The monsoon tourism of Goa can also be addressed as ‘Waterfall Tourism’ since most of the tourists visiting the State this time of the year are here to check out some of the most exotic waterfalls in Goa. During monsoon, Goa has many things to offer, such as, Hinterland Tourism, Trekking, Water Rafting, visits to plantations and checking out some of the most exotic waterfalls. In this issue, we are going to give you feel of the blessedness that Goa is bestowed within its bounties with the presence of spectacular waterfalls. We will also tell you about the things you need to know before, after and during your visit to the waterfalls.
Goa has over two dozen waterfalls interspersed through the length and breadth of its region. They may have their own charm and thereby vary in height and accessibility. The more famous ones include Dudhsagar, Arvalem, Savari, Hivrem, Tambdi Surla and Kesarval waterfalls. Amongst these, the most sought-after waterfall of Goa is Dudhsagar. The waterfall literally translates to the imagery of milk flowing right from the top of the mountain which makes for an enchanting sight.
Most of the waterfalls start flowing in full gusto from mid-July, and it goes on till the end of October, depending on the amount of rainfall. The waterfalls in Goa are spread across the length and breadth of the State, and reaching to the waterfalls is not an easy task at all, and for the exception of Dudhsagar, most of the waterfalls can be reached by oneself without additional transportation facilities. The most accessible waterfall you can reach without much of a hassle is the Arvalem Waterfall situated in Sanquelim.
The waterfalls are usually frequented by the locals and domestic tourists alike in the monsoon and foreigners during the season time which begins in the month of October. This feature focuses mainly on domestic tourists who come to Goa to visit waterfalls. It aims to give the reader an informative impression at a glance on each waterfall. It also emphasizes on what has to be done before and while visiting those waterfalls.
Dudhsagar is one of the most famous waterfalls of Goa. Falling from the height of approximately 1000 feet and having 5 channels, the flow of water gives an illusion of the sea of milk falling from the height into a deep valley. The width of the fall is approximately 100 feet; situated in the Western Ghats. Dudhsagar forms a borderline between Goa and Karnataka.
The area is surrounded by a deciduous forest with a rich biodiversity, and reaching to the waterfalls needs a good physical condition. But once you reach there, you are bound to forget all the efforts you took.
Dudhsagar is one of the most difficult terrains to be accessed during the monsoon. Amongst all the existing waterfalls in Goa, this place is beyond the reach of a person who is physically unfit. The journey to the Dudhsagar begins with reaching to the closest point called “Collem” which is nearly 30 km away from the actual fall. To reach “Collem” you need to reach to Mollem station first by rail or road. Once you reach there, you need to walk for half an hour through the jungle to reach “Collem” which is around 5.5KM away from Mollem railway station. After you reach “Collem”, you will find the rented jeeps or motorcycle pilots waiting for you to take you to Goa’s biggest waterfall.
Presently, the jeeps are not allowed to ply on the routes due to the possible danger of water level, but the motorcycle pilots will take you to the nearest point to the waterfall. This would come at a cost of Rs. 1000 (approx.) for traveling across 25 km and through the difficult terrain.
The motorcycle pilots will drop you the closest point to Dudhsagar called “Bhind Fator” which is around two km away from the actual fall and to reach to the waterfall you need to do trek the remaining distance. After your return from the waterfall back to the Bhind Fator, the pilot will ferry you back to Collem.
SAVARI WATERFALL (NETRAVALI)
Savari waterfalls are situated in Netravali’s deep jungles, and hence many locals also call it Netravali Waterfalls, but regardless of whichever name you take, this place is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Goa. The access to Savari falls is not as difficult or restricted as that of Dudhsagar falls, but it surely is a task which needs one to trek across difficult terrain to a distance of 5 km from the Budbudyachi Tali (Bubble Lake).
If you are planning to visit this waterfall, then you have to prepare yourself to venture through rugged terrain. As such, you would need to carry a good pair of shoes and rainwear. You also have to ensure that you have the first aid kit handy, as the possibility of casualty cannot be ruled out if you flip on the slippery rocks on your way to the waterfall.
The Savari waterfall which is situated at a height of approximately 50 ft, falls into the Kali river. Although many ventures into it for the swim, you have to make sure that you are a good swimmer before getting into the river.
The journey to the Savari waterfall will take whole day as they travel to and from the falls takes no less than two hours. You need to go very slow and make sure that you do not slip into the adjoining rivulet.
Once you reach the bottom of the fall, you will get a mesmerizing view of the waterfall, and you will start believing that the heaven does exist here. This place is frequented by the locals on a regular basis and is also considered as a picnic spot. Hence you can make sure that you would not be alone once you reach there.
ARVALEM OR HARVALEM WATERFALL
Arvalem waterfall is situated in Sanquelim which is in North Goa. The fall is very close to the famous Pandava Caves, and according to the legend, the caves were built by Pandavas during their Agyatvas (Hibernation days). The waterfall is not as big as Dudhsagar but certainly much bigger than Savari and the best time to visit this place is between August and October.
