Dandeli – The Adventure Hub

Dandeli, situated on the Western Ghats in Uttara Karnataka, is an exceptional place where nature blends seamlessly with adventure. It is a favored tourist destination in Karnataka, renowned for its picturesque natural beauty. The region is blessed with verdant forests and is situated on the banks of the Kali River. Dandeli is popularly known as an adventure hotspot that offers a wide range of exciting opportunities for thrill-seekers. While river rafting is the most well-known activity, there are numerous other adventures to be enjoyed in Dandeli.

Dandeli provides a plethora of activities for travelers seeking adventure, including kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, trekking, and cycling, making it an ideal summer destination in Karnataka. Additionally, the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit attraction for nature enthusiasts. Following the thrilling activities, visitors can enhance their travel experience by taking a nature walk or spending the night in a camp.

Tourist attractions of Dandeli

  • Shiroli Park
  • Kavala caves
  • Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ulavi Temple

1. Shiroli Peak Dandeli

Shiroli Peak, situated in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and located 25 kilometers from Dandeli, offers a stunning view of the peaks of the Sahyadri range and is the highest point in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka. Visiting requires permission from the Dandeli forest department, but the sunset views from this location are breathtaking. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing breeze while taking in a series of mountain ranges. Shiroli Peak is a popular tourist destination in Dandeli, particularly for trekkers in the Uttara Kannada region seeking a challenge due to its height.

Shiroli Peak in Dandeli offers an excellent view of the Western Ghats, and tourists can also enjoy a view of the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. It is known for its stunning green forest views, and Dandeli is a popular destination for tourists seeking relaxation, with plenty to explore from jungle safaris to river rafting. Everything, including the forest, the river, and the wildlife, is so beautiful that visitors cannot afford to miss it. Don’t forget to bring your camera to Shiroli Peak as it offers plenty of photo opportunities to capture memories. There is no entry fee, and the peak can be visited all year round. Being the highest point in Uttara Kannada, it distinguishes itself from other peaks and locations, offering a beautiful scenic view.

2. Kavala Caves

Kavala Caves, located in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, are a well-known attraction that offer a fascinating experience. These caves, thought to be of prehistoric age and formed from volcanic materials, are a must-visit destination in Dandeli.

Visitors can only reach the Kavala Caves by descending 375 steps, after which they will encounter an abundance of stalagmite formations within the limestone caves. These caves are well-known for offering an exciting and memorable experience, featuring narrow climbs and trekking through a picturesque setting.

Kavala Caves provide an exhilarating adventure as they are completely dark and inhabited by snakes and bats. At the entrance of the caves, visitors can find a temple. The most fascinating feature of Kavala Caves is the naturally formed Shivalinga made of raw nuts, called Kavala in the local language, which attracts many devotees. This unique feature is the reason for the name of this popular tourist spot in Dandeli.

Kavala Caves are situated in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, in Uttara Kanadda, Karnataka.

Best Time to visit: The best months to visit Kavala Caves is from October to March

Entry fee: No cost

Timings: The timings to visit Kavala caves if from 6:00 am 6:00 pm

Distance from Dandeli Bus Stand: It takes approximately 24 kilometres to reach Kavala caves from Dandeli Bus stand.

3. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Uttara Kannada and spreads across an area of 334.52 square miles. It is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and makes for an excellent holiday destination. The sanctuary can be conveniently reached via road, rail, and air transportation, with the closest location to reach it being Dharwad, 57 kilometers away.

The second largest sanctuary in Karnataka, the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Kali River and is enveloped by the dense forests and hills of the Kannada District. The sanctuary is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, showcasing the rich biodiversity present in and around the area.

Orange headed thrush at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary – Spot Crocodiles and Birds

The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of an abundant variety of flora and fauna. Crocodiles, a popular wildlife attraction, can be spotted here. Visitors can have a unique experience of bird watching and crocodile spotting. One can choose to explore the forest on foot or indulge in bird watching. The sanctuary is also home to several species of reptiles and amphibians.

The sanctuary offers a chance to witness various animals like barking deer, bison, Indian Mongolian, black panther, sambhar, tiger, leopard, elephant, flying squirrel, and the Malabar giant squirrel. With luck on your side, you may even catch a glimpse of the king cobra, tiger, or giant iguana that dwell in the dense and thick forests.

Indian yellow tit at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Quick Facts about Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Best time to visit: From March to October
  • Opening Hours: 00 AM to 6.00 PM
  • Visit Duration: 7 to 8 hours
  • Entry Fee: INR 40 per person  (Indians) and INR 80 per person (foreigners)
  • Camera: INR 100 per camera
  • Jeep Safari: INR 40 per person
  • Address: Solad Complex, J N.Road, Dandeli, Gokarna, Uttara Kannada -581326

Fauna at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for bird enthusiasts, as it boasts of over 200 different species of birds. The sanctuary is covered by dense deciduous and evergreen trees such as bamboo and teak that create a perfect habitat for birds like the Blue throated Barbet, Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, and Peregrine falcon.

If you take a forest safari, you can explore the lush forest and get a glimpse of exotic creatures that call the sanctuary home. Dandeli is an ideal destination for nature lovers, and there are numerous resorts available for a pleasant and comfortable stay.

Malabar Pied Hornbill at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

4. Ulavi Temple

Ulavi Temple is a significant tourist spot in Dandeli, and is highly revered by the Lingayat community. It is regarded as one of the most holy places for pilgrims in Karnataka, as it houses the samadhi of Channabasavanna, a venerated 12th-century Lingayat saint. The temple is surrounded by lush evergreen forests, and the Western Ghats add to the scenic beauty of the place. These forests are also home to various rare wild animals like cheetahs, cobras, tigers, elephants, and more.

During Ulavi Jathre or congregations, thousands of pilgrims from all over Karnataka visit Ulavi Temple. The temple is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, providing a peaceful escape from city life. Built in the Chalukyan style, the temple is also known for its caves and stalactites, which attract tourists looking to explore.

  • Location : Ulavi Temple is located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka
  • Best Time to visit : Ulavi Temple can be visited by the tourists throughout the year
  • Entry fee : None
  • Timings : The timings at Ulavi Temple are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Distance from Dandeli Bus Stand : The distance between the two places is 35 kilometres when you travel by road

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