General Information / Introduction
Dandeli, a small sleepy town in the western ghats of North-West India in the state of Karnataka is really proud of beholding the magnanimous wild land under the tiger project. The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary what the name of the reserve is; actually locating in Uttarkannada district of Karnataka which is abundantly rich in wide varieties of flora and fauna. Being spread over an area of 834.16 sq.km, this reserve is reputed as the largest sanctuary in Karnataka. The sanctuary is also counted amongst the most attractive tourist spots in Karnataka. Numerous tourists from Karnataka and all over the India come and visit the sanctuaries every year to witness the wildlife while having jungle safari, or from a boat. The calm and blissful serenity all across the reserve with a diversified varieties of floras and faunas are the added attraction to the area.
Its richness and diversity offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes with picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain. The breathtaking valleys, regal looking meandering rivers and the splendid scenic beauty of the syntheri rock make it an awe inspiring experience. The forest in Dandeli is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types, with pockets of every green.
The formation of Dandeli National Park is actually a joint venture with the adjoining Anshi National Park and together they were granted the status of Project Tiger Reserve. In the year January 2007, the area was together named as Ansheli Dandeli Tiger Reserve by including the area of 340 sq km. Today, the area of Dandeli National Park by adjoining the areas of Anshi National Park together with six other adjacent protected areas in the states of Goa and Maharashtra forms the most uninterrupted protected forest area of over 2,200 sq km.
On 10th of May 1956, the Dandeli area was converted into Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and once the state proposed the idea of sanctioning some of the parts of Dandeli into Anshi National Park; it was being implemented on 2nd of September 1987. The initial proposal covered 250 square kms. When the final notification of the park area was issued in 2002, it was extended by another 90 square kms.
With a variance in wild species, the reserve area of Dandeli actually brings a variety of Bonnet Macaque, deer (barking, mouse and spotted), Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, Malabar Civet, pangolin and sloth bear to make the reserve as their ideal home in the forests. The Black Panther, elephants and tigers are rare species to be found in the Dandeli National Park. Reptiles sighted in the park include the King Cobra, Python, Krait, Rat snake and Viper. There are more than 200 species of birds found in the region as to include Malabar Trogon, Pompador Pigeon, Paradise Fly Catcher Ceylon Frogmouth, Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Emerald Dove and Lesser Adjutant Stork.
The main wildlife species include elephant, tiger, leopard, gaur, flying squirrel, mouse deer etc., along with the major counts of the avi-faunas like magpie robin, crested serpent eagle, golden backed woodpecker and a large variety of other birds.
The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary also has a wide range of avi-faunas like Indian Lorikeet & Malabar Parakeets ; Malabar Pied, Malabar grey and Indian Pied Hornbills ; Hill Myna ; Blue-bearded & Chestnut headed bee-eaters ; Ruby-throated & Yellow-browed Bulbul ; Fairy Blue Bird ; Velvet-fronted & Chestnut-bellied Nuthatches ; Little Spider hunter ; Black-throated and White-backed Munias ; Dark-fronted Babblers ; Heart-spotted , White-bellied and Brown-capped Pigmy woodpeckers ; Malabar Trogon ; Ceylon Frogmouth ; Brown Fish, Mottled wood, Spot-bellied and Brown Wood Owl; Crested Gowshawk ; Speckeld Piculet ; Gold-fronted & Blue-winged Leaf-birds. Its rich bird life makes it one of the popular bird watching spots in India.
Flora in Dandeli
The area of Dandeli that exhibits the wide ranges of flora attraction is actually plush with the southern evergreen forest. The tourists can find wide ranges of plant life, magical herbs, and shrubs. Dominant species are Mango, Jamun, Hirda, Behda, Bamboo, Shrub, Teak, Jamba, Ficus, Herbs, Climber, Grass, and Fern can also be visible here to complement the captivating landscapes.
