A breath of fresh air..

That's what this trip felt like. It's been almost 4 months since we all stepped out of the city since Bangalore. And that was a splendid journey in itself..So we thought of making a trip to somewhere near-town soon. Dandeli fit the picture coz it consisted the basics of every trekking trip - a vast no. of hills, many many water falls, thick forests, animals and of-course, the centre point of attention - a vast and beautiful river.

Bird's eye view of Dandeli..
I have been to Dandeli many a times...6, to be exact. I have been going there on the
pretext of many a school and college trips, and once just with friends. But this was, by far, the most memorable. Going with mom and my friend was something that fit the bill..coz I could be relaxed and didn't really have to BEHAVE. I could just be myself. None of the adult-like rules to bore us down. No kids to take care of every second of the way. Just pure fun.

Dandeli is a small semi-urban town situated on the outskirts of the western ghats, best known for its wild-life sanctuaries, tourism and paper-mill industries. Its a coven for a variety of animals and birds, and a haven for any nature lovin hippies. So, the introduction done..you can find out more info here and here's the blogsite.

We started early. The early bird gets to...reach Dandeli soon! But the sleep wouldn't budge as we weren't used to waking up so early. Mom did, though..sharp at 5.35 a.m although the alarm was broke! Man, there are some things I really gotta learn from her - punctuality, to be first. We packed our essentials including extra pair of clothing and tooth brushes and set off quick. Three people waiting their turns to go to loo and finish their morning 'duties' and then taking baths consumed time...killed time. It was 7.30 by the time we left..we were supposed to get out by an hour early. No point whining now.

The calmer roads..early morning. Leaving town.

The lake-view from the car..still leaving the city.

Finally out of the city..the bridge marks it.


We fill the petrol..totalling worth 600 rs and leave the city finally. Ah, what a thrill! We have to first move through Dharwad, then Halyal and finally reach Dandeli. We have our b'fast in the car..ordering some idli-sheera, from one of the very few hotels that open this early. Then we remember that we forgot to take spoons in the bag...tch tch. My friend pays 5 rs for a used spoon and buys it. Somehow, we manage. There are at-least 4 big bottles of drinking water, so its al-right.. After an hour and a half's journey, we finally reach the outskirts of  Dharwad..that begins with the humongous campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences. "This is where dad studied", I tell mom. We try to get an entry through but we are told by the guard that visitors aren't allowed..I wonder why??? Anyway, he apologises and we move on.

I show mom the PG I used to stay in and the lane of my friend's home. She contemplates that its quite far. I love the expressions on her face :) Then we hit the road again, after a few minutes of relaxation to Halyal, where we refill the petrol tank..the car drinks crazy and drains money crazier!

Once we reach the outskirts of Halyal, I plug in my phone to the Player socket and we pass time.



The sceneries beyond Dharwad..


The summers are dry. But thats not what these pictures say!

Our friend..also the car's only driver, instead of answering nature's call, is here picking wild Java/Black  plums..(kannada translation = kavali hannu).


Here is the fruit..............I took a bite.

Then after many many minutes of goofing around, we finally board the ship...err..I mean, car and head straight to Dandeli. Its 11 a.m and we are finally near the city gates!



...besides which was this grubby reservoir of black, probably carrying the sludge of the paper mills nearby.


And we are here...its a relatively smaller place considering the size and posher cities around it namely Belgaum, Hubli etc...nope, you wont find a Barista or Coffee Day here..not that kinda town. But I have heard that the chicken here tastes better than most places. So, we finally decide, after much comprehension and debate, to buy some lunch and head to my favourite spot in Dandeli - Maulagi. I suppose there are no 'Niyaz' hotels here but a clean one is always a good choice. So we come across 'Shettys' and the name says it all..3 Chicken Dum Biryanis and a Chicken Machurian and my mouth starts watering. The wait in the car while the order comes in, was excruciating..the heat was unbearable even with the AC on full power. Oh, the torture..I became antsy..finally after 15 minutes or so, we head forward towards the river.

One thing that I notice, which I haven't seen before is the no. of Rhesus monkeys on the prowl. They are a mischevious lot. Its a bit vulgar to see grown men swim without their clothes, mentioning this is a family spot. We walk towards the river bed and I observe that a dog is following us..not fierce, neither too excited but placid. I tease mom that its following her.. But what a strange dog. Here's my friend, giving it stupid orders, telling it to gaurd us from the monkeys around for the piece of chicken we gave it. It just stared.. it did get excited after the first bite, so I decided to give it a few more pieces..meanwhile, we had to shift from our spot to another where there was another family..just to ward of the monkey. Finally, my friend got irritated and took a big log of wood and threatenned the monkey. It finally gave up and went its way. I asked my friend if I could give the dog the left over biryani..he didnt want to, at first...what if we get hungry later? Finally he agreed. And as I got closer to the dog, it got more excites. The tail wagged more and more. Finally, my friend jested by shwing it his hand saying 'stop.sit'. And to our surprise, it listenned! Twice! Then we had some fun by the river, wading in thigh-high. My mom,after a while rested on the bench...all the while screaming at us to come out the water..
The water was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!
Stills from the river...






Women washing clothes by the river-side.



The monkey on the bike..at first it looked like it wanted to ride..but later,found out, it only wanted to steal something from the bike's pouch.



After 2 hours of fun, we leave the spot and then go on our way to Kulgi forest.

Spotting and picking flowers and clicking photos..



finally we reach the resort ( whats its name)..We roamed around a bit.


There were some life-like clay models depicting village life..nice.










After much sight-seeing, we finally hit the road home...we could have halted and stayed for a night and gone out the next day, spending more time looking about the forest..but we thought it safer to head home early.

On our way home, we came across many animals..there were langurs, rhesus monkeys, Indian pond herons, Median egrets, Grey Jungle fowls..I wasnt quick enough to capture all of them on my cam, though..




Finally we reach a pond, where I had been once before....we relaxed a while looking at the calm pond and started throwing small rocks into the pool..soon enough, it turned into a contest. Mom was amazingly swift for her age..beat me many a times. My friend threw rocks to the far end of the pool. even the buffalo grazers were amazed, so much that those kids came to this end to watch. I think my my friend enjoyed the attention...it was obvious. Mom tried to wash her hands with the muddy water, for which my friend threw a stone close to her..it splattered for which she lectured..why wash hands in a pool thats dirty enough not to wet your feet with? This went on for almost an hour and it was 6 by the time we knew it. And finally we hit the route.

Through Dharwad, thought we would stop by the KCD chat spot..but they hadn't arrived yet...neither a soul near K.C Park..Alas..anyway, we dropped into Mishra's, bought some Samosas, dhoklas and a potato patty for the go and some rasgullas for mom...It was a fun journey home. Reached by 8.30 p.m....that was quick. I had my usual cornflakes and hit the pillows and soon enough, I was asleep. I was woken up to watch Community on TV but I could barely keep my eyes open.

This has been a very memorable journey both for my mom and my friend...and that in itself, makes it memorable for me.

3 comments:

  1. Funny snaps :)
    must be a good place for rejuvenation !

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  2. We always wanted to visit dandeli but could never get the time. Your post is pretty nice and with funny pics its all the more interesting. Think I will coax my hubby to take me there once

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    Replies
    1. Hey,Barnali..you really should visit this place.Its superb! Nothing better than a walk in the park..or the jungle if you will

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