Majestic Dudhsagar waterfalls and magic of Castle Rock

Dudhsagar waterfalls is opened since 13th October 2017

Update: Every year, the rules about letting people walk through the railway tracks change. Find out the current scenario before you plan to use this route. Even if the railway tracks are off-limits, you can still make an equally adventurous trip to the Dudhsagar waterfalls. Read on, to find out how.

Dudhsagar waterfalls

A visit to the Dudhsagar waterfalls should not end with just a visit to the waterfalls. Because further ahead is Castle Rock, a town that looks like it’s emerged straight out of a storybook. Where goods trains are the most common mode of transport. And the locals seem unaware of the hidden gems their town (hamlet, really!) has to offer.

But first up, the thunderous cascading star of the visit – the Dudhsagar waterfalls. A picture speaks a thousand words. But even a thousand pictures fall short of what hit us when we first laid our eyes on these waterfalls.

Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of Goa and Karnataka in India are four tiered waterfalls resembling a cascading fall of milk.

The Dudhsagar waterfalls (Dudh: milk, Sagar: sea) are located in the middle of a forest on the Goa-Karnataka border. It is a four-tiered waterfall with different ways to reach each level. The bottom of the waterfall is accessible through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest department runs a 4WD service through the sanctuary up to the foot of the Dudhsagar waterfalls. This service is closed during monsoon and opens up around mid October.

Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of Goa and Karnataka in India are four tiered waterfalls resembling a cascading fall of milk.

How did we get to the Dudhsagar waterfalls?

Another, more popular approach is to the middle of the Dudhsagar waterfalls, through the railway tracks. We travelled in a passenger train from Madgaon in Goa to Kulem. At Kulem, we boarded a goods train. Some local guys agreed to be our guides and fixed us up with the motorman of the train that was leaving soon.

The platform at the railings of a goods train on which we traveled to Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of Goa and Karnataka.

We stood on the edge holding onto the railing outside the engine of the goods train. Travelling up the steep Braganza pass on the seamless tracks through a lush green forest in a rhythmic motion, with the wind in our faces, we felt one with nature!

Braganza ghat on teh way to teh Dudhsagar waterfalls

The railway tracks trace a horseshoe (U) over the valley approaching the Dudhsagar waterfalls. The first glimpse of the falls is, hence, from across the valley. Our guide knew the exact point at which we would see the waterfalls. When the train got there, he started shouting “camera ready, viewpoint, viewpoint”.

Standing outside the engine of a goods train as it passed through the dense forest on the way to Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of Goa and Karnataka in India.

We got the cameras all ready. The train slowly (and extremely steadily) approached the viewpoint – and we froze. We just couldn’t take our eyes off the majestic Dudhsagar waterfalls. At that moment, we couldn’t care about the camera, the photograph, the viewpoint or anything else.

A tree stands leafless in the spray of the Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of Goa and Karnataka in India.

The Dudhsagar waterfalls, even from that far across the valley, had hypnotised us.

The milk like water of the Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of the states Goa and Karnataka in India.

From a distance, it looks like the area around the Dudhsagar waterfalls is covered in clouds. It is actually just the spray from the waterfalls. Its momentum is so strong, it actually crosses over to the other side of the railway tracks. We had to put our camera away to prevent it from being sprayed over.

The milk like water of the Dudhsagar waterfall on the border of the states Goa and Karnataka in India.

Another experience on our trip to the Dudhsagar waterfalls, was getting to walk on railway tracks. We walked up to a place called Sonalium, a station so tiny, it didn’t have a ticket counter or a platform! Just a board letting us know its existence.

Tunnels on teh railway travcks on the way to the Ddudhsagar waterfalls

It was fun walking through this section of the railway tracks in the middle of the forest through numerous tunnels. We had to be mindful the whole while of the sound of any approaching train.

