A trek to DOODH SAGAR between Karnataka and Goa

December 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm 34 comments

Away from the pristine beaches, Gothic churches that unfold the grandiose of erstwhile Portuguese era, not all are aware of Goa’s rich and bounteous flora and fauna. Predominately relegated to lesser  ranks during the rainy season, many tourists debunk places around Goa stating ‘off season’. But for any adventure  freak, the touted ‘off season’ in Goa unfolds a sequence of destinations which would test their endurance on par with any other adventure locations in India.
A beautiful Goa
Gifted with the bounteous wealth of nature, Goa boasts of rich natural vegetation. Sandwiched between the  Arabian sea and lofty Western Ghats, the eastern areas of Goa within the jurisdiction of Sanguem, Ponda, Canacona  are often compared with the tropical forest of Amazon and Cango for their rich biodiversity. The rainy season or the  sidelined ‘off season’ unveils the sylvan beauty of Goan forests. Though not easy to explore, the forest areas with  steep valleys, thick fog and heavy rains sets up a perfect ambiance for the seasoned rain trek for trekkers.

Beginning of the Journey from Kulem Station
Rain trek, even though not as popular as any other packages of Goan tourism, is a refreshing experience to  encounter the wilderness from a close quarter and the cheapest means of enjoying the nature in Goa. Trekking along  the Konkan railway lane cutting might hills and thick vegetation, offers you the guided way to a certain level. Pitch  dark railway tunnels spanning several kilometers, pounding rains all through the trek, chilling weather, unique  wildlife and bewitching beauty of water falls will charge you with an utmost energy level.

Get down at the Sonaleum station
Perched amidst the Bhagwan Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary the Doodh Sagar water falls, which is around 60 kms  from the Goan capital Panaji and 30 kms from Margao. Cascading from a height of 600 ft in three different phases,  the Doodh Sagar falls is said to be the boundary between Karnataka and Goa. Like any other falls in the Southern  plateau, Doodh Sagar too treats you with exquisite charms in its full flux especially during monsoon and post  monsoon. The beauty of the falls, similar to the idyllic Eden basking atop lofty mountain cliffs, appears like a stream  of milk converging deep inside the earth amidst lush green forest from a distance.

Doodh Sagar at its best
Provided with relatively good infrastructure, the falls is well linked by road and rail network. However, for any trekkers,  the rail lane offers a memorable experience. People often trek to the falls in two different routes. A few find it easy to  trek from Madgaon (Goa) side while a few wish to trek from the Castle Rock (Karnataka) the last railway station from Karnataka side.  But trekkers starting from Madgaon will have better advantage over others in capturing the beauty of the falls as they trek parallel to the falls from a distance spanning a few kilometers. Be prepared to save yourself from leeches and sliding hillocks.

A rare chance of seeing a train cutting across the falls
Frequent trains plying between Belgaum and Madgaon will drop you close to the trek route. Starting from  Madgaon side, trekkers begin their ardous trek from the Sonalim station which is around 15 km before the Doodh Sagar station and 10 km before the falls. The  stretch interspersed with railway tunnels, passing by streams, tall trees of evergreen rain forest and heavy rains will  make you run for the cover. Braving the odds till a considerable distance will lead you to makeshift huts of railway  gang men. Hailing from the native hamlets around by, these workers will explain you the ‘folk tale’ which lent the  name ‘Doodh Sagar’ to the falls.

Passing through one of the several tunnels
According to these men, a powerful king lived atop the mountains of Western Ghats along the Goan frontier. His  palace was built with pure ivory and embellished with precious stones and beautiful gardens of exotic flowers.  Towards the end of the forest which marked the boundary of his palace, there was a huge lake used by the princess  for bathing. The princess while bathing had the habit of sipping sugared milk served to her in a golden kettle. Once,  while she was bathing in the lake a prince of the neighbouring kingdom passed by and stopped at the lake after  hearing chuckling voices. Noticing his presence the princess poured the entire milk into the lake to shield her body  from the glances of the stranger! The lake water mixed with the Sugared milk by the humble princess till falling  down as a cascading stream of milk or Doodh Sagar!

