This is perhaps the first travel blog I’ve made on this site, so let me welcome you again – Dandeli Travel Blog.
Basically, I’ve provided a list of places to visit in Dandeli.
Note: If you’re planning on visiting Dandeli for a short trip, that’s a lovely way to spend your holiday. But if you’re choosy about accommodations, make sure to book your stay a little earlier… (don’t make the mistakes I made).
Dandeli: A down-to-nature spot
We all know Dandeli is one of the most popular tourist spots in India, particularly for rafting. Apart from rafting, it offers some other water activities (Kayaking, boating, natural jacuzzi, and a couple more). Another reason why people visit Dandeli is for its peaceful nature.
Dandeli boasts large areas of forests with over 280 homestays and Dandeli resorts. And guess what? When I tried to book myself a room for a night there within a day before, almost all sites were sold out!
But I did find a modest resort- Dandeli Jungle Camp– and made a trip with four other buddies of mine. So let’s begin!
Saturday, 8th June 2019
To book two rooms at the Jungle Camp resort for me and my friends, I visited the website Dandeli.com (you might take a look at the for the resort booking… usually the first site which comes up when you google Dandeli’). The website exhibits about 6-7 different resorts. After making some research and finding out all were out, Jungle Camp was booked.
The five of us started out from Dharwad in an SRS bus. It was a 1 and a half hour journey. At the bus stop in Dandeli, like most of the travel agencies, ours had its own office nearby. Speaking of transport and activities here…
We had already booked our stay here and all the activities all in one package. But BINGO! Transportation doesn’t come with it! In the office, after negotiating with almost an hour, we managed to bring the total transportation price by half… more than half. The price they tell out loud is unreasonably too much.
So if you’re going out there for a trip, take along a good negotiator as well :).
Dandeli Adventure begins!
I can call it an adventure because we actually got a buggy for transport! The old rusty beast had no doors. We spent the next hour taking pictures of the beautiful greenery and the curvy roads that swept by. After a 30-40 minute ride into the forest, we reached our resort.
As expected, there were two simple bedrooms with attached bathrooms. It was around noon now. So we freshened and got ourselves equipped for the water activities (basically equipped with casual clothes and phone, nothing else). We left our backpacks behind.
Some of the other Dandeli blogs that I found particularly interesting…
- Dandeli: A walk into the woods
- Dandeli: Rafting the Kali River
- A modest 2-day Itinerary (I wrote this for Travelista)
Water Activities… Bermuda water sports (whatever you might call it)
For all the water activities, they take you to the Kali river. We decided to start off with kayaking. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our turn to come up. Since we had life jackets on, one of my friends asked if we could swim. The guy in charge looked at us a moment.
Then he said, “100 rupees per person.”
I eyed him for a while. Then I scoffed in Kannada, “You put this water here? Or your father did?” I think he did hear my abusive comment because he remained silent as we jumped off into the river after our kayaking.
Kayaking is pretty fun, but I must say it is tiring. The stronger arms you have, the better. 3 of us were firm that we wanted single seater kayaks, so the other two took the two-seater. Once you’re out on your own, there’s no need to bother about the time limit.
Once you’re far away from the stands, there isn’t anybody to call you back so enjoy all you can! Sadly, our arms will speak otherwise. After 20-30 minutes, we returned back to the stands- dripping wet.
Boating and Natural Jacuzzi
These both come under one title for a good reason. With boating, they take you to the natural jacuzzi point and after the ‘jacuzzi’, the boat takes you back to the same point. Boating is…boring. And if you sit in the middle of the boat just watching others row, that’s even more boring!
The only fun bit is when another boat passes by and you take up your paddle to splash on theirs and vice-versa. That’s all there is to it.
Jacuzzi, on the other hand, is fun and equally dangerous at the same time. It isn’t as calm and peaceful as it looks on the smiling family pictures. One wrong step can literally kill you!
Here’s the scenario: Water gushing down past rocks and people sit around these rocks and enjoy the water flow. Except that the rocks are sharp. And the water force isn’t light either. It is enough to take you down if you pick one leg up… it depends on how bulky you are though.
But when I finally settled down on a rock, then I admit- the feeling’s pretty expensive.
Zip Line/ River Crossing
This wasn’t actually in the package so we paid extra for this… and found it worthy. This wasn’t very high either- probably about 5 floors high and then you end up near the other end of the river. Waiting for all these activities is sure to make one weary.
But the moment is truly an experience. I’ve had a zip line experience when I was much younger and timid. This time, I jumped off confidently (carelessly really). My limbs appear loose in the vid below, don’t they?
Visit Backwaters and Visit Tribal Shop
These two also come in many resorts packages as activities. The Dandeli Backwaters isn’t very breathtaking as it sounds. Maybe it was also because of the dam. But for photography and portrait pictures, it’s pretty good. I’d had enough photos of myself so I didn’t bother to get some good ones.
Did I mention I hate taking too many pictures of myself?
Anyways, about the other thing, Tribal Shop: As soon as you walk out of the Backwaters from the other end, there is a tiny shop which holds some of the local organic products. We passed it on.
If you’ve been through some of the Dandeli resort activities, you’d have seen the campfire activity included in all. I don’t know about the rest of the resorts out there, but the campfire in our stay wasn’t an activity. Sure it was a campfire. But no one asked us to join the circle.
The wood blazed on in the center with a bunch of guys sitting around it and immersed in their phones. That’s right! No one was actually talking. Apart from the firewood crackling noise, the place was quieter than a library.
We stayed a while and we went off to our rooms. I slept off early while the rest of my gang stayed up till two… and unlocked my phone using my finger… and… well, that’s another story.
Sunday, 9th June 2019
Morning and Trekking
We didn’t actually stay the night for the trek. We stayed because breakfast was on the package. Anyway, the trekking came first. I’m sure there are some great spots out there for trekking in Dandeli. But ours was no doubt shitty. Practically, a villager with a stick walked around some forest path (3km) and we were following him.
The irony is that he was our guide who didn’t guide us in any way- or didn’t even speak with us for that matter. The only animal we saw was a peacock fly away as soon as we spotted it. And that was that.
We came back and had breakfast.
About Rafting in Dandeli…
If you’re setting out for rafting, make sure that rafting is available at the time. Because when we arrived at Dandeli, rafting was closed. They explained that the dam was closed and the water level was low. So rafting wasn’t possible.
Dandeli is the one place one shouldn’t miss river rafting Dandeli, and yet we missed it. Anyway, for info’s sake: There are usually two options. One is a short range which covers a distance of around 1km. The other long rafting is a massive 9km range activity.
Besides, the long rafting price was close to the entire package we had opted for. So after breakfast, we packed up and came back by noon!
Dandeli provides choices for accommodations and activities in abundance. Sometimes it can get difficult to choose. For a group of friends, the total expenditure per night can come around to Rs. 3K whereas for a family, it’s better to go for something higher.
Either way, it’ll be an enjoyable experience!
… Hey, this pic seems nice to insert!
If you’ve got some time, feel free to go through some of my crazy adventures!