It had been a while since I opted for a train for one of my trips. I was excited at the prospect of it and lucky enough to get tickets booked on time.
Dandeli is a town in North Karnataka. It has the Second largest Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka which was designated as a tiger reserve in 2007. It is one of the few places for White River rafting in India.
Of course, there aren’t any direct trains running/crossing from Bangalore to Dandeli. Hence, I booked tickets till Londa Junction. (Yes, that’s how it is spelled). My friends, traveling on their Motorcycles, were to join me there at the station, the very next morning. The prospect of a bike-trip was again exciting. I wasn’t driving and hence it was still exciting (and not scary) for my other friends.
After a breakfast of Puri-Sabji, with fluffy puris and mashed potato fried lightly, at one of the few roadside joints, dimly lit, we started off towards the town of Dandeli, on tarmac roads with greenery all around us. The fresh morning breeze racing past us as the town neared us. After roaming around, finding our own way towards the Kali River, we decided to take the resort package. It comprised of a night’s stay (Tent or a room), lunch and a breakfast. Along with it, the package included Zorbing, Boating, Swimming, Forest Treks, Cycling, Jacuzzi, Shooting and a Bon-fire to end the night.
The fresh morning breeze racing past us as the town neared us. After roaming around, finding our own way towards the Kali River, we decided to take the resort package. It comprised of a night’s stay (Tent or a room), lunch and a breakfast. Along with it, the package included Zorbing, Boating, Swimming, Forest Treks, Cycling, Jacuzzi, Shooting and a Bon-fire to end the night.
We were also given a map of the town and various sight-seeing places, which included:
- Syntheri Rock
- Ulavi Temple
- Nagoda Backwater
- Supa Dam
We headed towards Syntheri Rock and instead of off-roading the last 2 km stretch, walked along the route amidst trees and chirping of the birds.
The giant rock with a stream of water from the Kalindi River flowing past it is a sight. The pleasant evening weather proved just the right fit for us to lose our shoes and let our feet dangle in the flowing water. One can sit by the stream and do nothing. I’m assuming there will always be a crowd here but pretty sure without them one can enjoy the view and sound of water, undisturbed.
Syntheri Rocks is a giant monolithic Rock located in the dense Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.
As you head down towards the water, the view of this one rock fills up your eyesight.
As we headed back, the weather decided to literally spread water over our plans for further sight-seeing.
Instead, we headed to the town for a much-needed food break. A small restaurant called, Al- Kohinoor’s non-veg laden menu piqued our interests. Apart from having our lunch on the first day, we even followed it up for the second day. The food was good. Our orders included Beef Biriyanis (Plural, yes), Kebabs, Chaps, Liver and Fish Fry.
We had to drive down in the rain as it decided not to stop on our way to the Resort. The resort was pretty close by, but the route was blocked and hence we were forced to take a longer route.
It was already night by the time we reached and apart from dinner, dancing around the bon-fire and a late-night conversation under one of the many shacks, there wasn’t much to do. And I guess, that was the purpose of it all?
The night was about getting some much-needed rest by tucking ourselves in the tent. The tent part was my first experience and although this was in a resort, still it was fun to be in one.
Ideally, Dandeli is a place known for River Rafting. The reason for coming over to Dandeli was that! However, since it was raining and due to government restrictions, it was closed.
There was a trek through the woods for the large part of the crowd who were up at that time. The trek culminated into a scenic area with a stream of water at the end of it.
Post this, we took a boat ride along the stream along with a very animated guide for company, who shared a few spooky Crocodile tales from around the area while we were in the middle of the water. Timing.
While my friends zorbed in the river out there. I decided to carry on reading the book.
Post the activities, we decided to head off to Dushsagar Falls. There was a lot of discussions and after much deliberation, we headed towards the next destination. First stop was, ‘Castle Rock’ from where we either had to trek up to Dudhsagar or hop onto a goods train. Alas! A surprise awaited us.
Apparently, they’ve closed the trek option due to multiple accidents in the area and the last train which crosses Dudhsagar which we hoped to get onto, left a few minutes back. The quaint little station even had messages warning about the same.
But we had our tent with us, and decided to park ourselves for the night. And this part, right here at Castle Rock, was a good decision. This area was like a mystery and I’d probably need a separate post to talk about that.
The town is out of a B-grade horror movie for the gloomy and foggy weather. Deserted as we walked in and made us wonder, do people even live here?
Answer : They do.
Anyways, long story short, we put up our tent in the verandah of one of the guest houses and even ate a decent meal. The joy of doing this is irreplaceable. One of us was of the opinion to put a tent right here on the grass itself. Picturesque? Yes. But thanks to our skepticism, the rain at night would have troubled us if we had done the same.
As we headed out early morning enjoying the amazing view, once again, and wondering how come everywhere you go in Karnataka, the roads are amazing. But as soon as you’re back in Bangalore, the scene just changes!
I had a few hours to kill before my train arrived and ended up penning down my musings at Londa Junction, here!
To Summarise my Dandeli Travelogue, it was more of a road trip where we made multiple and elongated pit stops. There were many things to explore in Dandeli and of course, the River rafting, but the roads are amazing and I’d suggest to take a car or a bike when you plan to head over to the place.