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“Cute little place in wilderness!!”
Review of Dhole's Den

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Dhole's Den
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We stayed in Dhole's den over the weekend of 22 April 2012. As we were looking for accomadation in Bandipur, we stumbled upon this place which looked good on the web and reviews on Tripadvisor was also helpful.

We were pleasantly surprised and came back with nice memories of the place.

The USP of the place is it is not crowded and has only five rooms including two cottages. This makes the place quite exclusive.

Positives

a) Rooms - Very spacious and well designed - we stayed in the rooms not cottage - with high roof. Very comfortable with a wide balcony overlooking the farm which is under construction.

b) Food - Excellent food by Ananda, the cook. Though we had only North Indian meal during our stay, i am sure he is good at south indian as well!!

c) Staff - Sukanta Das, the manager is an enthusisitic bloke who is running the show beautifully. He has learnt local language and can talk in Kannda fluently. He has been accepted by the local community - which we could see from his interactions with them - very well. A Zoology honours from Calcutta University, he is passionate about wild life which is a great advantage. All others in the farm stay are very helpful and courteaous.

d) Eco frindliness - The promoters have spent on eco friendly power generation set up which is possibly the first in any place. That shows the seriousness they attach to the environment.

Negatives

Not any really.

A slight improvement in housekepping will go a long way. We also suggested Sukhanta to keep some easy chairs in the balcony which will help the guests as they need not have to move the cairs in and out of the room.

We also suggested to Sukhanta to fix the ceiling fan instead of pedestal fan which spoil the aesthetics of the room.

Price - I feel that they should reduce the price and bring it slightly above Jungle lodges. They can charge an extra 10% over Jungle lodges due to exclusiveness of the place. The rates should include two safaris like it is done in Jungle lodges and extra amount should not be charged seperately like it is done now. If this is done it will be a definite value for money.

Overall a great place to explore the wilderness of Bandipur. Take care of small things and the place will be the "Best" in Bandipur!!!

- Capt Poorna

Room Tip: If you can afford, go in for cottages. But the rooms in the main buildings are equally good. Take th...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Alemaari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (197)
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172 - 176 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2012

If you have an appreciation of what eco-tourism really means, and wish to get close to Indian wildlife, then Dhole's Den may be for you. However, the place seems to heavily rely on Sukanta, the manager. He make things flow and ensure that things are done, plus he is also absolutely brilliant on the wildlife side of things. Not only does he know his stuff, from an identification point of view, he also has a deep empathy and understanding of ecology, from the good efforts which are being made in Bandipur, to the bad things (and there are several).
If you simply wish to tick off tiger/leopard/elephant/bear, then this is probably not for you: if you seek education, knowledge and understanding, then it probably is.
A word of warning though - try to avoid a visit during local festivals. We had to endure an almost full 24 hours of incredibly loud 'Bollywood' type music being blasted out by a local village. It was torture. This one of those bad things and is totally alien to the concept of a national park (the whole park must have suffered this).
So, go with the right attitude, at the right time and with Sukanta and you'll love it!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We were booked for just one night by our travel agent mainly to facilitate a short Safari in Bandipur and like others wished we had longer.Well looked after from the moment we arrived and met Sukanta the Manager who is also a skilled naturalist and photographer. Very comfortable room in main house and excellent food and attentive staff although as we were the only guests we felt at times almost over attentive. Just one game drive in the notorious Bandipur Park bus which is noisy and crammed full but we had the great advantage of Sukanta himself as guide > Intersting but no sign of a tiger. The following morning we had a pre breakfast bird wathcing walk with Sukanta and found him to be a mine of information as well as having excellent eyes. We were really sorry to have to move on afterless than 24 hours at this delightful place

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Indiophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights at the tail-end of January / early February as part of a fairly grand tour of South West India. We stayed in top-class hotels all the way through to comfortable homestays, but Dhole's Den was undoubtedly the best place we stayed in the whole trip - hence a very infrequent review.