Attractions in Dandeli
Kavala Caves : The Ancient Kavala caves could be a perfect historical destination for the tourists to visit while planning their trip to Dandeli. This place is located around at a distance of 25 km from Dandeli. Tourists will have to trek some thousands steps through a dense forest to reach the group of caves. These caves are revered as a holy abode of Lord Shiva-the Hindu god of Destruction.
Kulgi Nature Camp : The Kulgi Nature Camp is positioned at a distance of around 14 km from the Dandeli National Park. This camp is composed of a small museum and a nature interpretation centre and is located on the Ambika Nagar- Yellapur Road. The main highlight of this museum is the stuffed remained of 13-ft king cobra which was caught few years back in this area. Besides, the tourists can have the added fun of the camping attractions.
Anshi National Park : Quite adjoining from the Dandeli reserve area, the Anshi National park is yet another charming location for the most beneficial wildlife tour. Together with six other protected areas in the states of Goa and Maharashtra, Anshi forms a protected forest area of over 2200 sq kms. The Park is mainly composed of deep valleys, steep hills and rich forests for much pleasurable attentions.
Syntheri Rock : The Syntheri Rock is a stipulating location for the tourists located deep inside the thick Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and is a 300 ft tall monolithic granite. With the Kaneri River gushing ferociously by its side, the Syntheri Rock brings a spectacular sight for all. The effect of erosion is magnanimous to find in the hollows on this rock. Thousands of pigeons have made this rock their home in the innumerable nooks and crannies, and one can also see the hives of rock bees hanging precariously from the Kali Wilderness Camp. An hour jeep ride followed by a walk through the scenic jungle will take the visitors to this incredibly beautiful sculpture of nature.
River Kali - Originating from Diggi, a small village in Uttara Kannada district, River Kal brings a fantastic opportunity to enjoy boating in the native saucer-shaped coracles carved of bamboo and tanned buffalo hide. The river banks are thronged with avi-faunas, weaverbirds, pied kingfishers, egrets and other species of avi-faunas. During the month of October to March the tourists can leverage different adventurous activities including the white water rafting.
Shri Mallikarjuna Temple - Sri Mallikarjuna Temple is believed to pre-date the Shivaji Fort, the most ancient temple with great legendary belief. According to a stone inscription present within the temple, Kadamba King Jayakeshi had donated some lands to this temple in 1144. 'Navarang mantap' in the sanctum and Kadamba style dome are the prominent highlights of this temple.
Supa Dam - This dam is located near the town of Dandeli at 25 kms of distance. The Supa Dam is used for producing electrical power under the Karnataka Power Corporation. People can make a leisure walk around the cozy and pristine area for much enjoyment.
Safaris in Dandeli
The wildlife lovers can enjoy the most defined jungle safaris and boat safaris in the area of Dandeli for more blissful experience.
Safari Timing – 06:00 AM to 09:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Daily game drives in Open 4WD safari vehicles
Park opening time to Visit – 01st Oct till 30th June, however safaris can be availed within the national park periphery and is permissible at the buffer zone area from 01st July till 30th September.
Other activities to be cherished :
By Air : Belgaum (110 km,), Hubli (75 km,) and Goa (150 km.), Bangalore (3481 km.)
By Rail : Alnavar (32 km.) Londa (48 km.), Dharwad (57 km.), Karwar (117 km.) and Hubli
By Road : Dandeli is well connected to Bangalore, Mumbai, Goa, Belgaum, Karwar and Dharwad and Hubli by road. Several buses ply to Dandeli every day. Pick up and drop facility from closest destination is available on request.
Hotels in Dandeli
The land of Karnataka is complemented with great landscapes and scenic beauties and the presence of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary make the land more cherished with flawless attraction; and to witness such grand variance of natural ambience, a stipulated stay at any one of the resorts and lodges can be very beneficial. Besides, many furnished tented cottages with attached bathroom are also available in the reserve area for much natural feel and convenience. The spacious lodges and rooms are available for complete boarding and lodging facility to experience the wildlife tour in a more enigmatic way.