Dandeli - Adventure, nature and bliss!

Dandeli Travel Blog

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Day 2 of our trip - left Hampi soon after breakfast and reached Dandeli by lunch. A delightful drive with good roads and lots of farmland with cotton and maize. The highlight was a large extended wind farm we saw between Gadag and Hubli. Was quite a sight! Our first day at Dandeli was booked at the Kali Adventure Camp. It's a nice hotel right on the bank of the Kali river and a good base for a number of activities the hotel would organize for you - Jeep safari, white water rafting, coracle ride, a nature walk...

The staff admitted that the forest is too dense and wooded, and the chances that you'd spot something are rare, so we decided to give the safari a skip and instead spent our time getting up the machan to get a view of the river, a short "nature walk" through the surroundings and a refreshing coracle ride on the Kali. The highlight was the sighting of the Malabar Hornbill from the coracle! Also spotted a number of other not so common bird species right on the river bank - emerald dove, racket-tailed drongo, golden backed three toed woodpecker...

The next day morning we rented a couple of bicycles and explored the villages around, and then later, river rafting! What an experience! A series of rapids down which the river gushes and they give awesome thrills! Not scary thrills, but no walk in the park either... one of our group did fall off the raft (no injuries thankfully!) and I must have swallowed a ton of river water as we rowed back into the rapid. Also got a great view of the jungle as the raft floated down the calm sections of the river. Got to see some more hornbills, very clearly now as we went past their roost and a snake bird flew barely yards from us.

Later that day we headed to Old Magazine House, a quaint set of cottages nestled away midst thick forest. This place was simply amazing. Not too crowded at full capacity and a place full of peace and quiet. A must visit for any birders! Within a short period I saw a number of new species that I hadn't seen before - The paradise flycatcher (what a magnificent bird!), Indian pitta, Malabar Red Trogon...

Just before sunset we set out for a hike on a trail that led up a hill through thick forest. About 30 mins of hike got us to a clearing on the top from where we got an excellent view of the Supa Dam Reservoir and the jungle around it... looking at the sun set between the hill into the water. Looked like a great place for camping overnight, but unfortunately we hadn't planned for that :(, so we trekked back down in the fading light.

Driving route: We took the driving route as Hampi - Koppal - Gadag - Hubli - Dharwar - Dandeli. Saved some time by heading westwards when we left Virupuragadde and hit NH13 to get to Koppal... instead of what google maps suggested (going back to Gangavati and then to Koppal). The route was a pleasure to drive all through except that we needed to pass through the twin cities of Hubli and Dharwar, where the traffic slowed us down and we managed just 20 kms in the hour.

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photo by: couchdesurfer