Western Ghats, The Sahyadari; call it as you desire but one of the most iconic and historical mountain range of Indian Subcontinent, diverse in its biological flora and fauna running along the west coast f India, it is a mind boggling feat of nature and for nature lovers it offers a passage back in time to how nature is supposed to be in all her grandeur.
I have always yearned to travel and see the various gems that lie hidden in this massive mountain range which is heavily forested and hides a world within itself. Among the various jewels, one that draws me the most are Waterfalls. There are some which are famous and then there are some which are hidden, showcasing their beauty to few those who venture through forest glades and past the barriers that nature has erected in order to gaze in wonder at the beauty that lies out there.
Nestled in the by lanes of this forested land , on the banks of the scenic Kali River lies the Bison River Resort , a short drive away from the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a ideal place for a vacation any time of the year and if u come here during the monsoons, there is alternate exquisite charm to this place with the mist rolling in across the river mountains while the rain drops speak to you in an intimate manner. Located 20 kms from the town of Dandeli , this place is a must visit and stay option.
Dandeli, the town has a varied history and is immersed in its existence amongst the heavily forested Western Ghats. There is an aura of time slowing down as one goes to this town, the jungle is never far away, with the town at the edge of the second largest wild life sanctuary in Karnataka designated as a tiger reserve in 2007. The place is surrounded by various places of interest namely Syntheri rocks, the Tiger reserve, Cavla caves and other lesser known gems. The Kali river originated in these Ghats and runs across the forested lands prior to joining the Arabian Sea. The river is among the most pretty and mysterious rivers as it glides through the forest, home to many bigger mammals like Black Panther, Tiger , Bison etc besides other smaller mammals.
It is on the banks of this river lies the Bison River resort, catering to the nature lover. Spread over a luxurious area, there are sufficient cottages built evenly spaced surrounded by the jungle on three sides and the river on the fourth. The establishment conducts various activities in order to engage the guests staying here, and the highlights are
- Coral Ride
- Natural Jacuzzi
- White water rafting
- Jungle Treks
- Jungle Safari
- Bonfire in the night
- Cultural show by local artists
- Bird watching
The rooms are modest at best with the basics in place. The staff support is lean but forthcoming in running the place however do not expect royal treatment. The washrooms are clean but have an air of mustiness considering the jungle which is just around the corner.
The rooms are generally kept closed and hence the sunlight does not enter in which generally might be a damper to few individuals. There is clean linen and hot water available which is a definite plus point. The food quality is nutritious but basic cuisine. Meals are served hot and simple, no fancy stuff.
The basic theme of the place is to engage the guest with the nature and that is what should be borne in mind. One should indulge in all the activities that the place offers and the highlights as per me are the white water rafting and natural Jacuzzi which invigorates the individual. There is also a tiger safari in conjunction with the forest department organized by the hotel which starts at 0600 hrs everyday morning.
In reality it is a jungle visit and not a tiger safari as visitors are permitted only in 27 sq km out of the total 1365 sq km. The only animals that one can see is Bison, deer and few birds. One should go with an open mind to enjoy nature rather than with a fixation to see the Tiger which is not going to happen. It is important to be in close touch with the manager who runs the place and discuss in detail which all activities one wishes to undertake so that there is no confusion at a later stage and the staff is well briefed and available when you arrive. The cost for each activity is economical and is to be negotiated beforehand. Prior bookings are a must as this place draws a lot of crowd.
|When to Go||All year round , off beat time : peak monsoons , popular time : sept – Feb|
|How to reach||SH 34 from Karwar, (110 kms ).|
|Comfort stay||Adequate with clean linen , hot water|
|Food||Above Average. Basic cuisine|
|Essentials||Swimming trunks , shorts for the water activity/Trekking shoe in case of jungle trails/mosquito repellant and cream|
|Reservations||Online , rates vary on season|
|Public transport||Don’t depend on it , get your own|
|Duration of stay||Two days maximum|
|Payment options||Cash only|
|Tip||It is basically designed to connect with nature and hence cannot compete with star hotels. Go with small expectations and a big heart . Feel nature, rest will sort itself out.|