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  • Writer's pictureAjaz Shaikh

Perfect Travel Blueprint for Tri-Trek: Dudhsagar, Tambdi Surla & Jogfalls

Day One: Dudhsagar, Goa

If you’ve watched the SRK-Deepika Padukone starrer Chennai Express you simply cannot miss the spot where SRK gets down from the train with Deepika, right in front of a majestic waterfall. Ever thought which waterfall is that, and where’s it located? Yep, that’s the majestic Dudhsagar Waterfalls, and is located right on the Karnataka-Goa border, technically in Goa. Yes! It's in Goa a place we all visit or we wish to visit Goa in our lifetime.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls is located at Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats. Dudhsagar falls literally means a Sea of Milk. This gorgeous, mammoth of a waterfall is technically India’s 4th highest waterfall. This majestic beauty can be reached from Kullem (State Goa) railway station through the jungle trek. The falls are at their zenith during the monsoon months of July to September, although they are a popular tourist attraction all year round.

In terms of difficulty, Dudhsagar waterfall trek somewhere between easy to moderate level trek. The total distance between Kulem and Dudhsagar falls is around 12 kms and takes around 3-4 hours to reach the same. The trail is mostly flat with just a few uphill patches.

How to reach the Dudhsagar waterfalls?

Because they straddle the two states of Goa and Karnataka, and because they are so big (they are among the highest waterfalls in India), there are multiple ways to reach the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

  • You can take the train to reach the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

  • You can reach near the Dudhsagar waterfalls by car or bus.

  • You can also trek to the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

How to reach Dudhsagar waterfalls by train?

The railway track put up by the Indian Railways in the Western Ghats is nothing less than a work of engineering marvel. It was a daunting task undertaken by the Railways, and you can’t appreciate enough once you visit this section.

If you are travelling from Mumbai/Pune/Goa, you will have to reach Kulem for trekking as well as taking a jeep safari to the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

Take Goa Express from Pune to Kulem and Mangaluru Superfast Express from Mumbai

If you are already in Goa, go to the Madgaon or Vasco railway stations. The Vasco-Kulem Daily Passenger runs everyday from Madgaon/ Vasco in Goa to Kulem.

Watch out: The station just before Kulem is Kalem. The names look and sound familiar. We have seen travellers mix up Kulem and Kalem. Do not get off the train at Kalem. Kulem is the last station for the passenger train.

How to reach Dudhsagar waterfalls by car?

The Dudhsagar waterfalls are not directly accessible by road. You can drive up to Kulem. From Kulem you can either trek to the Dudhsagar waterfalls or take a jeep safari via the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The parking lot in Kulem is a 2-minute walk from the Kulem Railway station.

Distance from North Goa (Baga) to Kulem is 80 km.

Distance from Madgaon to Kulem is 45 km.

Bangalore to Kulem is a driving distance of 539 km. Once off the national highway 48, you will drive towards Mollem. The road is carved through the Mollen National Park.

If you are driving down from Pune or Mumbai, you can take the national highway 48 to Belgaum. Then get off the highway and drive towards Mollem via Khanapur.

Trek to Dudhsagar waterfalls

In Goa, your trek to the Dudhsagar waterfalls will start by climbing up the railway tracks from Kulem It’s fun walking through railway tracks in the middle of the forest through tunnels. But you have to be mindful the whole while to the sound of approaching trains. The distance of Kulem to the Dudhsagar waterfalls is 12 km. It is a slightly uphill walk.

It is a must to hire a guide if you choose to reach Dudhsagar Falls by trekking through the forest. Several local guides are available here who will take you through the forest route. The local guides might charge you upto INR 500 per person and will walk with you throughout the way, will alert you of approaching train, will help you get down the railway track on time and will of course guide you through alternate paths in case of rail vigil. You could also negotiate on the rates if you are a big group. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to walk through the muddy and slushy pathways for 12 kilometre one way.