From one tunnel to another, still a long way to go
Whether you believe it or not. But the tale by the locals will take you to a different world and thus further enriching   your trek. A few people will also introduce you to medicinal herbs and plants available around. A few species of  aromatic plants and creeps will catch you by surprise. But for nature’s sake do not pluck them but enjoy the aroma  and beauty. Further, an hour trek from the shelters of gang men will bring you right under the falls! But all along the  way whenever the forest canopy opens you to broad daylight, the view of the falls transforms to be a large canvas for  the shutterbugs. Click as much as you want, till your camera card goes full! If you are lucky enough the passing by  trains on the backdrop of falls atop the tall bridge will get you the frame of your life.

On seeing the Daylight after a dark tunnel
But once you reach the falls, keep away all the optical instruments, accessories etc safely wrapped in polythene.  Because your enjoyment and ecstasy should not inflict you with huge losses. Two watch towers one in front of the falls  and another next to the falls will cover you from getting drenched. However, if you are determined to get drenched  then be careful and stand on the tracks while keep your ears open to the chugging sound of train from either side. Get  drenched till you are satisfied. Once you are done with water exercises, sit at a crucial point enjoy the cascading  beauty and unknowingly your mind will be engulfed in the myth you had listened to initially.

Relax in between-A short break from tunnel to tunnel
Though there is no hospitality services around, the station master house at the Doodh Sagar station will offer you  some respite. You will get a few cups of tea and crispy local cookies with which you could ward off the chilling cold  for a while. Catch a train towards either the Castle Rock or Madgaon and board the train without any ticket as the Doodh Sagar station does not have ticketing facility. Travel free of cost upto Kulem towards Goa or Castle Rock towards Belgaum and then buy a ticket. Despite the single conectivity through rail lanes, the popularity of the falls especially during rainy season, has spread across just by the teams of trekkers who visit every year.

Photos: Manjunatha Swamy M and Niranjan Kaggere


Entry filed under: Environment, Karnataka, Photography, Travel, Trekking, Wildlife.

Search for chairs! The second Green Revolution?

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chaitanya Hegde  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Wav! What a scenery! Very nice snaps indeed. I liked it.

  • 2. Shyam  |  January 26, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Awesome!!! what is the right time 2 trekk…… v r planning it in april….is this the right time??

    • 3. Journo  |  January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

      April would be a dry season Shyam. I had gone during the first week of September. It is better if you could plan your trip between July and October.

  • 4. buT!!!  |  January 28, 2009 at 9:54 am

    but is it safe during monsoon??? I mean any kind of of landslide or any other issues ??

    • 5. Journo  |  January 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm

      It is better to avoid during the first month of monsoon. Even when we went, there were incidents of landslide and we were in fact stranded for more than 6 hours at the Kulem station. So it is better to plan between August 15 and September 15.

  • 6. Abhishek  |  July 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Hello Journo,
    Awesome description and pics! Its simply breathtaking. Few of us are planning a trip to Doodh Sagar over the 15th August weekend from Bangalore.
    I need some suggestions from you:
    1.Which is the best route to reach the place from Bangalore? Is it possible to start on a Friday and return by Monday morning (:-) office blues as usual you see!)?
    2.Do we need a guide or is it possible to make it all by ourselves?
    3.Where to stay considering we go from Bangalore?
    4.Finally, you wrote about drenching oneself, is it possible to stand on the bridge for a face-up view of the falls or like any railway bridge you do not have any place to stand on it?

    I came up with helluva questions … hope you won’t mind 🙂

    Thanks so much!

  • 7. Journo !!!p ls help  |  July 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm


    We are plannin to trek this month end.,…we are from bangalore. so the plan is to get down at castle rock and trek towards the falls. Can u please let me know, is there any other closer place where we can start trekking, also what can be done for the accomnodation and food. How to reach madgaon by night. plz….guide me….where to start and how to proceed.


  • 8. Dattaprasad  |  August 6, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Thanks !!! I will definately make it sometime this monsoon or the next one .

    Thanks again for the wonderful insight. Why look for manipulated desktops scenes when we have been gifted in abundance here in our own country ….

  • 9. umesh derebail  |  September 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Well it is a great trekking journal, i enjoyed every bit of it. Hope you will post more travelouges…………read the political battle too at central college not worth commenting Lol

  • 10. Sunny ferns  |  October 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Journo,
    Im on my honeymoon travel to dandeli and we would like to extend the trip to Dudhsagar falls. Travel time is around the 21st of January.
    1) Is it a good time to visit the awesome falls, if yes then will the flow be good
    2) As i mentioned earlier its a honeymoon thing i would like to know of nearby accomodations as i wud not like to travel back to madgaon.
    3) How many days can we spend in and around the falls..

