Adventure / Trekking | Historical | Nature
At a distance of 24 km from Dandeli, 93 km from Sirsi, 120 km from Karwar and 139 km from Gokarna, Kavala caves are the natural caves located in the heart of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and is one of the popular points of interest in Dandeli.
These caves are formed by volcanic activity ages back and are situated deep with-in the forest. It is believed that these caves have been in existence since the prehistoric times. Currently, the caves are inhabited by numerous snakes and bats. Also known as Limestone Caves or Sidda, these caves are very small in dimension and have a lot of stalagmite formations. At some places the opening gets smaller and visitors need to crawl through.
Visitors need to climb down 375 steps to reach the cave entrance. There is a temple at the entrance of the cave. One has to crawl down 40 feet through winding, narrow tunnels to see the Shivalinga formed naturally. The narrow passage is dark and visitors may have to carry a torch or use the candles sold there. Bulbs are lit only during Shivaratri when thousands of devotees visit the caves.
The Shivalinga is about 4 feet high and has a diameter of approximately 3-4 feet. The texture of the Linga is in the form of raw nuts (used with beetle leaves) known as Kavala in Kannada and hence the name. There is an udder shaped stone formed over the Linga from which water trickles all the time.
After seeing the Shivalinga, devotees have to come out through the other way that goes out from the cave. The trek back from the caves is amazing as one can see the beautiful view of River Kali winding her way through the valley below.
There is only one trip organized by the forest department at 6 AM every day to Kavala Caves. A 3-4 km downhill walk and 350 steps down will take you to the caves. Visitors can also take a private four-wheeled vehicle inside the sanctuary or rent a jeep, which is the preferred mode of transport here.
The best time to visit Kavala Caves is from October to February.
Trekking fee: Rs. 475 per person and Guide fee: Rs. 500 per group.