Hurrah! Here I come to share my wonderful experience of Trek to ”Dudhsagar”.
Jumping in to the quick details on where it is situated and how we reached there and returned back.
Friday – Saturday: Bengaluru – Hubli
Saturday – Sunday: Castle Rock – Dudhsagar – Camp in Dudhsagar
Sunday – Monday: Dudhsagar – Londa – Bengaluru
We had pre-planned our journey via train a month ago, since we didn’t get reservation in a direct train which runs between Bengaluru and Vasco (Goa), we took alternate option. This is how it goes; we started from Bengaluru at around 18:00 and reached Hubli the next morning around 04:00. We freshened up and had our breakfast there and left for Castle Rock around 08:00 and reached there by 10:00 via another train from Hubli.
After reaching Castle Rock we geared up ourselves for the next 14Km trek to Dudhsagar. The climate was unpredictable on that day. As we started our trek it was bright and sunny but just in few minutes or so we were soaking wet in rain. We had well planned on this and had taken all necessary gears to protect ourselves against wind and rain.
We started our trek from Castle rock around 11:00 and reached Caranzol (small intermediate railway station) around 13:00. This is when you know you have reached half way (approx 7km from Castle Rock). We took few short breaks here and there enjoying the scenery and few photographs! Also nourished ourselves with fruits and packed food. We reached Dudhsagar waterfalls at around 16:00. So it almost took us around 5 hours to trek.
As soon as we reached there it was overwhelming experience as we crossed all hurdles and reached our destination. We had taken tents along with us, since it was a weekend, large crowd was expected. Now-a-days various hiking club members come in a group of 100+. There is a bay/platform where we can pitch our tents just across the railway track near the water fall. It was almost occupied by various groups. We were very lucky to get some space to pitch two of our tents there.
There are few other spots where one can pitch their tent if they don’t find space in this bay. One very close to Dudhsagar railway station and one more very close to waterfall, but this is not safe and due to close proximity to the waterfall one would be drenched completely by the time they pitch their tent.
We had taken enough fruits, packed food, Maggie and water bottles for our afternoon, night and next day morning hunger. We initially thought there would be nothing out there, but to our surprise there was one small stall next to camping platform where you can get Tea, Coffee, Omelet and few other snacks. We had no clue on this, may be that stall runs only on weekends since there would be crowd.
To have a different experience we had carried a small stove and a tumbler along with us to cook our own food. And that amazing experience when you start eating hot, self cooked, spicy Maggie + corn soup, I just can’t explain it! People around us were surprised to see how we cooked and we were bombarded with so many questions all over.
Our return journey was reserved from Londa Junction (here one gets more train options and availability) to Bengaluru. We were not in a state to trek back 14Km again, so though of taking train which halts near waterfall at around 08:30 and reached Londa around 11.30. There is one more train which halts near waterfall in the evening around 17:00; timings should be confirmed with station master. Till evening we spent our day roaming in Londa and returned back to Bengaluru next day around 08:00.
Rain coat/Umbrella, Torches (lots of tunnels to encounter), match box, knife for emergency.
Hiking shoes not required as it is just walking along railway track, a good sandal is enough for comfortable and ease of maintenance. Imagine wet shoes and soaking socks! Errr.
Since following railway track is the best means to reach the waterfall, one can follow either of two options available
1.Castle Rock (Karnataka) – Caranzol – Dudhsagar – 14Km approx
2.Kulem (Goa) – Dudhsagar – 8Km approx
Please don’t ask me what’s the difference, first one is more scenic, tunnel and bridge encounters are more. I never explored the second route.
Weekends are really crowded, especially long weekends. There are few bad incidents that have taken place on this route due to over crowd, as they say.
So plan accordingly and have a safe and wonderful journey!!!