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Treehouse stay in Dandeli
Nirav Shah
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We continue our reader-driven getaway series.

Nirav Shah says Dandeli in Karnataka is a paradise for nature lovers.

Now I've had the time of my life... No I never felt this way before...

These wonderful lyrics from a song in Dirty Dancing come alive when you visit Dandeli, embedded between lush green forests with the serene Kali river flowing by.

It is a paradise for nature lovers.

It has been almost 15 years since we graduated from school, but I am one of those few lucky ones in regular touch with my school mates. We make it a point to meet regularly and go out once in two years.

This time it was my call and we decided on Dandeli in Karnataka. The beauty of this place can only be felt.

We left by car from Hyderabad to reach Dandeli in around 12 hours. It was of course a tiring drive due to the bumpy roads, but once we reached, early morning at around 6 am, it was, I can only say AWESOME.

We checked in at the Hornbill Resort (named after a rare bird, only found in that region, we were told) and were put up in a tree house! The fun had just begun.

We rested for a bit, and then headed for a swim after a wonderful breakfast.

Oh I must mention the spring water we drank, believe me you will forget the Kinleys and Aquafina. I certainly did!

Anyways, soon after breakfast, we went swimming in the river and followed it up with fishing! By the way, you are not allowed to keep your catch, fish and drop it back in is what we all did.

After a delicious lunch and a bit of rest we went for white water rafting which was an adventure for some and fear for a few amongst us.

It included about 9 kms of boating, some 12 rapids, surfing and bird watching.

We headed back in an open-top jeep (it is about 22 kms drive from the ending point of the rafting). We thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

After refreshing ourselves, we were in a mood of some singing and dancing.

The owner of the resort -- Umesh, a thorough gentleman who takes care of the guests personally -- arranged for a campfire on the banks of the river and we danced and sang till around midnight.

After merrymaking, and a wonderful dinner (served hot at midnight), we moved to the tree house where an exhilarating experience was awaiting us.

Imagine being 40 feet above the ground, the tree house leaning into the river and the moonlight falling on the flowing river� the only sound you could hear was that of the water!

We woke up early next morning and went for a safari ride deep into the jungles. Saw some bisons (a Dandeli special). We had breakfast in the midst of the jungle. By the time we came back it was lunch time.

After lunch and a short nap, Umesh (the owner), took charge and asked us to pack our bags. We were all surprised but followed him to the rafts without any questions.

After a short ride, we reached what looked like a small island. Here he announced that we would camp there overnight!

Imagine an island, no inhabitants, only the six of us and two caretakers. We felt as if we owned it. Lush greenery everywhere, full of teak plantations, we were mesmerised!

We explored the island, rejuvenated in the natural jacuzzis and returned to our tents at around 7.30 pm.

Again a camp fire was lit near the river. We had a tandoor lit between two rocks and made jacket potatoes, paneer tikka and tandoori cauliflower.

Morning came too soon and it was time to say adieu.

We left the place with a wonderful experience and lots of great memories.

On our way back we stopped to see the Sindhuri Rock, a 300 feet tall monolithic granite located deep inside the thick Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a must see.

In all, our trip to Dandeli was the most memorable experience we had.

For more information on Dandelhi, you could visit,,

How to get there

By air
Closest airport: Belgaum (65 kms) and Goa (125 kms).

By train
Closest rail head: Dharwad (57 kms), Hubli (75 kms) and Londa (35kms).

By road

Dandeli is well connected to Bangalore, Goa, Belgaum, Karwar and Dharwad, Hubli by road. Several buses ply to Dandeli everyday. You can even hire a taxi.


Dandeli is about 125 kms from Goa, 117 kms from Karwar, 75 kms from Hubli, 57 kms from Dharwad, 97 kms from Belgaum and 481 kms from Bangalore.

Where to stay
(Tariff range: Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 per night)

Hornbill Resort
Phone: 09448136539


Kali Wilderness Camp
Kali Wilderness and AdventureCamp
Kogilban, Haliyal Taluk
Uttara Kannada -- 581 325
Bangalore: (080) 25325302, 25582525, 51126013
Web site:


Bison River Resort
Karwar Belgaum Highway
Ilva Village
Uttara Kannada -- 581 365
Mumbai: (022) 26433622, 26408742
Web site:

Been to Dandeli? Post your experiences.

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