Hidden Inside Dandeli – Monolithic Syntheri Rock

Kaneri river by the Syntheri rock at Dandeli
Kaneri river by the Syntheri rock Dandeli

In the middle of Dandeli forests, stands a mega lone giant Syntheri rock like an old saint who has chosen to live in the jungle. And has grown sitting or meditating here. River Kaneri, a tributary of Kali River, flows at its base as if touching the feet of this giant old saint. The size of the rock makes you feel small – somewhere telling you that you are a very small part of the big universe. The way it hides in the folds of the forest is bound to make you feel curious.

Syntheri rock – Places to visit in Dandeli

At the base of Syntheri rock, Dandeli
At the base of Syntheri rock, Dandeli

You have to go down about 200+ steps to get a glimpse of this rock hidden amidst the forests. Forest department has constructed concrete steps, though not very even, to go down. At about 80% way you get a gazebo, from where you get the best view of the rock along with the river that flows in two steps here. You can see the caves that have been created at the base of the rock with the constant flow of water. See the proverbial water can cut the stones with its persistence. This is when you feel the monolith and its huge size some 300 ft high and 400 ft long. To come back there is a kaccha ramp that you can take that is less strenuous than the steps.

Documentation of types of rocks at Syntheri, Dandeli
Documentation of types of rocks at Syntheri, Dandeli

Types of Rocks

Along the steps, there is a documentation of the types of rocks with a sample on top and a board explaining what is the type of the rock and its characteristics. It keeps you engaged as you go down the steps and can be a good lesson in geology. In fact, there is a decent documentation of the various trees leading to the rock that goes beyond just the name or the biological name. It actually tells you what is the best way to use the wood of this tree.

Giant Rock

When you reach the base of the Syntheri rock and look intensely at its giant face, you see the various formations on its face. You can see it is not a homogeneous rock but has different colors and textures in different parts. You wonder how this giant rocks would have formed, did smaller rocks come together to form a big one over a period of time or this is how the distributions of minerals were from the beginning. The bottom rock on which you stand also forms interesting patterns.

The giant Syntheri Rock, Dandeli
The giant Syntheri Rock, Dandeli
Long monolithic Syntheri rock, Dandeli
Long monolithic Syntheri rock, Dandeli

Beehives galore

Syntheri rock is home to common pigeons and you can see them flying across the river. Look a little up and you can see huge beehives hanging from the rock almost in a gravity-defying manner. This reminded me of similar beehives we had seen in Arunachal Pradesh on another giant rock.


The river below looks very quite but we were told it could be ferocious, especially at the step where it falls from one rock to a lower rock like a waterfall.  Tourists are strongly advised to not enter the river although not many follow the instruction and meet their end here.

Mini milky waterfalls of Kaneri river at the base of Syntheri rock
Mini milky waterfalls of Kaneri river at the base of Syntheri rock

Syntheri Rock is located on Dandeli – Ulavi route at Patoli forest range. I am not sure how good is the public transport but most resorts in Dandeli would arrange a trip to Syntheri Rock for you.

Recommend you to read following Travel Blog.

  1. Dandeli – Home of Malabar Pied Hornbill.
  2. Ancient Chalukyan Temples of Hubli.
  3. Dandeli By The River Kali.
  4. Badami, Aihole & Pattadakal – A Visual Treat.
  5. Gol Gumbaz – A Reverberating Dome.



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