Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Karnataka     North Karnataka    

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary




North Kannada district, Karnataka

Nearest town


Dandeli (37.5 kms)

Main attraction


Black panther

Best time to visit


All year round

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Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka is located in the Uttara Kannada district. Located about 485 kilometers from Bangalore, it covers an area of 5729.07 square kilometers. Nestling some very rare animals and birds, it is an unspoilt, untouched and unexplored sanctuary, bordering the states of Maharashtra and Goa. 

Established in 1975 as wildlife sanctuary, it is famous for the resident Black Panther. Dandeli is one of the few places in Asia, where Black Panther has been tracked. The undulating streams, swaying bamboos, rich wildlife, calm and quiet surroundings and adventure activities like trekking, rafting, safaris etc makes the trip to Dandeli an out-of-the-world experience. The tributaries of the Kali, Kaneri and Nagajhari flows through the forests of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.


The entire area is covered with deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. It is famous for its high quality Tectona grandis, Adina cordifolia, Grevillea robusta, Eucalyptus, T. bellerica, Mitragyna parviflora, Cordia macleodic, Acacia and Xylia xylocarpa. The sanctuary is also rich in bamboos, herbs and climbers many of which have medicinal value.

The forest is home to animals like the Slender common langur, Mouse deer, Loris, Gaur (Indian Bison), Sloth bear, Elephant, Wild pig, Fox, Tiger, Sambar, Malabar giant squirrel, Leopard, Wild dog, bonnet Macaque, Spotted deer, Giant flying squirrel and Mongoose. Among the bird species found here, the prominent ones are the Indian Cuckoo, Blue Headed Ground Thrush, Pied Hornbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Magpie Robin, Golden Back Woodpecker, and Malabar Grey Hornbill. Cobras, crocodieles, Pythonds and several species of Lizards are also found here.

Things To See And Do

Kavala Caves
Kavala Caves are located on a hill-top in the forest near the Supa Power Station. 25 km away from the base camp at Dandeli, one have to climb 375 steps to reach the cave entrance. Infront of the cave, there is a temple. The cave has a lot of stalagmite formation and Lord Shiva is resembled in the form of such stalagmite, the Shivling. One have to crawl 40 ft deep through winding, narrow tunnels to see this Shivalinga. On Shivarathri day, a fair is organised here and thousands of pilgrims visits during that time. These limestone caves were inhabited by humans since prehistoric times. Since it is a 6 km trek (up/down), it is advisable to carry a torch, candles and lots of water while explore the caves. The are numerous bats and snakes in the cave, so visitors should more cautious. One have to leave their footwear outside.

Syntheri Rock
It is located deep inside of the Dandeli Sanctuary. Stands a 300 ft tall granite monolith on the bank of river Kaneri, the Syntheri Rock is a spectacular sight. The rocks are inhabited by thousands of pigeons, swifts and honeybees. Set against a thick forest background one have to climb steps to reach the top. One can also bathe in the river below.

Sykes Point
It is one of the most beautiful spots in Dandeli Sanctuary. From here, one can get a panoramic view of Kali River flowing through the valleys deep below.

Nagajhari Point
An ideal location for viewing the hills, valleys, dense forests and the running streams.

Shiroli Peak
Also known as the sunset view point, Shiroli Peak is the highest point in Uttara Kannada district. It offers an excellent view of the peaks located in the Western Ghats. It requires prior permission to see this peak. 

Supa Reservoir
It is the main water storage facility of the Kali project. Built in 1981, it is closed for visitors because of security reasons.

The sanctuary offers wildlife safaris in jeeps, nature walks, fishing, boat rides, bird watching, adventure activities like rafting, jungle safaris, crocodile sighting trips and trekking in the jungles of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

River rafting
Those who want to experience adventure in water, Dandeli is the perfect place. River rafting through dense green forest is a memorable experience. Rafting is open between October to May and closed during monsoon. Many private agents provides rafting. There are two rafting. Short run (9 kms- 1 hour) – Rs 950 and Long run (14 kms - 4 hour) - Rs 1,500. Timings : 9am -12am and 2.30pm - 5.30pm. 

Coracle ride
It is the most interesting activities in Dandeli. The coracle is a round boat made of iron and wood with a circular seat in the centre. It can accommodate four people, including the boat rider-cum-guide. The stretch of Kali River near the Dandelappa Temple is famous of spotting crocodiles. If the weather is sunny, one can see crocodiles lazing on the banks. 

There are total of 10 trekking routes which organzied by Kulgi Nature Camp (run by the forest department) people and agents. Boarding facilities are available. 4 treks begins from Kulgi Nature Camp and other 4 treks from Anshi Nature Camp. Trekkers are required to pay for the permit and guide fees at the Kulgi Nature Camp by the Forester in-charge. Be careful to wear full boots, as leeches are a big trouble during monsoon and winter months. Besides the day long trekking routes there are also a few short birding trails around the camp. Fees :  Entry fee: 40/-, Trek fee: 75/-, Guide fee: 150/- per day. 

Birding spots
The sanctuary is a bird water's paradise. Inside the sanctuary, there are several watch towers to see birds. 

Bus and jeep safari is conducted in Dandeli sanctuary. One can use their own vehicle for a jungle safari. Fee: Safari on departmental bus, per person Rs 50/-, Safari on departmental jeep, per person Rs 100/-, Private Jeep / Car Rs 150/-, LCV Rs.300/-, Bus / Truck Rs.500/-, Guide fees Rs.150/-, Elephant joy-ride per person per ride (30 mins) Rs.75/-.

Apart from these one can also enjoy Canoeing, canyoning, kayaking and rock climbing at Dandeli Sanctuary.