The mighty hills of western ghats have always been a heaven for nature lovers and trekkers owing to its abundance of water bodies and flora & fauna. The Dudhsagar waterfalls located about 28kms from Goa near the borders of Karnataka are no exception either. At a height of 1017 ft and an average width of a100 ft, it is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with an 11km long trek trail known as the Dudhsagar trek trail leading to the falls.
The word Dudhsagar means ‘sea of milk’ indicating the way the water looks when it falls down the hill – massive and foamy white. The Dudhsagar trek is well known all over the country and it is visited by hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists daily during the trekking season.
Dudhsagar Trek – Some Quick Facts
- Location – Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Sanguem District, Goa
- Total Distance – 11km
- Trek Difficulty – Easy to Moderate
- Duration – 4-6 hrs one side
- Altitude -1017 ft
- Base -Dudhsagar Railway Station
- Best Time to Visit – Post Monsoon
Dudhsagar Trek – How to reach the base?
The nearest railway station to the falls is the Dudhsagar railway station, which is just a kilometer away from it. However, if you want to reach the place you need to take the train to either the Kulem station or Castlerock station as there aren’t any trains that stop by Dudhsagar station now.
Kulem station in Goa is about 10 km away from the falls while the Castlerock railway station in Karnataka is about 45kms away. As for which station to drop by, it depends on where you are coming from. If you are coming from the Southside, it will be convenient for you to choose the Castlerock station and if you are from Mumbai, Pune, or any other city north to the falls it will be easier if you drop by the Kulem station in Goa.
If you wish to come by road, you need to take National Highway 4-A, to Mollem, and then travel to Kulem from there.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls – How to get there?
There are mainly two ways to reach the falls – one by foot via the Dudhsagar trek trail or by jeeps which will take you all the way down to the lake.
Dudhsagar Trek Trail
If you are visiting the place to enjoy trekking, the 11km long trekking path through the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary awaits you. The most special aspect of this trail is an old railway track amidst the dense forest that leads to the falls making Dudhsagar trek a lot more interesting for trekkers. They can traverse along this track to reach the falls, which will be a lifetime experience for many.
Many factors make this track favored by trekkers. One is that it leads their way to the falls. Also, the whole 4-6hrs walk through the track is a treat to the eyes and renders a next-level experience to the trekkers. It is sided by the lush greenery of the western ghats and if you are lucky enough you can spot some exotic wildlife of the ghats. Another attraction of the trail is a 200m long railway tunnel that falls along the path. You can also see a few small waterfalls along the way.
If you prefer to take the trekking trail, make sure it is open during the time of your visit as it is not open throughout the year and had also been shut for some time during normal open days due to Covid. So, before your visit just check with the local authorities or your tour operator whether the trail is open or not.
In Jeep via the Sanctuary
Even though the trekking trail is the most mesmerizing one, it may not be favored by every tourist as you need to walk 4-6 hrs straight with your backpack and raingear. So, there is an option for a jeep safari through the dense jungle and alongside small streams.
More than 400 jeeps operate in the place to take tourists to and from the falls. You have to reach Kulem and from there these jeeps will take you to the waterfall. For a single person, it will cost you around 500-600 INR for the jeep safari with each jeep accommodating around 6-7 people. They will take you downhill through the forest, traversing muddy terrain and streams on the way. At the foot of the falls, they will drop you and will wait for 1.5 hrs for you there. If you need to stay for another hour, you can by paying an additional 500 INR as waiting charges.
When you take the jeep safari, at the entrance of the sanctuary, you need to pay entry fees and additional camera fees if you are carrying any with you. Also, tourists must rent life jackets to keep them safe in the lake downhill. So, the total cost will be around 800 per person excluding the camera fee. If you don’t want to get to the waterfalls via the Dudhsagar trek trail, but still want to enjoy the forest and the Fall, a jeep safari is the best option for you.
Things to do in Dudhsagar
Trekking & Camping
The trek trail including the old railway track to the Dudhsagar falls is frequented by trekkers except for heavy rains, when the trail will be closed as there are chances of heavy landslides and at that time the fall overflows to the railway bridge in the path. Hence considering the safety of the tourists, entry to the trail is denied at that time. All other times, trekkers with their camping gears packed at their back are a regular sight in the tracks.
The camping sites near the falls are the best place to enjoy nature at its best and get away from the hustle & bustle of your daily life.
When choosing to trek the Dudhsagar trail many are confused on whether they should go alone or have a guide with them. Will the authorities allow trekking without a guide? Of course, they do.
But whether to go with or without a guide depends on your trekking expertise. If you are a frequent trekker or you have walked through the Dudhsagar trail before and are quite familiar with the track, you can surely go alone. But if you are new to this sport and trail, we recommend you have a guide hired to take you there. Also, make sure you have your raingear as it can rain at any time in the hills.
Also, if you intend to camp, make sure you are fully equipped for the activity. Make a checklist of all the things you need to pack before your journey and be sure to take them all. By taking them all what is meant is ONLY and MUST take what is necessary. It is very important to keep the weight of your backpack low to ease your struggle during the trek. Also, you shouldn’t omit the necessities either, be it your food or light or things as small as a matchbox.
Dudhsagar Devi Temple
The temple is located en route to the falls along the jungle route you take during the jeep safari. Hence it is visited by tourists who go to the waterfall. If you want to make a separate visit to the temple, cabs are available at cheaper rates to take you there.
Dipping yourself in the lake down the waterfall is a must activity during your visit. With shiny pebbles and clear waters, the lake is indeed worth your time. As the waters are crystal clear, you can see the fishes swimming around. Also, from the lake, you can get a full view of the fall and the railway bridge. It is indeed a mesmerizing experience to play along with the fishes in the lake while taking a glimpse of the 300m high waterfalls.
Jeep safari is meant for those who do not want to take long walks through the trail. It can safely take you downhill within 45 minutes. The jeep route is through the dense forests of the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary within which the waterfall is located.
The path to the Falls is through damped midways and many jungle streams which is indeed a mesmerizing experience. Also, since the safari is through the forest you get to see the rich vegetation of the sanctuary along with a few species of fauna if you are keen and lucky enough.
Goa is always known to its visitors for its beaches, pubs, and nightlife. But what many do not know is that being occupied by the majestic hills of the Western Ghats, the part of Goa near its Karnataka border is dotted with many waterfalls and trails like the Dudhsagar trek trail. So even if you are not a beach lover, there is yet another reason to visit Goa – The scenic Western Ghats and its forests.
Written by: Minsia S