Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dudhsagar Waterfalls

Type: Waterfall
Area: Inside Mahavir Sanctuary Goa-Karnataka Border
Base Village: Dudhsagar

Best time to visit: Monsoom
Time visited: July 2012
About: Dudhsagar falls lie high up in the Mandovi River's watershed and during the monsoon season the falls are transformed into one of the most powerful falls in India. The water plummets hundreds of feet in large volumes during the monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem. This is a four tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet) and is 5th tallest waterfall in India.






Way to reach from Pune:
The waterfall is located between Castlerock and Kulem railway stations.

Option1- Kulem: Travel to Kulem Railway Station by Goa Express which stops at Kulem at around 5AM in the morning. It’s 12 KM- hike from Kulem to Doodhsagar. This is most exciting walk as you get a view of complete waterfalls and famous snapshot of railway chunking down across the waterfall. Travel back to Kulem and board return Goa Express to Pune at 4PM. Travelling back is pain and but you can request and board some freight trains and travel back to Kulem.

Option 2- Castlerock: Travel by Goa Express and alight at Castlerock station at around 3 am in the morning. It 17-18 kms walk from Castle Rock to Doodhsagar. I did see lot of them coming this way but unfortunately this missed the wonderful full view of the waterfall.

Option 3- Dudhsagar:  Alternatively get down a Dudhsagar Station. Note this is not a passenger Railway  all trains might not stop here. But I did see Goa Express and Poorna Express taking a halt for a minute. Poorna Express comes at around 11.30 AM. Walk back 3-4 kms to get a full view of the waterfalls. You can board Goa Express at 4PM.

Important tips
  1. There’s heavy rush in the monsoons. So travelling without a confirmed ticket is bad idea. You would not get even standing space in general bogeys.
  2. Most preferred way for picnickers is probably travelling by Poorna and boarding back goa express both at Doodhsagar. We could see hundreds of people alighting from Poorna Express at 11.30 who boarded Goa express back at 4pm. Then again a lot of the board from Castlerock . Lot of people change trains at Belgaum. So till Belgaum the trains are packed and there’s hardly an inch to move. Ideally boarding a train from kulem would be safest option.
  3. There are chances of leech if you are walking. Apply Tobacco water of Diesel to keep leeches away.
  4. There is hardly any space to get in the waterfall to bathing and is very very risky and this should really be avoided. There are couple of waterfalls on the way too if bathing does matter:)
  5. There is only one vendor who sells some food items including hot tea near the waterfall. So it would be good idea to carry own food and water.
  6. At some places there is small pathway beside the tracks but where the path doesn’t exist it is slightly difficult to walk on the tracks. The stone do hurt and it would be good idea that you shoes have thick and strong soles. Ideally avoid walking on tracks!
  7. It you get a ride in freight train on return journey believe me its highly bumpy and jerky. You would thankfully realize what shock absorbers means for a normal train.
  8. There are 6 tunnels on the way. Carry a torch. Avoid a tunnel when train is passing through it. Its extremely deafening!

The whole group had travelled from Pune by Goa Express and got down at Kulem at around 5AM in the morning. Since I was in Goa, I had hired a Innova for a drop from Colva. Since I started at 4AM the driver charged me exorbitantly- Rs 2000/- It was raining heavily but Reached safely at 5.15/5.30 AM to join the rest of trek group. I guess we were around 50-60 people.









Kulem station is pretty small and the only vendor had Bhopla-Puri and hot tea. After the snacks we had introduction and warm-up session. Note the 50/700 milestone. The Dudhsagar milestone is at about 38.


We started at around 6.30/6.45 AM. It was a pleasant morning and rains were still playing hide and seek.


Thick forest covered both sides. The visibility still was only 70%.

Trains kept whizzeing by with screeching noise.

 

Snails and worms were enjoying the cheerful weather.


We had to cross 6 Tunnels.

The wait was worthwhile.


Thousands of gallons of water gushed merrily into the gorge.

The walk continued till we reached actual waterfalls. There was huge rush.


And this was still 60-70% of the full flow due to scanty rains this year.




At 12 we walked a little forward at signal near Dudhsagar station. Poorna express had halted and thousands had alighted! After while we caught a frieght train back to Kulem and what a jerky ride it was! Reached  back safely in time at 3PM. Goa express came slightly late but we boarded and started our return journey with wonderful memories....