This route is the most beautiful path that takes you to the base of the waterfall. Walking through a tunnel can be a pulsating but scary one. The tunnels have been carved through big rocks and mountains, without affecting the nearby geology. Talk about some engineering marvel, all respect to Indian Railways. While inside a railway tunnel always ensure to have your torches on, keep an eye on the track, and try to cross it asap. It can be suffocating inside a tunnel due to less air, and a rail passing through can also make it dangerous. But I have to say its not everyday that you get to walk through a tunnel, perched inside a dense ghat section. This is what adventures are made of!

If you start in Karnataka, you will trek over the railway tracks from Castle Rock. The distance from Castle Rock to the Dudhsagar waterfalls is roughly 14 km.

Where can you stay to explore the Dudhsagar waterfalls

There are a few eco resorts between Mollem and Kulem which are a perfect place to stay if you want to take your time exploring the Mollem National Park. Most of these are located midway to the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

Some options to stay are

  • Jungle Book: A unique little stay option. Excursions into the National Park are easily possible. These are nearer to the Dudhsagar waterfalls.

  • Dudhsagar Spa and Resort: You can while away your time within this property. This resort has cottages and Swiss type tent set in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem Park.

This journey was a mesmerizing one. You know I realized Goa was calling me, not for its beach, cuisine or night bazaar but to witness something eternally beautiful, something known as Dudhsagar Waterfall. My eyes smiled and I breathe with the feeling of being content. And as I inhaled the fragrance of that place for last time, heaven whispered ‘Do come again’.

Some Tips:

  • No restaurants or food stalls are present near Dudhsagar Falls. Make sure you carry your own food items. You would get local village food at the only house in Sonaulim.

  • If you go to the base of the falls, remember to keep any eatables inside your bags the moment you enter Dudhsagar gate. There will be fearless monkeys all around who would snatch any colourful wrapper they see.

  • If you wish to swim in the Dudhsagar River at the base of the falls, do so only with the life jacket on. It is not advisable to swim in monsoon when the water flows with a lot of force.

  • There are no cloak rooms/ lockers to keep your luggage near the falls.

  • Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is a plastic free zone. Please do not litter the place.

  • If you do the forest trek, you may come across snakes in certain sections. These are usually small and harmless unless you disturb them. But having a guide helps as they tend to easily spot these and are not afraid of one.

  • Although a wonder that is worth exploring all year round, the falls reach their zenith during the monsoon season.

Do It My Way

  • Put an OUT OF OFFICE auto replay on your office mail id and board 12133 - Mumbai Mangalore Express from CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) leaving at 10:00PM to reach Madgaon by 07:00AM

  • You will be able to find a sharing cab from pre-paid cab booking center just outside the station for Rs. 400 per person and it will take 40 minutes to reach Kulem. Alternatively, take a connecting bus from Margao-Bandoli-Kulem. By bus it will take you around 1:30 Hrs to 2:00 Hrs to reach Kulem.

  • To be safe hire a local guide easily available at the base station, but go hard on negotiation. You should not pay more the INR 500 (Indian Rupees Five Hundred).

  • Prefer to take the trek route and avoid wasting time at the base station so that you get more time to spend at the fall.

  • Start descending latest by 4:00PM, so that you can make it to the base station before sunlight goes off.

  • Stay at Dudhsagar Spa Resort, Mollem.


Day Two: Tambdi Surla Waterfalls and Temple, Goa

Tambdi Surla Temple is located inside the Bhagwan Mahavir National Park, it is a 12th century Shaivaite temple of Lord Mahadev. Due to its remote location, people often miss the opportunity to visit the temple. A visit to this ancient Tambdi Surla temple which is a treat to eyes because of its unique style of construction. Set amidst nature, this divine place is not known for its religious importance only but also known for its fascinating architecture.

When the temple was constructed, Kadamba dynasty was ruling during the time. This temple is the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture. Tambdi Surla is noted as the oldest temple in Goa. The temple was built by Hemadri, the minister of the Yadava King Ramachandra. It is built in the Hemadpanthi style from basalt. The intricate carvings adorn the interior and the sides of the temple. The hard work of the skilled workers can be seen in the beautiful walls of the temple.

