I‘m writing this post after about 3 months after I went on a treknic in the mystic woods of Dandeli. Blame my busy schedule at work or my new found hobby in photography, I couldn’t make time to document my experience any earlier. This was not my first visit to Dandeli- I had been there twice earlier. However, I wouldn’t mind visiting it a couple of more times for all the breathtaking experiences and the amazing vistas it has to offer. I cherish all my visits to Dandeli as each one of them has been extraordinary and different from the other.
The evergreen forest of AnshiMy first visit was about 6 years ago when I visited Dandeli with my colleagues. It was more an adventure trip as we did Rappelling, jungle trek and river rafting then. That was my first ever experience of rafting and it was the best part of my first trip.
The second visit was about a year back with my family and 3 year old son. We visited Gokarna and Devbagh along with Dandeli. While my first visit was completely adventurous, the second visit was more a relaxation trip. We stayed in a farmhouse, did a bit of morning walk in the jungles, witnessed the beauty of sunset at the Sykes point, spent some time near the Ganeshgudi bridge which offers a spectacular view of the river Kali as it ran amidst the thick evergreen vegetation and got pampered in the natural Jacuzzi of the roaring Kali. Though we wanted to try rafting, it was not possible because the powerhouse in the dam was taken for maintenance and hence the gates of the dam were closed rendering very little water in the river. Though there was enough water for boating and Jacuzzi, it was not sufficient to create rapids for rafting.
The latest of my encounter with Dandeli has been completely different form my previous two. This time, we were 7 people who went on a treknic arranged by Travelmyroutes. Four of us Had very little experience in trekking for such long distance but the other three were regular trekkers. For them, this was a very easy trek with no challenge as the trail passed through thick jungles which were mostly flat with little ups and downs and hence they called it a treknic. The trekking trail on the first day went through the thick deciduous forests of the Kulgi nature camp. We had to trek along a stream in the forest to reach the Sathkanda falls. It was a cascade of innumerable small falls. We had to climb along the boulders which caused the falls to finish the trek. Though we thoroughly enjoyed the boulder hopping, it scared us when we reached the top and looked down to see the steep rocks we climbed. The day ended with a halt at the picturesque nature camp of Kulgi.
Kulgi nature camp is located amidst the Kulgi forest reserve famous for wildlife sightingThe next day’s trek was in the thick evergreen forest of Anshi tiger reserve. We had to report early at the Anshi nature camp from where we had to drive for about 4 kms to reach the trekking trail. The trail passed through a safari track in the forest to reach the kadra view point which offered a beautiful view of the dam backwaters. The forests and vegetation in the Anshi forest was quite different from that in the Kulgi forests. Anshi has tall evergreen trees while the trees in Kulgi were short, random and most of them had lost their leaves to the fall. The trip culminated with a visit to the famous Syntheri rocks.
Dandeli and its surroundings has so much to offer that it will be difficult to cover all the places in a single visit. For the ease of everyone who plan to visit Dandeli, I have made a list of a few must do things. Check it out below.Go for white water rafting in the river Kali which offers rapids of level 2 to 4.Get pampered in the natural Jacuzzi formed as the river Kali negotiates through the boulder strewn terrain.Go on a coracle ride arranged by the Kali adventure camp starting from the Bison river resort.Stay at one of the nature camps namely Kulgi nature camp or the Anshi nature camps. Listen to the stories of wildlife sighting from the workers in the camp.Go for a nature walk in the woods early in the morning.Visit Syntheri rocks.If you love birdwatch, stay at the old Magazines guest house present amidst the woods.Witness the magic as the sun sets beneath the mountain ranges in the nagjhari valley from the Sykes point.Spend time on the old bridge at Ganeshgudi to appreciate the vista during the golden hours – either after sunrise or before sunset.Go for a long ride in the road connecting Dandeli to karwar which passes through the evergreen Anshi forest.Visit one of the water falls- Modog falls, Sathodi falls.Reaching Dandeli: Dandeli is well connected both by road and trains. It is just a one night journey from Bengaluru. If you wish to drive, it is around 450 Kms- a little detour from NH4.
This post was originally published on 'Interlude Journey'.