Decoding Dandeli

Rahul Katarki Feb 28 2018, 21:16 IST
Rahul rafting in Kali river with friends.

Ever been to a place where you screech through the rapids yet cautiously backpack through the woods while being dazzled by the landscape and wildlife around? Yes, that's Dandeli- the adventure capital of the south!

Nestled amidst the dense forests of the Western Ghats, the contrasting environment supports a wide range of wildlife from squawking hornbills to fierce big cats, while stocked with tens of resorts and stays dotted among its surroundings, particularly alongside river Kali which runs through the town.

We were a group of five adrenaline junkies heading from Bengaluru who took an overnight train to Londa- the nearest station (about 30 kilometres north of our resort) and reached there early morning. From Londa, we used public transport just as every budget traveller would, though the resorts provide pickup/drop services from/to your preferred location in their vicinity at an extra cost- depending on the distance. We alighted at Ganeshgudi, a town 20 kilometres west of Dandeli.

One does need to be wary of the low frequency of public transport (understandably) due to the remoteness of the area and the scarce population of the towns around. Then, we did use their pickup service, as the last mile connection from Ganeshgudi bus terminal up until the resort and from that moment on, the excitement began.

We were thankfully sent an open jeep in which we enjoyed the cold breeze and morning freshness around, while the vehicle sped through the twists and turns of the forest. By then we had our first glimpse of Supa Dam, which stood majestically, overlooking the bridge across the much awaited Kali.

After a ride for about 15 minutes we finally reached our destination- flycatcher adventures, confined within the calmness of areca nut plantations. It is advisable to perform a thorough research on the location of your preferred resort according to your priorities since one does not want to be wasting time and spending a whole bunch extra just for transportation between activities.

As we had clear intentions on water sports and trekking we had pre-booked for two days and one-night package at the resort from where the activities are at a walkable distance (a mere 300 metres) and chose to stay in tents, as an offset from our daily routine. We got a very positive welcome from the staff who were incredibly cooperative and friendly which got us at ease throughout our stay and got our itinerary charted out according to our package preference.

The day started with a short rafting session where we got a briefing from our guide about safety and rescue while on course to the rapid ahead. Meanwhile, we had managed to jump into the river clinging to the raft to mentally prepare for the upcoming unknown. The briefing ended and in no time we were through the rapids with those few seconds of thrill being definitely evergreen.

Then, it was time for upstream rafting for about 20 minutes at the very base of those rapids while the entire session was about 40 minutes. The best part was that one can get the pictures clicked to capture those thrilling moments.

As we were high on confidence, the rest of water sports followed with kayaking for about an hour and a raft ride a bit further downstream to end the first day of activities with, while the day ended with leisure activities back at the resort and a much-needed campfire at night.

The next day started with an early morning trek with a guide to the picturesque backwaters of Supa Dam, spotting wildlife along as we climbed our way through the dense forest. Once there we spent a whole lot of time relishing the peace and isolation around. By noon we made our way back from the trek and relaxed out of exhaustion on the river boulders, getting drenched by the stream.

All our activities were completed and it was time for final cheers to a successful expedition, an expedition with a unique sensation, wildlife, sightseeing, and excellent services.

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