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Tourist Places To Visit In Dandeli
Situated at the foothills of the Western Ghats and on the banks of the Kali River, Dandeli is a virtual hotspot of ecological biodiversity that contains some of the best animal and plant life found in the country. Set amid a lush, abundant landscape with rolling hills and streams, Dandeli has much to offer for adventure seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, pilgrims and shutterbugs.
The town of Dandeli has people who have moved in from different parts of the country for work, so you’d find a diversity of cultures and cuisines. Check out the amazing places you can visit while in Dandeli. Take a break and treat yourself to the incredibly natural vistas that the little hill station has to offer.
The Dandelappa Temple for the local deity Dandelappa is said to be one of Dandeli’s oldest and the most significant places of worship. According to legends, Dandelappa was the loyal servant of the landlords of Mirashi and it was his loyalty to his masters that led to his betrayal and ultimate demise. People believe that a visit to the temple and prayers to Dandelappa will ring in happiness and prosperity.
The Dandelappa Temple lies in a lush, verdant environment across the Maland belt. It’s quite a small temple, but well worth a visit. The temple is at Ganesh Gudi, about 2 km from the Dandeli bus stand.
The Chennabasaveshwara Temple and Samadhi honours Chennabasavanna who was the exponent of Sathshala, the six fold course of Veerashaiva school of Thought. The temple is a significant pilgrimage centre for people following the Lingayath beliefs.
The lotus filled pond in front of the temple and the thick forests around, complete with a variety of wild life like elephants, bison and snakes and valleys abounding with teak trees and clumps of bamboo, make the temple one of the favourite among pilgrims and travellers alike. A little away from the temple is a sacred fresh water spring called Haralayya Chilume, and a Bath in the springs is said to wash off all sins. Further away is a cave where Akka Nagamma, mother of Chennabasavanna is said to have meditated. Ulavi is about 50 km from Dandeli. Contact the Temple Trust for accommodation.
The olden fort, said to have been built by the Maratha ruler Shivaji is one of the most interesting tourist spots of Dandeli. During the 19th century, Sangolli Rayanna seized the Fort from the British who had been using the stronghold to conduct their regal courts.
The walls of the old Fort are overgrowing with moss and lichen, but still the grand structure looks majestic as it stands overlooking the lake. Visit the Mallikarjuna Temple beside the northern wall of the Fort. Close by is a park maintained by the Karnataka Forest Department. The park provides opportunities for peaceful walks and ample solitude. Shivaji Fort is at Haliyal, about 22 km from Dandeli.
Volcanic activities probably thousands of years ago have carved out beautiful massive limestone rock formations near the Kaneri River, in the forests of Dandeli. You will have to clamber up about 400 steps to get to the top of these gigantic rocks that are as high as 300 ft. The natural formations have turned the rocks into a variety of shades and grooves that make them so magnificent to look at, especially the rivulets as they flow through the rocks. You are not allowed to swim in the Kaneri River that flows at the bottom of the steps that lead up to the rocks. Check out the honey combs hanging down from the rocky crevices overlooking the waters! It’s a nice spot for a picnic or for people keen on geology and the natural wonders of nature. Syntheri is about 32 km from Dandeli enroute to Ulavi.
Kavala caves are situated in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s believed that the caves formed due to volcanic activities date back to prehistoric times. The ancient caves are home to a variety of bats, insects and snakes. You can get a guide and a jeep from the Forest Department to take you about 4 km into the Sanctuary. You will have to walk another 4 km to the steps that lead down to the caves. You can find a number of animals and birds like deer, wild pigs and peacocks enroute the trek to the caves. The cavern which is about 40 ft deep needs to be crawled into, to see the stalagmite formations and the massive naturally formed Shiva Linga, said to look like its formed out of the sacred rudraksha beads. You find more people visiting the cave temple on Shivaratri, when the cave is lit up with lights. Kavala Caves are about 23 km from Dandeli.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary on the banks of the river Kali, is said to be the second largest sanctuary in Karnataka. The Sanctuary has diverse forest types including moist deciduous to evergreen forests. There are teak trees and Bamboo clumps inhabited by elephants and bison, fruit trees frequented by birds like Great Pied and Malabar Pied Hornbills, Blue-Throated Barbets and Pompadour Green Pigeons. In fact, the Sanctuary has more than 200 species of birds including near threatened and rare ones. It’s home to Black panthers, leopards, tigers, bison, King Cobras, Gliding Lizards and Snakes, Malabar Giant Squirrels, species of deer and Marsh crocodiles that abound in the Kali River that flows through the sanctuary.
With the Anshi National Park, the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary was named Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve. Today the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is a Dandeli Elephant Reserve falling under Project Elephant and is also a part of Project Tiger. The Sanctuary conducts Jeep Safaris. Tickets can be bought at the Nature Interpretation Centre at Kulgi. Safari timings are from 6.00am-9.00am and from 3.00pm-6.00pm. Safaris may be cancelled during monsoon.
Sykes Point is one of Dandeli's popular hilltop tourist site that gives a panoramic view of the valleys and the plains around. Especially beautiful is the view of the sunset through the misty peaks of the surrounding hills. Sykes Point is a favourite jaunt of bird watchers, for you can spot a number of Giant Hornbills here, flying by just as common as crows!
You can get permission to visit this site from Karnataka Power Corporation Limited’s Security Office at Ambika Nagar. KPCL’s power generation house is at the bottom of the hill and you might have to pass secutiry check posts before you can climb 5 km uphill for the most astounding view of Dandeli’s forests. Not to mention the confluence of the Nagzari and Kali rivers as they meander through the wildness. Photography is not allowed, but the place is a visual treat to the eyes. Sykes Point is about 23 km from Dandeli, via Ambika Nagar Road.
Sathodi Falls are verily called the Mini Niagara. Several streams join together to cascade down a height of 50 ft, into a pool at the bottom, where you can swim, though not in the monsoons, when the rocks are obviously slippery, and you can expect a lot of leeches. The waters flow off further to join the backwaters of Kodasalli Dam built over the river Kali. With shrubs growing all around and uneven rock formations with the cool waters meandering through the crevices, Sathodi Falls look so mesmerizingly beautiful, especially during sunrise. Sathodi Falls is close to the town of Yellapur and is about 78 km from Dandeli. Sathodi Falls are a must see in your visit to Dandeli.