Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Syntheri Rocks at Dandeli, Western Ghats


Naturalist, Photographer, Traveller, Trekker, Wildlife and Bird enthusiast... well, these are just some of the many adjectives that describe my honorable guest blogger for today -  Santosh BS, from Huchchara Santhe. A self confessed 'Jungle Man', he appropriately spends most of his weekends at lakes, zoos, hills, bird watching sessions or any forest patch in and around Bangalore that he can lay his foot on looking out for those elusive birds or other obscure creatures and introduces them to all through his crisp write-ups and breathtaking photography. It is a real pleasure to have him with us today, sharing one such spot he explored recently. To read more of such beautiful places, do check out his blog.

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On my recent trip to Dandeli in the Western Ghats, we finally made time to visit 'Syntheri Rocks' – a geologist’s place and a tourist spot.

A monolithic single granite stone with a height of 300ft with the river Kaneri flowing at its base, it’s a huge, massive limestone rock formed due to volcanic eruptions some zillion (how many is your wild guess!) years ago. It is named after an English lady called Ms. Cinthera who is believed to have discovered this place in the 20th century. A flight of 200 odd steps downwards lead you to the base where the river flows and you get to see a giant rock formation from the bottom.


Syntheri caves near Dandeli, Bangalore

There are numerous caves within and its not accessible hitherto you have special permission from the department to study and explore which is very unlikely.

Syntheri monolith granite rock near Dandeli, Bangalore

It’s tall, wide and mesmerizing to say the least, wonder how they were created! Added to this there are numerous and numerous bee hives here and flocks of pigeons and smaller birds reside in the deep holes of the caves unseen to us. Being a tourist centre has its own disadvantages and as Syntheri Rocks is located close to the temple town of Ulavi, hordes of people visit this place on their way to and fro from Ulavi. When the annual fest (or jathre as we call it) happens at Ulavi, this place literally becomes a picnicker’s paradise with people and vehicles everywhere messing it up completely, sad but true is the case, as with other tourist spots.

Syntheri caves near Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Bangalore

But, the forest department is doing its bit in maintaining this place by putting up warning signboards and posting guards to not allow people getting into the river as the flow is heavy and with strong currents pose a threat.

The entrance to the area is from the main road with a nominal entry fees charged and the smaller vehicles are let into up to the designated parking area from where you need to climb down the steps to reach the base. The distance from the entry to the parking lot is easily more than a km and its midst of bamboo plantations, some old, some new and here is where you get the forest feel. Wish entry of vehicles is completely banned inside so that people walk from the entrance leaving their polluting vehicles outside which may deter in few people not visiting due to the walking...


Various rock samples at the Syntheri caves near Dandeli, Bangalore

The steps are big and nicely placed and railings on each side do not allow you to wander. Along the side, small concrete towers are erected and on each tower you get to see different kinds of sample rocks cemented with useful information provided on each of them as to what they are and what they constitute of – a true geologist’s paradise. But sad to see the sorry state of affairs of the towers – some of them missing, some with moss growth and some defaced. I would love to see some more boards depicting the importance of this place and providing more information to the visitors. Still, the place exudes a charm that’s successful in hordes of people visiting here and this place is similar to Yana and Kavala caves.

We were quite pleased to have visited this place that often went unvisited on our multiple trips to areas around Dandeli.

Location: Dandeli-Ulavi highway.
Distance: 30 odd kms from Dandeli.
Transport: Local jeeps on hire/sharing are the best bet.
Food: None.
Time: 9am to 6pm if I’m not wrong (forgot to confirm this)!

46 comments:

  1. Another fascinating and beautiful tour, Arti! It would be so wonderful to be able to visit your country, but your posts/photos are the next best thing! Thank you for sharing!

    Sylvia

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  2. Must be a great experiencing nature's handy work :) :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing the good information,Arti.

    Nice post.

    Please,find time to visit my blog.

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  4. How spectacular, you get to visit some amazing places.

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  5. Wonderful!! Thanks Santosh and Arti for sharing..

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  6. Hearing about this place for the first time. thanks to the author of this post for sharing his experience.