Castle Rock

Further ahead of Dudhsagar is a town called Castle Rock. The name was inviting enough and a 30-40 minute train ride ahead got us there. When we got off the train at Castle Rock, the station master there was surprised. He assumed we were there by mistake. He vehemently insisted there was nothing to see in Castle Rock and asked us to leave for Dudhsagar waterfalls!

Castle Rock railway station in Karnataka, ahead of the Dudhsagar waterfalls

It was a sleepy little hill town. The Castle Rock station seemed to be the only reason the town existed. All the infrastructure belonged to the Indian Railways and being a Sunday, everything was shut. Apart from these railway buildings, the place is a small village. Families keep poultry at homes and they cook in wood fired stoves.

castle Rock Adventure Camp

It felt like we were part of a story, wandering around in a magical land in search of treasure. And sure enough, we found one, in the form of a board saying “Castle Rock Adventure Camp” run by the Karnataka government. “Discover a new trail every time” was their charming tagline!

We followed the tree-lined misty trail. It eventually led us to the fully functional campsite – that apparently no one knew about!

castle_rock_cabin

There were a couple of cabins for stay, each equipped with 12 bunk beds. The outdoor seating and dining arrangements were at the perfect vantage points. We even met the trained staff, who took care of food and security.

On that cold misty afternoon, it looked really picturesque. Had we known of this place earlier, we would have definitely planned to stay here for a night.

castle_rock_bench

Dudhsagar waterfalls are a perfect getaway for a short holiday from Mumbai or Pune. The not-so-easy approach makes it sufficiently offbeat. Closeness to nature, a sense of adventure and a touch of magic – a visit to Dudhsagar and Castle Rock has it all.

Trains that go to the Dudhsagar waterfalls

To find out about the trains that go to the Dudhsagar waterfalls either log onto the official Indian Railways reservation website or use this extremely informative website maintained by the fans of the Indian Railways. Dduhsagar waterfalls is not an official station, passenger trains do not halt at the Dudhsagar station.

Tips on visiting Dudhsagar and Castle Rock

  • A passenger train leaves every morning from Madgaon, Goa for Kulem. From Kulem, get on a goods train (request the motorman) and jump off the train at Dudhsagar. It is not an official stop. Regular trains do not halt at Dudhsagar.
  • Alternatively go ahead up to Castle Rock. From Castle Rock, either walk back to the Dudhsagar waterfalls or get into a goods train. Chances of this train halting at Dudhsagar are higher than the one from Kulem.
  • Or take an Indian Railways train like Amravati Express and get off at Sonalium. A couple of kilometres’ walk from Sonalium will get you to the Dudhsagar waterfalls.
  • Get a map of Madgaon. Names of some train stations are similar (Kulem and Kalem) and can be misleading. Having a map will avoid any confusion.
  • No food is available at Dudhsagar waterfalls. You must carry their own supplies, preferably from Madgaon.
  • Forest department operates Jeeps to the Dudhsagar waterfalls. Kulem railway station [Collem] to Dudhsagar Jeep taxi stand is a 4 minute walk
  • Jeep Charges Rs.2800 Maximum for 7 passengers; duration of the journey 45 minutes up-45 minutes down. You will get 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour at the Waterfalls
  • Life jacket Rs.30. and Gate Fees Rs.50 per person
  • Plastic bottles are banned at the Dudhsagar waterfalls
  • Nearby places to visit – Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple and Tambdi Surla waterfalls. 21 Km from Dudhsagar Taxi Stand

Need help planning your trip to Dudhsagar?

Tell us your requirement.

You would also like to read other stories of our Offbeat Travels

Coorg Of coffee wilderness and our first travel together

Chatpal an offbeat gem hidden in Kashmir

Champaner: A day trip from Ahmedabad

Jorney to Zanskar valley in India

day in trivandrum and kovalam beach kerala

Kerala backwaters beyond houseboat tours

Share this story on:

The following two tabs change content below.
Sandeepa and Chetan. Married. Indians. Exploring Travel as Lifestyle. Featured by National Geographic, Yahoo. We hope that through our travel stories we inspire others to make their dream into a reality.

