Best Travel Guide for Activities, Tour Packages, Sightseeing, Things to do & Excursion

Explore Dandeli: Where, How to, Activities, Stay, Things to do Guide

What to Explore ? Things to Do Lists in Dandeli

Know Dandeli – location, and proximity to different towns

Dandeli is a small town situated on the banks of River Kali in the state of Karnataka (Uttar Kannada District).  Dandeli can be approached by bus, both state-run and private operators or can be reached in private transport or taxi as well. It is around 97 km from Goa while in Karnataka it can be approached from Hubballi and Belagavi which are two district towns located at 75 and 90 km respectively from Dandeli. From Bengaluru, Dandeli is situated at a distance of 459km and from Pune it is 440km. Tourists can also be transferred from airports located at Hubli, Belagavi, and Goa.

beautiful dandeli river
beautiful river in Dandeli

This place is surrounded by thick forest cover and is home to a wide range of biodiversity. There is a renowned paper industry named West Coast Paper Mills in Bangur Nagar – Dandeli and is a prime source of employment for most in this town.

History of Dandeli

Dandeli also has a rich and interesting history attached to it. There is a popular story that reveals as to how this place actually acquired its name: There once was a humble servant of the Mirashi landlords known as Dandelappa who fell in love with the lady of the family. The lady also responded and put forth a proposal to get married to Dandelappa. But the loyal servant declined and in turn enraged the lady by his decision. The lady later lied about Dandelappa to her brothers, alleging that his behavior was inappropriate. Hearing this her brothers killed Dandelappa in a fit of anger and sliced him into two. His head and body landed in separate parts where presently two temples exist in his memory and this is how the town got its name as ‘Dandeli’.

Places to Visit – See in Dandeli & Nearby

Dandeli is Favourite place for the adventure seeker, Photographer, Trekker and Nature Enthusiasts, there is a lot to see and explore many adventure activities and things to do. Following are popular places to visit near Dandeli.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary:

leopard-sighting-in-dandeli
leopard sighting in Dandeli

If you are a nature lover then you should not miss out on exploring the various sights and sounds of the lush forests of Dandeli with a wildlife safari. Jeep tours in wildlife sanctuary is an adventure of a lifetime where you get to witness the natural habitat of wild animals, exotic birds, and unusual reptiles. For adventure buffs, Dandeli provides a perfect holiday destination. From white-water River rafting in Kali River to mountain biking where even spotting tigers is a possibility besides rare species of birds, Dandeli has everything to offer.

Jungle Stay in Goa
Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is between March and October as the center is open between 6 am and 6 pm. Resorts in Dandeli are priced on an average at Rs 950 per person but may vary as per season.

Activities

White water rafting, kayaking, Jacuzzi bath, water ball zorbing, Burma Bridge climbing, bird watching, river crossing etc.

Dandelappa Temple:

Dandelappa-Temple,-Dandeli
Dandelappa Temple, Dandeli

Located in Ganesh Gudi, devotees visit the temple to worship Lord Dandelappa. With the mesmerizing natural beauty, the temple’s landscape is a visual treat for the eyes. Legend has it that whoever prays here his/her wishes are fulfilled.

Best time to visit

Tourists can visit any time of the year but the most preferred period is October to February. The temple is open during the day. The temple is located at a distance of just 2.3 km from the bus stand.

Abhyaranya Wildlife Adventures
Abhyaranya Wildlife Adventures – Photo: Brahmaraju D Akki

(Tents):

Wildlife adventure trips into the forests of Dandeli are certainly an amazing experience. Camping in tents during such tours adds that extra zing. Wildlife Adventure in Dandeli is all about exploring the natural habitat of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, gaur, deer, antelopes, and bears. In fact, the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary is the second in Karnataka and was designated as a tiger reserve in 2007. The jungle is home to almost 300 varieties of birds beside a host of reptiles.

dandeli jungle walk
Activities

Tourists can enjoy water rafting at the Virnoli Rapids connected to the Kali River. Other wildlife activities are – nature walks, jungle safari, bird watching, crocodile watching, and angling. Nearby tourist spots that can be visited during day time are Ulavi, Syntheri Rocks, Anashi National Park and Moulangi. Different resorts and homestays located in the area offer variable tour packages.

Moulangi Eco Park:
Moulangi Eco Park
Moulangi Eco Park – Photo: Girish Wajapey

The Moulangi Eco Park is a very popular tourist destination in Dandeli and is located amidst the dense forests, surrounded by a stunning natural beauty with huge bamboo trees. This place is just perfect for adventure lovers and campers.

