September 9, 2012

Dudhsagar TreK, With Goa Under Monsoon Onslaught !!!!!


"With a puny torch to fight against the ever-conquering darkness surrounding us, we traverse the pitch black railway tunnel no.7. With alert ears to hear any trains approaching the tunnel so that we don't become a mongrel killed and splattered by the behemoth train, having endured one such hair raising experience a couple of hrs back in a tunnel similar to this. The ears are the only functional navigational system in these tunnels , but the strong howling winds blowing through the tunnels is not making matters better. The feet is aching beyond limits thanks to walking 14 kms on those loose stones covering the railway track. We had just crossed the Dudhsagar Railway station and supposedly are very close to the elusive Dudhsagar falls. The eerie sound of the howling wind is broken every now and then by water seeping through the tunnel roof and  falling on our already rain drenched body. We still push on with our body because we know the end is near. The tunnel ends and within a couple of moments later we hear a mighty roar. Is that a train ????!!!! Not sure about it we approach it cautiously. And BEHOLD !!!!!!, we get the first view of the majestic Dudhsagar Falls flowing in its full glory. Being the 5th tallest falls in India, falling from the height of 310 mts (taller than Jog falls), this was not one of those to be taken lightly. As we approach near the falls ,the might of the falls is displayed in the separate ecosystem it has created in its immediate surroundings which included constant mist and rain. We stand in the middle of railway bridge built during the British era and get splattered by the rain drops within no time. Awestruck we cant keep our eyes off the fantabulous DUDHSAGAR" . This is how the highlight of the monsoon trip to Goa can be described in one breath.

Blore to Londa - Rani Chennamma Exp

Boohoo, back to school in such weather :'(



















With my quarter break and PPR's last week in India we had plans of going for one last trip, so that Ppr's journey in India would end with a bang , and what better than a trip to Goa. But the season was wrong according to conservatives, citing the monsoons resulting in comparatively lesser crowd. But we were not one of those to be deterred and planned a monsoon trek to Dudhsagar Falls along with the trip. Planning started some time before and at one time we were having close to 14-15 individuals interested to come, but we cited  logistic problems and turned down a lot of them. In the end after a lot of additions and deletions we had 11 guys (Naga,PPR, Praveen, Harsha, Vikas, Sandeep, Manju, Umesh, Ranjan, Ravi and Myself). This was 3rd trip to Goa, but my first in monsoons which was a totally different experience.

@Castlerock: The starting point of the trek




The day of departure on Aug 31 arrived and even here in B'lore it was raining cats and dogs. Had a close call , almost missing the train (Rani Chenamma Express) after somehow making it just in time to catch it. The overnight journey was event-less and we landed in the Londa junction at around 7.30 am the next day. We had 1 hr before the Chennai-Vasco would arrive and take us to Castlerock, the starting point of the trek. Had our breakfast and by this time Ppr was feeling feverish and he decided to take a train directly to Dudhsagar falls from Londa in the same train and get down at Dudhsagar falls. Ravi decided to accompany Ppr and the remaining 9 of us decided to trek the 14 kms to the falls. By this time it had started to rain and this continued relentlessly for the entire duration of the trek, sans some breaks in between. Boarded the train to Castlerock which was late by around an hour and after a 1 hr journey we landed in Castlerock station. The Castlerock station was buzzing with trekkers all prepared to go to the Dudhsagar falls either by walk or a taking a ride till the Dudhsagar Station. Hence started our trek along the railway track. As expected the color green was the most dominant color one could see in any direction one looked at. There are a total of 7 train tunnels(of considerable length) to be covered before one gets to reach the falls. It was raining at regular intervals. One common question I came across were "Wasn't there shit on the track ????" considering the Indian railways is worlds largest open toilet .....and the answer to that is "Yup they were ... but too few and too far for anyone to gross out".


Entering Goa



















Soon enough the route was engulfed in mist and we encountered the first train on the track. It was a magical experience with the headlamps of the train piercing through the mist filled surrounding as if a fire demon breathing fire. Soon enough our first tunnel came into view. This was around 200 m long and we had fun traversing through it. Then came the second, which was the longest at around 450m and almost halfway through the tunnel , heard a trains horn and then it dawned on me that I was cornered by this fire demon in the dark, wet and dirty dungeon. I was alone at the moment with Harsha and Manju almost 100 m behind me. Directly went to the wall of the tunnel, checked the ground for any slithering reptiles and then held my body against the wall. Slowly the train entered the tunnel, lights blazing and with the shrill horn. Initially I was nervous since I couldn't make out whether I had sufficient gap, bcoz of the fact that I couldn't see outline of the train in the darkness thanks to all the glare from the trains headlight. Soon enough the train passed me with almost 50-60cm between me and the train, and the vibration and the sound inside the tunnel was amplified to such a magnitude that you start fearing for your life. Almost halfway when this long goods train passed me I could see light entering the end of the tunnel, but suddenly I couldn't see it no more. "F**K !!!!! F**K !!!!! F**K !!!!!", I swore, instantly assuming that whatever was entering the tunnel was too big and I would be hit surely by this extra large load. Panicking, I waited for the inevitable, but soon enough the end came which was nothing but the huge black smoke generated by the rear engines :P which in-turn had blocked the light. Thoroughly blackened up by this smoke and shaken up I exited the tunnel :).

