“Travel makes one modest. You realise what a tiny place you occupy in this world.”
This is a two-post travelogue about a weekend in Dandeli and Gokarna, both situated in Karnataka, India.
Specifically speaking, it is about a Saturday in Dandeli and a Sunday night in Gokarna after leaving from Bengaluru on a Friday evening.
Now I know there are 2 kinds of readers interested in this post.
(1) People who want only photographs
(2) People who want photographs with the whole story of the travelogue
This post caters to both categories (1) and (2).
Category (1) can glance through all the photographs only following below.
Category (2) can read the story of the travel/descriptions that follow the photographs.
I will structure this post in the following way:
- Quick Facts (Distances, Routes & Budgets) – This has a lot of numbers. If you are not interested in this, skip directly to point 2.
- Day 0 – Departure From Bengaluru, Things You Will Need
- Day 1 – Dandeli
(a) Sunrise Commute Through The Dandeli Forests
(b) Supa Dam
(c) Reaching The Resort In Ganeshgudi, Off Dandeli
(d) Syntheri Rocks
(e) White Water River Rafting
(f) Campfire Night & Dinner
- Day 2 – Sathoddi Waterfalls & Gokarna Beach
- Day 3 – Arrival Back At Bengaluru
So, without any further dilly-dallying, let me begin with point 1.
1. Quick Facts (This has a lot of numbers. If you are not interested in this, skip directly to point 2 next below.)
a) Distances & Activity Times
|Day||From||To||Distance||Total Time Spent (Including Activity Time)|
|0||Bengaluru||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||559 km||12 hours|
|1||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||Syntheri Rocks||32.9 km||3 hours|
|1||Syntheri Rocks||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||32.9 km|
|1||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||White Water River Rafting||3.1 km||2 hours|
|1||White Water River Rafting||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||3.1 km|
|2||Flycatcher Resort, Ganeshgudi||Sathodi Falls||92.3 km||3 hours|
|2||Sathodi Falls||Gokarna Beach||94.6 km||7 hours|
|2||Gokarna Beach||Bengaluru||493 km||12 hours|
|Total Distance = 1310.9 km|
b) Budget Per Person
|Travel Budget (Hiring a Tempo Traveller)|
|Total Distance||1,310.9 km|
|Total Price||Rs 19,663.5|
|Driver Bata (Charges)||Rs 350/night|
|Total Driver Bata (Charges)||Rs 1,050|
|Total Travel Expense||Rs 20,713|
|Total Travel Expense Per Person||Rs 1,883.04|
|Syntheri Rocks||Rs 10|
|Beach Expenses||Rs 100|
|Food (3 meals) on Day 2||Rs 300|
|Total Price||Rs 1,610|
|Summing Up Budget|
|Travel Per Person||Rs 1,883.04|
|Stay Per Person||Rs 1,500|
|Activites Per Person||Rs 1,610|
|Total Budget Per Person||Rs 5,000 or $ 75 (approx)|
2. Day 0 – Departure From Bengaluru
a) Mode Of Travel
We hired a tempo traveler (TT) which could seat 12 people excluding the driver.
We were 11 in number excluding the driver.
For more details on the driver charges, refer ‘Quick Facts’ above.
This was a TT with A/C system and a special discotheque-like lighting. This suited us since we wanted to have a dance or two on the way.
We picked each one of us up and had left Bengaluru City For Dandeli by 9:00pm.
The route followed was as below:
Bengaluru City -> Tumkuru -> Sira -> Davanagere -> Ranebennur -> Haveri -> Dandeli/Ganeshgudi
We had good dinner at one of the highway-side ‘Dhabas’.
Be pretty selective about which Dhaba you go to – not every one seems very welcoming for everyone.
b) Things You Will Need For The Trip
-> Clothes for a 2 day, 1 night stay
-> Extra clothes specially for river rafting and waterfalls – you will get wet head to toe
-> First Aid kit is preferable, the waterfalls are tricky to manoeuvre
-> Sweater – it does get pretty cold in the early mornings
-> Lot of change – tollbooths charge very nominal fees meaning 500s won’t work
-> Power Banks – this is obvious, isn’t it?
-> A good camera – DSLR is not a necessity, any good camera would do, it could even be a phone camera like mine. All captures here are taken from my phone camera.
-> Closer, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, The Humma Song, Hymn For The Weekend, Don’t Let Me Down, Mukkabala, and every other recent hit in the English, Hindi and Kannada music industry.