The best part of this waterfall is the easy access leading up to it. You do not need to possess any trekking skills. You just need to be physically strong enough to venture into this place, since it is reachable by two and four wheeler easily, and the cascading fall of water from 150 ft above the mountain will surely give you a good glimpse of the waterfall.
The Department of Tourism has ensured facilities such as fencing and barricading work around the waterfall for the purpose of viewing the fall without people risking their lives. You can also take good selfies but have to be aware that use of DSLR cameras near the waterfall is ill-advised as the fall generates huge moisture of water around.
A total distance to the waterfall from Panjim is around 30 km, and it can be reached via one’s own car, by two-wheeler or even by bus. Once you reach the waterfall, do not forget to visit the Rudreshwar Temple situated at the bottom of the fall.
Situated in Valpoi village, Hivrem Waterfall is reachable via trekking a distance of 1.5 km up on the hill. But to reach that spot you need to travel around 14 km from the main Valpoi City and pass through the village called Thane to reached Hivrem. Once you reach Hivrem village, you can take the help of villagers to reach the waterfall which is situated around 1.5 km from the main village.
Hivrem village is vibrant and abounds with lush green beauty, and from here you can view 16 waterfalls all packed in tight, into a small viewing area that could be seen from the foothill. But again this place is meant for the people who love to go for trekking. In order to reach here, you need to pass through arduous terrain. So if trekking runs through your blood, this is just the waterfall trek for you to conquer.
Kesarval is another waterfall akin to the one at Arvalem which does not require any trekking skills or climbing of mountains and it can be reached with the ease of your own car or by the two-wheeler. This place is maintained by the Goa Tourism Department. The Kesarval falls are also known as Kesarval Springs which is supposed to have medicinal properties and many people come here for taking a bath, but the same is not possible during the monsoon.
During the monsoon, Kesarval waterfall overflows into the lake below. The word “Kesarval” had been derived from the Indian word for Eagle, and according to the available information, the Eagles used to make their nests in the cliff face near the waterfall.
Besides the above legend, this place also has many medicinal properties attached to the water flowing down from the spring. Young and old alike come to bathe here to wash away their ailments and rejuvenate themselves. The origins of these properties are not known. However, the algae found in the water are known to have some beneficial properties.
The Kesarval falls have been declared an important tourist attraction by the Government of Goa, and facilities have been provided to attract more people to these reputedly healing waters. These include improving the access routes to the falls and setting up places where people can buy food, water, medicines, exchange money, etc.
TAMBDI SURLA WATERFALL
Tambdi Surla, situated in the midst of dense vegetation, with terrain which is at a moderate level does not require any advance trekking knowledge. The walk to Tambdi Surla Waterfall goes through the evergreen and moist deciduous forests of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The best time to visit this place is between July and September. The trail to the waterfall is well marked and fairly simple to follow. Adding to the charm of the trek, you will encounter many swift streams gushing down the mountain.
The journey to this waterfall is very interesting. The initial trail is quite broad due to the less dense forest but as you advance on your path and keep going deeper into the jungle, your path will get narrow and the forest cover will start getting denser. The only thing you need to worry about on this route is the leeches, and if you are not sufficiently covered then the chances that you might end up having few leeches clinging on to you are high.
Though the trodden path to the waterfall goes through the dense forest and is a home to a rich assortment of wildlife, you do not have to worry about the leopards, gaurs or deer, unless you reach the heart of the sanctuary. At the most, you may come across different species of reptiles and some smaller animals.
As you approach the waterfall, you will get to hear the sound of a fall and finally, you will be able to witness the silvery curtain of water cascading down from the height of 150 feet down into the recesses of a pond formed due to the continuous fall of the water. Your trek to Tambdi Surla will remain incomplete without a visit to the famous Shiva temple which is at the start of the trek route. This temple is an ancient place carved from the black basalt and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Now that you have gone through the details of all the major waterfalls in Goa, it is time to understand the Do’s and Do Not’s when you visit the beautiful waterfalls in Goa
First things first.
You should never carry liquor along with you while going to any of the waterfalls in Goa as it is banned. However, people carry and drink at the fall which is again unstoppable and many a time it results in mishaps. Some of the waterfalls such as Tambdi Surla do not allow you to carry non-vegetarian food and liquor.
One must take care to adhere to the sanctity of the place as they would a shrine. Littering in the vicinity of waterfalls or en route is not permissible.
In case you are planning to party at the waterfall along with your friends and family, and you have carried food and drink with you, please make sure that you do not litter around. And of course, the drinks should be non-alcoholic.
People go to the waterfall for having fun, but please make sure that you have it in your limits, and at the end, it does not turn out into any kind of a mishap. Swimming in the fall and climbing on the hills can turn out to be a fatal.
The shoes need to be of a standard that is meant for the purpose of trekking as most of the areas around the waterfall is slippery and wearing formal or casual shoes may lead to unwanted accidents causing severe injuries.
Finally, remember that you are here to have a good time, and not to abuse the resources or the privileges. Make sure that your trip becomes a memorable one.