The temple has seen invasions and a lot of turmoil but it has survived all that because of its remote location amidst the deep forest. Along with Lord Shiva, the temple has fascinating figures of Lord Vishnu and Brahma. Every corner of the temple tells a story. Tambdi Surla faces east so that the rays of the rising sun first falls on the deity.

You can only hear the sound of the stream and the chirping of birds when you are in the temple premises. There is a headless Nandi right at the center of the temple. River Surla flows by the temple.

Tambdi Surla Waterfalls is 60 minutes away from the temple. If you are visiting the temple, a trek to the waterfalls should be a must in your to-do list. The falls is located amidst thick forest, so it is recommended to take a local guide along. The trek might take a little more than 60 minutes depending on the steep ascent.

Once you reach the waterfalls, you will find your painful trek a worthy adventure. The breathtaking nature, cascading falls and the drizzle on your face, it is the best thing you will ever experience.

The trail from the temple to the Tambdi Surla waterfalls is quite simple and easy to follow. While on your route, you will also find a few streams flowing down the hills. The fresh air and pristine water will definitely make you fall in love with the place. Initially, the path of trekking is quite wide but gradually the path narrows.

Though you won’t come across animals like leopards on your way yes, be prepared as it is home to a large number of reptiles, small and big. You may find a few snakes or some other small animals. The best thing about the trek is spotting colorful birds which can’t be seen in the crowded cities. The multihued butterflies will also attract your attention.

When you see the waterfalls, you are speechless. It is so beautiful, just like the mention of stream in a poem. Water cascading from a height of 50 meters in a zigzag way looks really beautiful. There is a little pool created by the falls. Create magical memories by clicking the best pictures of your life. Both the places, the temple and the waterfalls, both are worth visiting.

Best time to visit Tambdi Surla

The best time to visit the Tambdi Surla temple are the months from June to December. The weather is pleasant during the monsoon season and the plethora of the gushing stream can be best enjoyed during and after the rainy season. So these are the best months when you can enjoy Tambdi Surla at its best. Apart from nature and the temple, you would only find some monkeys hopping from here and there.

Getting Here Is Not So Easy As You See:

  • First 2 Hours On A Bike/Bus/Car

  • Then About 60 Minutes Trekking To The River On Stones.

The place is unbelievably quiet. It is not generally crowded. You will love the sound of the rippling stream and the chirping of birds. Mahashivaratri is celebrated with pomp and show in the temple where the visitors as well as the locals of the area participate with all their heart and soul. Goa resides here, for sure. This place is a worth visit for those who seek solace in nature.

Some Tips:

  • You would get local village food outside the temple at the entrance.

  • If you wish to swim in the pool at the base of the falls, you can do it. It is not advisable to swim in monsoon when the water flows with a lot of force.

  • Be aware of leech.

  • There are no cloak rooms/ lockers to keep your luggage near the falls.

  • Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is a plastic free zone. Please do not litter the place.

  • You may come across snakes in certain sections. These are usually small and harmless unless you disturb them. But having a guide helps as they tend to easily spot these and are not afraid of one.

  • Although a wonder that is worth exploring all year round, the falls reach their zenith during the monsoon season.

Do It My Way

  • To make best use of the day, start your day latest by 7:00AM

  • Enjoy the morning pictorials view of the temple and get the divine blessing to kick off your day.

  • Trekking to the Waterfall will take 2 hrs roundways. So by the afternoon you will reach at the base station again.

  • Drive back to the hotel and enjoy your lunch.

  • If you are staying at the Dudhsagar Spa Resort, Mollem leave from the hotel by 3:00PM to take 5:10PM Kolem - Vasco Passenger Train to Madgaon.

  • Take up a accommodation around the Madgaon Railway Station. Here are a few options for pocket friendly stay - All Season Guesthouse, Viva Hotel & Relax Holiday Home.

