As per the 1930 census, the population of Dandeli was only 515 and predominantly worked in the forestry department and government saw mill. Most residents belonged to the Konkanis, Devali, Marathas, Kuruba, Lambani, Negro, and Muslim communities. The settlement was located on the bank of the Kali river and developed into an industrial town with the establishment of a number of companies, including Indian Plywood Mill, Lalbhai Ferro-manganese Factory, West Coast Paper Mill, Indian Saw Mill, and a number of small industries around the Dandeli and Karnataka Power Corporation which were engaged in the construction of several power-generating dams at different places along the Kali river. The place was later called Old-Dandeli.
There was no school in the small town until in 1936, when Shivaji Narvekar, Pundalik Pai, Sadanand Gopal Nadkarni, Balappa Chavan and Bapshet together contributed to build a one-room school in a hut on the nearby hill where now the government Urdu school is situated.
Whistlingwoodzs situated right on the bank of river Kali has the exotic view of the forest and accessibility.