Wild Beauty of Dandeli - A Photo Essay

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's amazing how close we are to places of incredible natural beauty despite the ongoing destruction. It is nothing but a joy and a rare privilege that we are able to whisk away to somewhere exotic overnight. One such incredibly exotic place is Dandeli, a densely forested area hiding rich treasures. I started 2014 with a rather nice visit to Dandeli where brilliant views await. Here's a glimpse of what I saw.

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
A small hike to the hilltop behind the Old Magazine House in Ganeshgudi brought us to this breathtaking view. Four rivers meet here forming a huge reservoir where the layered mountains lie on fringes. The sun sets between the hills, the water shimmers and the sky is painted in all shades of red as the wind whispers sweet nothings. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
In my experience, magical moments are ephemeral. Partly the reason why those stolen moments seem magical could be its transience.  While we waited to the sky to turn red, the water shined bright under the spell of the setting sun. Needless to say, we were left spellbound too. Soon after, the sky turned red. 


Beautiful sights of the wilderness surrounding Dandeli. Tall trees, colorful flowers and dense canopy make the forest look so wonderful, no wonder the hornbills made it their home. Hornbills live where the forests thrive. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Even without the prominent casque, the Malabar Grey Hornbill looked pretty basking in the sun by the Kali River. We spotted this beautiful bird on our evening Coracle Ride over the river. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
And here's the big beautiful bird that has made Dandeli its home. Lots of Malabar Pied Hornbills can be found in the forests surrounding Dandeli. One evening, rowing up and down a small stretch of Kali River, we spotted these graceful birds, flying across the river from one side to the other. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Ganeshgudi is apparently a hotspot for birdwatchers, a place where endemic species come flying to you. And how do I know this? Because that day I saw a motley group of birding enthusiasts congregate near a small bird bath with one thing in common - a love of birds. But what grabbed my attention was the fact that this motley group's collective worth of the camera gear would easily run into millions! But hey, the pretty little birds are Oriental White-Eyes. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Crocodiles and us, side by side, lounging on the river. Kali River. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Thousands of birds were flying back home and it was such a magical yet simple thing that I miss so much living in the city. From a treetop, I watched the white moon and the bird, through the twigs. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Malabar Pied Hornbill again! Saw so many of these beautiful birds in Dandeli. Love. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Early morning walks, late evening hikes,  Dandeli is all about falling in love with the forests all over again! 
Dandeli Wildlife Forest
Say hello to this cute little Malabar Giant Squirrel having its breakfast!

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
A small pond in the Anshi National Park, seen on an evening Safari. After all the activity in the forests of Kanha, Bandhavgarh & Kabini, Anshi felt unusually silent. Dandeli isn't known for big mammal sightings but for lot of endemic bird species. We did see a lot of birds and squirrels in the forests. 

Dandeli Wildlife Forest
The meandering trail through the forest. Even without the big mammals, the forests of Dandeli are a pleasure to be in. It is a place where the wild is truly wild and enchanting still.


Dandeli is a small town in Uttara Kannada district of north Karnataka. The closest railhead is at quaint village called Alnavar Jn, which is 40kms away from Dandeli. Adjoining the town are the dense forests of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi Tiger Reserve. Already known among adventure enthusiasts for rafting on the rapids of Kali River, Dandeli has many things to offer to the birding and nature enthusiasts as well. 

Note : I traveled to Dandeli on-invitation from www.dandeli.com. They can organize your trip to Dandeli starting from travel and hotel bookings to customizing your itinerary as per your interests. 

So have you been to Dandeli? What do you like most about this forest?

Recommended Reading:
Dandeli - Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

Top 13 Things to do in Dandeli, Karnataka from Sankara's Blog.
Wild Things of Kanha & Bandhavgarh National Park - A Photo Essay

You Might Also Like

26 comments

  1. The first two photographs are amazing! I, too, have been to Dandeli and I must say, it is one of the best places for a nature lover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Renuka, lovely place indeed! That sunset hike was my favorite part of the trip.

      Delete
  2. Never heard this name before , thanks for sharing less explored place.

    Pictures r awesome !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Been to Old Magazine House and Kali Adventure Camp..awesome places both..and your photographs are beautiful!!! I need to head back there soon!!
    Harish Mewani

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Dandeli warrants multiple visits. I can imagine why you would want to go back again. :)

      Delete
  4. Beautiful photos...

    first two are more beautiful...

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, the first two are my favorites too. :)

      Delete
  5. Amazing photographs !! How lucky the birds and animals are to have such a home .. I sometimes envy them for they live in such beautiful surroundings while we have live in concrete jungles :(
    I had been to Kabini last year and it remains to be one of the best holidays I ever had .. The river, trees, birds and the enchanting silence .. Incomparable ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, we city people are at least realizing now what we have been missing out on. Without the soothing effect of beautiful nature, it would living hell. Thankfully we are close enough to the forests still. Kabini is awesome too, been there last year and totally loved it. :)

      Delete
  6. Have been there two times earlier and love the forest there. Some pictures I took can be seen here

    http://makrandtraveldiary.com/non-adventurous-side-of-dandeli/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised Dandeli is known for rafting more when the forests there are teeming with such incredible endemic fauna! Beautiful forest.

      Delete
  7. The Resort is nice too. I loved the rafting. I missed the elusive black panther both the times :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which resort? And I guess that's part of the charm of the black panther, it's elusiveness. :)

      Delete
  8. Lovely pics, my fave is the blue flowers! I like your narration too...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow Neelima! What great pictures! Fit for the National Geographic! Boy, you ARE one talented photographer! Keep it up, girl. You'll go places! (Pun intended).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey man, you have great photography skills. I loved the pictures you have shared on the post. The impeccable pictures of sunrise and sunset cannot be beaten. Hope to be able to click such pictures some day in near future.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Neelima,
    Just few days back, I got to know about your blog accidentally while reading one of my other friend's blog who resides in Goa. Btw I am completely trilled reading your narrations of few places which i read in last two- three days. I too have started travelling alone recently and loving every bit of it. Will keep in touch through your blog and will also take help if I needed... :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Neelima, amazing photos with amazing story-lining...by the way may I ask which camera you have been using for getting these ultra clear pictures..

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this place (Dandeli) and there are good resorts too. You can check out the below link for resorts in Dandeli, Karnataka:Resorts in Dandeli

    ReplyDelete

Find me on Twitter

Subscribe