Arun Bandekar and his wife were our hosts for a day during the last Dandeli trip. The front room of Arun’s house has a small shop and a hotel that serves the food cooked by Mrs Arun. Inside, rooms with basic facilities are available – ideal for backpackers.
This time when we dropped in, the Bandekars remembered us. Excited on hearing about TGDC they did a photo-op with Cedia Sports.
Some regular customers of Bandekars also joined. One of them, a Lancer fan, was impressed with the Cedia and was almost drooling over it.
A non-descript room with a verandah. No name. Not even the ‘Meals Ready’ scribbling. Front room of a house converted into a hotel. Five benches and tables can seat 10 people. If there are more customers, one more room is opened and seating arrangements are made. At Rs 20/-, you get simple and tasty homemade food, that too unlimited.
This small setup attracts quite a few people during lunch and dinner time
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary was our refuge during last year’s Diwali as we ran away from the noisy and smokey Mumbai. We fell in love with the place and had decided to come back for more wilderness. This time though we didn’t have time to do that.
Kali river is the lifeline of Dandeli WLS, famous for its thick forests that houses black panther, bear, elephant, Indian gaur, flamingo, and many other species of flora and fauna. Forest department provides accommodation inside the forest, known as Kulgi camp. Apart from jungle safari, 1/2-day or 1-day trekking can be done with prior permission from forest office. Syntheri Rocks, a huge monolithic rock structure is another attraction in Dandeli. White water rafting in Kali river also attracts a large number of adventure seekers.
West Coast Paper Mills releases its effluents to Kali river. As it employs around 5,000 people and is crucial to the town’s economy, this pollution is largely ignored. The cost of development! However, a positive outcome of this is the presence of many crocodiles in the part of the river where effluents are released. The not-quite-popular adventure of crocodile tracking can be done with the help of local guides.
Just driving through the roads in Dandeli is very exciting. Small roads offshoot from the main ones to various villages. Supa and Bommanahalli dams are off-limits to visitors.
TGDC has touched our lives in many ways. Among this, one thing that we deeply appreciate is the new friends that we make everyday - all connected by one thread, the Great Driving Challenge. When Aadil and Saniya Bandukwala offered to meet us when we reach Belgaum, we were looking forward to it.
One of the top 100 couples of TGDC, this young duo was happy to let us use their internet connection, when our Reliance data card refused to pick signals from Belgaum and Nokia PC Suite ditched us. The camera crew’s Tata Indicom card came to our rescue and we couldn’t use Adil’s and Saniya’s offer.
Today morning, they came to our hotel and took us for breakfast at Cafe Ajanta, famous for its dosas. It was nice chatting up with the lively, friendly Bandukwalas. At the end of it, all four of us knew this friendship is forever. Thank you TGDC.
Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary A manmade forest spread over 84 sq km A haven for deers peacocks an many birds
From : TWaC
Sent : 7th Aug 09 04:38:22 PM
We haven't heard the 'Suprabhatham' chant for many many years. While we were in Chennai and Kerala we used to hear that quite often. First day morning. And as we walk into this nice restaurant at Vashi for breakfast, the 'Suprabhatham' chant welcomes us. Perhaps a good omen on the first stop on first day.
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We, Unny & Bindhu, are a couple currently based in Mumbai. The best introduction can be: He (Unny) - Armchair traveler. Reluctant reader. Would-be writer. Amateur photographer, Day dreamer… and likewise, a pretender of too many things.
She (Bindhu) - Add a few more pretensions - a good cook, a good host, etc. Easily mistaken for a serious, intellectual reader, but far from it. Engineer by qualification; freelance writer by choice. Also volunteers as a teacher for Akanksha, an NGO.