3. Day 1 – Everything Dandeli!
This will be further broken down to provide better clarity.
a) Sunrise Commute Through The Dandeli Forests
Upon waking up after a night’s travel, we were greeted by this view:
The phone camera was kept kissing the road below. Observe how the road slowly curves down and then to the left in the backdrop.
Now the air here was so chilly and pure – it felt like we were on top a hilltop.
The greenery and trees around emanated pure oxygen and so the air seemed so very fresh and pure.
Sharing more captures below of the beauty of an empty road winding through forests…
The next series of 4 photographs show the cover of the road ahead by fog.
b) Supa Dam
On the way to Flycatcher Resort (where we were to be put up), Karwar Road, Ganeshgudi, you would observe a dam.
This is the Supa Dam of Karnataka.
Now the next few pictures will show what seems like the tributary of the Kali River that is the impound for the Supa Dam.
Let us play the game as played above with the foggy road, except, we will go the reverse way this time – from 100% covered by fog to completely uncovered.
c) Reaching The Resort In Ganeshgudi, Off Dandeli
We were to stay in Flycatcher Resorts, which is technically not in Dandeli.
It is off Dandeli, in Karwar Road, Ganeshgudi.
Upon nearing Dandeli, be watchful of many checkposts where you will find a lot of sign boards of resorts and diverging roads. Get down and ask for directions to reach Ganeshgudi if you are looking to go to Flycatcher Resort (I personally recommend it, more details about the resort later below).
En-route to Dandeli, you will have to take a sharp right diversion at one of the check-posts to reach Ganeshgudi, so be careful not to miss it.
Let me clear something about the two places.
Dandeli – Pure forest area with caves (caused due to volcanic activity), naturally formed rock clusters, waterfalls, white water rafting, dam, etc.
Ganeshgudi – Pure forest area which is primarily famous for birding and safari.
Dandeli and Ganeshgudi are roughly 30 km apart.
All of the sight-seeing spots are at least 15-20 km away from any resort, so it does take some time to reach each spot.
The captures below show the various pics of the resort.
Jackfruit Or The Jack Among Fruits.jpg
d) Syntheri Rocks
What are they?
These are naturally formed vertical rocks that shoot around 100 metre (300 hundred feet) upward. The composition of this massive rock is many different rock types, which are described below with pictures.
Below the Syntheri Rocks, flows what seems like a tributary of the aforementioned Kali River (which powers the Supa Hydro-Electric Dam shown in the captures above).
Both the Rocks and the small tributary of the river combine in a heavenly way to form a stunning gorge/ravine!
Now these two combine to give way to a wonderful gorge, shown by the pics following below.
Interesting point – the Syntheri Rocks look like ‘The Wall’ as mentioned in the Game Of Thrones. Or am I the only one who feels so? Raise your hands if you do too – actually never mind.
Now the captures below provide some of the composition of the natural rock formation.
Now a word of caution/advice.
DO NOT get down in the water. This water has claimed 11 lives – the rocks are pretty slippery with moss, I almost slipped myself clicking these pictures. The tributary river is not exactly fast moving, but it seems very unfriendly – there is a feel of loneliness about it.
e) White Water River Rafting
This is an experience of a lifetime.
This is the whole point of getting to Dandeli.
|Rafting Type||Length||Number of Rapids||Time Required|
|Long||9 km||9||90 minutes|
|Medium||6 km||6||60 minutes|
|Short||3 km||3||30 minutes|
What are Rapids?
They are nothing but rapid ‘drops’ in the river. The water gushes down here, making it difficult to manouevre the raft. The raft shakes heavily, and everyone on the raft is advised to duck down when crossing a rapid. It is real fun.
We went for the medium rafting. Talk to your resort owner, he will arrange the rafting for you. Else, you could also Google for the rafting organized by the State Government.
The guide will accompany you and guide you very well.
Whatever you do at Dandeli, do not miss River Rafting – a heavenly experience of a lifetime!
That is it for this post.
Part 2 will cover all the remaining activities/experiences. I will pickup from where I left off here. River rafting was done around 5pm in the evening on Saturday.
So part 2 will feature:
-> Campfire Night
-> Sathodi Waterfalls
-> Gokarna Beach
-> Miscellaneous Beauty
Also featured will be links to 4 videos:
- Video of waterfalls
- Video of drive through the foggy forests
- Video of the Gokarna beach
- Video of night drive along the state highway
Until then, best to say:
“The world is a book. And the people who don’t travel, read only one page.”
– Augustine of Hippo