 

58 comments:

  1. Hi ,
    We are planning to go om this trek next week(27). Do you have any suggestions as to what sort of equipment we need. ( Shoes , raincoats). Also how long does it take to walk from kulem to dudhsagar. And are there any jeeps available to reach dudhsagar at this time . You rhelp will be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Sid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From Kulem Dudhsagar is approx 13 Kms. So you will need at least 3 hours to walk. Good sports shoes are recomended (Avoid floaters). Carry some food and water. I heard that there are no jeeps at this time of year. Rather to be honest I didnt see a road from where to can climb upto the waterfall from atleast Kulem side but surely there must be some road to the Doodhsagar railway station. As I mentioned this is not a passanger station but I could see few houses there. The station is around 1.5 kms from waterfall towrads castlerock. But best is you enquire in GOA --if you are going to GOA. I came down from GOA by Innova (from Margoa) to Kulem. We had stayed at Margoa since Margoa seem to be closest where you could enjoy beach too if you are planning 2-3 days outing.

      Delete
    2. We are planning to come down from mapusa. We have a car to reach kulem. Thing is not all my friends are interested in a 3 hour trek. Will those guys be able to get on a train in that case?
      Thanks,
      Sid

      Delete
    3. Dudhsagar lies between Kulem and Castlerock where trains make a stop. So your friends could take a ticket to castlerock and board at Kulem and then climb down at Dudhsagar or one station in between Kulem and Dudhsagar (Forgot the name). But as I mentioned since Dudhsagar and thsi station - both are not a passanger station and hence no guarantee that all trains would stop. Goa express and Poorna did stop for around 2-3 minutes when I had gone. You will need to enquire about this at Kulem. Theres a huge rush and that maybe one of reasons why the tarins stopped too. BTW 3 hours is minimum and it could strech 4 + hours depending on wether and your speed and stops - usually walking speed is 4kms/hr...

      Delete
  2. Can you please tell me if Kulem can be reached on a bike/scooter/activa from madgaon?? can we park our bikes at kulem and trek there onwards?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deepankar the road from Margao is in pretty good condition and probably some internal state highway for most of part of it. Since I came at 4 am in the morning couldnt notice much outside but it was all the way through thick jungle. Especially the last part half an hour was naroow too...But yes I guess should be easily able to travel by bikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanx Sumit. Can you please tell me if any parking facilities are available at Kulem station or anywhere nearby so that we can park and then trek to the falls.

      Delete
    2. Deepankar, Kulem is pretty small station and I couldnt see an official parking space as such but yes there enough space outside. Again i might ahve missed this as I reached at 5.15 AM in dead of night and it was raining heavily. But the town is closeby. Actually you pass throught the town itself to the station so you might want to check on that.

      Delete
  4. Hi Sumit - very informative write up.

    I'm trekking to Dudhsagar this wednesday and I plan to take the Castle rock route to the falls.

    Would you have any tips for the trek up this path? and you had mentioned in your write up that the way from Kulem to falls is more scenic than the castle rock one, if thats the case I would rethink on starting my trek from castle rock

    Expecting your reply as I have just a day left to decide!!

    Ramki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ramakrishnan as far as I could see outside the window while travelling back, the trail from castle rock is from jungle too. So most of the landscapes would be similar. The only difference is once you arrive at the waterfalls you will be see the view mostly as seen is last 3 pics. So you will see the upper part of the falls. If you want to get a full view of the waterfall with train passing across the waterfalls (as seen in the top 9th pic)you will have to again walk 3-4 kms ahead toward Kulem side.

      Delete
  5. Hi Sumit,

    Thanks for posting this information.
    We are planning a Dudhsagar trek from Pune and i have one concern.
    If we stop at CastleRock and walk upto Dudhsagar till 1-2 PM then what are the options for going from Dudhsagar to Kulem because we cannot again walk from dudhsagar to Kulem same day and we dont want to stay at Dudhsagar.
    Can we get a freight train which will drop us back to kulem?
    Thanks in advance for help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mandar, not sure but Goa express stops at castlerock at around 3/3.30AM. Start as early as possible maybe around 5.30AM so you reach early. You will need to catch a frieght train either to Kulem or back to Castle rock whichever you catch, should be fine. Poorna express stops at doodhsagar around 12/12.30pm which you can catch back to Kulem. Ideally get return ticket from pune itself for Kulem-Pune so that theres no issue. Goa express comes at Kulem at around 4PM and at castlerock around 5.30 (check exact timings). There is a huge rush while coming back so its good to have confirmed reservation.