Like the Article? Leave a Reply

38 thoughts on “Majestic Dudhsagar waterfalls and magic of Castle Rock

  1. Rajneesh

    Hi All,
    We are planning to go to visit dudhsagar falls around September mid-end 2017 from pune. Only option seems feasible is train & then walk.
    Does anyone know whether Goa express stops at dudhsagar or sonalium station?
    Also, as an alternate, whether to walk till falls from kulem or castle rock?

    Thanks,
    Rajneesh

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Our contacts at Dudhsagar have told us that this year the railway police have banned people from walking on the tracks. You can visit the Dudhsagar waterfalls by accessing the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary from Kulem.

  2. rupam paul

    Such a nice blog … so much information about doodhsagar …. guys I m planning to visit this Aug’17 by railway track …. I m planning to catch a train from madgaon to kollem or sonalium and from there I will walk through the railway tracks to doodhsagar …. I have just one query … after reaching kollem or sonalium, whether I will be permitted to walk through the tracks or not ?? some of the below post I ve seen that, CRPF is not allowing to walk through the tracks … do u ve this information, what is current situation over there ? …. I just don’t want to get disappointed after reaching there.

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hey Rupam, the railway police have been closing the track for walking every monsoon. But you will know the exact situation only closer to your date. We suggest you touch base again in the monsoon and we will update you about the situation after talking to our local contacts there.

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hello Muniraj, yes – the railway police had banned the access tot he Dudhsagar waterfalls through the railway tracks for security reasons. But we have been told that post monsoon, it will be opened again.

  3. Fatema

    I would like to know if November the falls would run dry and doesn’t make sense to go there?? Completely understand the monsoons is the best time but unable to go now and looking at your pictures want to see it soon.

  4. Napier

    This is really wonderful, I love to visit this place. India has a lot of camping places and these places shown in the picture are really amazing for camping. every place in this picture is wonderful. I love your blog.

    1. Kunal Khairnar

      Take 11029 mumbai-kolhaur Koyna Exp get down at pune.
      You have other train at 16:30 from pune 12780 NZM-VSG GOA Exp which reach Dudhsagar Waterfall cabin at 03:30 next morning

      1. Akshay Sohoni

        Hi Kunal,

        Is this an only way to reach Dudhsagar from Mumbai?
        I have been told that Amravati Express too passes somewhere near from Dudhsagar.
        Do you have any idea about it?

  5. K N Nagaraja

    Friend, you have written that take a Railway train like Amravati Express and get off at Sonalium. But when we saw the railway timetable, there is no stop at Sonalium for Amravati Express. I want to know whether the train Amaravati express really stops at Sonalium so that we can get down at Sonalium and trek to Doodhsagar. Kindly clarify, thank you.

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hello K N Nagaraja, the station Sonalium is probably not mentioned because Sonalium is not a full fledged station. You can not but ticket at Sonalium. When we boarded at Sonalium on the way back from the waterfalls, we bought the tickets for the journey at Kulem.

  6. parag

    Thanks for such valuable info… i will be coming from HYD…Getting down at castle rock..then walk or goods train to falls… but while coming back.. what is best route… from falls to kulem to hyd? or falls to londa stn to hyd? how much is distance upto londa stn from falls and how to get there?..or any other best route, pls suggest… thanks and regards, parag

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hello Parag, we saw a lot of families on a day picnic traveling to and fro from Castle Rock to the Dudhsagar waterfalls in a goods train. If you intend to go back to Hyd from the Dudhsagar waterfalls (and not go towards Madgaon), then there is no point going towards Kulem. Stay on the Karnataka side of Dudhsagar.

  7. Ankur Patel

    Is tickets for kulem is available at madgaon railway station? and what is alternate way to reach falls from kulem other than goods train?and what for return?