indian Hornbills while rafting. The beauty of the river is (rafting area) its flowing in thick forest. Then we experienced surfing , which means rafting against the turbulence. While doing it for the first time, I fell in the river because of force of water. The kid who was in team also fell on me. Our team pulled us to rafting boat.
After around 2.5 hrs of rafting, we returned to the Homestay. We enjoyed camp fire and had dinner. Our tents were ready outside the Homestay. We talked till late night and day one ended as we walked towards our tents to sleep. We planned to go for safari, night trekking, water sports and syntheri rock the next day. But who knew that all the plans would fail?

Day Two  - the day frustrated me a lot as we were not able to go for a safari and water sports. As we had come here during the season time the home stay guy told us that we might not able to see any animals or birds because of crowd and vehicle sound. He suggested us to go for some other activities, in which we were not interested. They were charging some amount for all activities, even for swimming... We had some arguments with the home stay persons and decided to check out!

We collected information about the places around Dandeli from a friend and hired a jeep from dandeli bus stand for 1 day.  Our plan was to visit Syntheri rocks – Ulavi ChennaBasaveshwara temple –Kulgi nature camp- Dandeli bus stand – Dharwad.

Syntheri rock – First visit of the day 2 was gigantic monolithic granite, which is 300ft tall. It is a volcanic rock.  Kaneri river gushing ferociously by its side makes the scenario unforgettable. We took some photographs over there. The place is very dangerous to swim. Already 12 people had lost their lives here. A caution board displays the number of persons who had ignored the caution. Different types of rocks are mounted with description beside the steps, which leads to Kaneri river at Syntheri rocks

Then we moved to Ulavi Temple. The deity of the temple is ChennaBasaveshwar. The temple is one of holy temples for lingayats. Around 2 pm, we reached the temple. We had prasada there. After resting for a while, we started our journey towards the last destination - Kulagi nature camp.

Kulgi Nature camp – The camp is run by Govt of Karnataka. The nature camp has so many huts, which they provide for travellers. They also have trekking activities in forest. Facilities over here are better than, what the home stay had, and for a reasonable price too. We bought T-shirts with Dandeli –Anshi logo for us. While walking in a forest for about a half an hour in search of animals and birds,we were able to see only a deer and a red squirrel.

We took a bus to Dharawad from Dandeli Bus stand at around 7:30pm. We had a train to Bangalore on Sunday Dec 26th from Dharwad.

That is how our very ambitious tour ended in a frustration (for me, don’t know about others).
For photos click this link -

Please comment in blog or send comments to my email - deepakukamath@gmail.com


  1. Nice explanation Deepu :)
    Thanks Vishweshwara Bhat sir for nice articles on Hornbill

  2. Hi, deepu,
    This is boring narration, this would have been still more colorful, Anyhow, I got the trip feel once again.


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