I have tried to plan Dudhsagar several times but couldn’t due to absence of long weekend and other daily issues. This time I planned keeping in mind the long weekend for Ganpati festival in Maharashtra. I have read a number of blogs to plan my trip to this incredible waterfall. Finally I customised my trip.
For the uninitiated, Dudhsagar is a tiered waterfall located on the Goa and Karnataka border.
One can reach Dudhsagar either from Castle Rock station (14km from Dudhsagar towards Belgaum, Karnataka) or can start from Kulem station (11 km from Dudhsagar towards Goa). With a time crunch, we decided to trek one side only (Dudhsagar to Kulem).
I had booked tickets to Madgao from Pune junction. Goa express (originate from Delhi) departed Pune at 4:45 PM. Scheduled time of Arrival at Dudhsagar was at early morning 3:50 AM and halt for 1 minute. I was sceptical about the fact that trains actually halt at Dudhsagar station. Dudhsagar is closed to public transits. Much later, after boarding the train, I came to know that there is a rule in Indian Railways that any train have to stop on every station in Ghat (hills) areas (that’s Halt and Proceed rule).
When the train reached Dudhsagar it was pitch dark and raining heavily. I was worried and decided not to get down as no one was there and thinking if the area would be safe as I was accompanied with my wife. Suddenly I saw torch lights flashing and two people walking with their backpacks. They looked like trekkers. We jumped out of train (no platform at all, one have to step on the lines directly) with the thought that we were not alone. And we were absolutely correct. After the train left, we saw at-least 30-40 people with torches walking towards the station masters cabin (a single room cabin). About 100 meters from this cabin, we were able to locate an asbestos shade with two burning candles in front of Mother Mary. This was our shelter for next two hours until dawn.
We started walking towards the falls at around 5:45 AM. Half a kilometer of walk took us in front of the gigantic and mesmerizing Dudhsagar. It was roaring and was at its fullest. Dudhsagar was in mood for a spectacular show. We spent couple of hours near the falls. I managed few shots although it was almost impossible to take out the DSLR due to the water mists that engulfed the whole area. There is a concreted place on the other side of the bridge where one can put up tents and camp for the night.
A km walk towards Kulem from Dudhsagar opened another view point of the falls. This time it’s the entire falls from top to bottom.
A walk to Kulem normally takes about 4 to 5 hours. It’s an easy trail over the railway track. There’s a halt station Sonalium in between Kulem and Dudhsagar. If you are too tired, this could be a place to take some rest and catch the next train towards Goa / Belgaum. Trains are rare and few in between. So it will be advisable to check for train schedules and plan the trek.
We have started walking from Dudhsagar at around 8 am and reached Kulem at 12 noon. This walk from Dudhsagar to Kulem is admist greenry during the monsoons. It passes through numerous tunnels and is definitely an experience that a nature lover would love. It is filled with waterfalls is one which can be remembered and cherished for a long time to come. For those who have some time, you can take a day’s halt at the Dudhsagar Spa Resort at Molem (6 kms from Kulem by road).
Some Tips to remember:
- If you are travelling in monsoon, Rain gears are must. The fun is in getting wet
- Torch with battery backup is must carry as there are Tunnels on the way.
- Foods and water need to be carried as there are no shops or stalls for food.
- Carry a pack of salt as there may be leeches on the way. We did not find any on ourselves. J
- Extra plastic bags may be required require to protect your mobiles/tabs/camera etc.
- Comfortable and sturdy shoes are needed. Slippers, floaters may be able to carry you through but from what we saw of others wearing them, they are the least comfortable. Extra pair of shoes is mandatory as the first pair invariably get wet.
- Carry medicines you may need. The walk is along train tracks and a can of muscle relaxers (Relispray etc) will help in case of a sprain.
- If you plan on a single way trek, check for train schedules. You do not want to be stuck in the middle of a track not wanting to walk any further.
- Please do not throw plastic bags, chocolate and biscuit wrappers, water bottles or even chewing gum on the way. If you can carry them in your bag to have them, you can carry them back too.
Save our Nature.
If you have to leave something behind, let it be your Breath that is taken away by the beauty of the nature.
Some other means to reach Dudhsagar:
- Goa Express reach Dudhsagar (from Pune) at morning 3:50 AM and the same train return back (from Madgao) at 4PM in the Afternoon. This train runs every day of week. One can spend whole day in and around Dudhsagar and return back by same train.
- One can walk or catch goods train (confirming the time from station master) from Kulem / Castle Rock and catch another Goods train while returning. But be sure about the schedule of these trains. If you don’t get any train you have to walk back 11kms / 14kms as there is no place to stay unless you have your own camping equipment
- There are motorcycle deals from Kulem to Dudhsagar. The cost of this package is around 600-800 per person and depends on the negotiating skill. Although these bikers (local people) are quite experienced, I found it bit risky during monsoon. The track is by the side of the rail tracks. It is bound to be bumpy and muddy.
- If one is not going during monsoon, the person doesn’t have to worry. There are Jeep (4cross4) services from Kulem to Dudhsagar which cost 1800-2200 per trip, which can be shared amongst the travellers. But I personally suggest visiting Dudhsagar only during the monsoon.
If you have any other query please leave a note on the comment box. I will be happy to reply.