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.
Dandeli Tourist Attractions
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. You will be awed by the sheer size of this rock. To return back there is a kaccha ramp to climb up, which is less strenuous than the steps.
Types of Rocks at Syntheri
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 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 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 Monolithic Syntheri 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.
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 quiet, 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.
It 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 the place for you. It is about 100 KMs from Hubli and Dharwad and would be a nice day trip amidst nature.
You need a couple of hours at the unique fascinating rock formation site. A bit strenuous to go down the steps and climb up again to visit the base, especially for the elderly. During summers it is very hot out there. Carry drinking water and a cap to protect from sun rays. No food and refreshments are available at the site. During the monsoons, the rocks may be slippery better avoid. Winters are the best time to visit the place. Be careful while crossing the river at the base of the rock. Do not get into the water pool for swimming. You can also see a variety of trees, sight beautiful birds en route.
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