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|3rd May 2012, 15:40||#1|
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Pune-Ganeshgudi/Dandeli trip report
Visited Ganeshgudi/Dandeli over the weekend, and here is a short trip report, including stay options, and more importantly road conditions. Some photos as well.
Dandeli, in North Karnataka, is a reserved forest, and famous for the Indian Hornbill. Typically, it is lush green year round, due to the water from the Supa Dam. It is famous for white water rafting, and other nature activities (including fishing, jungle treks, jungle safari, etc.). It is also an excellent place to relax.
Pune - Kolhapur - Belgaum - Khanapur - Londa - Ganeshgudi.
Started at 4pm on Friday, and reached Kolhapur by 8.30p. Stayed at Kolhapur, and started for Ganeshgudi at 9am the next day. Reached Ganeshgudi by 1.30p (could have been faster, but had to confirm the route at many places, and it also involves traveling through Belgaum which slows you down slightly). While returning we covered it entirely in one go, starting at 10am, and back in Pune by 7pm (with about 30 minutes break).
Belgaum can be tricky, if you haven't been there, since you have to travel through the city and can easily get lost. However, keep on asking directions for Khanapur and the Goa Ves circle, and you should be okay. GPS navigation does help, but signal can be flaky at times.
The entire stretch of NH4 from Pune to Kolhapur is smooth. Again from Kolhapur to Belgaum is super-smooth. Belgaum to Khanapur is partially pot-holed, and traffic prone. The last stretch of 20-25 kms through the forest is again smooth all the way upto Ganeshgudi. Dandeli is around 25kms from Ganeshgudi.
We stayed at Hornbill resort. The resort as reasonably maintained, and the cottages were clean. However, please note this is a jungle area and chances of a critter/serpent wandering into your room cannot be ruled out. Interestingly, they charge per person, and not per room. For eg., 4 people staying in 4 rooms will be charged the same as 4 people staying in 1 room. This way is adopted, as it includes some activities like fishing, river rafting, etc. There is a Bison resort around as well. Most reservations are done through 3rd parties/agents, and not by the resort itself. Hence, please ensure you have email confirmation about the days of stay, and the allocated rooms/types of rooms.
Most of the time can be spent leisurely in the surrounding of nature itself. I would recommend idlying, rather than curbing too many things in your visit. Also note, all other activities, including river crossing, rappelling, are no longer done as this is not a declared Reserve Forest zone. The web-sites are not updated.
White water rafting, for which most people flock to this zone, is a hit-or-miss - if the water level is high (released from the dam), you get it, or else no. We could not do it, as the level was low both days.
Jungle safari is just time-pass, you don't get to see a single animal, nor they venture into deep jungle, where there is a chance. However, do it for fun, along with kids who enjoy riding in the jeep.
We saw several hornbills (they are plenty), and a few snakes including Indian python, and the cat snake.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable journey.
Cottage @ Hornbill Resort
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