The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls

Tripoto
28th Jun 2019

The Mighty Sea of Milk

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by Offbeat Voyagers

The first thought that comes into mind on hearing the word 'Goa' is beaches and cheap alcohol but not for us. We being the adrenaline junkies that we are decided to do one of the most adventurous things there is in this beautiful little state. As the title suggest we made our way to Dudhsagar Falls which literally translates to the Sea of Milk and boy we were in for a treat.

Day 1

Being working individuals, we boarded the Mangalore Express(12134) at 10 PM from Mumbai CSMT. We were pretty fortunate as we got Tatkal tickets(Rs. 530) in the sleeper coach which went from TQWL 3/4 to confirmed which meant we could enjoy a good night's sleep after a long day at work and wake up to the beauties of nature the next morning.

Day 2

One of the numerous bridges on the route

Photo of Zuari Bridge, Panvel - Kochi - Kanyakumari Highway, Cortalim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Ready to march as soon as we get off

Photo of Zuari Bridge, Panvel - Kochi - Kanyakumari Highway, Cortalim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

We arrived at Madgaon Jn. at around 9:30 AM and had just one motto "Visit Dudhsagar" by hook or by crook. Since we had not decided on the how just the where, we started off at the ticket counter at the station and soon realized that if we were to reach the falls before daylight disappeared, trains wouldn't cut it. Hence we moved out of the station and thought of taking a bus to the closest village accessible by road, Kulem. On inquiring around, we realized that even that was an infeasible option as there were too many variables along the way. By that time we were approached by local taxi drivers who offered to drop us to Kulem for Rs. 2000 if we chose a cab and Rs. 1000 if opted for the rickshaw. Since this option also did not make any sense to us, we started browsing the web for alternatives when suddenly we were offered a scooter on hire for Rs. 400/day with a minimum rental duration of 2 days which amounted to Rs. 800 for two days which was the duration we were going to be around for. After careful consideration, keeping in mind that we needed cheap accommodation as well, we decided to go ahead with the rental as it would not restrain us in terms of time or distance.

The journey starts here

Photo of Madgaon Railway Station, Margao - Quepem Road, Sanscar Society, Margao, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

We hopped on the bike taxi with the guy who was going to lend us the scooter and headed to his shop which was about a 5 minute ride away from the station. We surrendered one ID proof, paid Rs. 1300(800 for rent and 500 as security deposit) and embarked on the epic journey towards Kulem. We made a few pit stops before we actually left for Kulem which included a fuel stop where we filled petrol worth Rs. 240 and one stop for breakfast and booking our Tatkal tickets back to Mumbai the next day. Luck was on our side and we got confirmed seats(Rs. 520) in Matsyagandha Express(12620) which was supposed to arrive at Madgaon Jn. at 7:05 PM as we had to get to office the next day.

Miles of smooth roads

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by 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.

Empty Green Roads

Photo of Kulem, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Trying to comfort our feet

Photo of Kulem, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Time to get out of the way

Photo of Kulem, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

One of the scary bits

Photo of Kulem, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

After hiking for about 2 hours and covering something like 6 KMS, we reached a station in the middle of nowhere called Sonalium where we came across the Amaravati Express(18047) from which a couple of people disembarked to go and absorb the beauty of the falls with a slight difference that they had a guide with them. On having a word with the guide we realized that walking on the track could result in a problem as there was a possibility of encountering the Railway Police Force(RPF) since it is not allowed to go to the rail bridge facing the falls and suggested us to go through the forest to the base of the falls. We decided to take his advice and headed into the forest and joined the Dudhsagar falls trail. At the beginning of this trail we came across a forest official and had to pay him Rs. 50 per person for the entrance into the forest.

The Jungle Trail

Photo of Sonalium Railway Station, Sonaulim, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Sonalium Station

Photo of Sonalium Railway Station, Sonaulim, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The path that led to the falls

Photo of Sonalium Railway Station, Sonaulim, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

We followed the trail and reached a gateway that said 'Dudhsagar Falls'. After crossing that gate we had to wade through two water streams, we kept going and reached a point where we had to choose between two paths, one that went left and the other one right. The path to the right looked like a climb and we took it. After following it for about 10 minutes, we rejoined the tracks and had to choose if we wanted to go left towards the View Point or right towards the falls. We decided to head to the View Point to get a better look at the falls but to our dismay the track was crowded with a troop of monkeys. Since we were unsure of their reaction to our passing by, we decided against it and went straight for the falls.

