Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka

Situated in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka and encompassing an area of 834 sq km, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the place to be for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, adventure freaks and for those looking to spend their vacations away from the daily hustle bustle.

Dandeli wildlife sanctuary along with Anshi National Park has been declared the Dandeli national park under Project Tiger and it is now regarded as the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Dandeli along with its lush green deciduous forests and the waters of River Kali flowing through it, offers a wide range of exciting activities ranging from Jungle safari, Bird watch, white river rafting, river crossing, canoeing, crocodile spotting, camping, eco-tourism, pilgrimage and so much more!

[Also See: Top 100 Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks of India]

Photo by Prajwalkm, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dandeli offers a breathtaking combination of scenic beauty with captivating landscapes, hilly terrains, picturesque valleys, narrow rocky caves and sparkling waters! The altitude here varies from 100m to 970m with Hegda Tamba occupying the highest point. All of this put together with rare exotic and endangered species make Dandeli a popular tourist attraction in Karnataka.

Climatic Conditions

Being surrounded by dense forests, the climatic conditions in Dandeli remain moderate, neither becoming too hot or too cold. During the summer season, the average temperature stays around 33˚C, while during the winter season the average temperature is a pleasant 26˚C. Many tourists prefer to visit during summers/winters. However, the rainy season can be a bit troublesome due to heavy rainfall occurring during the month of June to September.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Dandeli is from October to May with the temperature staying in the moderate range and the heavy rainfall is at bay.

Wildlife & Vegetation

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for rare, endangered animals, never-before seen mammalian species and exotic birds making it a perfect destination for wildlife photographers!

  • Animals
Photo by sfg828, CC BY 2.0

Being a part of the Project Tiger, Dandeli is an abode to almost 40 tigers! You can also find an amazing variety of Elephants, wild pigs, wild dogs, black panthers, monkeys, deer, mongoose, sloth bears, barking deer, leopard, flying squirrel, the Indian pangolin and the Malabar giant squirrel among others. It is only magical to observe these fascinating creatures as you make your way through the woods. For instance, the Malabar giant squirrel is almost the size of a small dog! Truly, lives up to its name! On sensing danger, it flattens itself on a tree branch. Be prepared to be astonished and amazed!

  • Reptiles
Photo by Jeff Kubina, CC BY-SA 2.0 

King Cobra, Python, Krait, Rat Snake, Viper and Crocodiles are among the reptilian species found in this park. In fact, a 13 ft long cobra was caught in one of the caves at Dandeli.

  • Birds
Photo by Srihari Kulkarni, CC BY-ND 2.0 

Dandeli is regarded as a heaven for bird watchers. And why not, for this park is home to 200 species of birds! Some of these include, The Greater Flameback, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Blue Tailed Bee-Eater, Eurasian Cuckoo, House Swift, Indian Nightjar, Wire Tailed Swallow, Bronzed Drongo, Bar Headed Geese, Black Eagle and many more others!

During summers, a spectacular moment is when Malabar Pied Hornbills can be found feasting on the fruit trees!

  • Vegetation

Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, a wide variety of deciduous forests, evergreen forests, Teak plantations and even bamboo plantations combine to make up the captivating landscape of Dandeli wildlife sanctuary! The trees bear colourful flowers fruits for the amazing variety of birds that come here. Dandeli thus appears to be painted by nature in every colour possible! The tree plantations are also known for medicinal properties.

Distance From Nearby And Major Cities

Dandeli is well connected to two major cities: Bangalore and Goa. Distance from other cities is as follows:

  • Londa: 35 km via SH 34
  • Dharwad: 57 km SH 46 and SH 28
  • Belgaum: 84 km via NH 4A
  • Hubli:7 km via SH 34
  • Goa: 5 km via NH 4A
  • Karwar: 108 km via SH 46 and SH 34
  • Bangalore: 463 km via NH 4
  • Mumbai: 583 km via NH 4
  • Hyderabad: 594 km via Bachi – Raichur Hwy/Raichur-Bagalkote Rd
  • Chennai: 816 km via NH 4
  • Delhi: 1861 km via NH 79
  • Kolkata: 2080 km via NH 5

How to Reach

  • By Road: Dandeli is well connected to Bangalore, Goa, Hubli, Belgaum, Dharwar, Karwar and Mumbai via road. Several buses are available.
  • By Rail: Alnavar (32 km), Londa (35 km), Dharwad (57 km) and Hubli (75 km) are the nearest railway stations.
  • By Air: Belgaum, Hubli, Bangalore and Goa are the nearest airports.

Local Attractions

  • Dandeli is well known for white river rafting, canoeing, adventure trekking, natural Jacuzzi, kayaking, bird watching, jungle safari in open, river side fishing, croc trek etc. So if you’re high on adrenaline, check out these adventure sports!
  • Syntheri Rocks: In the heart of Dandeli, lie these massive rocks along the banks of River Kalindi. Their beauty is unparalleled and a small waterfall gushing down these rocky terrains is like an icing on the cake.
  • Cavla Caves: These limestone caves take you deep down into the earth via darkened rocky routes only to find light at the steps of a cave temple!


A large number of resorts and hotels are available. Furnished tented cottages are also available (with attached bathrooms) in the reserve area.

Other Useful Information

  • Entry fee: 40/person (for Indians) ; Rs. 80/person (for Foreigners)
  • Camera Fee: 100 for still camera
  • Safari timing: 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 6 pm
  • Safari on departmental bus: 50/person
  • Jeep Safari: 100/person
  • Guide Fee: 150

Useful contact: Solad Complex, JN Road, Dandeli, Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka 581326, India. Call : +91-82842-33721 

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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