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Dandeli Tourism And Travel Guide
22.9° C / 73.3° F
October to May
5 to 6 Days
Hubli Airport (79 kms)
Alnavar Junction Railway Station (35 kms)
Dandeli is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Karnataka. The little town on the banks of River Kali in Uttara Kannada, with the Western Ghats in its back drop, has lush forest ranges, home to the Indian Black Panther and some of the most handsome species of birds! There are peaks on the one side and prehistoric limestone caves on the other, most gorgeous waterfalls, ancient temples and forts; on the whole, an absolute spread of the marvels of nature, that’s Dandeli for you!
Dandeli has many interesting origins to its name. It’s said that the bamboo forests of Dandeli were the Dandakaranya of the times of the Mahabharata, for Dandakaranya comes from the word Dandvalli or green bamboo. Other legends claim that it was named after the loyal Dandelappa, you’ll find Dandelappa has a temple in Dandeli. Tourism in Dandeli is hence all about nature and history. If you would like to visit Dandeli, our travel guide should help you plan a good trip.
How to Reach
The best way to reach Dandeli would be by road from the closest railway station.
The nearby airport is at Hubli, about 80 km away from Dandeli. Take a flight to Hubli and a cab from the airport to Dandeli. Otherwise you can take a flight to Belgaum, which at about 90 km is the next closest domestic airport to Dandeli. Goa International Airport at Dabolim serves International flights. The Dabolim Airport is about 133 km away from Dandeli.
Dandeli does not have a railway station, but there are rail stations at the neighbouring towns like Alnavar and Londa. You can deboard at any of these stations and get a bus or hire a cab to Dandeli.
It’s quite a charmer, driving to Dandeli from Goa through unspoilt virgin landscapes. You could also drive to Dandeli or take a KSRTC bus or a taxi from Bengaluru or Dharwad. Dandeli has a good bus service from most towns in the neighbourhood.
Dandeli has local bus services for getting transported round town. You’ll also find plenty of auto rickshaws, cabs and scooters that can be hired for a drive. So getting round Dandeli should not pose any trouble.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Dandeli is such an amiable town that nothing, not even a bad weather should spoil the fun you might have. The best seasons for a visit are from winter to summer.
Summer is mildly hot but a good time to go bird watching in the Dandeli forests or wait at the water holes to photoshoot animals out for a drink. Summer blossoms are in full glory and it is fun to spend more time soaking up in the Jacuzzi. Occasional Mango showers will definitely brighten up the days.
Monsoon in Dandeli is pretty heavy and you might have to put off water sports and trekking trips, for the trails turn slushy and slippery. Nevertheless monsoon is a good fresh season, if you wouldn’t mind the leeches and the rains!
Winter is the perfect time for a tourist trip to Dandeli. The mist capped peaks, the evergreen forests in the sanctuary, the birds and the rain fed waters of the Kali River in full form are the ultimate life forces of Dandeli.
Things to Do
Nature Interpretation Centre:
Visit the Nature Interpretation Centre at Kulgi Nature Camp. It provides all information about the animals in Dandeli Forest and has a rare collection of insects. Check out the Museum which has on display a taxidermied 13 ft Cobra caught in the Dandeli forests.
Castle Rock is about 56 km from Dandeli. The village is at the state’s border with Goa and has umpteen number of places you can visit on a weekend getaway from Dandeli. The Portuguese Goan and the British influences still remain in this village and you can still visit the ancient meter gauge railway track and the old fashioned tunnels. The Dudhsagar Falls are close by.
Watch the Crocodiles:
The Crocodile Park is a private property and you can watch the crocodiles from the other side of the fence, with the guide helping you spot the crocs. Go on a Bothua or coracle ride on the Kali River to watch the crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks and the water birds on the river. Check out from afar the mud holes where the crocodiles lay their eggs, well hidden from prying eyes by the low lying branches of the hardy mango trees that dot the backwaters of Kali River.
The Dam is built over Kali River in Ganesh Gudi. You’d be amazed at the massive sight of the dam’s backwaters. Most water sports are conducted in these backwaters, and its’ a delightful scenic ride down the river watching the setting sun or the numerous birds airborne.
Jacuzzi at Dandeli is a hot favourite among the tourists. Take a boat ride to selected spots in the Kali River for the most invigorating and revitalizing natural Jacuzzi, one of the best among Dandeli’s water sports.
Moulangi Eco Park:
Moulangi is one of the best of Dandeli. The place offers many a number of adventure sports. Check out Sangam where the Moulangi River meets the Kali. Take a trip to Moulangi Falls.
Check out the Timber Depot trail. It’s one of Dandeli’s most ideal places for watching the birds, especially the Great Indian, Malabar Pied and Grey Malabar Hornbills, with Malabar Giant Squirrels, Brahminy Starlings and Greater Goldenback Woodpeckers adding to the colourful effect, feeding on the fruits of the fig trees.
A day of adventure at Dandeli is going to leave you ravenous for some delicious food. Try some of Dandeli’s favourite dishes like Manabari Chicken with pepper, Jowar Roti, rice with the traditional sambhar, Kapa which is veggie fritters or Dandeli Chicken Curry washed down with a tangy coconut and Kokum drink. Some of Dandeli’s homestays are near the river bank or close to the woods, which does make your eating out all the more exciting, listening to the cacophony of bird calls as you partake a hearty meal.