Uttar Kannada (UK) district in north west Karnataka is synonymous with scenic beauty and has large number of serene places for the eager tourist and also home to a large number of spiritual centres to those seeking solace and salvation. Dandeli in Uttar Kannada district is a name hard to miss in the tourist circuit of the country; the entire district lies in the lap of mother nature and is doubly blessed with flora, fauna and amazing people. The Kali river originates at Diggi in Joida taluka and the river offers spectacular views to the tourist and continues to flow majestically before it joins the Arabian sea at Karwar.
The river Kali flows east to west and covers a total distance of 13 kms between Ganesh Gudi and Moulangi. Those seeking adventure during their sojourn can go rafting and the starting point is at Ganesh Gudi and experience a rush of adrenaline on the rapids of river Kali (Class III Rapids) and the last of the rapid ends at Moulangi Eco Park.
Moulangi Eco Park is another place the tourist must visit and lies between Kittur Chanamma (KC) circle and Barchi check post and is six kilometres by road from Dandeli. The park is spread on 12 acres of land on the banks of River Kali and Moulangi Eco Park started operations on January 09, 2016 under the Village Forest Committee (VFC). Tourists who do not visit man made theme parks have better things in store for them at the Moulangi Eco Park and has plenty on offer at affordable prices. Inside the park the tourist has to pay to avail some of the services. The visitor has to purchase a ticket for Rs. 15/- per person and tickets must for children aged above five years, there is paid parking space available inside the park and designated places for two wheelers, light vehicles and buses and one also has to pay to use the toilets and washrooms.
Moulangi Eco Park is designed around nature and there are figures of a frog, tortoise, crab and a pair of crocodiles, and a school girl inviting the visitor to the park; the figures are made from natural materials visible at different locations in the park. The visitor can play and enjoy outdoor games; swings made from rope and painted tyres; ropeways; a slide designed in the shape of a hornbill and pathways to stroll leisurely all designed around nature. There are pictures of hornbills and other wildlife throughout the park. Children can play in the innovatively designed play area with a spiral slide after paying Rs 20/- and the trampoline is an added attraction and has a high carrying capacity. The park is an ideal picnic spot, and the tourist can carry food but cooking not allowed inside the park. There are dressing rooms inside the park; flight of stairs to the river artfully done; a metal ramp on the river bank offers breathtaking views of the river and pergolas also add to the aesthetic beauty of the park.
Water Sports: The water sports are managed by a professionally trained team and five people are in charge of it. A total of three rafts in operation, each one takes 10-12 tourists for the rides. In still water rafting the tourists are taken up to one km on river Kali. Tourists must follow and obey safety instructions for a safe ride. The activity includes boating, basic rafting, kayaking and zorbelling and the tourist has to pay for the same facilities and the rides last 30 minutes each.
The Nature Craft’s: A handicraft shop sells most sought after things by tourists both young and old. One can buy clay and bamboo artefacts and also bags for girls and women and a variety of caps and hats to choose from.
Food: There is an eating place in the park where the tourist can savour excellent snacks and enjoy excellent views of river Kali flowing majestically below. Food items available at the open air canteen serves egg rice, sandwiches, chicken kebab, tea and masala buttermilk.
Staff: The staff at Moulangi Eco Park includes one Manager, four women and five men carrying out their duties and cooperating with the visitors to the park. Regular announcements made on four loud speakers put in different locations of the park warning the tourists not to venture into the water and advising them not disturb the other people visiting the park.
Sign boards with warnings of danger signs seen throughout the park. The bags are checked by the staff at the Eco Park and CCTV cameras in place monitors the entire park and strict action taken against those smoking, drinking, violating rules and creating public nuisance.
Mr. Anand Rathod, a Dy. Range Forest Officer cum Surveyor is also the Secretary of the Village Forest Committee (VFC) at the Moulangi Eco Park since March 2019. He added that ‘people think of the Eco Park as a garden and an environment friendly park. The park sees a large influx of tourists on January 14/15 every year during the anuual Makar Sankranti festival; and during the festival rush the forest department is ably assisted by volunteers, huge presence of police personnel, and also staff of the forest and the health department. The Eco Park also sees a large number of tourists during the festivals of Holi, Ramzan and the annual holidays’. On January 01, 2020 a total of 2600 people visited the park.
The Village Forest Committee (VFC) has 11 elected members. Cooperation between the forest department and the village forest committee (VFC) has been a win win partnership for both of them. The President is from the VFC and the Secretary represented by a forest official from Government of Karnataka. The sharing of responsibilities and duties by the forest department and the Village Forest Committee (VFC) has helped the village in improving its conditions and bettered the lives of the people. The large number of tourists visiting the park have brought in revenue and Moulangi Eco Park is a must visit place for the tourists.
*The Park Opens At: 8.30 AM-5.30 PM.