DUDHSAGAR FALLS – A HIDDEN GEM OF GOASpirit Bohemian
When one hears about Goa, it only rings bell about things like beautiful long stretch of beaches, shacks, parties and more parties. But there is yet another attraction (Thanks to the Bollywood movie, Chennai Express for making the destination popular) which can take your breath away. It’s the amazing Dudhsagar falls located on Mandovi River in Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats. Surrounded by deciduous forest with rich bio diversity, it falls in the eastern border of Goa and Karnataka. Dudhsagar falls is among the tallest four tiered waterfalls in India and is said to be a visual treat. Thus, it had been in my travel list from quite some time. So this time around when my traveller partner, Nikita suggested that we go for it, I jumped at the opportunity without thinking twice. It didn’t take much effort for me to plan the trip as we registered with a trek group of Mumbai who already had an exclusive Dudhsagar trek event ready for us. What a relief!
It all started when 40 plus Trekking enthusiasts boarded the Goa Express from Pune on 6thof August. Mafia, (the replacement of good old Antakshari) came as a handy game for breaking the ice among the trekkers. The game not only bonded us well but lifted our spirits for the whole day’s adventure ahead!
The Mafia Gang
Next morning (early morning mind you), we got down at the Dudhsagar Falls station where the train halted for few seconds and like Khatron Ke Khiladis we performed the stunts of jumping on the tracks as quick as possible. The trek to Dudhsagar is a train trail trek (most part of it). Also, the sharp rocks between the rails do play a part in the discomfort. So, one should wear good trekking shoes. It was pitch dark as the morning light didn’t hit us as yet and out came all the torchlights. Marching through the tracks while it was drizzling and with the lights leading us ahead in the dark, the adventure was such that can bring Goosebumps even after ages. After walking for say an hour, we could hear the roar of the fall. The morning light had just hit the ground and after a few steps of marching, we witnessed the most beautiful sight ever! It was an ‘Oh My God’ moment. As the name suggests (Dudhsagar means sea of milk), the white water was roaring and rushing with a tremendous force. The spray of its water showered our mind, body and soul so to say. It felt mightier than what we had seen in the movie or the pictures on the internet. Dudhsagar was mesmerizing. The railway track is built right in the middle of the falls. One sight on the opposite side of the falls and you can see clouds covering the green mountains of the Western Ghats (heavenly view). It was just beautiful and soon everyone went click, click, click.
We the posers
Soon it was time to bid adios to the mighty fall. After a quick breakfast and with the photographed sight of Dudhsagar in our heart, we started walking through the tracks as a 16 km trail was ahead of us. The whole path was breathtakingly beautiful with lush green trees, tiny waterfalls and shrubs covering both our flanks. Along our way, we came across a number of tunnels. With great excitement we took a number of photographs. People with DSLRs had extra tasks of taking good pictures of the group as well as the individuals (on special requests though). Few kilometres along the tracks and we reached almost at the opposite side of the waterfall where we got a panoramic view of the mighty cascade. Also, the highlight of that moment was when a train which had previously passed us on our way, passed over the bridge in front of the waterfalls giving us the perfect imagery we had been hoping to see from the other end (yeah we witnessed Chennai Express’ scene for real). After being marvelled at the scenic beauty, we spent some time trying out creative shots on the railway track and with the falls in our background.
The enthusiastic group
Post the paparazzi, it was time to hit the forest trail, our descending path. Since it was drizzling the whole day, the path was slippery and we took help of the tree branches for good grip and support. Further ahead we came across a small stream of water flowing with good force and creating a small waterfall. While a bunch of us went in to enjoy a dip, the rest exhausted by miles of walking took a snack break. For the rest of the trek, we crossed multiple streams (three in total), hiked through the forest, encountered leeches and other beings of the jungle, walked through the railway tracks, halted aside while the trains approached and in intervals sang lovely songs of the 90’s. Ah what a joy! And if you ask me what made us go on and on? Well the constant cheer from the leaders, the handy refreshments offered by fellow trekkers and needless to say the commendable spirit of each one of us made the journey an unforgettable one. Kudos.
Keeping track of the poses
Beautiful streams on our way
We reached Kulem around 2 in the afternoon. After a quick stop over for lunch and rest at a nearby Guest House, we left for Madgaon to head for Mumbai. The journey surely had come to an end but the memories will continue to flow in our head for years to come.
- It’s a 70% railway track trail, so make sure to wear covered shoes.
- June – October is the best time to visit because of the rains.The waterfall is pretty dry during summer and is not such a grand sight.
- Ensure everything you carry can be completely protected by rain
- Carry repellent to keep bugs away.
- Since the trail is a long one, carry sufficient water to avoid dehydration.
- Carry extra pair of clothes, as the trail will offer multiple stream crossings.
- Make sure to plan your trip with an organized group