Trekkers’ delight

Eco Park is an ideal picnic spot and is located about 11 km away from the Wilderness camp in Kali. The forests are home to a wide range of species of flora and fauna. Its steep cliffs are a dream for trekkers. Even rock climbers are seen climbing large rock formations. The place is also ideal for groups, family to organize picnics or camps. Best visited during summer (

26°c to 28°c) or winter (9°c to 23°c). Package for 1N/2D stay may range from Rs 6,500 to 7000.

Molangi Falls

Magod-Falls,-Dandeli
Magod Falls, Dandeli

Located near Molangi, with a panoramic landscape of thick and dense forest, the Molangi Falls is an ideal picnic spot and best for a rejuvenating visit to Dandeli. A visual delight for visitors this popular fall is nestled amidst thick bamboo trees and steep rocks making it ideal for trekkers and climbers.

night-stay-in-dandeli

Activities

Swimming in the pool formed by falls is an experience in itself. White water rafting is also a popular activity here. Also an ideal spot for romantic couples as well. The ideal time to plan a visit is during the monsoon months. Distance from Dandeli Bus Stand to Molangi Falls is 8km.

Sri Mallikarjuna Temple:

Sri-Mallikarjuna-Temple-in-dandeli
Sri Mallikarjuna Temple in Dandeli

Sri Mallikarjuna Temple in Dandeli is considered as one of the oldest temples of this region and is located in Ganesh Gudi. It is believed to be older than the Shivaji Fort. A stone located inside the temple says that the land over which this temple is constructed was donated by the Kadamba King Jayakeshi in the year 1144. The most striking feature of this temple is its mind-blowing architecture and attracts a large number of pilgrims throughout the year. The ‘Navarang mantap’ placed inside the sanctum sanctorum is a prime attraction of the temple.

Best time to visit

The winter season from October to February is the best time for a visit. The temple is open between 6 am to 7 pm every day of the week and is located approximately 20 km from Dandeli Bus Stand.

Sykes Point:

Sykes Point dandeli
Sykes Point in Dandeli – Photo: Somashekhar B

Sykes Point is one of the best vantage points located in Dandeli. This top point offers an amazing view of deep valleys and thickly forested hills along with the Nagzari River & River Kali confluence.

Location:

Located at a distance of 6 km from Ambikanagar and 24 km from Dandeli Bus Stand, Sykes Point is one of the famous sightseeing spots around the town. This spot is named after a British engineer who discovered it. A private cab can be hired to visit this unique spot.

What to explore?
  • Beautiful view of the sunset
  • Giant hornbills
  • The Nagzari River & River Kali confluence
  • The Nagzari Power House of the Kali Project

Note: Permission to visit Sykes point can be obtained from KPCL security office at Ambikanagar.

Kali River:

kali-river-in-Morning,-Dandeli
Early Morning over Kali river. – Photo: Ramesh Adkoli

Located in the Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka, the Kali River is a sight to behold for its sheer flow and magnificence. Head to Dandeli and you are in for some great fun and outing at Kali adventure camp along the banks of this beautiful river.

The Supa dam reservoir in Ganeshgudi is a popular attraction. Nature can be enjoyed by booking a stay in a bungalow while you indulge in a plethora of activity.

Activities at River Kali camp
  • Kayaking
  • Coracle riding
  • Trekking and bird watching
  • Trip to Siroli peak
  • White water rafting at your expense
  • Check in time: 12:30 pm and check out time: 11:00 am the next day.
  • Rates – Rs 2000 approx. per person
Kavala Caves:
Kavala Caves, Dandeli
Kavala Caves in Dandeli – Photo: Darshan Siddappa

Kavala caves are natural caves located deep inside the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. A by-product of volcanic activity these caves are believed to be in existence since the prehistoric times. Presently the caves are inhabited by numerous snakes and bats. There are also known as Limestone Caves or Sidda. Visitors need to climb down 375 steps to reach the cave entrance where there is a temple. One needs to further crawl down 40 feet through winding, narrow tunnels to witness the Shivalinga formed naturally. This is popular during Shivaratri when thousands of devotees visit the bulb-lit caves.

Shivalinga
shivling-in-dandeli-temple
Shivling – Photo: Hemant Kumar

The natural Shivalinga is about 4 feet high with a diameter of approximately 3-4 feet. Its texture is like a raw nuts (used with beetle leaves) known as Kavala in Kannada and hence the name. There is an udder shaped stone formed over the Linga from which water keeps trickling all the time.