    Thankyou for ur support.

  • 11. mithun  |  March 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

    i was stunned for 2 mins by lookin at these photos

  • 12. anjan  |  March 22, 2010 at 4:41 am

    hey i need the detailed plan to trek in tht place so called doodh sagar…n how fwr it will be from bangalore…. v had trekked to western ghts from sakleshpr to subramanya along rail trek..

    • 13. Prasad  |  June 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm


      I alng with my team plan to go to Doodh Sagar in the second week of July. Could please provide me the details of trek.

      I am from Bangalore and we plan to go there in the weekends.
      Any advice from you would be highly appreciated.

      Thank you

  • 14. surya  |  June 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm


    We are planning for a trek around august 15 Th.which is route is more enjoyable pls suggest.Do we need any guide.waiting 4 ur reply………………..

  • 15. venu  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:04 am

    We are planning to trek from Kulem to Doodh Sagar, Let me know if that is the right place to start. What is the distance between Kulem and Doodh Sagar. Appreciate your info.

    • 16. priyanka  |  August 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

      congrates… enjoy the trip

  • 17. Josh  |  December 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    very interesting, glad i ran into your posting. קידום אתרים

    • 18. Sunil Narayan  |  July 18, 2011 at 6:09 am

      hi srikanth, this is sunil from bangalore, i’m planning to go doodhsagar on 15 aug 11 . can you pls suggest how to go from Bangalore

  • 19. srikanth  |  January 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    it was really amazing

    • 20. subhas nayak  |  July 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks for the guidance and the beautiful pic. Decided to have a trekk to this place.

  • 21. srikanth  |  January 22, 2011 at 9:53 am


  • 22. ashish  |  June 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    i am intrested to visit dudh sagar..,wt a natural beauty..!

  • 23. sachin kalyani  |  June 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Its a very nice foll. Well it is a great trekking journal, i enjoyed every bit of it. Hope you will post more travelouges…………read the political battle too at central college not worth commenting Lol

  • 24. sagar  |  July 7, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Awesome!!! wat a experiance you give man….
    i just imagined by reading this discription…if wen to dudh sagar..
    i think i wil get beautiful experiance….
    i going this month is it….good? in going from hubli…which station to trek to get goog experiance.? pls help

  • 25. sagarika  |  July 25, 2011 at 4:35 am


  • 26. priyanka  |  August 3, 2011 at 4:34 am

    really superb…. once in life time should visit this place

  • 27. Harish Appi  |  November 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

    really a treat to go to doodh sagar….:)

  • 28. RAMESH PANJWANI  |  December 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    planning to go to doodh sagar during january 2012,any suggestions.From mumbai.

  • 29. Sunil Super  |  February 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    will be there soon 😉

  • 30. nayana  |  February 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I must say its really a suprb place to visit… i was so facinated by these pics that i could not wait.finally i made to it last week dated 1-2-2012.. such a wonderful feeling i had when i saw d place well infrnt of ma eyes.. but i went at d base of d falls. stil it was total fun….

  • 31. Anand  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

    How to reach Doodh sagar from bangalore……..Bangalore to Belgaum city from there you must go by train to see the same place if you take bus or car you need to have local guide.

    Enjoy week end …

  • 32. champaklal  |  May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm


  • 33. Raghu  |  July 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Vr about to plan this week n How should v go by bus o train n Frm whr v gotta start our trekking till falls ? Is dis da right time to Trek?

    Please Let me know about all the details pls??

  • 34. krishna  |  July 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I have a question. I was travelling int he vasco-velankanni express last Monday, and got the lucky chnace to watch dudhsagar from train. I took a photo. Now, looking at the photo, i realize that my photo shows a bridge and dudhsagar on the other side of the bridge, and also flowing under the bridge.

    My question is: which is this bridge? Did my train circle around and go on this bridge? If it did, I could have very well missed it, because I would have been looking out from the same side window all the time …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

December 2008
« Nov   Jan »

Blog Stats

  • 44,346 hits

%d bloggers like this: