About Shivaji Fort
One of the most incredible places in Dandeli, Shivaji Fort is an ideal holiday destination for people who like to take nature walks, enjoy trekking, and want to know more about the heritage of Maharashtra. The fort is located nearly 25 km away from Dandeli town, and it is regarded as one of the top tourist’s attraction points in the region.
The ancient structure is believed to have been constructed by the popular Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji. It is also believed that the warrior king, Sangoli Rayanna, who fought the British tooth and nail also occupied this fort for a long time. This building offers a sneak-peek into the war strategies that were often used during that time.
You can also explore how these techniques and strategies were put into work when anyone from the opposing faction or enemy army would storm the gates of the fort.
Due to its rich history and strategic importance during the rule of the Marathas, the fort is one of the most magnificent places to visit for history buffs. It offers a glimpse into the war ideology of that time, and also lets you take a look at the mesmerizing architectural style of the era.
Besides that, the fort is surrounded by lush green forests and often acts as an attraction point for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the calm and serenity of natural beauty for a while. For trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers, Shivaji fort acts as a haven too.
How to Reach Shivaji Fort
Shivaji Fort can be reached easily from Dandeli bus stand, which is located 20 km away. You can either take a local bus to the fort, or hire a cab or auto.
To reach Dandeli, you can take three routes:
1. Via air – the nearest airport to Dandeli is Hubli, which is located 66 km away. You can take a flight from Sambre Airport in Belgaum, Bangalore to reach Hubli. From there, you can take a bus to Dandeli.
2. Via train – the railway station that is nearest to Dandelu is Alnavar junction. The city is located 23 km away from Dandeli and you can easily find a bus to Dandeli from Alnavar. To reach Alnavar, you can take a train from the Londa Junction in Londa, Karnataka.
3. Via bus – Dandeli has its own bus stand that is very well connected to all major cities in Karnataka. You can easily take a bus from Hubli, Alnavar or Bangalore to Dandeli.
Best Time to Visit Shivaji Fort
The best time to visit the fort is between the months of October and March. This is because during this time, the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy walking through the fort and all the lush greenery around it. Since the temperature is lower and there is usually a cool breeze blowing, you won’t feel uncomfortable even after walking around sightseeing in Dandeli.
On the contrary, during the summer months, that is, between April and June, the region is too hot to even step outside. The scorching heat of the sun makes it impossible to walk outside, let alone explore tourist destinations like the fort. On the other hand, the monsoon months, that is, July to September, may be too humid to enjoy the weather outside. Moreover, the Western Ghats receive a lot of rainfall during this time, so it may not be safe or convenient to go sightseeing.
That is why, it is highly recommended to plan your trip to Shivaji Fort during the winter months.
What Not to Miss at Shivaji Fort
Attractions near Shivaji Fort
Here are some of the best attractions near Shivaji Fort
1. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary – there is no better place to enjoy the natural beauty of the region than in this wildlife sanctuary where you can spend some quality time in the lap of nature. Home to variety of majestic beasts and wild animals, this place features beautiful landscapes, river valleys, lush greenery, and dramatic natural beauty. You can indulge in a wild variety of activities here, including safari, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, etc.
2. Kali River – famous for its thrilling rapids that you excite any adrenaline chaser, Kali river is the perfect place to enjoy some river rafting. The glorious views of nature all around, the rush of dopamine in your veins, and the thrill of chasing gushing streams of water attract hundreds of rafting enthusiasts here every year. You can also enjoy other activities like nature walks, kayaking, bird watching, etc.
3. Kavala caves – this is one of the most interesting caves to visit near Shivaji fort. There are 375 steps to the caves that you have to scale, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes before visiting this place. But despite the difficult terrain, the picturesque beauty of the limestone caves is worth spending so much energy getting here. The caves also feature a naturally formed Shivalinga which is quite a major attraction here.
4. Syntheri rocks – one of the most scenic places near Shivaji fort, this place offers a stunning landscape that will spellbind you. The rocks boast of mesmerizing natural formations made by volcanic rocks, and a marvelous topography that will entice you with its fascinating structure. Besides, the strategically located destination offers a stunning view of the region around.
5. Shiroli Peak – If you want to enjoy the magnificent views of the Sahyadri mountains, make sure you include Shiroli peak in your itinerary. This is the perfect place to enjoy a vibrant sunset over the hills, and catch a glimpse of the lush greenery that surrounds the region. It is the highest point in the north Kannada region, and that is why it is extremely popular among trekkers, nature lovers, and people who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Other Essential Information About Shivaji Fort
Location: Haliyal Taluk, Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the fort. You can enjoy the beauty and magnificence of this place without any charges.
Opening Hours: The fort is open 24 hours and you can visit it anytime during the day, any day of the week.
Places to Stay near Shivaji Fort
Here are some of the best places to stay near the fort:
1. Vinayak Home Stay: The homestay is the perfect place for backpackers who want to enjoy the beauty of the region without burning a hole in their pocket. Vinayak Homestay has many thoughtful amenities and also offers access to a restaurant, a shared lounge, and room service. The villa also has a well-maintained garden and free parking.
2. Dandeli Daze: This accommodation is perfect for families staying in Dandeli. The hotel features a restaurant, free parking, a garden and a terrace. You can also customize your food and ask the host for pure vegetarian dishes.
3. Jungle Nest: If you want to soak in the natural beauty of Dandeli to the fullest, you should check out Jungle Nest, a hotel located right in the middle of the lush green jungles of Dandeli. The accommodation is pet-friendly, and you can eat in the on-site restaurant. Besides that, other facilities available are – free private parking, car hire, and breakfast.
4. Sahyadri Jungle Stay: This jungle stay again offers you a chance to enjoy the scenery of the region by immersing in the local culture fully. The hotel is just 8 km from the wildlife sanctuary and if perfect for those of you who are traveling on a budget.
Places to Eat near Shivaji Fort
Here are some of the best places to eat near the fort:
1. Bison River Resort: If you love barbecue, this is the place to be at. The chic restaurant offers delicious food at affordable prices. You can also try the vegetarian ThunkThunk and Chow Mein that this restaurant is famous for.
2. Amara Homestay: Offering delicious vegetarian meals that are home-made, tasty, and healthy – this is a famous restaurant in Dandeli where you can find finger-licking good dishes at affordable rates.
3. Whistling Woodz: Located near the river Kali, this chic and warm restaurant offers the best views with its delicious cuisines. If you want to enjoy your meal with a picturesque view of the forests, this is the place for you. Their expert chefs also offer lip-smacking, multi-cuisine buffets that will have you coming back for more.
4. Laxman Palace: Feast on a wide-range of multi-cuisine dishes that will satisfy not only your stomach, but also your taste buds. This famous restaurant is quite well-known for its lip-smacking food all over town, and locals as well as tourists sing praises of the food and staff here.
Tips for Visiting Shivaji Fort
Here are some tips for visiting Shivaji Fort:
1. Carry mosquito repellants, sunscreen, hat, and some medication as the area is right in the middle of a jungle and you may need these things while hiking.
2. Wear long sleeved shirt and comfortable pants so that you don’t have any trouble walking up to the fort or while exploring it.
3. Make sure your shoes are comfortable so that the long walking path doesn’t cause blisters on your feet.
4. If you are going in winters, make sure you wear warm clothing as it can get a bit chilly.
5. You should also carry a water bottle and some snacks so that you don’t hungry or thirsty during your travels.
6. The days are quite short in this region during the peak tourist season, that is, between October and March, so make sure you carry a torch with you.