There are so many destinations in India where one can experience the adrenaline rush. We often tend to overlook such places mostly because we aren’t aware of the existence of such destinations. One such small village, located on the Kali river, goes by the name Dandeli. Nestled on the western ghats, Dandeli has a complete blend of adventure mixed with natural beauty. Slowly and steadily this small village has gained attention from the nearby cities, where people often come on long weekends to experience the adventure that Dandeli has to offer.
The optimal thing about this village is that it offers activities for all age groups. Be it bird watching or Jungle Safari, Dandeli has it all. Hence, it’s an ideal family destination where one can choose from several activities and define adventure in their own words. You however need to visit between October – March for utmost experience of all the adventure activities. Also, the weather during these months is ideal to visit this place. The rest of the time there is heavy rainfall due to which all the activities are closed down for safety purposes. Here are some of the activities you can undertake in this adventurous village:
- River Rafting (14 km stretch).
- Coracle boat ride.
- Zip Line.
- Natural Jacuzzi rapids.
- Jungle Safari.
- Hiking & Trekking.
- River crossing.
- Mountain biking.
- Crocodile watching, etc.
Most of the activities mentioned above happen on the river Kali & hence you can decide which ones you’d like to undertake.
DAY 1 – Dandeli
Reach Dandeli early in the morning to make use of the whole day for different activities. After checking in the hotel and having breakfast head to river Kali to undertake different water activities as per your liking (the activites are mentioned above). Spend the whole day immersed in adventure and later in the evening return to your hotel to rest. The next day requires even more energy and hence it is recommended that you go early to bed for complete rest.
DAY 2 – Dandeli
The next day reach at the safari entrance by 4 .30 – 5 AM for experiencing the wild life safari in the second largest reserve of Karnataka: The Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve. The same safari is also available in the evening however you get the whole day free if you do it in the morning itself. After the safari, head to Syntheri rocks to experience more adventure among the waterfall & the honeybees. Alternatively, you can also head to Kavala Caves to experience trekking. This shall be ardenous & hence I would recommend you to go only if you’re a true adventure lover & have the energy left to do the same. Later in the evening you can also undertake bird-watching which is a very common activity in the surroundings.
DAY 3 – Dandeli
On the last day, all you need to do is rest, eat breakfast and depart this beautiful adventurous village.
HOW TO REACH DANDELI:
BY AIR: The nearest national airport is the Belgaum airport which is at a distance of 90 km. The nearest international airport is Dabolim airport, Goa from where this destination is a 4 hour drive.
BY TRAIN: The nearest railway station is 35 km, at Alnavar Junction. Another railway junction that lies nearby is at Hubli. From both these railway stations, you can hire local transport at a minimal cost and reach the desired destination.
BY ROAD: It is very easy to reach by roads. It’s located 4 hours away from Goa which is why people coming from the North, usually have an overnight stay in Goa and then head over to Dandeli.
WHERE TO STAY?
We stayed at the Jungle’s nest homestay while we went to this city. However, if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury and the very famous one in this city then you should totally book the Bison River Resort.
You can also check other options for you accommodation in Dandeli.
HOW MUCH DOES EVERYTHING COST & HOW TO BUDGET:
One great thing about this city is that it caters to all types of travelers depending upon your budget. There are cheap places and great places to stay & at the same time there are hotels which are completely draped in the lap of luxury. It all depends upon how much you are willing to spend. The cost to stay here for two starts from $15 and upwards (Rs. 1000/- & above). And if you’re lucky you might find places which are even cheaper. This city completely thrives on tourism as their source of income & hence competition in the hotel industry is quite fierce.
Food is quite cheap in this village. One will mainly find the typical south-Indian restaurants and dishes. The cost can start anywhere from $1 – $3 (Rs 70- Rs. 200). I would not recommend cooking anywhere but definitely having a barbecue is highly recommended.
The best way to travel within Dandeli is to have your own personal vehicle. Public transport is available however one cannot depend upon it. Also, public transport is inaccessible to most of the places in this village. The cost of fuel will surely rise but if you are in a group then the overall cost can be divided which will eventually bring down the budget.
There are plenty of things to do here some of which I have already mentioned above. The entire village is more about nature and mountains which is mostly free of cost. For water sports activities & the safari, one needs to pay and that is where the cost will rise. However, overall it’s not very expensive to engage in various activities in and around this city.
Dandeli on a budget is absolutely possible. But one needs to allot plenty of time to reach here. It is definitely the next adventure destination in southern India with so many activities and adventure sports mainly water based. Also, it is becoming a very popular weekend getaway & one needs at least 3 full days to explore the highlights of Dandeli. Don’t wait anymore, head over this place before it gets crowded!
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