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Old 7th October 2014, 20:51   #1
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Default Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

#Forest #water-sports #nature #heaven #wildlife – All the hash-tags sum up Dandeli in a nutshell.

Dandeli was on my wish list since long (3+ years) and for some or the other reason the pilgrimage wasn’t quite happening. Dussehra weekend seemed to be the perfect culmination of time availability – planning – season etc. Made the plan with wife and it was all set and finalized. I was not really a ‘driving enthusiast’ to begin with but since I got my sx4 almost 2 years back, I started to enjoy long drives. The max I had driven was 300 Kms at a stretch and this was almost double that; was more than satisfied that I made the journey and 600 Kms didn’t seem that much an ‘effort’.

Since the time was a really long week end, had anticipated huge rush and hence had planned the trip more than a month in advance. Browsed through tripadvisor for resorts and finished the booking for this on war footing. Then came the planning part for the commute – browsed through 2 travelogues of team BHP (one from ramraman - Mumbai - Dandeli - Yana: A fabulous road trip and one from choombak - Pune-Ganeshgudi/Dandeli trip report) which helped on the route and gave more confidence that the route zeroed in was fine. But there were no latest inputs on the belgaum – dandeli road condition but didn’t bother to probe further as it was < 100 kms and was confident that even if some bad roads, it would be fine. Till belgaum, since it was the Bangalore NH, was confident that 90% of the road would be good.

Date travelled: 2 oct to 5 Oct 2014

Route details: Navi Mumbai > Pune > Satara > Kolkapur > Belgaum > Khanapur > Londa > GaneshGudi > Bapeli > Dandeli (Joida)

Time taken: 12 hours one way

Fuel cost: 3500 Rs Petrol + 1100 Rs CNG = Total 4600

Toll cost: 1000 Rs

Total distance travelled: 1325 Kms (Local travel for sight-seeing -125 Kms included on this)

Places visited: Kali river rafting and Jacuzzi island / Syntheri rocks / Jungle safari / Tiger point (nature trail) / Supa dam backwaters

Day1 (2nd Oct):

Since it was a really long week end, had anticipated traffic jams till pune so left early @ 4.30 AM. Reached Pune (chandani chowk) by 6.30 AM. Quick CNG refueling and was back for driving. (Distance covered 135 Kms).
Continued non-stop till Satara where took a half hour break for breakfast. Reached satara @ 9 AM. There was some traffic post pune as one tanker had turned turtle before the mahabaleshwar turn but it did not take much of our time (max 10 mins wasted). (Distance covered 240 Kms)

Since I had driven till here non-stop, it was wife’s turn to take the wheel - Started back @ around 9.45 and reached Kolhapur @ 12 PM. Since none of us were hungry, decided to continue driving post 15 mins stop for some cold drinks. (Distance covered 370 kms).

I took back the wheel and continued till belgaum. Reached belgaum @ 2.15 PM (distance travelled 480 kms). One stop was made in between for petrol refill post the CNG was exhausted somewhere after Kolhapur. Post crossing-over to Karnataka, the road is a delight to drive!

From belgaum, we took the wrong exit off the NH and were circling around till 3.30 in belgaum itself to find the correct road ahead – one time even google maps got confused! Since we had wasted a lot of time to get back on track, decided to continue and get out of the city and then have something to eat. Reached Khanapur in about half an hour (@ 4 pm) and had a 30 min break for some nice south Indian snacks. After refreshments started the journey through curvaceous roads through dense forests – a treat after the long haul. Apart from some 15 kms stretch till londa, the road conditions are excellent. To add to this is the pure magic created by the picture – perfect forests. Managed to reach our destination by 6 PM; almost a couple of hours more than planned, but overall a satisfactory day. (Total distance travelled 613 Kms – about 10 kms extra may be due to belgaum – darshan due to wrong turn taken).

Had some delicious pakodas and homely food and hit the bed early at about 9.30 PM

Day 2:

Had a late start with leisurely breakfast at 10 AM and then went for rafting. It was probably the most horrible 2 hours of our tip. Due to the excess tourists on occasion of holidays – we had a waiting time of 2 Hrs for our turn to turn up and were really frustrated and finally decided to return to our resort and head for syntheri rocks post lunch – a decision which turned out to be excellent as on the next day the rafting and Jacuzzi was completed in no time.

Route to Syntheri rocks is almost off-roading through the forests for the last stretch of 2 kms but the spot is a good one to spend some time.

Day 3:

Started early for nature trail to tiger point - Its about 45 minutes walk cum trek and nothing extraordinary as such but a decent off the cliff view of the dandeli forest below.

Completed the rafting and Jacuzzi which turned out to be a damp squib (rafting is only 2 kms – and only 1 rapid – even kolad is better than this). Jacuzzi is also strickly ‘okay’ – you can get such spots on almost any river in the world (marketing gimmick to woo in family travelers as this is the only ‘commercial’ touristy activity).

