Friday, January 27, 2012

Syntheri Rocks (Dandeli) (Part II)

Well, the 2nd part is finally here after appearing as a guest post on My Yatra Diary, blog by Arti from Mumbai. I selected this article for her when she asked for an guest post on any topic of my choice.

Here is the link -> http://myyatradiary.com/2012/01/syntheri-rocks-at-dandeli-western-ghats.html

or here -> Syntheri Rocks guest post

If you are an traveler and love visiting temples and heritage spots, please go through her blog she has some brilliantly composed detailed stuff over there and you can have a virtual tour of every other pilgrimage center she has visited. I thank Arti for the gesture and giving me another chance to guest post on her famous blog. Thanks :)
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Me to Raja - What shall we do tom when Nag and Guru come, any plans?
Raja - As said earlier, either Kavala caves or Syntheri rocks
Me - Y not jungle safari at Dandeli
Raja - Check
Parshu(staff at JLR) - Sir, safari cost, 850/- head, not advised
Me- Kavala?
Parshu - Sir, total 8hrs reqd, need to leave at 4am to travel 40 odd kms and then trek, if needed will arrange vehicle.
Raja - Syntheri?
Parshu - Sir, 30kms away, ok ok place, should visit early before crowd comes in, will arrange jeep for that too, economical too.
Raja - Ok, will decide after boys come tom.
Next day
Me - Boys, plans as such, let us know your choices...
Nag - Kavala or Syntheri...
Guru & Raja - anything fine
Me - Safari? Boys - Not interested
Raja, Nag, Guru - Syntheri , Syntheri - at least 1 place shall visit...
Me - hmmm hmmm (still thinking of safari)...sigh!
Boys - Kavala is too tiresome, lets check out Syntheri this time.
Me - hmmm hmmm...
Boys - Parshu, ask him only!
Me - (finally) Ok, as per boys wishes, Syntheri it is!
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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 leads you to the base where the river flows and you get to see a giant rock formation from the bottom. 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.

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 and 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.

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…


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 are they 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, thanks to the boys :)

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)!
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