To Dandeli & Back – Rejuvenated

Dandeli. Yes I know, if you are from Mumbai and other northern areas of the country you don’t know what I am talking about. If you are from Bangalore its been a family trip weekend destination forever! It is namma Dandeli for you. I went Mumbai – Dandeli – Bangalore – Mumbai and I have been shuttling between these two expressions from everyone I am talking to! It’s amazing considering Dandeli is bang in the middle on the Mumbai – Bangalore route! It’s a stones throw from Goa.


View Dandeli, Karnataka in a larger map

Being from Mumbai, I was not sure what to expect in Dandeli. I typically don’t research about the place before landing up there. Dandeli was a surprise. Its a lot wilder than I expected & wild isn’t exactly what I expected it to be either.

Wild Travel
Quote me! 🙂

I was staying at a quaint, cozy jungle camp called Pradhani. Just outside was the home of a bear. He has been staying there for years and never caused much trouble but of course we humans need to step lightly and cautiously.

Inside the camp was interesting. Here are some pics from my mobile camera (S3) which I am quite proud of,

Malabar Squirrels Dandeli
They are pretty big, these Malabar squirrels with a lovely, striking reddish color!

This Malabar squirrel found itself in the Monkey colony tree shown below. There were many territorial issues, but this squirrel is big enough for any of these monkeys! Yet it felt pestered as there were too many of the primate kind. As it was making its way to another tree I caught the clear shot above. Then another squirrel came from somewhere…

Dandeli
This tree was a super Monkey colony – families and lone rangers dangling, jumping around!

So what can you do in Dandeli? What is it all about?

Jungle Safari

One of the first activities I went on was the Jungle Safari. The Dandeli jungle is a wild expanse with fairly new Tiger Reserve status in 2007. There are chances of spotting tigers, leopards and black panthers. This jungle is un-fenced hence the chances of spottings are less. It is also a relatively new jungle safari zone, so the animals are not used to the road and vehicles so they may stay away from it. The ride inside was still quite impressive as the forest comes across as wild!

I totally enjoyed the safari. We saw spotted deers and heard the barking deers. The wild boar hadstepped onto the road for a bit, if he got pissed and charged on us it would be risky but that didn’t happen. 😉 The wild boar wasn’t really that big…. somewhat more sturdy looking than the average city boar but with tusks and temper. The great Indian Hornbills are really Great with their typical 60 inch wing span. They are so much bigger than I had imagined. We also saw some wild hens, peacocks, pea hen, pea kids and very camouflaged turtles.

Way into the jungle we came to a sunset point. A lot of such points are created only for tourist purposes, the view is not better than other views. This point however was brilliant! For the first time I have seen the Western Ghats in all their glory. It was so perfect for the panorama shot,

Sunset Point Panorama

Sunset point, Dandeli
Steps to Sunset point… no wild animals in sight.. lets take the plunge! 😉
Sunset Point Dandeli
Interesting landscape, I think this was a quarry at some point in time…
Dandeli Sunset
It seems I have conquered some peaks 😉

On our way back to the jungle camp, the road which was hitherto lackluster was all colorful – the gypsies had come! Read more about them in the next upcoming post as I am running low on time and some hype is mandatory at this juncture 🙂 [Next post: The gypsies are coming!]

Disclaimer: Thanks to the folks at dandeli.com for a lovely visit. They planned and organized the trip really well!

(All the thoughts and melo drama in this post are very much mine) 😉