  {Me Cornered by the train in a tunnel}




At 7 km mark from Castlerock is the Caranzol station. From here its another 7 kms to Dudhsagar falls. We encountered a lot of mini falls and had some great views of the Braganza ghats. Soon enough reached the Dudhsagar station , which had some eatables on sale provided by some clever entrepreneur cashing on the sudden surge of trekkers to this place. At this point a tunnel separates the falls and the station. Soon enough we were in-front of the majestic waterfalls. By this time PPR and Ravi had stopped at the falls for 1.5 hrs and had left for Kulem in a goods train. Me and Harsha decided to hike further almost a km towards Kulem to get full view of the falls and so did we. The weather now was clear and the view was AWESOME.

[Dudhsagar Falls - Up Close and Personal]


Hole in the tunnel :P



Zoom to the railway bridge over the Dudhsagar falls




Spent some time in here and it was time to return back. Initial plan was to hitch a ride till Kulem in some goods/passenger train, but when we reached the station the Railway Police were not allowing trekkers on goods trains citing security and there was just one train on that day which was moving back to Castlerock. Having no option we waited for that train. Since Dudhsagar is not an official passenger stop for trains, there are no tickets issued. After waiting impatiently for an hour and half the train finally arrived. The train approached with great speed and we assumed that this is not gonna stop in here, but finally thanks to our luck the train did stopped. Else there is no other means of getting to this place other than on foot. And nearly 50-60 trekkers jumped on the train and non of them had any tickets :P. Traveled ticket-less till Londa junction which was an adventure in itself since this being the first time :).



[Full view of the falls]
Fire Demon Approaching :)
Reached Londa, took a cab to Mullem and from here booked another taxi to take us all the way to our booked accommodation near Baga beach. Ppr and Ravi had already reached the place. We reached Baga beach area at around midnight and were surprisingly caught up in a traffic jam , thanks to the proximity of the Tito's disco nearby. Got to see some gorgeous girls (Indian, not much foreigners in this season) in some jaw dropping outfits going towards the disco. We on the other hand were not interested to pay huge bucks to get a stag entry into Tito's. Reached our accommodation "Villa Emmanuel", which is right beside the Baga beach. Retired soon enough for the day since we were tired to the core.

Totally Deserted Senquerim Beach























Waiting for the catch


Aguoda Fort


Baga Beach At Night


The next 2 days we were to enjoy sightseeing in Goa and "just chill". We hired activa scooters for 175/day, the dealers of which are found in plenty. We covered places like Aguda fort, Sinquerim Beach (which was totally deserted) in the first half of the day and Ppr surprised us all by booking a ticket back to Bangalore citing his bad health (which I found to be highly suspicious :P ), cutting short his trip. Played in the Baga Beach in the evening sun. After nightfall went to Calangute beach to just chill out by the beach side and by midnight again went to Baga beach which was teaming with activity even at this unearthly hour.



Shootouts

Group Snap - Ppr


DCH Spot
View From The Spot
The next day we went to Vagator beach and Chapora fort. Enroute had breakfast at some pure vegetarian restaurant where normal south Indian dishes were served after a gap of 1.5 hr. It was pretty much the same story in all the vegetarian restaurants we went to. We would be the only customers in there and once we place our order the food preparation starts from scratch. Atleast we were content that we were getting fresh food. To reach the Chapora fort one has to take a mini-hike of around 15 mins. The sea-facing fort made famous by the movie Dil Chahta Hai provides some awesome views. Had a lot of snaps with shirt and without shirts :P. Next destination was Anjuna beach and after spending some time in here it was curtains on the Goa trip. Returned back to our accommodation returned our bikes, took a bus to Panjim bus stand and from Panjim bus stand took multi-axle Volvo (leg space is still as bad as the normal Volvos :( ) back to Bangalore and reached here at around 7.30 am the next day.


Anjuna Beach
This was a unique trek for me since I had never trekked on a railway track dotted with dark tunnels and surrounded by absolute greenery. Finally in this way the last trip with PPR ended (incompletely of-course). Our ''x-cel" man  has been a constant companion in our travels across India for the past 4 years, from the more tame sightseeing trips to the totally outrageous "Balls to the Wall" trips. All the best to you maga and we will miss you. Just remember we have a pact for Manasarovar trek sometime down the line :).