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  7. are those limestones? stalagcites? the caves looks great. i haven't really been on cave hunting travel in India. will try next time i am home

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  8. Thanks Arti for bringing this relatively unknown place on forefront! There is no dearth of treasures in our country!

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  9. Breathtaking photographs. The beauty that is our planet never ceases to amaze me!

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  10. What an honor to have such a naturalist post on your blog!!!! This is a very interesting place, unknown to me and mysterious.

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  11. Rock formation amazes me. It's like looking at an abstract masterpiece. :)

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  12. Arti,
    Oh, as you said, I wonder how the huge granite rocks were created and what they have seen since ancient times. In Japan, such huge rocks are usually worshipped as the places where deities reside. They are merciful as they nurture small creatures. I looked at those photos with awe. Magnificent!

    keiko

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  13. Hi, Arti! Thanks for introducing Syntheri Rocks which I never knew. The rocks are spectacular and breathtaking to see and to think that the place must have been formed over a span of so numerous years. We have a cave and plateau made of limestone and many fossils are excavated from the plateau. Glad to hear you could make it to the place. Have happy days ahead.

    Yoko

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  14. wonderful post buddy...
    lovely snaps... nice to know abot such an amazing place...

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  15. Arti, hi
    Many thanks for so interesting tour!!!
    Is a very nice place, pure nature!!!
    Many kisses

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  16. Indeed, the caves are interesting.
    Yes,how they were created it? The cause is the great pressure and nature of rock,I wonder?
    It's great there is the place exudes a charm.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  17. Hi,Arti.
    You had a very wonderful tour. I had to enlarge all of your photos,enjoying them. They are very interesting place. Those caves are silently tell us its long history.

    Tomoko

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  18. Welcome back Arti!

    The rock formations are amazing -- I didn't know there were so many different types. Thank you for the interesting post! :)

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  19. I was wondering when you went to Dandeli because you were going to other places! But when I came here I saw it was a guest post. Very different from your yatra posts but very nice pics and info. Are you back in Mumbai yet?

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  20. Syntheri seems to be a paradise. Very many thanks for introducing Shri Santosh with his nice guest post.

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  21. A perfect mix of adventure and site seeing. Thanks Arti for the information...

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  22. Arti ji,

    Many thanks for the gesture and providing me an opportunity again to appear on your blog :)

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  23. Those caves look intriguing! Thank you to Santosh for taking us on the tour.

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  24. Another fascinating post where you have discovered virtually unheard rocks in Western Ghats !

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  25. @Santosh ji All the rock patterns created naturally is a delight to see and is very intriguing. Thank you for this wonderful article. The pleasure to have you here was entirely mine :)

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  26. @zephyr Yes aunty, am back. Gradually trying to get back to blogging too :)

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  27. Nice place , should visit sometime in future .

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  28. How utterly fascinating. What a lovely place to visit!

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  29. Various stones are interesting and make me more laerning something. thank you for sharing.

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  30. Fantastic tour and amazing pics Arti!! Your tour and the subsequent posts make me feel I am missing something and going through the routine. Instead, I need to have a profile which includes travelling especially to remote and beautiful locations :)

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  31. It's good to go one of your virtual tours once again. :)

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  32. Such a fascinating post - love the "forest feel"! Happy weekend Arti!

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  33. Where are you,Arti.
    Still missing you on
    my post 'Hanuman Lila Bhag-3'

    Your appearance and words inspire me.

    Best wishes to you for BasantPanchami.

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  34. rocks are greater part of nature. they speak history itself.

    thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful place. wish to visit one day:)

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  35. Visited just a couple of days back! Apparently one can also sight the black capped kingfisher there though we did not as there were too many tourists thronging the place.

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  36. wonderful place! Have never heard about this before. Would love to see many such posts:)

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  37. loved that water...

    and why did you say its unlikely to get permission .. just curious as i would think it would help in generating some revenue ..

    Bikram's

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  38. Wonderful pics, the western ghats are really beautiful ..

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  39. Marvelous pics and explain in perfectly incisive manner liked it :)

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  40. I enjoyed the pictures and the accompanying text. Had never heard of this place before - thanks for the tour.

    Cheers!

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  41. Oh man... great information!!!!!!!!!! Thanks a lot. we had been there on 30th March!!!!!! great experience!!!!!

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Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)

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