The joy of trekking becomes more fulfilling when the destination is beautiful and that too a waterfall! In India, though there are many wonderful waterfalls, for trekking the only one that comes to mind is the Dudhsagar waterfalls in Goa. Deriving from its “Dudh” or milk-like foamy appearance these waterfalls are a treat to the eyes. Not just that it is also famous because a train track passes just near it to witness its charms even more. Every year hundreds of trekkers come and trek up to the waterfalls via the lonesome railway tracks. It is said that when in Goa, one must try to do the Dudhsagar waterfall trek.
Location: Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
Height: 310m or 1017ft
Trek Distance: 23km or 14.29mi
Best Time To Visit: June to September & November-December
How to Reach
You can start your Dudhsagar trek from either of two train stations- one from Goa’s Colem or Kulem and another from Karnatka’s Castlerock station as the falls lie very close to the Goa-Karnataka border. Both are on the opposite side of the tracks but will lead you to the same destination- Dudhsagar falls. To reach both stations you will have to board passenger trains from their respective sides.
You can reach Colem either via a passenger train or by road using a bus, taxi or two-wheeler. There is a hub at Colem where there are many small shops, eateries, rental jeep ticket stations, and a life-jacket shop.
For trekking, you can ask any of the locals or shopowners for the railway track route to the Dudhsagar falls and they will help you with the directions.
Dudhsagar Waterfall Trek
Dudhsagar Trek From Culem
If you are going from Goa side, you will have to get down at Culem station and then walk towards tracks in the Northeast direction. As you walk on the tracks, on the way, you will pass the Kulem waterfall. You will also get to walk inside a tunnel. Walking among the Sahayadri hill range will give you pleasure. At one point, you will be able to spot the falls from a distance, giving you relief as you approach towards your destination. After walking about 11km you will reach your destination- Dudhsagar waterfalls.
Dudhsagar Trek From Castlerock
Get down at the Castlerock station and move along the railway tracks going in the west direction. Continue on the railway tracks. You will come across two tunnels, the second one will be 2km long. There is also a section on the trail where there is a small cascading waterfall flowing in between two tunnels. As you walk, you will pass two small railway stations- Caranzol and then Dudh Sagar station. About 1km after Dudh Sagar station is the much-awaited railway bridge underneath which the Dudhsagar waterfalls pass.
No matter which trail you take to reach here, once you arrive at the bridge by the waterfalls, you will get an enchanting view of these majestic waterfalls with their foamy white waters. Dropping about five times and forming four tiers, Dudhsagar is the third highest waterfall in India. You can get great shots from here or use a drone to get even more stunning shots of the falls. From here you can go to the bottom of the waterfall where there is a natural pool with the water falling from above. If you plan to take a dip in the waters, better take the life jackets from the Culem stands.
Trek one way takes five to six hours. So you can either choose to camp or you can go back to any one of the railway stations (Culem or Castlerock). There is a campsite at Dudhsagar station, which is not a proper station per say. There are no tents available and you will have to take more than a sleeping bag with you. So, it is better to carry your own tents when going for the Dudhsagar waterfall trek.
If you are not trekking to Dudhsagar waterfalls then you have the option of reaching there by government jeeps which are charged around ₹500 per person if there are seven people in the jeep. Likewise, the charge increases with the decrease in the number of people. You will also have to buy life jackets or life vests from the next shop for ₹40 per person. It is compulsory. Going ahead too you will be charged by the forest department an entry fee and if you are taking cameras or drones with you. It is like a jungle safari in the jeeps as you go into the forests and cross rivers. It will take around 40 to 45mins to reach the waterfalls. You will be dropped off a little ahead from where you will have to walk to the falls and then get back within an hour or so.
- You might see a train approaching, in that case, move safely to the side of the railway tracks well in advance. Keep your ears open for the sound of the train.
- Have raingear with you if you are visiting during monsoon season.
- It is advisable that you carry your own tent if you are planning to camp because sleeping bags may not come as there are no tents available.
- Do not litter anywhere as this is a preserved sanctuary.