Continued from my previous blog “Places to Visit in Goa – Day 3”
It is a well know fact that Goa is blessed with beautiful beaches, but what many miss out is to explore the beauty of the western ghats. Head east from Goa and you will have to cross the western ghat and this is where you will find many hidden places to visit. These places are not commercialized and thus retain their serenity. Today, you will be driving around 80 kilometres from North Goa to visit the Dudhsagar falls and Mangeshi Temple on your way back.
Itinerary for the day:
- 9:00 AM – Start the day
- 9:00 AM to 11:30 PM – Drive to Dudhsagar falls
- 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM – Visit Dudhsagar water falls
- 3:00PM to 4:30PM – Drive from Dudhsagar falls to Mangeshi temple
- 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM – Visit Mangeshi temple
- 5:30PM t0 7:00PM – Drive from Mangeshi temple to your resort in North Goa
- 7:00 PM – Reach your resort
Dudhsgar waterfalls is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western ghats – it is very close to the Karnataka border. The falls comes to life during the monsoon season (June to September) and gradually diminishes out during the summer months of March to June. You can either drive down or reach this place by rail (Dudhsagar station from where people walk by the tracks for more than a Kilometre). Recently, I have been reading on the websites that railways are not allowing people to board or de-board at this station – I guess it would be for safety reasons. Another option that many of my friends recommended us was to do a trek to the falls – unfortunately we neither had their energy nor enthusiasm to do a morning trek :). The trek to the waterfall starts from the Kulem station (Goan side) and takes roughly around 4 hours.
The drive towards Dudhsagar falls will take your through a very scenic route – road conditions are good, but be cautious as the road is narrow and there are many blind turns. If you are driving from North Goa, it will take you around 2.5 hours to reach the falls (around 85 Kilometres).
You will not be able to drive directly to the falls – the last stretch can be done only by a 4×4 vehicle. The farthest that you can go is till Kulem station where you can park your car and hop into one of the jeeps to reach the falls. Jeep drivers are very well organized and you will not have to wait that long before starting your journey. They also take all the necessary safety measures – when we visited the falls, they even provided life jackets as we would sometimes be wading through knee deep water.
The ride will cost around Rs 400 per person and will take you into the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary/Molem National Park. After driving the stretch of 10 Kilometres which will easily take around 45 minutes, you will reach a parking area in the forest. Vehicles cannot go beyond this point and you will have to take a 15 minutes walk through the forest. Keep following the trail which is along a stream and you will end up at the base of the waterfall. We did this trip during the month of March and did not expect much water during the dry season. To our surprise, the falls was carrying good amount of water and there were lots of people enjoying a dip in the cool waters at the base of the falls.
Note: The jeep ride is very bumpy and I will not recommend this trip to anyone who has some kind of back problems.
It is very relaxing to take a good spot and just gaze at the beauty of the falls. If you are the adventurous kind and are a good swimmer, you can take a good swim at the base of the falls. Local people do warn us not to go too close to the falls as sometimes the falls has a tendency to bring down loose material like rocks and dead wood. You can easily spend around couple of hours enjoying the beauty of this place. There are not many restaurants around this place and it will be a good idea to pack your lunch (Avoid littering the place though). Another option that you can avail is to combine the trip to the falls with a visit to the nearby spice plantations and have lunch there. Many tourists take this itinerary as a walk through a spice plantation is very refreshing.
If you are skipping the plantation trip and are planning to head back to Goa, one of the decent options to have lunch is Karibu Restaurant. The restaurant will be found just before you hit the National Highway NH4A – Panjim – Belgaum road.
Note: When we visited the falls during monsoon, we were told by locals that the river was swollen due to the heavy monsoon rains and access to the falls has been cut off. We had no option but to check out the falls from a distance (we could barely see much) and head back to our resort. Personally, I think visiting this falls during non-monsoon season would be better as you can literally take a dip at the falls.
You should plan to leave Dudhsagar falls by around 3:00 PM and head towards your next destination “Mangeshi Temple”.
The drive from Dudhsagar waterfalls to Mangeshi temple will take a good 1.5 hrs and you should be reaching the temple by around 4:30 PM. The parking area for the temple is around half a kilometre from the temple area. It will be a short 5 minute walk through the temple lane to reach Mangeshi temple. The lane has many shops selling flowers and other items used in the temple eg. incense sticks, camphor, devotional CD’s etc.
Mangeshi temple is one of the most famous temples in Goa. The temple traces back to early 1500’s and has its origin in a small village, Salcette. After the Portuguese invasion, the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra moved the Mangesh Linga to the current location. The Maratha’s renovated this temple twice and it was during their reign that the temple gained its prominence. The Peshwas donated the entire village to the temple in the year 1739. The temple was renovated again in the year 1890 and the final renovation was done in the year 1973 when the Golden Kalasha or the holy vessel was fitted to the tallest dome of the temple.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Manguesh, a incarnation of Lord Shiva and is worshipped as Shiva Linga. The complex also has shrines of Goddess Parvathi (wife of Lord Shiva) and God Ganesha (Son of Shiva). The temple complex is simple and has an elegant structure. You will also find a Nandi bull and the seven storey “Deepastambha” – also know as the Lamp tower. To the left of the temple (as you enter the temple) is the temple water tank, which is considered to be the oldest part of the temple.
You can spend around an hour at the Mangeshi temple. After the darshan at the shrine, you can start your drive back to your resort at around 5:30PM. Considering that it will be peak time traffic, you will take around one and a half hour to reach your resort in North Goa. You should be winding the day by around 7:00 PM today.
Day 4 was all about visiting the beautiful Western ghats and exploring the hidden gem – “Dudhsagar Waterfall”. The trip to Mangeshi temple would have highlighted the diverse culture that Goa exhibits – no wonder it is called as the city where the Western culture meets the Eastern culture.
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