Dudhsagar Waterfall, Goa, INDIA, Circa September 2017; Dudhsagar Falls

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Dudhsagar Falls

Panaji & Central Goa

Situated in the far southeastern corner of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa’s most impressive waterfall splashes down just west of the border with Karnataka state. At 603m this is the second highest in India, after Jog Falls. The falls are best visited as soon after monsoon as possible (October is perfect), when the water levels are highest and the cascades earn their misty nomenclature, Dudhsagar, meaning ‘Sea of Milk' in Konkani.

Getting to the falls starts with a trip to the village of Colem (Kulem), around 7km south of Molem, either by car or by the scenic 8.15am local train from Margao or the 7.50am VSG Horawh Express – the South Central Railway line actually crosses over the falls, offering excellent views. Check return train times in advance, as they vary seasonally. From Colem, pick up a shared jeep (₹500 per person for seven people) for the bumpy 45-minute journey, then it’s a 10-minute clamber up over the rocks to reach the falls themselves.

Dudhsagar is an extremely popular day trip with a limit of 300 jeeps allowed in per day and there can often be long waits and queuing for tickets. To alleviate this you can now book a jeep or time-slot online through Ticket Papa (www.tiketpapa.com). It requires a registration process, valid mobile phone number and credit card.

The jeep takes you into the sanctuary, through a rough but scenic jungle track (there are three streams to be forded). En route, you’ll pass Devil’s Canyon, a beautiful gorge with a river running between the steep-sided rocks.

Swimming is possible at the falls themselves (compulsory life jackets are provided for ₹40), but don’t picture yourself taking a romantic swim on your own – there will be plenty of other bathers joining in. You can also walk the distance to the head of the falls (though it’s unwise without a local to guide you), a real uphill slog, but resulting in beautiful views.

Goa Tourism runs one of its trademark whirlwind day trips, the ‘Dudhsagar Special’ (₹2300) to the waterfall, with stops at Old Goa, Ponda and lunch at Molem and Shri Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla. Tours depart at 6.30am from Calangute or Panaji. Private travel agents also offer tours.

It’s no longer possible to trek to the falls or take your own transport.

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