|दूधसागर जलप्रपात ದೂಧ್ಸಾಗರ್ ಜಲಪಾತ|
Dudhsagar Waterfalls in March 2010
|Total height||310 metres (1017 feet)|
|Number of drops||4|
Dudhsagar Falls (literally Sea of Milk ) is a tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa on Goa's border with Karnataka state. It is four-tiered. It is 60 km from Panaji city by road and 46 km from Madgaon railway junction by train and 60 km from Belgaum by train and 55 km from Belgaum by road.
Etymolgy and Legend
As the cascading waters appear white like milk, the waterfall is called Dudhsagar, Doodh being the Hindi word for milk.
Legend has it that a beautiful princess lived in the forest (near present day Dudhsagar Falls) in 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. It is said that it is that sweetened milk that cascades down the mountain slope as Dudhsagar Falls to this day as a tribute to the virtue and modesty of the princess.
Location and surrounding
The waterfall is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa in the western ghats. The waterfall is on the border of Karnataka and Goa states. The roads leading to it are maintained by the Goa Forest Department. A small resthouse is maintained in the forest by the Karnataka Forest Department and is the only place to stay there. Roads are closed in the rainy season from June to September as fast flowing streams cross the roads and make them dangerous to drive. The roads are again opened in the month of October. At the base of the waterfall, there is a small pond. One can bathe in it only during non-rainy days, that too at one's own risk. However, such a risk is not advisable. There are fish in the pond, the water is very cold and the pond is slippery.
The surrounding area is surrounded by a deciduous forest and many species of birds, insects, plants and animal abound here.
Dudhsagar is one of the world's most exquisite falls. It lies 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 fifth tallest waterfall and is 227th in the world at 310 m.  The water plummets hundreds of metres (over a thousand feet) in large volumes during the rainy monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem. It is a four-tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet).
How to reach
The Waterfall can be reached both by road and rail. It can be reached by road from Panaji or Madgaon by National Highway NH4A and by train from Madgaon railway junction or Londa railway junction. There is a railway station called Dudhsagar Falls (station code DWF or DDS) where trains stop for a minute or so for technical reason (to test brakes while going downhill) but no tickets are issued to or from this station and it is not a commercial halt for trains. The next railway station is Collem (Kulem) on Madgaon-Castle Rock-Londa track, 13 km from the Falls. The railway route for reaching the falls from Goa is Madgaon-Collem- Dudhsagar Falls. One can reach the falls from Collem railway station by a much shorter 6 km long road. The other route is from Carambolim (Karmali Railway Station of Konkan Railways. The route is Carambolim-Old Goa-Ponda-Tiska-Mollem (total 50 km) - Dudhsagar Falls.
Ordinary cars are not suitable for the drive to the Falls and within the forest sanctuary. One should use a four-wheel drive vehicle (SUV) as the road is a jungle track that has fast-flowing streams criss-crossing it at several points. The motorable track stops a kilometre before the Falls and one has to walk 1 km crossing over small paths carved through the rocks at the foot of the Falls.
The Falls can be reached by train from Karnataka state from Londa railway junction on Hubli-Madgaon-Vasco da Gama route. One can get down at Castle Rock station or Collem station and reach the Falls by road. However, one can get down at Dudhsagar Falls railway station itself (station code DWF or DDS) that lies between Castle Rock and Collem and walk the short distance to the falls. Then one can come back to the same station and take a freight train by requesting the guard and taking his permission. All the trains including freight (goods) trains stop at Dudhsagar Falls railway station while going towards Madgaon (but not while going in the reverse direction).
Trekking in Dudhsagar is a famous tourist attraction. There are two abandoned shelters for the refuge of trekkers (left to the falls and right side beside the railway track). They are available on first-come-first-served basis. Medical and pure drinking water facilities are not available around Dudhsagar but one can approach the station master at Dudhsagar Falls railway station in emergency. There are 4 possible trek 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 to reach. The route passes through a number of railway tunnels, a board reading "Welcome to Goa" and offers a great view of the Valley. One has to be careful of trains while walking along the railway track.
- Route 2 (Kulem Route)
This is equally scenic but less popular as compared to Route 1. One has to get down at Kulem (Collem) railway station(Station Code: QLM) and walk towards the falls which is about 11 km away. It normally takes 4–5 hours 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 is visible while hiking towards the waterfalls.
- Route 3 (Transport + Hike)
In Kulhem one can hire a 4X4 SUV to reach the foot of Dudhsagar waterfalls. There is a taxi stand called 'Dudhsagar Taxi stand' where one can hire a vehicle and get down near the falls which is just 1 km hike away. This is suitable for large groups with kids and ladies but it cannot be used during monsoon season.
- Route 4 (Kuveshi-Dudhsagar)
This is the most adventurous route and cannot be attempted in monsoon since one has 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 route, one can reach Dudhsagar Railway station which is 1 km from the falls.
- "World's highest waterfalls". World Waterfall Database. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
- "Dudhsagar Falls – World Waterfall Database: World's Tallest Waterfalls". www.world-waterfalls.com. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
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