  • Murdeshwar will be our next stop: 70105 Madgaon - Mangaluru Central DEMU leaving at 05:00AM which reaches Murdeshwar around 08:00 AM.

  • Here are the alternatively, if you want to spend the night in Murudeshwar. Madgaon to Murudeshwar is a 6 hours road travel. For pocket friendly stay look for Shree Vinayaka Residency (INR 1000 per room/night for double occupancy) for a clean nice place with all the facilities. You must have breakfast at Hotel Rajadhani not the part of the stay package.

  1. Bus: Margao to Murudeshwar there is only one bus which depart around 7:45PM

  2. Take a cab from Madgaon Prepaid Taxi Stand, if you are travelling in a group. It will cost INR 5000 One Way.


Day Three: Too Many Things To Do

Today, we will be covering Murudeshwar Temple & Beach, Hanging Bridge (Unexplored), Jogfalls & Kumta Beach

Murudeshwar Temple and Beach

Murudeshwar, named after an incarnation of Lord Shiva, is located in Bhatkut taluk of Uttar Kannada district, 165 km from Mangalore.

The prime attraction of this beach town is its Shiva temple. A famous landmark here is the world’s second tallest Shiva statue. The statue, standing at a height of 123 feet, took almost 20 years for Shivamogg’s Kashinath and several other sculptors to build.

Murudeshwar is a picturesque place that can be visited during anytime of the year. It is bound by the Arabian Sea and the rolling hills of the Western Ghats. The Shiva temple is surrounded by sea on three sides and presents a beautiful picture at sunrise and sunset. Two life-sized elephants made of concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple.

Beautiful carvings and statues adorn the temple complex. A mighty 20-storied Raja Gopura is also present in the complex. The entire temple, with the exception of the sanctum sanctorum, wears a modern look. The lingam is a roughly sculpted rock inside a hollowed spot in the ground. Entry into the sanctum is restricted for all devotees.

It is believed that Lord Shiva had declared that Murudeshwar, along with Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwara, Shejjeshwar and Gokarna, will serve as the Pancha Kshetras of Shiva.

On a small hill nearby, inside the complex, is a huge statue of Lord Shiva in meditation. The statue is 123 feet (37 m) in height and took about two years to build. It was financed by businessman and philanthropist R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately Rs 50 million. There are other statues depicting incidents from mythological tales as well.

The huge fort located near the temple is believed to have been renovated by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. A major attraction here is the cave that depicts the story behind Gokarna and Murudeshwar. There are around 16 tableaus housed inside the cave and a narration clearly explains each tableau.

The Murudeshwar Temple is at a distance of 78 kms from the Gokarna Temple.

Since, Murudeshwar is a pilgrimage place, you will be able to find local transport easily.

Some Tips:

  • Since it's a holy place, it's respectful to cover your knees and your shoulders. You should not wear sleeveless or too short cloth. As long as you are not too revealing it's ok. There are many area inside the temple which are no photography zone please follow it.

  • For public timing is from 3:00AM to 8:00PM

  • The ride to the top in the elevator costs INR 10.00 per person. The views from the top are not to be missed. The huge shiva statue is visible from the highway when you are driving from Manki to Murudeshwar.

  • Just below the Shiva statue inside Bhukailasa Cave in the temple complex, the Hindu mythologies are depicted in beautiful and colorful sculptures. Entry fees is INR 10.00 per person.

Pavinakurva Hanging Bridge, Karki

Pavinakurva Hanging bridge which connects Karki and Pavinakurva village built across the river Badagani. Length of the bridge is less than 100 meters but built very beautifully. Even though not easily seen from the NH 66, road which connect to the bridge from NH is fine.

It's a peak in location while travelling from Murudeshwar to Jog Falls. The bridge looks stunning in morning, calm waters and the beautiful around it.

Jogfalls - Beauty at its best

Jog Falls Karnataka, an adventure not to be missed under any circumstances. Believe me, to experience and get closer to the real wonder of nature and one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the planet, you need to put on your adventure gears and sail to the heart of the mighty Jog Falls.