Best time to visit

Plan a visit between October and February. Trekking fee to the caves is Rs 475 per person and Guide fee is Rs. 500 per group. The caves are locked 24km from Dandeli and can be visited by walk or trekking. A bus or cab can also be hired.

Sathodi Falls:

Sathodi Waterfall in Dandeli - Karnataka, Dandeli
Sathodi Waterfall, Dandeli

Sathoddi Falls is a waterfall formed from several unnamed streams near Kallaramane Ghat, in Uttara Kannada District. The falls are located at a distance of 32 km from Yellapur, Karnataka Kodasalli Dam is also an added attraction. From Dandeli, this location is around 80km.

Mini Niagra
This falls which cascades from a height of 50m is popularly known as the Mini Niagara and is part of the Ganeshgudi forest range. You can visit the waterfall between November and April. Entry fee of Rs. 5 per person is charged.

Anshi National Park:

Anshi-National-Park, Dandeli
Anshi National Park, Dandeli Photo: Shekhar Nanajkar

The Anshi National Park is an evergreen tropical rainforest located in the UK district in Karnataka, roughly 38km from Dandeli. Anshi is situated on the Karwar-Londa highway and is part of the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. The unique feature of the park is that in the whole of Asia black panther is found naturally here.

jaguar-in-dandeli
Activities

Trekking facility from the Anshi nature camp is located 3kms off the park with 4 routs commencing from this spot. The Nature Camp is properly maintained as tented and dormitory accommodation with food is available. Ordinary and deluxe tents are on offer while a dorm has 16 beds with the price ranging from Rs 50-70 for Indians and foreigners respectively.

Tourist Spots
  • Ulvi Channabasaveshwara Temple
  • Kadra Valley viewpoint (12 km)
  • Karwar beach (55 km)
  • Visitors can enter the park is open from 6 am to 6 pm

Kulgi Nature Camp:

resort-in-dandeli

For those who want to experience a stay inside the forest, the Kulgi Nature Camp is the way to go. Located 11km from Dandeli this campsite is a comparatively low price for a great experience.

Accommodation in the form of Log Huts costing Rs 1,500 + 12% GST is available. The cost for two Veg dinners and two breakfasts is around Rs 350.

Jungle Safari & other activities
Jeep-Safari-Dandeli
On a Jeep Safari into Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary Photo: Anuradha Shankar

The entry to safari ride is 3km from the camp base. One can expect to sight deer, fox, giant Malabar squirrel, peacocks, lots of birds including hornbills en route the Jeep ride inside the jungle. Jeeps carrying 7 to 8 people in one trip will charge Rs 450/person.

  • Kavala Trekking – 600/person; guide fee Rs 200
  • Sathkanda falls trekking – 300/person; guide fee Rs 200
  • Timber Trail – 100/person; guide fee100
  • Bird Trail – 100/person; guide fee 100
  • cycle ride -50/hr
  • River Rafting – 1550/person
  • Coracle ride : long-500/person;short-250/person
  • Elephant safari – 300/person

Be on the alert! Locals here say they have wired perimeter at the camp as Leopards and Tiger may just be lurking around very near as in certain areas the perimeter wires were broken.

Ulavi Temple:

Ulavi Temple, Dandeli
Ulavi Temple

This temple belonging to the Lingayat Community is considered a very important attraction in Dandeli. In fact, the temple has the samadhi of Channabasavanna who was a revered 12th-century Lingayat saint.

Best time to visit

The Ulavi Temple is visited throughout the year and is open from 8 am to 6 pm. However, the temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims from all over Karnataka during the Ulavi Jathre a temple fair. It is located 35km from Dandeli bus stand.

Disney Park:

As the name suggests, the Disney Park in Dandeli is an all-children favorite and a trip to this town is not complete without a visit to this park. All children love this park as it’s got almost all Disney characters you know and also those which you are not aware of.

The park is located at the entrance of the Dandakaranya road, off the JN Road. Entry fee is Rs 20/person. Opens at 9.30 in the morning and closes at 6 in the evening.

Crocodile Park:

Crocodile-Park-in-Dandeli,-Karnataka
Crocodile Park near Dandeli, Karnataka

The crocodile park in Dandeli comes under the jurisdiction of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and is recognized by the Govt. of India. This place is about 3km from the Dandelappa temple and located on the SH46, Kerward road. Actually, if you stand on the banks of the River Kali there is a great chance to spot the crocodiles and also up the island.

Nagoda Dam Backwaters:

If you are in Dandeli a visit to the nearby Nagoda dam backwaters is a must. It’s been one of the most lovely tourist attractions of the surrounding region in Dandeli.

