The knocking was loud. It didn’t stop. ‘KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!’ Sounded a little off, too. This was loud, purposeful and insistent, not like a regular human knock, which is usually a triple-tap and way more polite. I checked my phone. 6:00 am. Who would be waking me up at this time? ‘KNOCK!’ There it was again! I dragged myself bleary-eyed out of bed and stumbled to the door. I pulled the door opened and… nothing. There was no one. I stepped out and looked over at the sitting area outside my cottage. No one. I bent over the balcony railing to see if someone was walking back from my room. Not a soul. Then… who was knocking?
I shrugged it off as a dream and went back inside, determined to grab a couple more hours of sleep before my day began. ‘KNOCK!’ Again! I was definitely more awake now, enough to realise that the sound was not coming from the door but from the window over my bed. Strange. I headed over and gently moved the curtain aside, and sure enough, I found the source of the sound. A large, beautiful woodpecker was perched on the ledge of my window, happily knocking away, unbothered by the fact that there was a human sleeping inside that same cabin.
That’s Dandeli for you. Nature at its finest.
Snuggled deep inside Karnataka’s forest region, Dandeli is the perfect weekend getaway for anyone looking to soak up some nature and enjoy some thrilling adventure activities. Imagine waking up to the sound of birds chirping. Or knocking on your window, whichever. No alarm clocks, no sound of vehicles honking, none of the city stuff you’re used to. Imagine stepping out of your room and being greeted by a foggy morning as the fresh, dewy leaves of a tree right outside gently wave at you. Imagine taking a deep breath and filling your lungs with crisp, clean air. There you go. That’s what it’s like. I spent a night at PC Nature Camp in Dandeli and felt closer to nature than I had in a very long time.
The thing with Dandeli is that whatever adventure activities you want to do, the accommodation can arrange for you. So when you’re booking your stay, take your pick between a night or a couple and speak to the managers at the property to plan your visit.
PC Nature Camp is a beautiful property with deluxe cabins, family rooms, dorms, and even a campsite. I literally went INTO the jungle to get here. Which brings me to –
The closest cities to Dandeli are Hubli and Dharwad. The hotel can arrange for a pick-up from Hubli or Dharwad, wherever you’re visiting from. This can be arranged via Dandeli.com as well.
You can reach Hubli and Dharwad from Bengaluru by train and bus. Hubli is a business hub and very easily accessible from anywhere in Karnataka.
How to Book
The easiest way to book your stay at PC Nature Camp is here.
Take a look for yourself!
PC Nature Camp is situated deep inside the nature reserve, which means you are living in nature. The hotel itself is located in a large, open space with plenty of greenery and fresh air. The first building you will see is the main office and the dining area, which itself is a beautiful piece of architecture. I am a fan of open-air dining, especially when it is in a place as gorgeous as this.
I stayed in a deluxe cabin. There are two deluxe cabins which are located at the back of the property, and these two are on stilts. The windows open straight into the forest, and it literally feels like you’re in a different world.
PC Nature Camp has the sweetest staff ever. They are extremely helpful and will go out of their way to make you comfortable. When I visited, I was the only one staying there. I interacted with Simon, the manager, who guided me through booking activities, specially asked me for my food preferences and got the kitchen staff to whip up delicious food, and all in all, made my stay there very comfortable.
Things to Do from PC Nature Camp
The team at PC Nature Camp offer multiple activities that can be availed over a night or two, depending on how long you’re staying, and the cost includes a set number of activities. Along with these, there are also additional activities the hotel conducts that are available at an additional cost. I was staying for one night, and my package included 4 activities that I could take up, plus some additional ones. These are the ones I chose to do.
The jade-coloured Kali river is an excellent place to go kayaking. The river is peaceful and flanked by forest land, so keep an eye open for birds of all kinds flying out from the trees around you. If you’re lucky, you might also spot a crocodile or two.
2. Natural Jacuzzi
This is a network of rocks where water flows with a powerful force, like lots of really tiny waterfalls cascading into one another. The number and size of the rocks also makes it a cosy spot where one can sit and enjoy this water flowing around them. This a natural jacuzzi. Chilling in the rocks where the water’s force is quite like a jacuzzi is a great option.
This is by far one of the most relaxing things to do on the river. The awesome part about this is we got to jump off the boat and enjoy a relaxing swim in the calm parts of the river while staring up into the blue, blue sky and listening to the sounds of birds chattering away in the distance. It’s really quite blissful.
Dandeli is home to a LOT of wildlife, and you will see different kinds of birds. It wasn’t peak season for bird-watching when I went, but I ended up spotting hornbills and sunbirds. PC Nature Camp organises jungle walks, and bird-watching walks. We set out early in the morning and were able to spot some sunbirds, a hornbill or two and even found some animal tracks!
5. Visit Syntheri Rocks
Syntheri Rocks is around 45 minutes from the interiors of Dandeli. I got into a jeep with Simon and we made our way to this famous landmark. Once I got there, I had to climb down some stairs to see the majestic rocks. Local legend says that this place was discovered by a foreign lady called Cynthia. It has been named Syntheri after her. You can’t enter the water here as the current is too strong, but the backdrop of interesting rock is what this place is famous for. The rocks here are a result of volcanic activity and the colours and patterns of the stone.
Other water activities you can opt for include water zorbing, which is fun if you’re going with kids, and ziplining. But the most popular activity by far is white water rafting on a 10 km stretch along the length of the Kali river. It’s a LOT of fun!