Post lunch took the wild life safari but to our disappointment didn’t get any sighting (as per the driver since there were lots of tourists, almost 20 -30 jeeps were coming for each safari and it scared away the animals).
Ended our day with a beautiful view of sunset at supa dam back-waters.

Day 4:

Started early at around 7 AM to our journey back. Since we knew the route this time, reached belgaum at 9.30 AM and post breakfast and some shopping, left at 10 AM. Reached pune at 4 PM and then back home.

Dandeli really is a refreshing destination for a city dweller – no mobile nework and no TV in our resort (BSNL network was there though) made this a completely-cut-off-from-the-world experience. Dandeli fights valiantly to win over the traditional favorite hill stations but is still under explored – a good thing to keep the sanctity of the place intact not making it a touristy hangout with traffic jams. Looking forward to visit this place again (may be in monsoon


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Old 7th October 2014, 22:52   #2
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Default re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Hi

Thanks for the tour log. I too heard of Dandeli and even my friends went on bike tour this last weekend, and I am yet to hear from their experience. But your day 2 and day 3 experiences sound so disappointing that I am now thinking if it would be worthwhile having good forest and greenery experience and adventure. I would then say south karnataka / kerala forest tours are better in terms of overall experience.

regards
Rajesh

Last edited by GTO : 8th October 2014 at 14:46. Reason: Language
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Old 7th October 2014, 23:53   #3
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Default re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Welcome to team-bhp @Nikpathak !!

Good one to start with.

I was there on a Official trip to this place, which was, I guess about 12-13 years back. Since, it was Official work related to Forest Dept. We had the Luxury of entering anywhere and anytime, but because of the paucity of time, had to limit our unofficial trips.

You've to be very lucky for a glimpse of Wild Life during day time. And Summer nights are the best ones.

Camera's were not as popular in those days. So do share some more.
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Old 8th October 2014, 00:24   #4
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Default re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Beautiful pictures! Londa-Ramnagar-Ganeshgudi-Joida-Dandeli is a full ghat stretch and the ride along the Suppa backwaters is a nice one. Roads may not have been all that great around that region.

If you dont want to take the ghat road, you can do Khanapur-Alnavar-Haliyal-Dandeli. The only unknown here is Alnavar-Haliyal. Rest of the sections are fantastic. But its always fun to drive via Anshi ghat section. Amazing place !
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Old 8th October 2014, 14:45   #5
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Default re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikpathak View Post

Dandeli was on my wish list since long (3+ years)
Killer 1st post Sir. Welcome to Team BHP. A big thank you.

Indeed the Dandeli forest range is very inviting and is a definite destination in the next monsoon for us. Request you to post some pictures and details of the place you stayed and the sights you saw (teasers you may call them )

Welcome again and have a great experience.

Cheers

AG
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Old 3rd December 2014, 23:03   #6
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Default Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Hi,
If you dont mind, please share the details of the place you stayed?

thanks, Venu,
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Old 4th December 2014, 07:32   #7
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Default Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Hi Venu
Whilst we wait for more details from the OP for more pictures and details - here's my small tip for you, if you plan to visit and stay at Dandeli. I would strongly recommend the Jungle Lodges & Resorts property there. You can book them online too.
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Old 4th December 2014, 09:38   #8
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Default Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Excellent prelude; I presume you're busy drafting the next post. The snap with the fog is nice. eagerly waiting for the next post.
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Old 4th December 2014, 11:03   #9
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Smile Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikpathak View Post
From belgaum, we took the wrong exit off the NH and were circling around till 3.30 in belgaum itself to find the correct road ahead
Thanks for the details and wonderful pics. I have this trip at the back of my mind for quite long time and it never seem to realize. Having stayed in Dandeli for full 6 years way back in 1980-86, I long to see what's changed since then.

More details of the stay would be welcome.
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Old 4th December 2014, 12:54   #10
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Default Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Hi all

Sorry for the delayed response

I stayed in kadumane homestay (http://www.dandelikadumane.com) and the place is excellent.

There are not many options to stay in dandeli (JLR / Bison / Hornbill are the most preferred but costly). IF you are looking for an experience from a river view from your window then there is nothing like Bison and hornbill. also they are the ones who conduct water sports. There is Old magazine house also which is a bit far (its en-route to belgaum) but good place for a remote stay and excellent for birding

There is a site for all dandeli resorts (http://www.dandeli.com) which you may also want to look at before zeroing in on the stay options
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Old 30th December 2014, 13:51   #11
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Default Re: Heavenly forests & adventure – Road trip to Dandeli

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Hi Venu
Whilst we wait for more details from the OP for more pictures and details - here's my small tip for you, if you plan to visit and stay at Dandeli. I would strongly recommend the Jungle Lodges & Resorts property there. You can book them online too.
Thanks. We had already booked Amara homestay. Checked with someone who went there recently, and he liked it very much.
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