On the lap of Shimoga district of Karnataka, Jog Falls showcases four cascades, namely Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket. These merge to form the huge waterfall on the Sharavathi River. Most falls stream down the rocks in tiered manner, whereas Jog Falls splashes down the slopes without using the rocks as the stages to flow down. Jog Falls is portrayed within lush green surroundings in all directions and allows visitors to enjoy the same from far off platforms or by hiking at its foothills. Watkins Platform is the perfect point to catch enjoy the falls and one can also get a picturesque view of the falls from the rock outcrops aligning with Bombay Bungalow. Jog Falls is the second highest plunge Waterfall in India falling from a height of around 253 meters.

The lushes around Jog Falls had a tropical rainforest vibe and is somewhere you should definitely be during the post monsoon period. The location receives an unreal amount of rainfall which adds to its beauty but on the other hand can make it difficult to for you to tread your way, if you find yourself during the core monsoon season.

There are different viewpoints from where you can catch this astounding magnificence. There is a viewpoint close to the parking area (near Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa) which also has few shops nearby. It is the most popular viewpoint. Another viewpoint is close to the British Bungalow which is around 30-40 min stroll from the above viewpoint. This viewpoint is the starting point from where the falls fall into the valley. The view from here is stunning. I would recommend not missing watching the waterfall from here

Being short on time, was one the reason I could not stop at Jog Falls, but the place has accommodations and has diverse little ways to host you. The KSTDC Hotels is quite affordable and has dormitories as well, for your pack. Halting there for a day or two can be a perfect weekend getaway, if you are planning one.

Truly speaking, the natural art of this masterpiece place is so scenic and spellbind that it can give one a feeling that God seriously took some extra time while painting such a wonder. So, don’t forget to gift your soul a bountiful of memories that will cherish you for life. Take photographs of the Jog falls from various standpoints and enjoy the surrounding natural charm and seize them forever for your sweet souvenir.

Some Tips:

  • The best time to visit the falls are the monsoon months. The best view of falls is when the dams are opened. But that will be only for day and one has to be lucky.

  • Enough parking space has been developed near the view point

  • Do not venture close to the falls or climb the rocky cliffs. Many deaths have occurred due to slip and fall.

  • Staying in home stay will also give an opportunity to explore the nearby places like Gerusoppa which has a medieval jain temple, Bangaramakki known for Hanuman temple, Sigandur known for Chowdeshwari temple which can be reached after a lovely boat ride on backwaters, treks in Sharavathi valley.

  • The place has toilet facilities. There is also a restaurant run by KSTDC.

  • Jog falls and surrounding area has some of the lovely roads with splendid landscapes for those who love driving around.

Kumta Beach

Dangerous shore so keep distance. This beach 3km from Murudshwera Gokarna Highway it's is one of the beautiful virgin beach this is clean, peaceful beach not crowded. This is must visit for people who want place for some solitude. A small hillock next to beach gives a perfect space for photography. Lighthouse beach adjacent.

Do It My Way

  • Make a night stay at Murudeshwar leave from hotel latest by 7:00AM after having a proper breakfast.

  • Head to Murudeshwar Temple to seek blessing. Spend sometime at divine atmosphere.

  • Start our journey to Jogfalls from Murudeshwar around 10:00AM. On a way take a halt to click picture at Pavinakurva Hanging Bridge, Karki

  • Enjoy the beautiful surrounding natural at Jog Falls. By the time it will be noon and you will start feeling hungry so try some amazing food at KSTDC Hotels.

  • Start moving toward Kumta by 4:00PM before going to station spend sometime at Kumta Beach which is just 3 Kms from station.

  • Finally the end the journey board 12134 Mangaluru Junction - Mumbai CSMT SF Express from Kumta which arrives at 8:00PM

  • Please book your train ticket well in advance.

I hope you found the write up useful. Would love to hear your feedback at and do follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.


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