      Delete
  6. Hi Sumit...

    Thanks for such an informative page....

    I m going to Goa in Month of Feb......

    I want to go to dudhsagar....

    My question is????

    1) Can i straight away go to dudhsagar as i get dow khulem station???
    2) do we have to track on railway track side walk or there is any other route to reach there????
    3) is there any guide facility available???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naman
      Im not sure, but have heard that there is a small road from Kulem that goes near the waterfall. At some distance you have to park your vechile and then its small hike from parking area. If you check google maps in zoom mode, it does show a 'waterfall road' from Kulem and 'Doodhsagar waterfall parking' / 'Doodhsagar View Point' close to waterfalls. But better idea would be to check the exact info and road at your hotel. Since you are going in Feb there shouldnt be any problem as such for drive on that road from Kulem. But then in february, I’m really wondering how the flow would be there. No there is no guide facility that I heard of and rather guide is not at all needed if you are walking beside railway tracks. But yes if you are going by road maybe you want to get someone local from Kulem. If you do visit the waterfall by road, please can you post back on this blog which road you took and time for travel?
      Thanks, Sumit

      Delete
  7. hello sumit
    I am thinking to go to dudhsagar waterfalls next month can u help me to show the direction to reach their.
    my journey will start from banglore?
    so help me ut

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aditya you have to get down at Kulem or Castelrock station for the trek. From Kulem its 12km hike and from Castlerock its 17km hike.

      Delete
  8. Hi Sumit

    I work for Wildcraft India, I would like to talk to you regarding a community we are coming up with. Can you tell me when would be a good time to talk? Would be great if you can give me your email id regarding the same?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Sumith,

    Your replies and guidelines are really useful and thanks a lot!
    we 7 guys planning to visit Dudhsagar falls on 21st July (Satday)2013 ,
    we planned to start from Mapusa (Where we booked a house) by 4 two -wheelers around 6am
    and reach Kulem station around 8am (I hope some parking facility will be available in kulem station???) ,
    then planned to take VGS Howrah express at 8.20am and reaching Castle rock at 9.30am ,
    Planned to start the trekking towards Dudhsagar and we can reach 2pm i hope,
    after that how can we reach kulem back to take our 2 wheelers? by walk again? (We prefer not to walk again...!!) what is the exact kilometer b/w falls and kulem? please guide us....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gireesh,

      Doodhsagar is not a passenger station so regular trains do not stop there except may be for passing. I'm not sure on this but i guess there no road connectivity as this in middle of jungle. The Station area is actually at mid level of the waterfall... So in your case the only option is to walk up to Kulem. The distance approx 13 Kms but if you are walking all the way from castlerock you should already have walked 17-18 kms... So you will need at least 3-4 hours to walk. If you are lucky you may able to get a hike on freight train. But my suggestion is if you are parking your vehicle at Kulem then why not walk to Doodhsagar? The view that you get from Kulem side is awesome. Even if you have walk back this is still manageable...BTW Kulem is pretty small station and slightly away from town maybe 1 km or so. Although there is space outside not sure about safety and also since I reached at 5AM and hence maybe I didn't spot any vehicles. But since town is nearby you can find a spot to park somewhere.

      Delete
    2. Gireesh did you guys visit? If possible can you contribute some experiences so that it will help others?

      Delete
  10. Hey your guidelines are really helpfull :)
    Sumit
    I wanted to know whether there is any place to stay near dudhsagar waterfalls at night ..v r planning overnite stay..n what are the measures to avoid leech attacks..Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Near Doodhsagar station there is concrete shade probably enough to accommodate 25+ people. I did see some people staying there. Also 1-2 groups had camped nearby in Tents. But I'm not sure if that's good idea to camp somewhere so close to railway tracks...There were 1/2 out house on one side of waterfall. Not sure if they allow accommodation. Apply Tobacco water of Diesel to keep leeches away.

      Delete
  11. Hi sumit good suggestions from u... thanks for those..

    Me & another 2 frns r leaving from bangalore to kulem on friday night so dat v reach kulem on saturday morning 11... as u told above v r trecking from kulem to dudhsagar falls... also ready to take some freight trains while returning.. but v r intending to halt on saturday either in falls or kulem which would u suggest...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't have a chance to explore Kulem, so no idea on that one. There is a shade near waterfall where you can stay for night.

