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Team outing – Dandeli and Karwar

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

End of year was partying time at Yahoo!. We had a pretty good budget for a team outing. After some quick research I proposed a plan to go to Dandeli and Karwar. The challenge was to find a place which would interest people of two different walks of life. A place in midst of nature, less tourists but with awesome facilities and offering an array of awesomeness. We had a rich spoilt brat who would go to Oooty and stay inside the Taj Hotel for two days and another person who would drive 1000 KM to stay in the midst of a forest.

I booked a brand new TT from Ambassador Tours & Travels for Rs 10 per KM. We left at 8 PM on 17th Dec to Dandeli. The route was Bangalore – Hassan – Hubli – Dharwad – Dandeli. We reached Dandeli at 10 AM. The reason for the delay was that we stopped at a dhaba for dinner and later there was a major traffic jam for 3 hours owing to a truck accident.

I had booked accomodation at Kulgi Nature Camp at Dandeli. Kulgi Nature Camp is a government run unit which is 8 KM from Dandeli, in the midst of Teak forest. A deluxe tent (with attached bathroom) costs Rs 500 per room. They are constructed cottages made to look like tents. These tents have moderate facilities and okish toilets. Alcohol is banned in the vicinity of the camp. Food can be ordered an hour before and is amazing. It is more satisfying then most of the hotels in Dandeli. It costs around Rs 25 per meal.

Bison River Resort organizes white water rafting. One should contact them directly and strike a deal for Rs 950 per person. It is safe and an amazing experience. Most of the people didn’t know how to swim. It is totally worth the money. Also, other then water sports Dandeli doesn’t have much to offer. Safaris have minimal animal sightings.

Next day we left to Karwar at 10 AM. The direct route to Karwar from Dandeli is terrible. We reached Karwar at 2.30 PM. There are not many good hotels on the way and we suffered as we had thought of having breakfast on the way. The Great Outdoor Resort is on Kurumgad Island.

Kurumgad Island is a remote haven, located 4 km into the Arabian Sea from Karwar. This tortoise-shaped island, 6 km from Baithakola in Karwar harbor, offers a beautiful view of the sea. Tourists can enjoy exotic beach walks, nature walks, swimming, fishing, bonfires and barbecues, dolphin spotting, boat rides and snorkeling. The best time to visit is from September to March.

There is a small Narasimha temple here, which has many legends associated with it. A fair is held every year on the full moon day during the Pushya (December – January) month. Thousands of devotees congregate at this island on this particular day to offer prayers. An old fort is there on this picturesque island. Kurumgad Island can be reached by travelling by ferry from Sadhashivgad Boat Jetty on the backwaters of River Kali at Karwar. This island is 1 km from Devbagh Beach.

Great Outdoor island is a bang for the buck. They charge around Rs 1600 per person for lunch, dinner with barbecue and next day’s breakfast. There is a generator for electricity and a small spring forms the source for fresh water. If the spring dries up, water is a major problem. So, summer is a wrong time to go to the island.

We saw dolphins on they way to the island. There is a small private beach and water sports are a big let down. The sunset from the resort is very beautiful. Suns sets into the ocean mesmerizing everyone who is witnessing the spectacular event.

Next day we headed back to Bangalore.

Contact Details:
Kulgi Nature Camp
Kulgi village
Haliyal Taluk
Karnataka – 581325
India
No: 08284 – 231585

Great Outdoor Island
0-98440-42152
0-94483-64152
http://www.thegreatoutdoorsindia.com/

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Duty free shopping – Dubai vs Bangalore

October 14, 2009 1 comment

Duty free shopping in Dubai is slightly more expensive then Bangalore. Glenfiddich 12 year old was $4 costlier in Dubai compared to Bangalore and Jack Daniels was $4 costlier compared to LAX.

The sad part about Bangalore airport is that the collection is bad. They didnt have JD in stock. So, on comparison with Dubai and Bangalore, Dubai has more variety but a couple of dollars costlier. It is better to buy stuff at the Dubai airport then Bangalore airport.

Coastal Karnataka

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Half of office was in holiday mood. We decided to hit Coastal Karnataka. We (7 Yahoos – Prajwal, Sanchit, Ritesh, Saurabh, Ram, Swaminathan and me and 4 non Yahoos Ganesh, Jayanth, Shegde, Rahul Panicker) left Bangalore at 9.30 PM on 24th Dec (Wednesday) in a Tempo Traveler. We stopped at a dhaba on Tumkur Road for dinner and then continued the journey. We reached Kundapur at around 9 AM and had breakfast at Sharon’s. From Sharon’s, a guide took us to the Amgol tropical island resort which was 9 km from Sharon’s. It is a small island in a river (name I forgot) and had beautiful cottages and was really peaceful. We have to take a boat to this island and the ride is fun. The facilities on the island are good (although slightly over priced) and we had fun. Next day, we checked out and headed to Marvanthe beach. We stayed at Turtle Bay Beach Resort. The resort has a private beach and is an amazing place. There were 3 rooms and we convinced the guy that 11 of us could squeeze in. We had lunch and booked for a boat ride to a nearby island. The fishermen take tourists on boat rides for some extra money. We saw a couple of crabs and other sea creatures in the island and we swam (most of them with the help of floating jackets) in the Arabian Sea. After the boat ride we continued to swim and went pretty deep inside. It was fun with the wonderful sun set in the background. Finally, when I was getting out of the beach, I lost a golden ring that was gifted to me by my father. After playing poker for 2 consecutive nights, we left the resort and left to Murudeshwar. Murudeshwar is 50 km from Maravanthe. It has an awesome Shiva statue and a huge gopura on a small hillock right by the sea. The sight is breath taking. Murudeshwar is commercialized and is heavily crowded. As we dint find any accommodation there, we decided to try the water sports. Finally 5 of us (Ritesh, Sanchit, Swami, Saurabh and me) decided to do Snorkeling. We were going to Nethrani Island which was 22 km from the shore. The speed boat ferried us 4km and Swami started freaking out. To tell truth, my legs were also a bit shaky. The guide told us their morning trip was brilliant and they had seen a shark. After comforting ourselves by saying that we will quickly get on the boat if we see a shark, we continued the ride. It was a no moon day and the sea was getting rougher and rougher and the ride was getting bumpier and bumpier. The guide told us that the sea had become to rough and it was risky to continue further. We headed back to the beach with mixed feelings, feeling happy that we didn’t have to jump into water which is 1 km deep and feeling sad that we couldn’t see the colorful fishes and coral reefs. We left Murudeshwar and checked for accommodation in Marvanthe. No rooms were empty. After a small part of the group started wining that they wanted to head back to Bangalore, we left for Bangalore after having dinner at Sharon’s in Kundapur. We reached Bangalore at 10 AM next day.

Quick facts:
Distance: Kundapur to Bangalore :450 km
Kunapur to Maravathe: 16 km
Maravanthe to Murudeshwar: 50 km

Route: Bangalore -> Shimoga -> Kundapur