This is the sixth part of the Dudhsagar series by Kartik Kannan!
We reached a quaint railway place, where there was only one building for a guard. We asked him, if we could board the goods train, since we were stuck in the forest. We actually had paid for our un reserved train tickets from Londa to Kulem, so it was not that we were hitching a free ride. It usually is not allowed, but if you attempt this in the evening, some of the guards help you out by agreeing to take you on the goods train.
We had to walk for half a kilometer to get on to the last bogie of the goods train that was to come. That was where we would share space with the guard. We started to hurry, once we saw the train coming on the adjacent track.
We spoke to the guard, and explained to him that we were stuck in the forest, and after what seemed like a verbal school apology letter, he let us on the last coach, and I took a corner and started resting a bit. Euphoric feeling it was watching the stars in a pitch dark forest, as you chugged along on the mountain railway.
The little moon light that was there, illuminated the tracks, and the trail that we kept seeing reminded us of the beautiful Kishore da number” Aaane Wala Pal, Jaane Waala Hain”. We soaked in the current moment, realizing that in about 45 minutes, we’d be part of civilization! Beautiful little day trip it was! I am coming back here for the monsoons!
Kartik Kannan’s continues his photographic journey of Dudhsagar in the fifth part of the series!
Before you say your final good byes to the waterfall, you always spend energy for a ‘last dunk’ that never really is the last dunk. It looks like that part of the area is raining heavily!
As you the light fading away on the patterns in the water, its time to really pack up. Nobody lives in this area, so you’d have to walk all the way to the next point of civilsation, 3 kms ahead, inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park. Though there are jeeps that transport people, its only meant for people who’ve signed up for the jeep ride at Kulem station for a round trip(which we did not).
A wonderful orangish green forest trek across the sunset later, we arrived at a small farm, where we were greeted by the ‘Miao’ warrior.
We relished a lovely round of masala chai, and also understood that the gate of the National park was still 10 kms ahead. The only way to get to civilization was to walk it in the moon light to the entrance, or climb a small hill right there, and get to the railway track, and hope that a Goods Train comes your way and stops there. You then hop on till the train gets you to civilization. The latter sounded interesting to attempt!
We were treated to some cashew fruit too. I did not find it very interesting to have. That was when we heard a hooter of a rail engine in the distance. The shop owner said that it takes 15 minutes to do a bend from the other end of the mountain to the end that was near us. It gave us enough time to pack up and head across the hill to get to the railway track.
This is part 2 of Kartik Kannan’s photographic journey of Dudhsagar!
The railway trek begins at Dudhsagar railway station, where passenger trains mildly stop for a minute. There’s no station/building present at this place. You need to walk across the railway track, till you pass 3 tunnels and ask the locals for the path from the mountain that leads to the waterfall.
The image of the semi circular opening at the close of the tunnel, in the midst of the surrounding darkness makes it lovely to gaze at, with the curve of the tracks, catches your attention. If a train isn’t passing by, the moment sometimes freezes!
You are suddenly reminded of a Siddhuism when you see the entrance of the tunnel- “ Is it light at the end of the tunnel, or is it light from a train that’s about to run you over?”
As you trek further along, you get a little ‘dekko’ at the waterfall base from the railway track from your right. You feel like doing a ‘The Beach’ esque jump right into the base of the waterfall, but seeing the height you start to feel, its better at the movies!
The view on your left is not bad either, with the graded waterfall falling over.
Kartik Kannan writes on his photographic journey – and this time it is to Dudhsagar!
Dudhsagar, translating to sea of milk, is a tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa on Goa’s border with Karnataka state. It is four-tiered. It is 60 km from Panaji city by road and 46 km from Madgaon railway junction by train. It’s a wonderful journey on the South Western railway as you walk along the railway track, exploring pristine nature at its best.
The Rail trek begins, once you get inside the tunnels. It’s a chill world inside there, and in the darkness you need to carefully traverse the tracks. Some of your conversations stay longer than the time you took to speak them, with the echo inside the tunnel, creating re reruns of your conversation. The best part however is the point where you have light seeping into both ends of the tunnel, which illuminates the track as you go in/come out.
And if you happen to have an express train travelling with you, do pamper it by giving it space and a photo opportunity. This place inside the tunnels is the best place to have some long exposure shots if a train is passing by. The feeling of the breeze caused by the train’s motion is an exhilaration that needs to be experienced, even as you struggle to balance yourself on the rocks that lie on either side of the tracks.
You will pass an abandoned building, as you walk along the railway track before the first tunnel. You can use this place to change into something comfortable. This place presents some wonderful photo oppurtunities before you get started into the arduous trek.
Wave back to the passengers with a smile! You are about to embark on one of the best railway treks in India!