The gateway to the falls

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by Offbeat Voyagers

One of the crossings on the way to the falls

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by Offbeat Voyagers

Monkey territory beyond this point

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by Offbeat Voyagers

It must have been a 15 minute walk from there to the falls during which we crossed two tunnels and at last we had reached our destination. The first sight of it left us speechless which is when we realized that no photo can do justice to the sheer size and beauty of it. We saw a group of people already on the bridge who had come from Castle Rock(Karnataka).

Portal to Jurassic World

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The Awe on witnessing the falls

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The Rail Bridge

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The destination

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The joy is clearly visible

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Perfect Waterfall Backdrop

Photo of Dudhsagar Falls, Sonaulim, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

After spending quite some time there, we started on our journey back to Sonalium station. While we were heading back, we came across a group of people who were headed to the base of the falls and decided to join them and have the complete experience. On reaching the pool at the bottom, we realized that the water was too harsh to go close to and turned back. After walking for an hour or so we reached Sonalium station at around 6:30 PM and sat beside the tracks waiting for some train to give us a lift as walking back would take up a lot of time and it would get very dark. After waiting for 45 minutes, we finally came across a goods train, rushed to the locomotive and pleaded the pilots for a ride back to Kulem station. A few minutes of convincing got us a ride in the locomotive and we were on our way to Kulem during which we learnt a lot of things about the locomotive and the pilots which made the journey all the more interesting.

Once we got to Kulem, we picked up our scooter and realized that some of our fuel had been stolen but decided to let it go and left for Panjim. It must have been a few hours on empty dimly lit roads after which the new bridge(Atal Setu) in Panjim came into sight which brought us some relief and we headed to Kokni Kanteen for some authentic Goan food. At dinner we recharged our phones and bodies and started looking for places to spend the night. Our search was focused on hostels which is when we realized that most them are situated in the North of Goa near Anjuna which was another 30 mins away from where we were but the cost saving on those hostels justified the travel. We chose to stay in Pappi Chulo Hostel for the night where we got 2 beds in a Non AC dormitory for Rs. 498 for the night along with a free welcome shot which was more than economical.

Day 3

The next morning we headed to the Burger Factory for some breakfast as we had read a lot about the place. The burgers were an absolute delight in every manner from presentation to the taste. Despite being expensive, we would suggest that you most definitely give it a go as it is worth every penny. We had the Double Cheddar + Bacon + BBQ Sauce and Green Chili + Cheddar + Bacon burgers both in Beef as Goa one of the few places left in the country where you will get Beef.

The delightful duo

Photo of Burger Factory, Anjuna Mapusa Road, Soranto, Gumal Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

After getting done with breakfast, we wandered around the place for a while before heading back to the hostel. We rested for a while, packed up and left for Madgaon at 5 PM as Google Maps showed that we would reach the destination by 6:30 PM. Since time was a luxury we had, we decided to have some food in Panjim but the restaurant we chose had a name that was given to two restaurants in the vicinity and we headed to the wrong one which turned out to be in the Grand Hyatt at Bambolim. Once we realized that we were wrong, we had two choices one was to head straight to Madgaon and the other was to go to the right restaurant. After checking the live status of the train on Ixigo we decided that we had enough time to take the detour.

The menu was a feast to the eyes

Photo of Panjim Inn, Fontainhas (quarter), Altinho, Panaji, Goa, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The restaurant that had taken us places was The Verandah which is located in a quaint old Goan building which is now a heritage hotel called Panjim Inn. We had the Deep Fried Crumbed Pork Ribs and Calamari Golden Fry which were scrumptious and made the whole detour worth the while.

Photo of The Goa They Didn't Tell You About - Dudhsagar Falls by Offbeat Voyagers

Now that our bellies were full, we got going on our way to catch our train back home. We covered the distance as fast as we could and made it to the station by 7:45 PM. The moment we reached the station our train was in sight at platform number 1 so we called up the scooter rental guy to pick it up from the station. That is when things stopped going our way as he refused to come due to the fact that he had to perform checks on the vehicle. Since we knew that we had to get done with it as soon as we could, we headed to the guy's shop where he took another 5 minutes to complete the checks and by the time he dropped us off at the station it was already too late. Now our only hope was to wait for Mumbai Express(12133) which was scheduled to arrive at 9:40 PM. Since we had about 2 hours to kill, we bought the tickets for the general compartment and got to charging our phones for the return journey. Due to the monsoon, the train arrived at 11:10 PM and to our surprise, the general compartment was nearly empty which brought us some relief. Without wasting any time we got in, climbed up to the luggage rack and claimed the space.

Day 4

The compartment remained pretty empty throughout the journey and by the time we woke up in the morning, we had crossed Panvel. Everything seemed to be going fine until we reached Diva where the train was sidelined for over an hour. We finally reached home by 12 PM with some great memories of Goa.

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