The Gokarna to Dandeli trip is epic. This is a very popular trip because the people who like Gokarna tend to like Dandeli also. While Gokarna is popular for its amazing beaches, Dandeli is known for its riverbanks and adventure sports. It is no wonder that people from Mumbai and Bangalore often cover both these destinations (Gokarna, Dandeli) in a single trip.
Known as Goa’s little cousin, Gokarna is a hidden gem when it comes to beaches. While Goa’s beaches are overburdened, congested and sometimes unkempt, Gokarna’s beaches are pristine and serene with crystal clear waters and sparkling sands.
There are many different beaches in Gokarna and all of them are worth visiting. Interestingly, because of the geography of the place, there are different beaches that face north, west and to the south! Therefore, beach hopping is the most popular activity here.
How to travel?
Once you have had enough of Gokarna’s beaches and temples, the tendency is to look for other nearby places to visit. One popular choice is Dandeli, which is only 2-3 hours away by road as the Gokarna to Dandeli distance is only 140 Kms.
The road leading to Dandeli is also very scenic because it cuts through heavily forested areas with plenty of interesting geographical and cultural places to visit. All along the way, you will be inundated with green landscapes and pretty villages.
If you do not want to drive, there are also a couple of good busses that ply this route. The cost of a bus ticket (one way) is about Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 while the cost of a taxi ranges from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4000. However, it is more interesting to go by car so you can stop wherever you want.
Where to stop?
The best part about road trips is the ability to go at your own pace and stop whenever something catches your eye or fancy with the luxury to take a detour to nearby places. On the Gokarna to Dandeli stretch of almost 140 Kms, there are many such places:
Kittur Fort – This is an old fort from before the 1600s that is worth visiting due to its archaeological significance. It has an archaeological museum that has some engaging and important gems, which tell us much about the fort’s history. Interestingly, this fort was once home to the brave and fearless Rani Kittur Chennamma who famously fought the British Raj fiercely and sacrificed her life in doing so.
Nrupatunga Betta – This is a pretty hillock with a great view that has been developed into a picnic spot. It also has a restaurant and a children’s park and hence very popular with tourists. If you are not in a great rush, it is advisable to stop here as it is on the way to Dandeli and only costs a nominal Rs. 10 per person to enter.
Unkal Lake – This is massive water body measuring over 200 acres located on the outskirts of Hubli. There is a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the middle of the lake and an annual festival is held on its shores to commemorate the saint.
Agadi Thota – This is a huge farm that offers an interactive experience to visitors, who can tour the estate, learn more about Karnataka’s produce and taste some of the best dishes from the region. The farm has an impressive stock of different plants and one can easily spend the whole day here.
Utsav Rock Garden – This is a museum with indoor and outdoor areas and an impressive collection of statues and murals that depict and celebrate the culture of Karnataka. For an entry fee of Rs. 200 (student and children get discounts), visitors can marvel at the artwork and explore this garden on the way to Dandeli.
Dandeli is a natural wonderland that has become famous for adventure sports and wildlife safari. It has an impressive number of tourist hot spots and natural formations like rivers and waterfalls that are worth visiting.
The most popular adventure sports here are: River Rafting, Trekking, Rock Climbing, Boating, Kayaking, River Crossing, Zip Lining, Swimming and much more. Every year, thousands of tourists come here to get an adrenalin rush and explore this amazing place.
Where to stay?
One of the best resorts in Dandeli is the Starling River Resort located on the banks of the majestic Kali River. It is a popular resort with thrill seekers, adventure enthusiasts and industry insiders who know Dandeli well.
The resort offers a variety of different accommodations including Dormitories, Deluxe Rooms, Family Rooms and Tents. It also helps guests arrange activities outside the resort and sports an impressive restaurant called The River Deck that has delicious food with great views.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Where are Gokarna and Dandeli?
Ans. Gokarna and Dandeli are both in Karnataka. Gokarna is on the Konkan Coast while Dandeli in inland besides the Kali River. The driving distance between the two places is 140 Kms.
Q2. Can I drive from Gokarna to Dandeli?
Ans. Yes. You can drive from Gokarna to Dandeli. The road is good and the total driving distance is only 140 Kms, which can be covered in 2-3 hours.
Q3. How far is it from Gokarna to Dandeli?
Ans. Gokarna is only 85 Km away from Dandeli but the driving distance is140 Kms. Therefore the journey takes about 2-3 hours.
Q4. Where to stay while traveling from Gokarna to Dandeli?
Ans. When travelling from Gokarna to Dandeli, the best place to stay is the Starling River Resort on the banks of the Kali River. It is a tried and tested resort that has great service, comfortable rooms and picturesque views of the Kali River. It is also centrally located for easy access to many of Dandeli’s touristic hotspots.