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When we think of Goa, the things that come to our mind are beautiful sun-kissed beaches, splashing waves of the Arabian Sea, cool shacks, tipsy beer and happening parties. At the end of the day it’s the party capital of India where tourists from different parts of the world come and enjoy their winter holidays. However, to me Goa has much to offer apart from the beautiful beaches and night life- the majestic Western Ghats, old forts & churches, Goan cuisines and many more.
December and Goa is a deadly combination when people come to soak themselves in the party mood. In spite of not being a party buff, we visited in the last week of December. It was a weeklong trip where we covered the beaches, forts, churches, organic firms and most importantly a day trip to the Dudhsagar Waterfalls.
The best time to visit this Dudhsagar falls is August to October, i.e. after rainy season when the water will be full. We, the Bollywood movie fans, got awestruck while watching the scene in the Chennai Express movie in which the train stopped on a bridge with a beautiful falls in its backdrop. That time many of us thought that it might be the result of computer graphics, but it was the Dudhgsagar, one of the tallest waterfalls of India. As the name claims, the tiers in the falls makes it look like gushing stream of milk.
The only way to visit Dudhsagar falls is through Mollem, which is approx. 90 kms from Calangute, the famous beach in North Goa. The four-tiered waterfall on the Mandovi River is located at the border of the states of Goa and Karnataka. It lies within Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park and is a restricted area for the outside vehicles. Considering the distance and the time that one would spend there for collecting the entry pass, it's better to start early morning. We started around 8:30 am and reached Mollem around 11 am.
From Mollem rented jeeps were available for the Dudhsagar trek. The jeeps were normally 7 seater, costing INR 500/person *. So in case you are not in a group of 7 you have to wait for the best group where you can fit in or have to pay the full fare (500 x 7= 3500) and get the jeep. We were two, however, our driver managed to tag another family with us. The jeep took a route through a forest, crossed a flowing stream. So once you board the jeep better you get your camera ready.
Our jeep took us to the gate of the Dudhsagar waterfall from where we all trekked the way up to the falls. There were boulders throughout the way, so it's better to wear comfortable shoes.
(*Subject to change)
Approximately it took us 30 minutes (truly speaking haven’t checked the clock) to reach the falls after we left our jeep. The 4-tiered falls there created a natural pool where people are allowed to get into the ice cold water of the falls. Even if you don't know swimming, there is nothing to worry because there are areas with 3 feet water where you can just get in and enjoy. It was mandatory to avail rented life jackets before boarding the jeeps at Mollem. You might get tempted seeing others enjoying the water so don’t forget to carry extra clothes/ swimming suits. My husband entered the water, tried to motivate me a lot, but my heart could only allow me to sit on a boulder and get wet till my knees.
There are multiple spots from where you will get a good view of falls. In this area mobile towers don't work so before leaving for the trek get the assembling spot and time sorted with the driver and other fellow travellers. We spent approx 1.5 hour at Dudhsagar.
While returning from Mollem we went to the Sahakari Spice Farm. It’s an organic farm where you can have your lunch and can go for a farm tour with an entry fee of INR 400 / person*. We were welcomed in the farm with a refreshing drink. The food was cooked with farm-fresh vegetables, fish, chicken and spices. The food was simple but finger licking tasty. There was an outlet selling the in-house organic spices, essential oils, honey etc., but the prices of the products were not as reasonable as the food. The lunch was followed by a guided tour of the farm where we got to see their plantation of spices, herbs, cashew trees, bay leaf tree etc.
The day’s trip was a complete refreshment, a dab of fresh, pure environment away from the dust and pollution of the cities. It was a different Goa, which we have experienced when the whole city was in the New Year’s Eve mood.
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