It’s a saying that ‘One has to wait for longer periods and works hard to witness the incredibles of nature’. Dudhsagar waterfalls comes to that category of exploring. It is such a wonder to experiance for the lifetime. Goa is famous for its beaches and celebrations. But Dudhsagar and the forests surrounding it is an exception for that fact. After years of waiting and some research works, finally, i got the chance to explore this massive waterfalls. On viewing from a distance, one can literally feel that ‘milk is gushing through the hills of Braganza ghats’. Thus it gets the name “Dudhsagar – Sea of Milk”. It is situated in the borders between Goa and Karnataka, which lies inside Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary and Molem national park. A beautiful four tiered waterfall located in the Mandovi river of Goa, having 5 massive drops. One of the tallest waterfall in India with a height of 1017 ft (300 m) and an average width of 100 ft (30 m).
To see the awesome video of Dudhsagar falls, please, click on the link below...
As an adventure enthusiast, it’s my dream to visit Dudhsagar waterfalls, especially in monsoon times and do some trekking to experiance the abundance of nature. During monsoon, you can witness the heavy pounding force of mother nature through the hills of Braganza in western ghats, which will be a rare thing in other seasons because of the presence of Supa dam in the neighboring Karnataka region. The most important thing during this trip is your physical fitness and stamina. This trip happened with the supports of my friend Jaifal.
How to reach Dudhsagar Falls???
It’s an interesting question. During monsoon (June – August), the best way to reach the Dudhsagar falls is by trekking through the forests of Bhagwan Mahavir sanctuary, starting from Kulem railway station. Dudhsagar falls is 12 kms from there and you have to trek this distance in monsoons. In other seasons, you can travel in Jeeps authorized by the forest department through the Jungle trail (about 225 trips daily) starting from the same place, Kulem. As a traveller from Kerala, the most comfortable way to reach this deatination is by depending Indian railways. To reach Kulem railway station, there is no direct trains available from southern Kerala. So the nearest Madgaon railway station, which is 33 kms from Kulem station, is the best possible by any means. As railway is the cheapest mode of transportation, booked 2 sleeper tickets for us in the Amritsar SF express, leaving on wednesdays, in order to reach Madgaon railway station in the early morning. You have to reach there in early morning especially because the early train to Kulem (Amaravathi Express) will arrive on 7.50 am at Madgaon station. And it’s so important that you have to start your trekking as early as possible in the morning because of heavy monsoon showers in the later part of the day.
Our journey (me and my friend Jaifal) to Dudhsagar began in July 18, 2018 on heavy monsoon days. Planned to complete this trip in 3 days. A dslr camera, monopod, back up dresses, umbrella, a pair of boots and smart phone were my luggages. So, July 19 was the crucial day for us. Arrived at Madgaon railway station in the early morning (3 am, on time). Waited there for about 5 hrs for our next train. In the mean time, done our refreshments. Amaravathi Express was on right time (7.50am) and reached at Kulem station around 8.45 am. That 2nd class journey with the local north Indians was so funny. Anyway, now our next step was to find a local guide for our trekking plans.
Trekking to Dudhsagar Falls
This was the most interesting part of our journey. The morning was a bit cloudy and misty. Intermediate heavy showers of rain and chilling atmosphere. With the help of some locals near Kulem railway station, we managed to find a local guide with a name, Mr.Lawrence, middle aged short man knowing Hindi and Konkani as languages. As we know some hindi, the communications with him made possible. Agreed with him to pay 500/head for helping us in the trekking. Trekking trail consists of 4kms of railway lines and 8 kms of messy Jungle trail. Walking through the railway lines became possible because the route wasn’t that much busy.
The mild rain showers were sometimes so disturbing as we couldn’t take shots of lush green around us. Showers became much stronger as we progress in our route. Walking through these railway lines and experiancing the abundance of deciduous forests surrounding it, was really exciting for me. But the sad thing was that my dslr had to remain in the bags, most of the time.
After about 50 minutes of walking, we entered in to the Jungle/jeep trail of the sanctuary. At that time, the weather became so bad because of strong showers of rain. I was so tensed and sad because dslr was still on my bag. No shots were taken during that time. We had to cross several streams as they were getting stronger each time.
After 80 minutes of trekking, arrived at the forest check post and we have to pay there, 100 rs, in order to get the pass. Then continued our journey in that heavy showers and passing the trail near Sonalium railway station (a small railway station having no stops for major trains and 3kms from Dudhsagar falls).Rested there for 10 minutes and continued our journey. Finally, we reached near this last river crossing and which was a bit tough because of 3 ft depth and strong currents formed at that time.
Around 12.15 pm, after two and half hours of trekking, the destination became visible to us and the roaring sounds of enormous Dudhsagar came to our ears. Dudhsagar became only visible in the last 500 mts of our trek trail.
The rain showers became steady and stronger. Fortunately, there was a shelter in the form of a view point tower (two storied) near the swimming area of Dudhsagar. A moment of pure happiness. Finally, i opened my camera bag and the dslr came to the scene….and let’s see what it caught!!!
The Return Journey
The crazy part of our journey happened in this section. Around 1 pm, started our return journey to Kulem railway station. Our plan was to getting board on the incoming trains, halting near the Sonalium railway station for signal check. At first, an incoming goods train stopped near Sonalium station. But we couldn’t get on to it. Didn’t get the permission to enter the coach from the officials. So waited for another one. The funny thing happened this time. Four connected rail engines with no coaches attatched arrived at the Sonalium station. And luckily, this time, we got permission from the loco pilot after giving him 250 rs for the three of us. Travelling in a rail engine, especially on the sides (outside of loco pilot cabin) with heavy showers of rain, loud noises and strong winds – a unique experiance for both of us. Upon reaching Kulem station, the first thing to do was settling our guide, Lawrence bhai. Paid him, 800rs (after reducing the amount given to Loco pilot) and he was so happy with that. From there, our next stop was back to Madgaon railway station.
Even after reaching Madgaon station, the hangover of witnessing the greatness of nature, its enormous force and beauty remained in me. The excitement was something that cannot be explained. The boredom in waiting at that Madgaon station (dinner was done here), for hours, was replaced by the thoughts of awesome moments happened earlier that day.
Our return journey to Kerala was reserved earlier and it was in Kerala Sampark Kranti SF express, which arrived at the Madgaon station, around 11.45 pm night (1 hr late). We were so much tired and needed a complete sleep at that time. Indian railway is good for that. Because of the proper planning, there was no need of any night stays at hotels. On 20th july 2018, the three days trip was concluded at Kollam railway station in the evening. The entire trip costs around 1800/person and we were so happy about it. And finally, one more success story added to my list of Dream Journeys…
***Things to keep in mind during your trip to Dudhsagar falls***
- Visit there during Monsoon times. No other seasons can provide such an experiance.
- If your are travelling from Kerala, plan your trip in 3 days.
- Be physically prepared for a monsoon trek.(15 kms in total)
- Depending Indian railway is more reliable and cheaper in travel costs.
- Carry your cameras in waterproof bags and reduce other luggages for a comfort walk.
- Proper study using google maps about places will help you.
- Avoid swimming (during monsoon) because of strong currents.
- Use lightweight shoes and jackets for your trekking.
- Carry chocolates and nutri bars as energy supplements.
*Thanks to my friend Jaifal for his support during the hardships of this journey…
*Photos credit @ AMJ ShotS