Looking for the ideal getaway, to spend a few days in the lap of nature- try Dandeli. Situated in Uttara Kannada district in north western Karnataka, Dandeli is a beautiful forested area on the banks of the river Kali. At an elevation of 473 metres, Dandeli in the Western Ghat region, has a fairly salubrious climate through the year, ranging from an average high of 26 degrees in summer to 18 degrees in winter. Heavy rainfall from August to November has resulted in lush greenery and dense forests which are home to wildlife such as tigers, elephants, Indian bison, deer, antelopes and bears. It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. In 2007 it was designated a tiger reserve. A large variety of reptiles and 300 varieties of birds can be found here.
Because of its great location, Dandeli is popular with tourists both from India and from abroad, and there are plenty of staying options. A great place to stay though is the Magenta Resort. The resort is right in the wilderness, almost in the middle of nowhere, so having your own transport would definitely be an essential requirement.
Breathe in the fresh untainted air of the surrounding forest and prepare to have a relaxed weekend, pottering in the garden, sitting by the lake or dive into the pool for a swim. Incidentally, Magenta is the only resort in Dandeli to have a swimming pool.
The resort has 10 lakeside cottages. The rooms are large and spacious with attached bathrooms. All the rooms are double occupancy and are air conditioned. They also claim to have wireless internet though often connectivity becomes a problem in such remote locations. Remember you are on holiday.
Prefer to live in a tent, well that option is also available. There are ten air conditioned tents, one of which is the luxurious Maharaja tent, to make you feel like a royal.
Apart from the above, there are 7 garden rooms, each room having its own terrace or balcony area. Enjoy a book with a hot cup of tea.
Children will have plenty to keep them occupied, a zip- line takes you across the lake and the last lap has the young ones squealing as their feet drag through the water at the end of the line. Take a few laps round the lake in a Kayak. For the adventurous try crossing the Burma Bridge, made up of only three ropes. Feel your stomach churn as you lurch across to safety.
Early mornings are great for bird watching. A local guide can help you identify the birds and you get to know interesting facts about the forest too. Or go trekking, if you are an exercise freak. Or if you love being in nature.
The river Kali is a fun place to do river rafting.
Spend evenings with family or friends cosily before a bonfire listening to music.
The staff are polite and always willing to help.
Getting to Dandeli
Fly in to Goa, Dabolim airport. The town is 96 km from Goa. Driving from Goa is one option. The nearest airport is Hubli and there are several flights to major cities from Hubli. From the airport you could hire a cab or a more economical option, take a train from Hubli to Alnavar, as several trains run on that route. From Alnavar take a cab.
Dandeli’s nearest railway stations are Londa,(36 km), Alnavar, Hubli (80km) Dharwad(57 km). A number of trains from Pune, Kerala, Goa, Hyderabad, Ajmer halt at these stations. Travel by road the rest of the way.
Dandeli can be accessed by road from Bengaluru, Goa, Belgaum, Dharwad. Drive down or hire a car. There are state and private buses from Bengaluru to Dandeli.