We set out to visit Dudhsagar Falls; We reached HERE instead

29th Aug 2015
Day 1

Dudhsagar under moon light

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Outside Pune Station

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

The Millipede

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty
Day 2

The Tamdi Surla Waterfall

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

The Tamdi Surla Temple

Photo of Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Timepass at Kulem

Photo of Kulem Railway Station, Kulem, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Dip in Tamdi Surla

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

The Bamboo Patch

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Water cascading with intensity

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

The Stream

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

The Crazy Bunch

Photo of Tambdi Surla Waterfall, Surla, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Into The Wild

Photo of We set out to visit Dudhsagar Falls; We reached HERE instead by Dipanwita Chakraborty


Photo of Kulem Railway Station, Kulem, Goa, India by Dipanwita Chakraborty

Sometimes, life gives us sudden surprises. It depends on how we react to those situations and how calmly we try to handle something which has gone wide of the mark. We can either make the most of it or waste time cribbing and throwing tantrums. Something similar happened when we started for the most awaited trek of the year, “The Dudhsagar Waterfall and Jungle Trek”.

They say, the best things in life always come unplanned. So, instead of Dudhsagar Waterfall, we went for jungle trek to Tamdi Surla Waterfall.

History and Facts:

The Tamdi Surla Waterfalls (The Hidden Falls) is at a distance of 32 kms from Margao, 22 kms from Kulem and 65 kms from Panjim, the capital of Goa. It is situated deep in an area that has to be trekked. The last stop before reaching the place is Darbondora village from where visitors have to trek through dense forest and several streams which makes the walk very refreshing.

The Tamdi Surla Mahadev Temple is considered the most ancient temple in Goa. The intricate design and architecture is best example of a 12th century classic marvel. There are some interesting details about the construction which has led to debates about the actual origins of the temple. The size of the temple is quite small as compared to the size of an average Goan temple.

The beautifully carved and perfectly proportioned black basalt temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is reminiscent of the temples at Aihole in neighboring Karnataka. The temple has survived Muslim invasions and Portuguese persecution, in its almost perfect condition mainly due to its remote location in a clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats which surround the site in a sheer wall of impenetrable vegetation.

The temple is located at the foot of the Anmod Ghat, which connects Goa to the state of Karnataka. It is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa. The Kadamba dynasty ruled Goa between the 10th and 14th centuries and built the temple from finest weather-resistant grey-black basalt.

The temple is protected as a National Heritage Monument by Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

The river Surla flows nearby and can be reached via a flight of stone steps.

The Trek:

The craziest bunch of 106 trek buddies started their journey from Dadar towards Pune. Manoj Kalwar was our trek leader.

We were to board the Goa Express from Pune. Having plenty of time at our disposal, we had lunch outside Pune station and headed for delicious Kulfis. Few friends decided to visit nearby Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Temple.

The train journey was simply amazing. We started off with Antakshari followed by series of “Mafia” and “Dumb Charades”. Everything was crazy. Birthday celebrations of Pankaj and Aayushi at the stroke of mid-night. We were not ready to stop and Manoj had to insist that we go to sleep since we had to wake up at 2:00 AM. Finally, everyone went to sleep past mid-night.

Manoj woke all of us at 2:00 AM at Londa. Suddenly, a search began. Mumpy was missing. As Vaibhav said, she was last seen sleeping on her berth at Belgaum. Everyone started searching for Mumpy. Even people who did not know her, participated in the search with great enthusiasm. At last, Mumpy responded to the calls. She was fast asleep in an upper most berth and our shouts woke her up.

By 3:00 AM, everyone had packed and was ready. We reached Castle Rock. The plan was to alight at Dudhsagar station which was 10 tunnels past Castle Rock. So, we had to count the tunnels. 106 people divided into 6 groups with respective leaders at different doors.

Ideally, there is no halt at Dudhsagar station for passengers. The train halts at Dudhsagar station for 30 seconds for technical checks and we were to alight within that window.

Our bad, the train did not halt for 30 seconds and more than half of the bunch was unable to get down. Only 3 groups out of 6 managed to get down which has less than half number of participants. Rest of us were the unlucky ones (atleast for now, we considered ourselves unlucky).

However, we could see the majestic Dushsagar waterfall in the moonlit night from the train. It was absolutely mesmerizing. It is just not called Dudhsagar (Ocean of Milk). There is a reason behind that. The waterfall really appeared milky white against the backdrop of the full moon light. And it took our breaths away. :)

We had our tickets till Kulem so rest of us got down at Kulem station.

Now, with Plan A not been able to make the grade, we waited for the unexpected. Shilpa, Sandesh and Sanket were continuously co-ordinating with Manoj and trying to figure out what could be done next. There was not much time left to go backwards because of the distance (14 x 2 kms to and fro). There were many first timers and hence, we could not have completed the trek within the calculated time if started from Kulem.

After having tea and coffee, we came up with Plan B. An unexplored Jungle trek to Tamdi Surla Waterfall.

That’s it. The best unplanned surprise of life awaited us at a distance of 22 kms from Kulem. (Early morning JUGAADS helped)

Vehicles arranged. Engines came to life. We started off to explore the unknown. With monsoon at it’s peak, it was happy green everywhere. We reached Tamdi Surla in 30 mins.

The gates of the Mahadev temple were closed. It was supposed to open for public after 8:00. We decided to head towards the waterfall instead.

The trek is entirely through a dense forest. Several water streams on the way. Some small and some with strong water current. We could hear the roar of the water from far. The trail was simply breathtaking. We located many colourful mormons and millipedes.

Crossing streams, Walking through the dark under the green tunnels, walking on the bamboo bunches spread across. Experiencing the sting of thorny leaves and branches. The thorns penetrating deep into the skin. Blood oozing in attempt of removing the thorns which were too small to locate.

After about a walk of 1 hour, we reached our destination. THE TAMDI SURLA WATERFALL.

The first view of the waterfall was absolute thrill. The waterfall was roaring and cascading downwards with full energy with water current was too intense that we did not dare to go right below the waterfall.

The perk of visiting Tambdi Surla falls is that it allows to take a dip and enjoy the stings of leeches at the same time, while the Dudhsagar fall can just be viewed from far. :)

Sitting by the waterfall, I realized everything happens for a reason and it’s worth accepting the unexpected sometimes. It was worth missing Dudhsagar. It was worth that we couldn’t alight at Dudhsagar station. It was worth spending sometime in uncertainty at Kulem station. And, It was worth trekking to Tamdi Surla.

After spending quite sometime by the fall, we started our journey back. The rains decided to accompany us on our way back and we happily embraced the showers.

One more round of Antakshari on our way to Kulem. Back at the resort, decorations were done with balloons and flowers to celebrate Aayushi and Pankaj’s birthday followed by cutting the cake.

The delicious lunch was followed by several rounds of selfies, groupies and videos. Bidayi (Farewell) songs for our trekmates from Pune. “Jab We Met” and “DDLJ” clips at Kulem station. Hitesh's act as coolie (porter) was ultimate. Random songs. Aditya ki shaadi (Aditya’s marriage), all crazy stuff till Margao.

Margao to Mumbai - songs, songs and songs. Everyone singing at the peak of their voices with gestures, chorus and music. Kunal’s dance with stupendous expressions. Dinner followed by spooky stories of Dudhsagar and Rajmachi.

Bidding farewell to everyone at Panvel next morning. Back to home and respective offices.

Thank you Trek Mates India for one more amazing experience. Special thanks to Manoj, Sandesh, Sanket, Shilpa, Ranjita and Arun.

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