Sunday, 7 December 2014

Dandeli,Hornbill's heaven

 A trip to Dandeli was long due. We had planned a 4 day trip,one night at Dandeli and 2 nights at Hampi. After we confirmed our stay at Pansoli guest house,we were good to go.

We started really early from Bangalore at 3 AM and this time also as usual the three of us..me, Ankur and our Sparky :)

The route we took was Bangalore-->Tumkur-->Sira-->Hiriyur-->Chitradurga-->Ranebennur-->Haliyal-->Dandeli.

The road is good but be prepared to pay around 400 bucks as toll tax on this route. Also a long stretch of the road do not have any food joints or petrol bunks.

We reached our guest house around 11:30 am.We were greeted by our host Mr Krishna who showed us our cottage.The facilities are minimalist yet satisfactory but to us that's okay. Another good option to stay at Dandeli is at Kulgi Nature Camp which is government owned. For booking one need to confirm over phone and then fax them the DD.


Wooly Necked Stork

Our first bird for the day was a wooly necked stork perched high on a tree at our guest house. By the way check in time at Pansoli guest house is 12 noon till 10 AM next day and there is no mobile signal in Kulgi except for BSNL. So be prepared to be cut off from the hectic world and enjoy your stay in Dandeli.

There are quite some places to see in and around Dandeli. There is white water rafting in Kali river,the Anshi-Dandeli tiger reserve,the Syntheli rocks,Supa dam,Kavala caves. If you are planning for a jungle safari then its a good idea to stay at Kulgi because the safari start point is very near to the Kulgi Nature camp.


Malabar Grey Hornbill

Malabar Pied Hornbill

Malabar Pied Hornbill and Malabar Grey Hornbill

Malabar Grey Hornbill

Since our plan was to see hornbill so after a quick lunch we headed straight to the Dandeli timber depot which is quite famous for hornbill spotting.There we spotted  12 hornbills, 3 malabar grey hornbill, 9 malabar spotted hornbill all just in one evening.

We previously had planned for a coracle ride on Kali river whose banks are also hot beds for hornbill sighting, but because of time constraints we did not went for the coracle ride. Incase if you are a bird enthusiast don't miss out this one. Apart from hornbill a lot other birds can be sighted on the banks. You can book for coracle ride at the Kulgi reception centre.

It was a little dark when we were returning to our homestay. Suddenly we noticed a slight movement in the bush ahead.First I thought of deer or something, then we realised it was a small black panther. It vanished quickly, all I could capture was its tail.

Next day morning we took a bird watching walk through the forest. There are several treks available like timber walk,Kavala trek, bird and nature walk. These have to be booked from the reception at Kulgi camp. The bird watching walk is a 1.5 km walk inside the jungle accompanied by a guide where you get to see various birds some endemic to the region. The cost is Rs 100 per head and Rs 100 for your guide.


During Bird Trail

Bee eater

                                                               scarlet minivet


Kingfisher

Serpent eagle

Spotted Woodpecker

Shama

Spider

The best time for bird watching is September-October and for animals its March-April.We saw a lot of birds though we could not take all the photos.Below are some that I managed to click.

From Dandeli next we headed to the historical city Hampi.

Some vital info:
 For booking
 Kulgi Nature Camp : Dy. Conservator of Forests (08284 231585)
 Pansoli guest house : K.M Madadolkar (9448893691/9448318376/9449912439)

Buffalo, having a good time

Lone Tusker 

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