      Delete
    2. Hi Chethan, Did you make your plan to visit DudhSagar Falls last July. Me & 5 other friends have planned to visit in Jan. My question to you is regarding the stay. Did you find any stay option near kulem? Please help me with your experience. Reply to "semursiva@yahoo.co.uk"

      Delete
  12. Thanks Sumit for your wonderful post. I had a quick question. What if you are in the middle of a tunnel and a train arrives. Is there enough space on the side to stand and let the train pass safely?

    Ved

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ved there is enough space on side but the noise will be deafening. The tunnels aren't very very long (except the last one near the waterfall). But do carry a torch though with you...

      Delete
  13. Hi Sumit, u're doing a wonderful job answering all those queries. Here's mine. We are a group of six visiting Goa from 14 aug to 18 aug 2013. We'd like to visit the DS falls on 15 or 16 aug by self driven 4 wheeler (1 day trip). We're staying at Club Mahindra, South Goa. Pl. advice when to start (early morning I guess) which route (scenic) to take, how long it'd take? where to park so that we would'nt have to walk too long ( a couple of kms, no probs as we're all above 45) and the best place/places to have good views as well as safe ponds. Also how heavy will the rains during that period, will it be safe?. But looks like many like to visit during the monsoon.
    Thanks pal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lesleiy, I'm afraid I would not be able to answer all your queries. I'm not much familiar with Goa. So you will need to take some advise from locals out there on the route, distance etc. But here is what would help you to plan- 1)Date-15 Aug: The crowd that I have seen was enormous and going by number of queries I'm getting it obvious too. August 15 being national holiday and a long weekend it could be definitely crowded. 2)When to reach: The falls are in dense jungle. The whole track although along rail lines, is through jungle. Being rainy season this could become foggy especially in heavy rains. So my suggestion would be to go reach very early say by 6 AM and start the trek. This allows you enough time to go, enjoy the view and come back safely before it gets dark leaving you enough buffer time. 3)Age: The trek I had done start from Kulem railway station is 12 km walk (plain walk, no climbing stuff). The group I had gone with had mostly seniors 40+ members. So I think there should not be a problem for you. But if you think you would not be able to walk 12kms then this trip could be avoided. The reason is there is no road or any other option. As I said above the trail runs through dense jungle and there are no passenger stops between Kulem and Castlerocks where you can take a ride back. The option of returning from DS is to catch a freight train if guard allows or to board a train if it stops for signal/passing. So overall there are if and buts in this trek... If you want just to see this waterfall and not do any hiking then you can catch a glimpse through a train running on this route. I had heard that there is road somewhere which would help you to hike up but that is closed in moonsoon. Again unfortunately I do not have solid info on that one. 4)Kulem is very small station. Ideally if you are planning to go back to your destination after returning take a cab and ask a driver to wait till evening. That 'probably' is a safe bet.Hope it helps...

      Delete
    2. Thanks a ton Sumit. It certainly helped. we'll take a cab with a driver, ask him to wait and take on the trek.

      Delete
    3. HEllo Lesleiy,

      we are a group of 3, planning to visit DS falls on the very same days that you are planning....Could you suggest some budget hotels to stay there...thanks in advance...see you at the venue :)

      Delete
  14. Hi, Would you by any chance have contact number of small hotels outside kullem station?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope...Actually I just came down at 5 AM by vechicle and started back by train from Kulem station.

      Delete
  15. Hi, Is it safe for staying ther for a night at dudhsagar falls.? n is ther any place fit for staying like restrooms something else.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. here were some 2-3 rooms, not sure if it was forest guest house or somethings- you can see in the above pictures- a yellow colored outhouse kind of a thing. Apart from that there is a huge shade- a concrete structure where you can camp.

      Delete
  16. Hi Sumit,

    Need your suggestion as to how early we can start the trek from Kulem. We plan to get back to Kulem by afternoon and drive to banagalore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jyothi you can start at around 6.30. Well I would put it as "as soon as you there is visibility".

