Dudhsagar Falls (दुधसागर धबधबा in Marathi; ದೂದಸಾಗರ್ ಜಲಪಾತ in Kannada; English translation: Sea of Milk ) is a tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the state of Goa, India, on Goa's border with the state of Karnataka. It is 60 km from Panaji.
Legend has it that a beautiful princess lived in the forest (near present day, Dudhsagar Falls) where there was then a palace. She loved and enjoyed bathing in a lake nearby and used to drink "sweetened milk" from her "Golden Jug" after finishing with her bath. One day while enjoying her jug of milk she found herself being watched by a prince, who was standing amongst the trees. Red with embarrassment at her inadequate bathing attire, she poured the jug of milk in front of him to form an improvised curtain to hide her body, while the maids rushed to cover her with her dress.
And it is said that, it is that sweetened milk that cascades down the mountain slope to this day as tribute to the virtue and modesty of the Princess, as the "Dudhsagar Falls".
Location and surounding
The falls is in the border of Karnataka and Goa and the roads leading to it are maintained by the Goa Forest Department, and are closed in the rainy season. The roads are again opened from the month of October. At its base, there is a small pond. One can bath but in their own risk. There are also fishes in the pond and the water is very cold, even in the afternoon. The Waterfall is located inside the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa along the western Ghats.
The surrounding area is surrounded by a deciduous forest and there are many species of birds, insects, plants and animal abound here.
Dudhsagar is one of the world's most exquisite falls that lies in India.The falls lie high up in the Mandovi River's watershed and so are not particularly spectacular during the dry season. During the monsoon season however, the falls are transformed into one of the most powerful falls in India.
Dudhsagar Falls is listed as India's 5th tallest waterfall,and is 227th in the world at 310 m.The water plummets hundreds of feet in large volumes during the monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem.This is a four tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet).
The Water Fall can be reached both by road and rail. It can be reached by road from the National Highway (NH-4A). The nearest Station to the falls is Collem (Kuhlem) (South Central Railway). The route for rail to reach the falls from Goa is Collem - Mollem (6 km) - Dudhsagar Falls. The another route is from Carambolim (Karmali Railway Station - Konkan Railways). The route is Carambolim - Old Goa - Ponda - Tiska- Mollem (total 50 km) - Dudhsagar Falls.
But entering the park and mountains which lead to the falls is not advisable in a normal car, and may only be accessible to SUV's and 4WD jeeps, as the road comprises a jungle track that has rivers criss crossing it at several points. The driver drops one just near the falls from where one may have to walk 1 kilometre ahead, crossing over small ways carved through the rocks at the foot of the falls. This waterfalls lies on the Londa-Margaon railway route.
The falls is in the border of Karnataka and Goa and the roads are maintained by the Goa Forest Department, and are closed in the rainy season. The roads are again opened from the month of October. The train route to reach the falls from Karnataka is as follows:
Trekking in Dudhsagar is a famous tourist attraction. There are 2 abandoned shelters for the refuge of trekkers (left to the falls and right side beside the railway track) however they are available on the first come first serve basis. Medical and pure drinking water facilities are not available around Dudhsagar but one can approch the station guard at Dudhsagar railway station in emergency. There are 4 possible routes to reach Dudhsagar Falls, of which only two are accessible in monsoon.
- Route 1 (Castle Rock Route)
This is the most famous route during the monsoon, Reach Castle Rock station and start a Scenic 14 km hike to Dudhsagar Water falls along the railway track, it normally takes 5–6 hours for a normal person to reach.In this route we will be passing through a number of tunnels, a board reading "Welcome to Goa" and also great views of the Valley.
- Route 2 (Kulem Route)
This is equally scenic but less popular as compared to Route 1, 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 strecth 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 large groups with kids and ladies.
- Route 4 (Kuveshi-Dudhsagar)
This is the most adventurous route and cannot be attempted in monsoon since we have to cross Mondovi river during the hike. The hike starts from a village called Kuveshi around 10 km from Castle Rock railway station. The hike is through thick jungle and is difficult to complete without experience. By this we can reach Dudhsagar Railway station which is 1 km from the falls.