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Trivikram Sarath
The train ride through those lengthy tunnels was really awesome. Weather at Castle Rock station mesmerises any nature lover. The fog, drizzling and cool breezes.. Cant describe that fully. After crossing Castle Rock, we waited for getting view of these lovely falls from train itself. Got excited watching for the first time.
Offbeat Voyagers
After wrapping up all the work, we finally left for Kulem and the journey was overwhelming with beautiful roads laid in the lap of nature weaving through forests with barely any vehicles traversing them. As soon as we arrived at Kulem, we encountered two men asking us if we were on our way to Dudhsagar Falls. On getting confirmation for the same, they asked us to pay Rs. 700 per person for the trek as Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary was shut for the rains and the jeeps would not ply to the base of the falls. Since we found the cost unreasonable, we parked the scooter and headed to a local grocery store to buy some eatables for the journey and crossed on to the tracks from under a stationary goods train and found ourselves between two goods trains of which one started moving in the direction of the falls. This provided us with an opportunity to disappear from the station without being seen by those so called guides. As per our knowledge the falls were around 10 KMS away from the station via the track route and hence began our journey towards the Sea of Milk. The hike was an interesting one we had to pay careful attention to the horns of the approaching trains and find a safe place to stop while the trains passed. One of the problems that we faced during this hike was walking on the sleepers between the tracks as they were placed too close to each other such that we had to take shorter strides to keep moving on them. Another problem that we came across was that the width of the sleeper was too short for our feet to fit which was gradually becoming painful. Despite all of these hardships we soldiered on as the desire to reach the falls surpassed all of that.
Another most popular approach is through railway tracks. Most trekkers select the famous route from Castle Rock station, and so did we. Another starting point is from Kulem station. The distance from Castle Rock station to Dudhsagar waterfalls is approximate 14kms (13km till the Dudhsagar station and 1 km from station till the falls) and the distance from Kulem station is 11km. We boarded the Goa Express from Pune. The train starts at 4.30pm. But on the day we left, it was delayed by an hour so we left from Pune station at around 5.30pm. Reached Castle Rock station at 3.30am and started our journey walking on the railway tracks and enjoying the scenic beauty on the way.My Experience This is the longest distance I have walked so far- 14km, but after witnessing the thunderous and the majestic waterfalls, trust me it was worth it. For most of us its was an achievement in itself :) The greenery along the tracks makes it less tiring and more fun. There are around 10 tunnels to cross and the most thrilling experience is when you are inside the tunnel and a train passes you by. Its scary by also a thrill. One does not get to experience this often. In fact we use to wait for the train whenever we found ourselves inside the tunnel. On our way we also met some uncommon species such as the Giant Atlas moth. The apical extension of its fore-wing resembles a snake's head. After 9 hours of walking trail we reached the waterfall at 1pm. Due to recent mishap nobody was allowed to go under the waterfall. After spending for like an hour at the waterfall we headed back to the Dudhsagar railway station. Boarded a train to Kulem station and from there went to Dudhsagar Spa resort. Resort booking was done before hand.Return Journey After a night stay at Dudhsagar Spa Resort, post breakfast we left for Londa station. We hired a bus from near the resort till the Londa Station. From Londa station we boarded the train to Pune. Reached Pune at 4.30am the next day.Note: Train bookings were done almost 2 months before.Dos and Don't s for the trek Be mindful of the sound of the train. When inside the tunnel and a train passes by sit down and face towards the walls of the tunnel During the monsoons you may find leeches on the track. Carry some tobacco with you to keep the leeches at bay. Also carry some salt with you to get rid of the leeches. Salt causes the leech to dehydrate and fall off. Do carry a good pair of shoes or floaters. Carry sufficient food and water/energy drink. You will not find any eatables on the way. Also make sure your backpack is light to sustain while walking for 6-8 hours on tracks. Other things to carry- torch, rain jackets, dry clothes in plastic bags, medicines, cash, toiletries, tent and sleeping bag if you plan to camp near the falls .
Mumpy Das
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