- Dhiraj D Sharma
Dudhsagar waterfall I Team Parikrama
Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Dream destination that flows in the heart of the explorer. This amazing destination has given me all the happiness in exploring. I've been here multiple times and as I pen down my experience of being here and there to you. I remember exploring the mighty falls for the first time on a small hike followed by a cycle ride to celebrate the World Environment Day from Bangalore to Goa in the year 2018 and just 4 of us ended up on no man's land.
The hike took us to the top of the waterfall with no one to guide us and just the mangrove walk leading to the river stream as we crossed over and with a few meters, we realized that we had made it to the top of the waterfall. It was a different experience altogether that I’m sure not many would have experienced what we explored. Well, I forgot to tell you what Dudhsagar stands for in all the excitement of penning my experience, Dudh in Hindi means Milk and Sagar means Falls: like most of the falls fed by rainwater this fall is no different from them, when you witness it flow in its fullest form you shall not doubt why it’s called what is called "The Dudhsagar". Dashing down all the way in its full glory is a sight to behold. Sounds exciting? Want to be there this monsoon? Read on to know how we do it and how you can explore it on your own or with us...
The best time to visit this fall is in the month of July - Sept when it’s still raining and exploring is fun and difficult all the way.
The four-tiered falls belong to 2 States. The falls take birth in the state of Karnataka, which flows as a tributary of the river Kali and flows down to the state of Goa as the Mandovi River joining the Arabian Sea.
The Falls is listed on both the tourist department of Karnataka & Goa and taken care less to explore by both and only in the month of Oct to May when the jeeps are back to assist the tourist, the local authorities from Goa take over the management of tourist visiting the falls. Surprising to read that fact, hard to digest that the beautiful destination has little care of caution for the explorers - legally bound.
Ways to explore: Trek through the railway lanes and then onto the forest trail.
Castel Rock -> Dudhsagar -> Kollem = 24 Km, Approx.
Kollem -> Dudhsagar -> Kollem = 20 Km, Approx.
Sonaulim ->Dudhsagar -> Kollem = 15 Km, Approx.
The most desired location to start is to reach Kollem. Hire a local guide, who is trained from the forest dept. possessing an ID card issued by the authorities. Sonaulim is a small station after Dudhsagar and only a few passenger trains stop here for about a minute, where you have to get down quickly and walk down for 3 KM to reach the falls, sounds interesting but the challenge is to find the right train.
They usually take a group of 10 Members-only per guide and take you throughout the turns beyond a certain point after the railway tracks leading to the forest trail. We have had the experience of our group being stopped mid-way by a person even after hiring a guide, who introduced himself as a representative from the Railways and charged a fine without a receipt. You have to go this way or find luck not to find them there on the day.
Hundreds and thousands of people are a victim of this I would say throughout the season. Everything is fair in love for exploring you see. And once you clear this unpleasant thing you shall now get a pleasant feeling of walking onto the forest trails and there is an entry charge of 100 per person levied by the forest dept.
This is where I find it tricky, the only way to the forest is the railway tracks, and then when you get here they charge you an entry fee to explore further. The forest check post that you will find here shall also be the last resort to relish something to eat or drink if you have not carried anything for yourself.
Note: Under Section 147 of the Railways Act, nobody can cross or walk along the track without authorization. The practice is prohibited and also punishable under the Act.
The above Act makes it tough to explore for one with no other option to opt or wait till the Jeeps hit the off-road from the month of Oct to Feb where all the glory of falls is gone but that’s the only thing which is fully legal.
The only legal way to explore:
The jeep safari that starts from the 1st week of Oct till the mid of March holds a permit and ideally with less or no water in the falls and just an hour and a half for you to explore from the parking space. A fee of 600+ per person shall be paid on the day of exploring over an online booking without an online payment mechanism. One shall also pay an entry fee of 100 to the forest dept. The good thing about this is the mindfulness of the authority restricting the number of people visiting the falls on a day-to-day basis.
One can take a jeep safari passing through some of the most scenic but off-road trails from Mollem which is also the trek start point. Here you shall find a flock that seems to be crazy over exploring, local toilets, eateries and most importantly for people going to Goa to enjoy their cheap liquor it’s a paradise, we would strongly recommend that one shall not share a bottle of drink on our trek as it dehydrates and drains the energy along the way. The localities are nice and kind, you shall find them hospitable and most of them like any other tourist place care for explorers.
How do we do it when we do it?
We travel overnight to reach the destination at the Dudhsagar Resort fresh up, have a buffet breakfast and carry a packed lunch to have after the trek. We want to ensure that we leave no trace, asking our entire participants to carry a lunch box that makes way for simple yet tasty Goaven-style food served.
We would want to start early as possible that doesn’t mean that you will not get time. The group is taken on a jeep ride to reach the trek start point where the fun beings with a slight drizzle and the tracks are unknown leading to your favorite destination.
The initial trail is through the railway tracks surrounded by the thick forest of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is so much to explore and look out for the birds, butterflies, and snakes, lucky if you spot a few Marabar giant squirrels, views of the tall trees with river streams beside you forming a small fall is a peaceful sight. The frequent passing train gives you so much joy, most of it would be a goods caring train that adds more contrast to exploring.
The Walk along the Forest Trails and the railway lines means being close to appreciate the beautiful landscapes, hills, rivers, thick forests, and the friends beside you to a fun-filled adventure. It is like a little unfolding story as we share with you our experiences from the past and narratives unfold. The day-long walk transforms the way you see travel and adventure as you witness the villager living close to the forest and away from modern cities who waits to catch the last train.
The trail offers numerous options to play in and get drenched, well those of you willing to play and enjoy will have no place for a changeover here or a restroom. Only in the offseason, you shall be allowed to swim and the temporary restroom will be set up also wearing a lifejacket becomes a mandate when you explore in the offseason. Every year from Team Parikrama we do limited trips to this amazing place as we roll out this year on multiple dates for the explorers:
15th July 2022
22nd July 2022
26th Aug 2022
Read more about the event under our See & Do page or Get in touch with us on the @teamparikrama Instagram account or WhatsApp us @8904890519 for more.
With loads of love for Adventures,
Team Parikrama PS: 1. Our local guide number: Tanish 9370049355 2. Jeep driver number: Dipesh 7020726532
3. Dudhsagar Resort: Omkar 9766337696