      Delete
  17. Which way is adventures ? Castle or kullem ?
    We are coming from Bangalore by car , is there safe to park ?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Adventure: No idea really. I have done from Kullem side only. But I believe it should be almost same both ways as it along side of railway track.. So most of the landscapes would be similar. The only difference is once you arrive at the waterfalls from Castlerock side you will be see the view mostly as seen is last 3 pics. So you will see the upper part of the falls. What I had heard is if you want to get a full view of the waterfall with train passing across the waterfalls (as seen in the top 9th pic) you will have to again walk 3-4 kms ahead toward Kulem side.
    Parking: Kulem is pretty small station and I couldn't see an official parking space back then, but yes there was enough space outside. Again i might have missed this as I reached at 5.15 AM in dead of night and it was raining heavily. But the town is close by. Actually you pass through the town itself to the station so you might want to check on that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Sumit,

    The information shared were very useful. Me and my friend will trekking to the falls from Castle rock. The train from Chennai reached CR at 9.30am, assuming we reach dudhsagar by 2pm, how do we go to Margoa from there on the same day? is there any trains available, do you have any idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dudhsagar lies between Kulem and Castlerock where trains sometimes make a stop probably for signals but this is not a passanger station and hence no guarantee that ypu would be able to catch a train at all. Goa express and Poorna did stop for around 2-3 minutes when I had gone but I think was probably due to rush. I had to catch freight train till Kulem after almost waiting for an hour. You will need to enquire about this at castlerock.

      But overall my suggestion would be reach castlerock latest by 7 PM and start early so you reach Doodhsagar by 12. Enjoy waterfall for 2 hrs at least. That gives you enough time at hand before the darkness sets in. There was no food availability in Doodhsagar. Its middle of of nowhere:)

      Delete
  20. Spendid work creating this blog sumit, i have a query myself, i was wondering if it will be safe to park my rented two wheeler in Kulem in morning at around 9-10 am??? Are there any parking facility?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. There is space outside Kulem station but I was not able to see parked vehicles- maybe it was very early AM. Kulem is a small station. But also Kulem town is close by. So you should be able find a parking space somewhere...

      Delete
  21. Hi Sumit,
    I am travelling with my family (wife, kid and mom) from Hampi to goa next week. Is the falls open and if so what is best option in and out of the falls? And also dudsagar where can I park my car to start trekking? Also from Dudsagar what is best route to north goa?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The falls is open during rains. And this is best season to go. You will need to park car either at Kulem OR at Castlerock. I had come from Colva side and it took me 1.5 hrs...Colva should be around an hours drive from Panji...cant remember exactly.

      Delete
  22. We are going Dudhsagar next month with 30 people.
    Is there any arrangement for night stay. Dinner and specially toilets for girls.
    Please help me if u hav any info.
    Is there any option near Kulem.
    Thanks
    TK Sahu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kulem is very small town. But certainly you should get something there. Dudhsagar is in middle of jungle and not a passanger station. Its exactly like what you see in 'Chennai Express'. But yes there is large stone platform/shade near the station where you can 'probably' camp. When I was there, few people actually had put up tenst or slept in that shade. Toilets no- idea. But there was probably a guest house or something. One request though---Can you kindly add comment on this blog once you are back from Doodhsagar so that everybody else will have info too? As you see most of the people have same queries...Thanks

      Delete
  23. No questions from my side, above queries helped me alot, just wanted to appreciate you, well done man and keep going... :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi... We r placing to visit dudhsagar n next week...
    Is it a gud time to visit dudhsagar??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although climate should be beautiful, I doubt how much water the waterfall would have...its beautiful just after the rains.

      Delete
  25. My visit to Dudhsagar waterfalls – Goa
    http://girishpalkartravel.blogspot.in/2015/02/dudhsagar-waterfalls-goa.html

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice Blog Sumit. Recently i heard that Dudhsagar trek from caslte rock has been Banned if so which is the best route to trek to dudhsagar. Also we are planning to start our trek @3pm so at what time would we reach dudhsagar as we want to camp near the falls overnight. Is it a safe trek?. Kinldy let me know it would be helpful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ratan, If Castlerock side is banned then you should try it from Kulem. Its around 12 kms so it should take 3-4 hours. But 3PM is pretty late to start. I would definitely go in early morning time as its dense forest all the way through.

      Delete
  27. Hey Hi, I am planing to visit doodh sgar in Sept 4. I have booked ticket till Kulem station and will be reaching at Kulem around 5.00 AM. what will be the best way to reach doodh Sagar. I have my return train from Kulem at 4.30PM in the evening. Could you please suggest me something on this. We are 4 people traveling from Bangalore. Thanks in Advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfect time to start. The path is along the railway tracks itself if you want to hike. There is another road but Im not sure if its open in rains...

      Delete