Trek Details --->
Total Trek Distance--> 14 + 2 kms
Difficulty Level --->Moderate (thanks to the path of loose stones, else the gradient is not an issue)
Total Cost Per Head --> 3k (inclusive of transportation, food and stay)

Accomodation details ------>  http://villaemmanuel.co.nr/

Snaps Link ------>
https://picasaweb.google.com/112114250378515450499/DudhsagarTrekGoa
https://picasaweb.google.com/104803450757964777769/Doodhsagar#
https://picasaweb.google.com/100919899222671268664/DudhsagarTrekAndGoa#



30 comments:

  1. Hahaha. We also lived most of those moments in our DS Falls trek recenctly.. except of course the rains.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Balls to the wall" have happened quite a few times alva ... :)
    Its been 4 fun-trek and ride years... le... will be back and YOU dont forget the manasarovar deal and end up going with new trek partners... :P

    BTW this time the opening para rocked...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lets c who will remember and who will forget... :)
      Btw thnks.. tried to change my style of narration atleast the opening para..kinda like a novel :)

      Delete
  3. Hey, its good post,,
    I was looking fr info regarding doodhsagar and it helped me.
    One more query, Whats the trek time ???,,can u send me the details to girishms@live.com
    Me and my frns are going to goa on 28th to 2nd oct, thought to cover doodhsagar.
    It would be good if u pass me ur mob num.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thnks.... doodhsagar trek will approximately take around 4-5 hrs.

      Delete
  4. Hi Nithin !!



    Awseome post Bro!!! I would like to know some more information.

    Is there any alternate option to reach Castle Rock or Qulem from Dudhsagar?
    Is it safe to dive in Dudhsagar?
    Any Fees/Permits for the trek?

    ReplyDelete
  5. thnks buddy :)

    In monsoon there are just 2 options, either train or trek
    During the dry season one can hire 4x4 jeeps from Kulem (i guess)to the base of the falls.
    I found it very scary to take a dip during the monsoons, probably it might be comparatively better in dry season, but do use ur discretion. and Finally no permission required if ur trekking along the track.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nithin!!!

      That’s a value added point :-)

      Delete
  6. hi nithin i am planning to visit dudhsagar falls on 25th dec 2012.. my train will arrive kulem station at 9am. so is there any permission required for trekking.. should v pay any amount for getting any kind of permission. v r friends of 5.. so is it safe?

    ReplyDelete
  7. no permission required anywhere during the trek..,.. the railway staff are infact helpful with all the info... and regarding safety, if u use ur common sense and trek carefully, wouldn be a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This one is awesome.... and this place is definitly on my bucket list now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thnks swetha... this must be tried exclusively during monsoons for the jaw-dropping scenery

      Delete
  9. In some of the photos online i saw a small building just by the side of the waterfalls is it possible to stay there overnight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there are a couple of viewing gallery like places around the falls... can be used as shelter for overnight stay... in fact when we were there were a lot of fellow trekkers pitching tents for d overnight stay.

      Delete
    2. ok, and yea i use a DSLR so what kind of lens would you recommend me to carry.Is 16-35mm canon good enough?
      thanks in advance :D

      Delete
    3. i am not exactly a DSLR photographer... so no suggestions in tat department :P...

      Delete
  10. HI Nitin, ur experience was awesome. We plan to visit DS falls on 15th aug 2013. How many hrs will it take to get to the falls from Kulem? And what other means are there to get to Goa from Kulem (other than hitching a ride on a freight train)
    Thanx pal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thnks :).... as far as I know the trek from Kulem to DS falls also takes almost 4-5 hrs... since I have not done it I dont know for sure... there are some shuttle trains running between Kulem and Margoa/Madgaon.... so tat is one option(last train is at around 5~6 pm i guess... pls check the timings from the IR website.)... also there is a taxi stand... so u have a much more expensive option :)

      Delete
  11. Hi Nitin,

    Is there any restriction on using DSLR camera or any fee for the DSLR usage?

    ReplyDelete
  12. thank you for ur info abt fall

    we are planing to visit fall in month of aug 2015 between 12 to 18 aug 2015 but recently we hear that dudhsagar going to close due to rain n all so is there is any restriction or police to stop us to reach fall bcoz we dnt want to go bottom of fall we just want to reach fall by track or rail

    pl pls help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far there was no restriction. But I read this article recently, so I wouldnt be surprised if some restrictions are put into place

      http://www.bangaloremirror.com/news/state/As-trains-snake-past-Dudhsagar-Falls-fatalities-begin-to-mount/articleshow/48075143.cms

      Delete
  13. Thank you
    From same article i ask my previous question to u
    but we actually dont want to walk two time to rech falls bcoz we are going to londa by mumbai n den towards castle rock den to falls n den kulem n den goa
    we want one time train to reach fall , i heard abt amravathi express which stop at sonalium but its departure time at londa recently 3 to 4 hrs late
    so pls suggest us what to do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ... According to latest updates trekking along the tracks has been banned by the railway officials. So do plan accordingly.

      Delete
  14. Hi,
    Me and My Friends are planning to Trek Dudhsagar on 29th Aug 2015.
    Is trekking along the tracks has been banned by the railway officials??
    or still we can access dudhsagar??
    Can we get any train from sonalium to Kulem or CastleRock before 4PM? any idea?
    Which route is best to trek? Kulem to Dudhsagar or Castlerock to Dudhsagar?? Please suggest.Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My visit to Dudhsagar waterfalls – Goa
    http://girishpalkartravel.blogspot.in/2015/02/dudhsagar-waterfalls-goa.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi
    I am planning to visit Goa in the early April is it good time to visit at this time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Early april might be hot and not much of water flow in the dudhsagar falls.

      Delete
  17. hi iam planning for dudhasar falls by drive

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...