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A guide to Dudhsagar Falls

The Dudhsagar Falls are among the most magnificent natural sites in Goa, drawing visitors from near and far to see them in all their massive, frothy glory. It can be a little tricky to reach them, but once you take in the broccoli tops of the surrounding deciduous forest and all 310 metres of milky white water, you'll be glad you did.

If you decide to make the trek out to Dudhsagar Falls, here's everything you need to know.

A breakdown

The Dudhsagar Falls are out on the fringes of southern Goa along the Karnataka border, but they're at the front in terms of top nature sites in this coastal state. They're among the tallest waterfalls in India, clocking in at 310 metres tall and around 30 metres wide.

The falls are broken into four tiers surrounded by forests and best visited during monsoon season. During this time they're a sight to behold as the falls are swollen and the landscape is about as lush and green as it gets.

In the local Konkani language, 'Dudh Sagar' translates to 'Sea of Milk'. The falls garnered their name from the legend of a princess who liked to bathe in the area and drink sweetened milk once she'd finished. When a prince spied her one afternoon, she poured the milk out in a fit of modesty to cover her body, and to this day, the falls still flow in her honour.

How to get there

Getting to the Dudhsagar Falls can be a little tricky, mostly because there's no real direct route. It's not like other major tourist destinations in which the roads are clearly marked and easily accessible. Dudhsagar does have a rail stop, but it's not one that passengers can expect to exit on. You can take the train to nearby junctions like Castle Rock or Kulem, but even from there you'll need to take a bus or taxi, or a pretty long walk.

From Kulem, it's an 11-kilometre long walk that offers up gorgeous views of the Ghat mountains, while from Castle Rock, it's about 14 kilometres. You'd be wisest to join a designated tour that can coordinate the travel for you, or provide a guide that'll help you navigate the terrain.

In and around the area

Once you've reached the falls, there's more to do than just stare at them, though that'll be your first point of interest, of course. Surrounding the area is the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, which teems with local flora and fauna. The area is also known to be something of a bird watcher's paradise, so you'd be wise to bring a set of binoculars.

There's a pool at the base of the waterfalls that's open for swimming, though diving is very much forbidden due to the unpredictable placement of the rocks below. If the weather's right, you can trek through the foliage on a hike and explore much more of the area's vast landscape.

Know before you go

There's a small fee to view the falls per person, plus an additional fee if you want to bring a camera. The fee is higher if you have a professional camera. Monsoon season in Goa runs from June to September, making this one of the best and sometimes most difficult times to see the falls, as the fuller they are, the more unpredictable. Similarly, the falls get sparser from March to June. There aren't any places for food or drink near the falls, so it's important to pack snacks or meals in advance. There also aren't any restroom facilities in the area.

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