An enchanting water spreadGaneshgudi is a short drive from the town of Dandeli and so named because of a Ganesh temple.  This township is basically meant for the security personnel of the Supa dam and the power house and as well as employees of the power generating station.

Dam in sightLocated 22 km away from the town of Dandeli, Joida taluk, Uttara Kannada District, is the Supa dam. It is over the River Kali near Ganeshgudi. It’s construction started in 1974 and ended in 1987. This gravity dam, the second highest in the State, is 101 m high with a length of 332 metres and is made entirely of concrete. Supa dam is the second-largest dam in the state.

The power house with turbines, generates hydro-electric power to be supplied to the state grid. The dam has been built by the Karnataka Power Corporation (KPCL) and the power units are also operated by the same organisation. There are a few more dams downstream built across the river Kali to generate power and water for agriculture. You need special permission to see the Supa Dam.

Walking around the Ganesh Temple, I was pleasantly surprised when a security guard asked me to proceed down a broken road behind the temple that would lead me to the backwaters of the Supa dam.

It was evident that the rising waters’ of the dam had damaged the road, which was in a bad shape. After about ten minutes of walk, I stood near the lake which stretched far and wide. It was a tremendous sheet of water. The hill blocks the sight of the dam but I was happy that I could at least see the backwaters.

Ganeshgudi is a bird-watcher’s paradise. It is an interesting experience to spot and hear a variety of birds amidst the thick and lush forests.

Birds found here include Malabar starling, Ruby-throated bulbul, the great Indian Hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, Paradise fly-catcher, Emerald dove, Tickle's blue flycatcher, Blue-capped rock thrush, Malabar grey hornbill, Asian brown flycatcher, green bee eater and brown shrike to name a few.

The Malabar Giant Squirrel found here is endemic to the western ghats. The colour of the forest is nowhere best exemplified than at Ganeshgudi.

Every possible shade of green is found here – forest green, lime green, army green, bright green, fern green, moss greeen, pine green, olive green and sea green.

To add to the beauty of the green shades, there are flowers bursting with colour everywhere. It is indeed a nature lover’s mecca.