Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the state and shares its boundaries with Anshi National Park, which in turn forms the Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve.
Dandeli is home to a large variety of wild animals such as tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, bison, bear, varieties of deer, monkeys and reptiles. Around 300 species of birds have made this place their home, which makes it a bird watcher's dream come true.
The sanctuary offers a lot to nature lovers, from the steep slopes to beautiful deep river valleys and to add on, the rich forest terrain. The scenic beauty of the Syntheri rocks adds on to the experience.
The forests here are mostly deciduous and semi-evergreen with pockets of evergreen trees.
Best Season To Visit
It has a moderate elevation and excellent forest cover, which contributes to the pleasant climate throughout the year. The region receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (July - September). October to April will be an ideal time to visit the place; December to February being the best.
October and November are the best months for bird watching and for carrying out activities like trekking as the hills look very pristine after the rains.
How To Reach
There are direct buses which ply from Bengaluru. Dandeli is located at a distance of 462 kms from Bangalore. Dharwad (55 kms from Dandeli) and Hubli (72 kms from Dandeli) are two other major towns for interstate buses.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of options to stay, which are run by the Forest Department and as well as private ones. It is advisable to eat the food offered at the resorts as there are not many options to eat.
Places To See
1. Syntheri Rocks
The Syntheri Rock is a colossal monolith of granite, with a height of more than 300 feet. The river Kaneri flows at its base, with the water making small caves in the rocks and a small terraced waterfall.
2. Kavla Caves
Located at a distance of about 25 kms away from Dandeli, these limestone caves dates back to the prehistoric era and also has interesting formations of stalagmite.
3. Shiroli Peak
Located inside the forest on the sides of an abandoned mine, the peak can be reached by the jeeps provided by the forest department, it is the highest point in the Uttar Kannada region. It usually is part of the jungle safari and needs permission from the forest department to visit.
4. Syke's Point
The Syke's Point is located near the Kavla Caves. It is known for its view of the green hills and the deep valley along with the Nagajahri river flowing by and merging into the Kali river. A perfect spot to catch an excellent view of the sunset.
Things To Do
1. Hiking/ Trekking
A great place to go on a hike/trek in the mountain forests. During the trek/hike one can expect to see different species of wildlife and have a feel of the true beauty of mother nature.
Permission for hiking and trekking must be acquired by the forest department and can be taken up only in the company of experienced guides.
2. Jungle Safari
The Safari is conducted by the forest department, an open jeep is provided with a driver and a guide. The duration is about 3 to 4 hrs and timings are early morning and late afternoons. The ticket charges for the safari is priced at INR 500 per person.
3. White Water Rafting
White Water Rafting is a challenging activity, which is conducted in the rapids of the Kali river. A must do for the adrenaline junkies.