Life jackets on, helmets in check, shoes off, I signal a thumps-up to my rafting instructor. In front of me is river Kali flowing calmly along the lush green forests. I get onto an inflated rafting boat, ready to use the carbon paddles at the instructor’s signals. I’m in Dandeli, 450 kilometers away from home and I can’t wait to get this raft going!
Not far from the popular beach destination Goa, Dandeli is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna; now also a popular water-sports destination.
Now imagine the scenario that I am about to present. Ready? Here you go…The forest is dense and green. You see exotic birds fly from one tree to the other. You can hear the distant sounds of crickets from the forest. The sounds of the flowing river is soothing to your soul and you are on a raft quietly sailing to where the water takes you. You have your life jacket on, so you decide to jump in the water, it’s super refreshing. Isn’t it? That’s exactly what Dandeli is, fresh and green…
I have spent hours sitting by the banks of the river, hiking to the backwaters, savoring the delicious home cooked food, stargazing at night, kayaking and simply taking a dip in the river- all in the period of 4 days! This little piece of paradise definitely needs a mention in your travel list.
Hiking to the backwaters
Not many know about this precious spot, but thanks to the resort manager who guided us into witnessing many hidden spots. It took an hour, a few slips (quick travel tip- do not forget your hiking shoes!) and a few sips of water to reach the backwaters. Surrounded by dense green forests, the water is frequented by wild animals. Along the way, I was lucky to spot various types of birds living in their natural habitat (the perks of early morning hikes :p).
A quick drive from the resort where I am staying in Dandeli stands a huge monolithic granite rock (almost 300 feet in height) with river Kali flowing beside it. Walk down the stairs and you will witness this beautiful creation of nature. What I liked the most about this place is the road to get to it. It’s about the journey and not the destination….sure, the line is cliched but I could use it this time 🙂
“There’s a place I go to where no one knows me. It’s not lonely, it’s a necessary thing. It’s a place I made up, find out what I’m made of. The nights are stayed up, counting stars and fighting sleep.”
Listening to ‘Catch & Release’ by Matt Simons, I bid goodbye to Dandeli promising to return again someday.
For some reason, this whole trip to Dandeli with my family has been one of the happiest travels of 2018. Maybe it’s the greenery that I’m so attracted to or it’s the feeling of holidaying in the company of my family, I’ll never know.
Which was your happiest travel memory from last year? Share your experiences below.