The calm and serene view of the water is a sight to behold. You can witness some migratory birds settling in on the shores of the dam. Also, the sunset here is an amazing experience. The backwaters are the pride of Nagoda village which falls under Supa taluka. From Dandeli, this place is located at a distance of 29km. The location is a photographer’s delight.

Nearby Railway Stations
  • Dudhsagar – 21km
  • Tinai Ghat – 24 km
  • Londa Jn – 24 km
  • Castle Rock – 25 km

Supa Dam:

Supa-Dam-in-Dandeli
Supa Dam in Dandeli Photo: Dandeli jungle holidays

Built on River Kali, the Supa dam is a popular attraction for tourists and a major landmark in the Uttara Kannada District. Renowned for its hydroelectricity plant, the dam is one of the best places to visit in Dandeli.

Best time to visit

Located at a distance of 25km from Dandeli bus stand, the dam looks spectacular when visited between the months of June and December. The elevation of the dam is such that from the top, one can enjoy the best panoramic views of the river and also the surrounding landscape as well as the town. It’s also a perfect spot for a family picnic.

Activities
  • Boating
  • Just watching the gushing River Kali
  • Entry fee- none

Syntheri Rocks:

Syntheri Rocks
Syntheri Rocks, Dandeli

The Syntheri rocks are a popular attraction for those who visit the Ulavi Temple as they are located in the proximity of the temple itself in Gund area.

Basically a granite structure, these giant rocks are home to numerous bird species with pigeons being common. One can walk down about 200 steps from Ulavi Temple to reach the rocks or hire a jeep to the rocks.

Visitors are allowed to visit the rocks from 8 am to 6 pm. Distance from Dandeli is 35km.

Customized Dandeli Tour Packages

Proper planning is needed to visit Dandeli this summer vacation so as to ensure that you return on a satisfying note. If you want to enjoy many adventure activities while traveling in a group or with friends or family then the best option is to chalk out a suitable package that is tailor-made as per your budget.

Dandeli-Resort
Resort in Dandeli

Actually, Dandeli offers you customized tour packages just to match your needs and according to what activities or spots you want to visit and enjoy during the trip.

Dandeli Packages might be 2D & 1N or 3D & 2N stay as per your needs. For instance, a state lodge would charge you Rs 850 per head for a 2D & 1N accommodation. This includes 8 free activities and 4 sightseeing. If you check-in at 10 am then the checkout is at the same time the following day (this can be extended up to 6 pm).

kayaking-in-Dandeli
kayaking in Dandeli

Activities (Included)

  • Kayaking
  • Raft boating
  • Jacuzzi bath
  • Swimming
  • Archery
  • Cycling
  • Zorbing
  • Coracle ride

Sightseeing

  • Eco Park
  • Supa Dam
  • Backwater
  • Crocodile park
Add-ons
  • Riverside campfire + Dinner @ Rs 350/head
  • River rafting@1200/5km or 600/1km
  • Jungle Safari@450/head;
  • River crossing @350/head
  • Rappelling @250/head

Note: For a 2N stay only the room rate is Rs 1100/person besides additional transportation charges. Rest of the activities and sightseeing along with add-ons remain the same as above. These packages are best suited for company get-togethers, college tours or even family outings.

Common Activities in packages by local operator/companies:

White Water River Rafting in Dandeli
White Water River Rafting

Dandeli is one of the best destinations on the western front if you want to enjoy water adventure and sightseeing. Therefore check out the best packages on offer online before you plan a trip to Dandeli.

Here’s a list of common activities that most local operators or companies include in their package for tourists on a short visit to Dandeli:

  • River Crossing
  • Water Roller
  • Jacuzzi Bath
  • Boating
  • Bird Watching
  • Jungle Trekking
  • Kayaking
  • Water Rafting
  • Waterball Zorbing
  • Kali Tiger Reserve
  • Zip-line
  • Jeep Safari

Conclusion

Dandeli is a traveler’s delight. The place is abuzz with water adventure that rekindles your desire to enjoy the thrills and spills of the sport. Be it the delectable sightseeing aboard a jungle jeep safari or trekking on hilly terrains while gazing at the flora and fauna of innumerable counts or a ride by the gushing River Kali , this place has the choices for all ages and moods. Even for the religious minded, there are ancient caves with temples or simple temples of different deities worth a visit. In a nutshell, Dandeli is a one-stop destination for a weekend getaway just to reboot and energize yourself after a hectic week of work and stress.