Dandeli is a hidden gem in Karnataka enfolding the pristine nature and wildlife to behold. I stayed in Dandeli Jungle camp – an essence of raw jungle sojourn. Mr Dharmesh, owner of Dandeli Jungle camp had already arranged a car for my local travel. The scorching sun calmed down by 3 pm when I began my journey towards Syntheri rock Dandeli.
A 35kms drive through the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary from DJC through the rustling woods. This stretch of Dandeli is home for wild cats. The driver Vijay told me that he had sighted black panthers and leopards on his previous drives here. Yes, Dandeli is declared as the tiger reserve and conserving the wildlife is the utmost preference here. Throughout this reserve forest, I constantly kept my eye focussed to sight any wild animals. Alas! Maybe the wild cats were deep inside the forest and I wasn’t lucky that day to sight them.
Brief on Syntheri rock
A monolithic single granite boulder with a height of 300ft with the river Kaneri flowing at its core. It is believed to have formed due to volcanic eruptions several years ago. It is named after an English lady called Ms Cinthera who is believed to have discovered this place a century ago. Ideal for tourists to visit and geologists to research on this giant hidden structure amidst the woods.
Arriving at Syntheri rock
We arrived at Syntheri rock entrance – a part of Kali Tiger reserve. There is an entry fee Rs.10 per head and car parking charge Rs.20. We then drove 10 minutes into the forest where I actually got the feel of the raw wilderness. The deciduous forests of Dandeli with the tall trees kissing the sky are undoubtedly a bliss. We arrived at the parking area and parked the car. Small pitstops selling coconut quenched my thirst. Since it was a weekend, I could sight a good number of tourists.
Descending the steps at Syntheri rock
I could already get a glimpse of huge monolithic rock behind the tall trees. From the designated parking area, I started to descend the 200+ concrete steps with railings laid to reach the base. Almost at every period, I gazed at the monolithic rock to get the best view. Along the steps, there are small structures with different types of rocks erected on them, explaining their characteristics and applications. This kept me interested as I went down the steps and to know how each of them contributes to the world of geology. Few resting structures and concrete benches to take some breath or just to sit and relax during the walk is helpful.
Syntheri rock Dandeli – the giant monolithic rock
Finally, I reached the base of the Syntheri rock. Staring at this huge monolithic granite – believe me, its really huge and I couldn’t believe myself that its all just one rock structure. The rock is believed to have formed due to volcanic eruptions several years ago. Gazing at its giant formation of 300ft high and 400ft long, it reminded me that I’m just a minute part of this enormous universe. I could notice it is not homogeneous rock but composes of different colours and textures. I wonder how it could have been formed – Really this would be an interesting topic for geologists.
River Kaneri – miniature milky waterfalls
The river Kaneri – tributary of Kali flows at the base cutting through this rock. The milky white waterfall adds more beauty and liveliness to Syntheri rock. Due to the flow, the corrosion on the rock has formed corrugated structures and numerous caves. The reflection of water on the patterns at the bottom appeared impressive to me. The river looked calm from a distance but is deeply ferocious at the flow. Warning sign boards are put up everywhere advising not to enter the river as it has been proven fatal.
Besides, I could spot countless huge beehives on the base of the Syntheri rock. The cave formations on the rock are an ideal spot for bees to swarm. This can also be the favourite spots of sloth bears. Many pigeons and birds have made the cave formation their home. There is a small Hanuman statue painted in orange which can be seen at a certain height. The statue is believed to be present for several years, but still looks new and none knows the source.
Due to the beehives, the place felt little stinky and needs a lot of maintenance. There were few people when I had arrived. I sat there and relaxed looking at every portion of this massive Syntheri rock. By almost 5:30 pm I looked around and there were none. I was all alone and the place appeared isolated and scary for a minute. I had to head back as it was almost evening and I climbed up the steps to meet the driver.
The Last Note
Syntheri rock is ideal for geologists and nature lovers. It’s a viewpoint of the huge rock and river flowing at its base. For me, it was a mini hike on the steps which I loved. Moreover, the nature surrounding is a bliss to be with. The patterns of the rocks are interesting to watch. There is nothing much to do other than observations on the formation of patterns. You would like this journey and place when don’t keep many expectations and relax looking at the giant.
Read other travelogues on Dandeli:
1. Old Magazine House, Dandeli – The Birdwatchers Paradise
2. White Water Rafting Dandeli – Through the rapids of River Kali
3. Dandeli Jungle camp – Embracing the wilderness
4. Timber depot and Natural Jacuzzi at Dandeli
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- How to reach Dandeli – The place is 450 km from Majestic, Bangalore.
- By train – Alnavar station is the nearest railway station. Make sure to book train tickets well in advance as the seats get filled up on weekends because the same train leads to Goa.
- By bus – There are direct buses from Bangalore to Dandeli main road.
- By private vehicles – If you have the privilege to drive a car, you can take it and the stretch is little long but worth a long drive.
- How to reach Syntheri rock Dandeli – The place is around 35kms from Dandeli on Ulavi route through the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. I’m not sure about the public transport, but all resorts in Dandeli would arrange a visit to Syntheri rock.
- Accommodation – Always book with official travel partners of Dandeli Tourism – http://www.dandeli.com or call them +91-94839-40400 for an end to end travel, accommodation, itineraries and activities. Just go for it and relax in the lap of nature.
- When to visit Syntheri rock Dandeli – Anytime during the year. Oct to March would be an ideal time.
- Timings of Syntheri rock Dandeli – Open from 8:30 am to 5 pm for tourists
- Entry fees of Syntheri rock Dandeli– Rs.10 for adults and Rs.20 for car parking.
- General tips :
- A pair of shoes is mandatory for hiking and walking in jungle camps.
- Hats and sunglasses to protect from beating sun.
- Umbrellas or raincoats for the rainy season.
- Sunscreens are a must – I repeat!
- Only Airtel/BSNL mobile network/internet is available intermittently.
- Please don’t dump trash anywhere. Be a responsible traveller.