Dudhsagar Trek In Monsoon – A Complete Guide On What To Expect
Category : India
Considering that I make it to Goa almost every year, it’s a shame that I’ve never witnessed the mighty Dudhsagar waterfalls. My will and my work got me to Goa in the rainy season of July when it rains EVERY single day. I knew there is no way I could escape rain for 12 whole days so instead, I had to embrace it come what may.
Motivated by the fact that the Dudhsagar falls is in its full flow during monsoons, I planned a visit to the falls. There was not much information available online except that the falls look beautiful in monsoons and several other blogs which weren’t that useful. I asked a few locals about how to reach Dudhsagar falls but all I got was ‘it is closed during monsoons, you can’t go there’ which is NOT TRUE!
Due to late hours, I could not manage to see the falls the first time. Yes, I went there twice! This might be getting a little vague so let’s go question by question. I’m putting questions the way I ask them.
WHAT’S IN HERE FOR ME?
Everything you need to know about the Dudhsagar trek in July. If you’re looking for train schedules to Dudhsagar or information about jeep safaris/guides taking you on motorbikes, then I’ve got nothing in here for you. Apologies! However, the point to note is that jeep safari is shut in monsoons, and half of the charm of the mighty falls lies in the trek. (in my opinion)
Dudhsagar is accessible from Goa and Karnataka. This article only has information on how to reach Dudhsagar from Goa NOT Karnataka. Keep reading to know how to reach Dudhsagar from Goa side.
HOW TO REACH TILL THE STARTING POINT OF THE TREK?
The starting point of the trek is Kulem Railway Station. The distance from both North and South Goa is around 80 km. The distance from Madgaon is around 40 km.
The best way to reach Kulem is self-drive – by car or two-wheeler. The route is smooth, safe, and absolutely beautiful. Saying this after traveling on both the routes. (from North Goa and South Goa) Don’t hesitate going that far on a scooty. I don’t know what is the deal but the landscape appears even more attractive on a two-wheeler! 😀 Don’t forget to put on a raincoat! Although you’ll still get wet but save yourself as much as you can. You can park the vehicle at the station parking.
Trains do operate from Madgaon to Kulem but there’s no chance you’d get it on IRCTC. Those are local trains and the only way to book is to go to the station yourself and buy the tickets.
DO I NEED TO HIRE A GUIDE?
Ah! Sadly, yes. I don’t think I could have made it to the falls without a guide. It is a 10 km trek on the railway tracks and through the forests, and there’s no way you could know the routes unless you’re a local or probably god! 😛 If you think google maps can help, you’re wrong. It’s NOT that easy! Also, the railway track is operational. Trains pass through the track after short intervals which is when you need to step off the track. So, yeah! Guide is very much needed to tell you when is the train coming.
As soon as you reach Kulem, the guides will find you right outside the station. They charge INR 400-500 per person for the whole journey.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TREK AND COME BACK THE SAME DAY?
Yes! The trek is for 10 km which took me around 2.5 hours to complete. I don’t consider myself fit at all plus it wasn’t a steep trek. So, fairly easy! On the way back, our guide made us trespass into a malgadi (a boxcar) reducing the time to 1 hour for the whole journey back to Kulem.
AT WHAT TIME SHOULD I REACH KULEM?
By 0930 hrs maximum if you want to finish the trek by 1430 or 1500 hrs. The story behind why I had to visit Kulem two times is because the first time I went there I reached at 1300 hrs. We didn’t want to trek for 10 km as we had bags full of equipment like camera, lens, etc. The only option we were left with was to take a train from Kulem at 1630 hrs and come back by train at 2000 hrs which the guides claimed is not even certain will operate or not.
So, make sure to leave Goa by 0700 or maximum by 0730. The early, the better!
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TREK?
1. 10 km of sheer beauty.
2. 6 km walking on railway tracks. Basically, 6 km facing down because it’s impossible to walk on tracks looking straight. That might seem useless a tip but really my neck still hurts thinking about it!
3. Passing through tunnels devoid of any light.
4. 4 km of trudging through a dense forest on a sticky mud. It could suck me in, I swear!
5. Passing through rough streams of water in the forest.
6. Dirty and wet clothes. Even my dry cleaner could not take the stains out!
7. Dudhsagar Temple.
9. Nothing to eat. Nothing at all. No restaurant, dhaba or thela! I loved this, though. The route is kept the way it is. However, the priest of the Dudhsagar Temple might serve a cup of chai with biscuits on the way.
10. A lonely route which will make you feel unsafe at times, but really it’s fine!
11. As it rains almost all the time, carrying food is quite a task. AND IF YOU DO, I BEG YOU TO PLEASE KEEP THE PLACE THE WAY YOU SAW IT. NO LITTERING EVER, ANYWHERE. My advice would be to have a light meal before the trek.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE TREK?
A sight to behold!
You trek only till the Dudhsagar viewpoint and I CAN’T EXPLAIN IN WORDS THE BEAUTY OF THAT VIEW. Ironical, because it’s my job to express it into words but I CAN’T. Its first glimpse can make you go speechless!
You can have a full view of the falls and if you’re lucky you can spot the train passing through the falls. It is an out-of-the-world sight! The falls stand true to its name, Dudhsagar – it’s white as milk.
Avoid visiting Dudhsagar falls in monsoons if you wish to take bath in falls pit area. It is closed in the rainy season and not advisable to go.
HOW TO GO BACK?
Either walk back on the same path or crash into a malgadi illegally. That can only happen with the help of a guide as he knows the timings and the way to break into the boxcar. It is one of the things I never thought is on my bucketlist until I did it. Buhaha!
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS TO CARRY?
Here is a list of things you must carry for the Dudhsagar trek in monsoon to ensure a smooth 10 km walk.
1. Get rid of the ‘rain is getting on my nerves’ attitude. That is number one essential you must carry. The rain makes this journey all the more thrilling.
2. Raincoat – buy it before you embark on this whole journey from Goa to Dudhsagar. You won’t get it anywhere on the way or in Kulem. It is easily available in north, south, Panjim or Madgaon for INR 100.
3. Umbrella – if you’re carrying a camera/tripod with you.
4. Plastic zip pouch – to keep your phone and money covered. Whenever I had to travel on scooty, I used the transparent plastic zip lock pouch bags that I got from shopping online. Turn on the navigation and put it in the pouch with a battery bank, you’re all set to go! You can purchase these tiny plastic zip pouches online, too. However I will always advice you to reuse the ones you have at home or find anywhere stranded here and there. 😀
5. And needless to say, wear sports shoes and comfortable clothes.
This going to be one of the most thrilling treks of your life, I shapat!
Disclaimer: This article is my experience of the Dudhsagar trek in the month of July, 2018. Things might change in the other months – routes can be closed by the police, less water during the summer months (before monsoon) , and so on. Certain things like breaking into the boxcar is illegal, and is at ones own risk. If you get caught, you will have to pay the fine. This blog or the owner of the blog will nowhere be responsible whatsoever for anything that happens to you on the trip. I’ve written this post to share with you all the information I could about the monsoon trek. Safe travels!