As others have said, it is a lucky place for wild life and you don't have to go far to see it, being on the very edge of the forest. Sukanta, a charming, caring guide and manager, took us for a long local walk around the hills, and we spotted leopard tracks literally outside the property gates (mother and young), as wells as elephant droppings and other wild life, including sloth bear droppings. These findings were backed up on our second night when late in the evening the alarm call of a Sambar deer had us running for the jeeps to see whats up - rushing off into the night with the fantastic property owner, Karthik Davey and the ebulient Sukanta. Ahead of us in the jeep's lights was a leopard who had just caught a calf - we watched him scoot off into the night, and ever-resourceful the injured calf was bundled into the back of our jeep to be rescued and assessed by the local vet next day (also to appease angry local farmers, whose livestock is always at risk).

Later in the night, it kicks off again when the most haunting call I have ever heard reveals sloth bears (x2) just outside the perimeter fence! Coupled with this were some of the most vivid and breath-taking bird sightings of my trip, all snapped and described with huge enthusiasm by Sukanta. Also very pleased to help him out with identifying some of the UK species he had snapped on aprevious vist to England.

This enthusiasm and excited dedication from the owners, manager, naturalist, and all the staff made this stay utterly magnificent and for us, a safari in Bandipur Reserve was almost un-necessary but we did do one spotting yet another leopard amongst a whole host of wildlife (but no tiger....).

Finally, Dhole's Den itself: Beautiful spacious rooms with natural air conditioning that circulates the cool evening air really well, excellent food, really excellent, and an open feel to the grounds where you can wander at will, enjoying an evening sitting around the bonfire chatting with Karthik and his guests. This is real eco-tourism, with each room using only about 60W power, and separate circuits for solar and grid energy - be wary that if you need electrical power more than the solar system can provide then it's only available at certain times of day - just needs a bit of planning, that's all.

But really it was the people there. Real passion, excitement, friendship and fun. Will definitely return.

Room Tip: Bungalows are self-contained with lovely open shower and big balcony with views
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

My wife and I stayed at Dhole's Den from 26 to 28 January 2012. The hotel was beautiful, with an understated style and luxury in the right places. The food was always delicious and healthy. Most important, the people were fantastic, from owner to the hotel manager to the entire staff. You will enjoy them. And, if you are lucky, you will see a tiger in the nearby reserve. We saw one on the evening of the last day we went into the reserve! All in all, one of the best places we visited in India.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rod_Brown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dhole's Den

Address: Kaniyanapura Village, Gundlupet Taluk, Bandipur 571126, India
Region: India > Karnataka > Chamarajanagar District > Bandipur
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Bandipur
Price Range: ₹ 8,837 - ₹ 23,028 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dhole's Den offers 5 living spaces (2 Habitats, 2 Garden Mansions and 1 Mountain Paradise (Junior Suite). Aptly termed Habitat these are spacious each with a large bedroom, a bath with a shower and access to the balcony that offers a commanding view of the Nilgiris and the landscape of Bandipur Large glass sliding doors offer a panoramic and unhindered view of the landscape and the Niligiri Mountains. The two separate Garden Mansions offer a spacious living and bed area and are about 1200 sq.ft in area. The living, bed and the bath are placed in such a way so as to offer privacy even without too many walls or doors. These mansions can accommodate a maximum of 4 adults.The bright and friendly bath area offers a shower open to the sky and even a view to the mountains both giving a special touch of freedom. The large balcony is separated from the bed room by sliding glass shutters allowing enough light and sight from the moment you wake up. Mountain Paradise is the newest addition to our homestay. This semi-detached mansion offers the most exclusive views that Dhole's Den has to offer. It overlooks our rain water pond and has a large balcony and a set of terraces that complement the setting to offer the guest spots to stay and pause while they walk to or away from this space. The bath is connected to an outdoor area that offers again a space to not just view the landscape but provides that feeling of adventure as one steps out and is at the border of our property and enjoy more than just a window to the forest. Dhole's Den is an eco-friendly safari lodge in the true sense of the word. We were the first to try and successfully employ eco-friendly methods in the Bandipur National Park. Most of our power is green. We treat our waste water using reed beds to reduce the effluents entering the ground water to the maximum and use a a bio-digester for the disposal of kitchenwaste and fresh produce from the garden is served whenever in season. We organise Safari to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve (camera fees have to be paid extra by the guests), nature walks, village safaris. We offer a jogging track, meditation area, indoor games and outgoor games as activities. Cooking demonstration and Yoga courses upon request. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dhole's Den Bandipur, Karnataka

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