Kavala Caves in Dandeli are natural caves located at a distance of 93km from ‘Sirsi’, 24 kms from ‘Dandeli’, 139 km from ‘Gokama and 120 kms from Karwar. Opting for the tour packages of Dandeli, the Kaval Caves is a ‘must’ visit. .
These Kavala Caves were formed due to volcanic activity a long time ago. These caves are located in ‘Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary’, deep into the forest. It is known that the Kavala Caves have been present since ‘pre-historic’ times
These caves are known as ‘Sidda’ or the ‘Limestone caves’ and are extremely small in their dimension. These have formations of stalagmite. Visitors will need to crawl through at certain places as the openings get narrower. For reaching the entrance of the caves, you will have to climb down nearly 375 steps. At the entrance of the cave you find a temple. For seeing the ‘Shivalinga’ you need to crawl down 40 feet through tunnels that are winding and narrow. It is advisable to carry a torch as these narrow passages are quite dark. You can also use candles that are sold here. Lighting of bulbs is only during ‘Shivratri’ when hundreds and thousands of devotees pay a visit here.
The ‘Shivalinga’ present here has a diameter of around 3 to 4 feet and is 4 feet in height. The texture of this ‘Linga’ is raw nuts. This is known as ‘Kavala’ in Kannada. Over the ‘Linga’ you find a stone that is ‘udder’ shaped. Water trickles from this stone all the time.
After you have seen the ‘Shivalinga’ you need to come from the other side coming out of the cave. Trekking back from the cave you get a good view of the ‘River Kali’ flowing in the valley.
The forest department organizes only one trip to the Kavala Caves everyday at 6 AM. A downhill walk of 3 to 4 kms and around 350 steps takes you to the caves. You have the choice of renting a jeep or taking a four wheeler inside the sanctuary.
Anytime between October and February is the best time to visit the Kavala Caves.
The Timing is from 6 AM to 6 PM
The Entry Fees for Guide per a group is Rs. 500 and for Trekking it is Rs. 475.