The landscape of Karnataka will soon be enjoyed on an archaic train; efforts are on to restore the century-old Alnavar-Ambewadi railway service. If everything goes as planned, the services will start in a month.
Thanks to the constant push by the locals of Dandeli and Hubballi-Dharwad, this will revolutionise the way people travel in Karnataka. There’s immense historic significance attached to the railway line – it’s been around since the First World War (WW1).
The railway was initially used to transport forest products including timber and other goods during the First World War, circa 1918. The railway line connected Belagavi to Hubballi and would stop at four stations – Gogtewadi, Shingatgeri, Ambewadi and Dandeli.
However, later passenger trains were introduced. In the fateful year of 1994, the railway services stopped altogether and it has been almost two and a half decades, there’s no rail service between Alnavar and Dandeli.
If the railway services to Ambewadi start again it will not only be of immense help to the people of Upper Ghat taluks like Dandeli, Haliyal, Joida and Yellapur but also majorly boost tourism. As of now, travellers come to Dandeli by road; once the railway service is expanded for a further 26km till Ambewadi, many people are going to benefit from it.
During the weekends about 2,000 travellers visit Dandeli from Bengaluru and Mumbai by road. The railway line will help the tourists and locals alike because they will then have easy access to Hubballi-Dharwad and Belagavi too.
For those looking to experience Dandeli while the railway line kickstarts again, the town has tons to offer in terms of sight-seeing. The most exotic of them is the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, a gorgeous park with trekking trails and dense forests, and home to wildlife such as the black panther, monkey and elephant, as well as many bird species. Then there’s Kavala Caves, Anshi National Park and Kali Tiger Reserve.