Friday, April 12, 2013

Family Trip around Dandeli - Kulgi Nature Camp

Long weekend of Ugadi made me crazy to visit around Dandeli. We planned well in advance and collected the basic information about the must visit places. This was purely Family members to enjoy the nature in wild visiting limited places. The basic theme of this trip is to enjoy maximum time at Kulgi nature camp, and if time permit trek around the places.  This event is organized and leaded by my cousin Chandrakant (CK) and the team members are Triveni (Wife of CK), Krishnaveni (Niece), Sindhu (Daughter) and myself.
Kulgi Nature Camp
11.04.13 Bengaluru - Hubballi by Train No. 06517
12.04.13 Hubblli - Dandeli by Bus
12.04.13 Reach the Kulgi Nature Camp
13.04.13 Explore around Dandeli
13.04.13 Dandeli - Hubballi by Bus
13.04.13 Hubblli - Bengaluru by Train 16536


We have booked the train tickets 15 days ahead of jounrey. Reached the Yeshwanthpura railway station on time, train scheduled at 8.40 pm.  Luckily some what we could able to catch the Auto and get into train on time, else it would have late. Since its a special train which runs weekly thrice between Yeshwanthpura - Solapur, the crowd was not so much.  We had comfortable journey.

Team in Train

We reached around 4.45 am to Hubli and got refreshed at cousin home. 

Hubli Railway Station
After taking the breakfast at cousin home, we left towards Dandeli at 8.30 am.  Distance from Hubli to Dandeli is around 80km, which is around 2 hours journey. We boarded the KSRTC Rajahamsa.

Surfing on internet, some what we able to get Dandeli Forest Department phone number to book the Kulgi nature camp. They take request over phone, subsequently we have to send the Demand Draft, ID Proof and request letter.  They offer 3 types of the accommodation; Dormitory Rs.150/- per bed (Max. 15 Nos.), Deluxe Tent Rs.500/- each (Twin sharing - 12 Nos.) & Deluxe Cottage Rs.1200/- each.  Before going to Kulgi Nature camp, we need to collect the allotment letter from Dandeli forest office.

Reached Dandeli at 10.30 am. and collected the allotment letter from the office.  Dandeli to Kulgi is around 12  km. Public transport is not so frequent.  The formalities at Forest office and other local purchases took almost 2 hours.  The KSRTC bus scheduled at 1.15 pm to Kulgi, decided to finish the Lunch at Dandeli and left to Kulgi.

The journey is hardly 30 minutes, got down at Kulgi village.  From main road to camp distance is about 800 meters.  Finished the check-in formalities and allotted Tent No. 7 & 8.  The atmosphere of the camp is pleasant and it maintained very neat and steady.  There are 12 deluxe tents and each named by bird names.

Deluxe Tents

Our Tent

View of the Camp
Got refreshed and relaxed for some time in nature of the camp. We had enjoyed a lot with different games.

Games at Camp

Dance - Masti
Inquired detailed about the itinerary of the camp.  Forest department conduct safari in the morning at 6 and evening at 4 pm.  Apart from this, we can enjoy the Sathkhand Falls trek (around 10 -12km) in the thick forest and Kavala caves.  In the camp area we can go for a small walk to watch the birds (Bird tail) and Timber yard.

The team is ready by 4.30 pm and left with local guide Rocky (9th Class Student) to search the bird trail.  

Team Ready
We have spotted different types of the birds and specially Horn-bills.  The over all walk is around 2 Km. 

In Bird-Trail Yard

In Bird-Trail Yard

Team with Little Guide Rocky

In Bird-Trail Yard
Later we went to Timber yard where we can see number of timber trees. Unfortunately most of the area was with ash.  It was witness of burning trees in summer.

Burnt Trees - Timber Yard
Evidence of Burnt Yard
The yard walk is also around 2-3 km, finished the walk and reached back to the tent around 7.30 pm. Later we visited museum which is within the camp premises, where we can get the information about different types of insects, animals and other wild animals of Dandeli region.

Insects in Museum


One more convenient of camp is, they will serve the food on our choice.  It can be either Veg or Non-Veg.  We ordered Roti for the dinner and Poori for next day breakfast.  We can get evening snacks on demand, we ordered hot Bhajji (Mirchi).  Its really super!!!!!

Enjoying the nature camp itself give us pleasant feelings and its really worth to spend at least 2 nights.  Unfortunately we had no choice to stay back another day. We finished the dinner around 10 pm.

Night - In-front of Tent

In the Camp
We had no choice to opt Sathkhand (Nagzhari) and Kavala caves together, since these events are conducted in the early morning. So we have decided to trek Sathkhand (Nagzhari) falls.  Got a good sleep enjoying the whisper of birds.


As per schedule, we got up at 4.45 am and lined up with other team members on time. Had garma garam tea and ready to leave for trek at 6.00 am.

We have to pay Rs.275/- per member entry fees and Rs.500/- for Guide.  This is govt fixed price, paid the fee and obtained valid receipt.

Our guide is Babu, the same person who welcomed us yesterday.  We all  become well know to him.  Initial journey start from normal walk into forest.

Initial Path
Babu explained about different types of trees, fruits, flowers, birds and shown the evidence presence of beer, elephant in this area.

Guide Explaining about the Place
Elephant Dung
He was more talkative and not giving any chance to cut his words.  The steep descend part started and few of us struggled little to pass the valley. 

Steep Descend
In few places, we need to climb the rocks to reach the falls. After trekking 1 hour reached a small water stream.  We relaxed for some time and filled water bottle.

Beautiful Stream

Relax at Stream
The stream will be in full flow during rainy season.  The path was not so easy to trek in the monsoon.  Along with stream, we need to walk around 2-3 km to reach the falls.  We have enjoyed the beauty of valley during the trek.

At last we reached the falls at 9.00 am. During this hot summer, the flow is enough to dip into and enjoy the falls.  

Sathkhand (Nagzhari) Falls

We all jumped into water and forgot all our tiredness. 

At Falls

Enjoyed almost one hour in the falls and headed back to camp.

Return journey was much easier and its flat after few minutes of the trek. 

We reached the camp at 10.45 am. We booked the vehicle to roam around the Dandeli.  We could able to bargain Rs.2000/- for whole day.  We finished the breakfast at Camp and checked-out.  The over all food cost is just Rs.450/-, really it is very tasty and economy.

We headed towards Synthery Rocks, which is 28 km away from Kulgi,  the  path is in dense forest.  The forest entry fee is Rs.20/- each.

Synthery Rocks

After Syntheri Rock, headed towards holy place, Ulavi. Finished the darshan of Sri Channabasavanna and had prasad.

Next stop was Bison Resort, where you can enjoy the rafting in Kali river. Spent little time in the resort and headed to Ganeshgudi. The area of Supa Dam is called Ganeshgudi. 

The team was tiered and ready to turn back to Bangalore.  Vehicle dropped us Dandeli KSRTC Bus stand at 6.00pm. Luckily we got direct bus to Hubli and reached cousin house at 8.30pm.  We had enough of time to catch the return train at 11.30pm.  Had the dinner at Khanawali and boarded Train back to Bangalore.

Team Members: L-R; Triveni, Me, Sindhu, Krish, Chandrakanth
1. Own vehicle is more convenient to roam around Dandeli.
2. Best season is winter
3. Kulgi nature camp can also be booked at Bangalore Aranya Bhavan
4. Dandeli Forest Department Contact No. 08284-231585

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