Saturday, March 16, 2013

THERE IS MORE TO GOA THAN BEACHES: A MYSTIC TREK TO DUDHSAGAR FALLS


Trekking on track in rains
I looked out of the window eager for Eric Bibby and his beautiful girl friend Kate  to return from an exciting trek to Dudhsagar Falls. We had checked in at Kenilworth Resort in South Goa a day before and had decided to avoid, though beautiful but overcrowded and expensive tourist beaches of Goa. As a matter of fact, had enough of them! I wanted to accompany Eric and Kate for this exotic trek but due to some reason, couldn't make it. Therefore, was waiting for them to return and tell me of their incredible experience, though the highlights of the same had been being communicated to me through cell phone.
It was a rainy season, then. I came out of my room and walked to the backyard opening into an open expense of a beautiful landscape merging into beach.  There was a clap of thunder and streaks of lightning. The smell of wet earth was everywhere and I could hear the croaking of the frogs. The rainy season (monsoons) in Goa is simply a magical experience! Suddenly there was a shout behind me and and turning my head I saw Eric and Kate grinning, back from the trek, looking tired, a bit dirty but with an expression of some great achievement! Desperate to know about their mysterious trek, I just pushed them back to my room, took out few beer cans, picked up phone and ordered fish finger and waited impatiently for Eric and Kate to start...


Now for the benefit of readers, I'm giving below a summery of an incredible journey by these two young people as their complete narration would be a mini novel which is beyond the scope of so called "blog's post".
They had done their research and were well prepared. Boarding Amravati Express from Madgaon Rly station at 7.30 AM they crossed  Kulem station in about 50 mins and from there it took them another another 20 mins to Dudhsagar station.  However, as their trek had to start from Castle Rock Station, the journey continued for another 30 minutes further towards Karnataka. 

The view of the fall from the train as it passed Dudhsagar Station was awesome! The furious waterfall was about 200 ft above the train track and it continued roaring for another 100 ft below the where it formed a small rapid.

Passing of train under water fall
 They started their railway 12 kilometer trek in the intermittent rains, wind and mist in a dense forest, passing dark tunnels and into mysterious terrain. It was a dream trek! Finally they reached the falls. 
The great water fall
"My goodness! What an great sight", said Eric.  
 The water plummeted hundreds of feet in large volumes being the monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem. It was a four tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 meters (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 meters (100 feet).
In the night, they had their tents up in a small shed constructed by the Govt. Had their dinner and slept wakening in between on the sound of trains passing and the sound of waterfall roaring!
Next day, luckily they got a train back from Dudhsagar station. Remember, Dudhsagar halt is only a technical halt and many trains do not stop at this station.
ALTERNATIVES TO VISIT DUDHSAGAR FALLS:

Route 2 Trek (Kulem Route)
This is equally scenic but less popular as compared to Route 1 from Castle Rock Railway Station, One has to get down at Kuhlem/Collem Railway station and walk towards the falls which is about 11 km away. It normally takes 4–5 hours for a normal person to reach. The famous photograph of Trains passing through before the waterfalls can be seen in this route, and also the complete stretch of the falls will be visible while you hike towards the waterfalls.

Route 3 (Transport + Hike)
In Kulhem one can hire a 4X4 to reach the foot of the Dudhsagar waterfalls, There is a taxi stand called 'Dudhsagar Taxi stand' where one can hire a vehicle and get dropped near the falls which is 1 km hike from the dropping point. This is used in the post-pre monsoon season and is suitable for groups with kids and ladies.

MORE:
Being one of the most places in Goa, Dudhsagar forms a major sightseeing option on a tour organized by the Goa tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), or any other Private operators. If you want reach the spot by the road then you can take jeep from the railway station of Collem. The roadway is recommended only between January and May when the level of the water permits the jeep to reach the base of the Dudhsagar falls. The interstate bus stand is at Ponda. Buses and taxis are also available from panaji to reach the Dudhsagar falls. 

Courtesy some of the above  images, shot by the railfanning trio of HARISH KUMAR, RAGHUPATHY JAYARAMAN and BEN HUR

1 comment :

  1. good one, it reminded me my college trip to Goa.
    http://pictureimageindia.blogspot.in/2009/12/church-of-st-francis-biggest-church-in.html

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