Journey to DudhSagar waterfalls started with 9 nature lovers and enthusiasts, including me, from Pune station. We all were well prepared in advance with all the shopping, packing and long discussions we had before the trip. Each one of us was looking forward to the entire journey and that dream view of DudhSagar WaterFalls. We began our journey in Goa express at 5:00 PM from Pune station. Ride was around 12 hours long and idea was to get down at station immediately after DudhSagar station, called, Sonalium which was around 3 km away from DudhSagar. In the journey, we had lot of fun with eating and playing games like dumb charades, Villagers & Thieves etc. We were so loud in our compartment that entire coach can easily make out from where the noise is coming from. We were lucky that no one came forward complaining to our loud giggles and laughter.
Sonalium Station: Our trek leader woke us all at around 3:30 AM since Sonalium station was about to come. Few of us could even able to get a quick site of DudhSagar waterfall in the dark from the train aggravating the curiosity level amongst others who couldn’t site DudhSagar including me. Train stoppage at Sonalium was for only 30 seconds and all of us had to get down in that window using all the stairs of the coach since Sonalium is also not a proper station with a platform. We all managed to get down in time. It was completely dark; luckily it was not raining; sky was covered with clouds; few clouds moved with air to unleash the moon which showered light on us.
The Dark Walk: Train had gone and we could see trees around with wet leaves, giving smell of satisfaction to us that we are finally very close. There was single railway track on which we started walking towards DudhSagar waterfalls in the moon light along with our individual commando torches. Few of us carried small torches, despite of proper instructions given by our trek leaders. However, our kind friends showed us the way with their bright commando torch. The torch was forming a light cone in the dark; cone was emanating from torch and culminating on railway track. It was first time for me to walk on the railway track and believe me it is not easy to walk on it. There were pointed small stones spread all over the track giving high level of acupuncture to sole of our legs. It doesn’t matter which brand of shoes you are wearing, the discomfort was same. Along with it one has to be careful of not stepping on human’s natural excrete which Indian Railways allows to the passengers to spread all over the track at their wish.
The Dark Tunnel: After walking for around an hour, we reached to a tunnel where we decided to halt till the dawn. The timing was so perfect that it started raining heavily as soon as we got into the tunnel. We sat on one side of the tunnel. Couple of goods train passed through the tunnel making louder sound than the nature as if it is showing its power to the nature. However, nature was taking the emitted smoke and heat by train’s engine very gracefully & humbly and converting it back to fresh and pleasant air post the passage of the train. Just before the dawn, one of our friends started talking to birds by whistling. We were so amazed by the response different birds were giving back to him as if they have found a common language to share their thoughts & feelings. It was completely dark; we sat and relaxed for almost an hour before we could see greenery outside the tunnel very clearly with dawn.
The First Look: We started walking towards DudhSagar with more excitement. It was bright enough to witness the long trees on either side of the track covered with dark green leaves. In between, we could see a very deep valley on one side of the track and the trees were looking so straight on the slant valley. I was wondering how nature can grow a tree so straight without any ruler (engineering mind J). I think there are millions of things which nature makes us wonder. Few folks who were ahead of us started shouting with amazed look because they beheld one of the nature’s best creations ever with their eyes wide open. We couldn’t stop ourselves and started running towards it to end the wait of that first look. What I saw was thousand times better than what I saw on big screen in Chennai Express Movie since it was in front of my eyes. It was a multi-tier water fall separated by a railway track bridge. The top half had almost 4 tiers and the fall beneath bridge had 1 tier fall. The site was awesome and it was hard to move away our eyes from such a wonderful creation of the nature. We were only missing the train on the bridge to complete the ‘Chennai Express View’.
DudhSagar WaterFall: After spending almost 30 mins, we decided to move forward to cross the horse shoe shaped tunnel culminating on the bridge from where a closer look to DudhSaagar could be beheld. We walked from the longest dark tunnel for almost 45 mins before reaching to the bridge. We walked towards DudhSagar WaterFall and what I saw is really difficult to put into words. I had my mouth wide open along with eyes and my ears were listening to the soothing non-stop sound of water falling from top of the mountain. By looking at the whiteness of the water fall, I realized why it is called ‘Dudh’ Sagar. It is a 4-tier waterfall. The water was gushing from top in the first tier and was getting divided into 4 different streams. In the second and third tier, water was getting further divided into multiple streams. The one at third tier was worth noticing because it had small steps down the rock from where water was falling slowly slowly as we generally see in an artificial waterfall. The fourth and last tier had water gushing so rapidly into a small pond that it could even tear a rock. The stream was more than 10 ft broad and the water flowing from middle was slightly greenish in color. Maybe because of all the plants’ leaves on the rocks were getting crushed in the fast flowing water thereby mixing its color in the water. The water from the pond was going further down under the bridge towards the opposite side of the bridge where it was finding its way through a big rock towards DudhSagar River. DudhSagar is one of the largest waterfalls in India. It is around 310 m long fall. But other falls competing with DudhSagar in height are not even closer from looks point of view. DudhSagar is a nature’s gift to mankind and one can only appreciate it when observed oneself.
The Church: After taking lot of pictures and enjoying the fall for almost 2 hours, we thought of having our breakfast. We couldn’t eat at DudhSagar Falls itself because of Monkeys. They were so many in numbers and for the first time I saw a Monkey close enough to witness long Dracula like teeth it had on both upper and lower jaws. There was a small open church close to DudhSagar station which was around 1 km away from DudhSagar WaterFalls in the opposite direction of Sonalium/Goa. We decided to go there for eating and relaxing. Our plan was to walk back to Kulem for catching Goa Express train back to Pune. It started raining too once we reached to Church. We all ate our breakfast, there was plenty of variety for the breakfast and it is so much fun to eat it together.
Chennai Express View: While walking back towards the Sonalium station we reached to the same spot from where we spotted DudhSagar for the first time early in the morning. Adding to our happiness, we heard the sound of a train which was going to pass from that bridge recreating exactly same view which Rohit Shetty captured in his movie ‘Chennai Express’. Our cheerfulness was at its peak when we were patiently waiting for the train to come. Finally, the train approached towards us, we made way for it to pass through the horse shoe shape long tunnel. We kept our cameras ready to capture the lifetime moment of train passing from the bridge in between the waterfall. Without flickering our eyes, our wait finally got over when we saw train coming out of tunnel and approaching towards the bridge and believe me that moment was from a different world altogether. You don’t get to see such a view that often in life. Clicked, Clicked, Clicked…and we captured the ‘Chennai Express View’ live in front of our eyes.
Kulem Station: We reached Sonalium station at around 12:10 PM. We had to go to next station, Kulem, which was around 8 kms away from Sonalium. Goa Express arrives at 4:30 PM at Kulem. We had pretty less time to walk down to Kulem station. Hence, we decided to take Amravati train to Kulem which comes at around 1:00 PM. We waited for around one and half hour before train arrived at Sonalium. Again the stoppage at Sonalium was for 30 seconds. Unfortunately, AC 2 tier came in front of us and we had no choice but to climb in the AC coach. Next thing we saw was TT waiting for us for the warm welcome. Like a good citizen and our respect towards Indian Railways, we informed about our situation to TT and agreed to pay the fine. We finally reached to Kulem at around 2 PM. The station was very small but it had a waiting room. We asked for the keys to the waiting room and station master gave it to us. We could able to change our clothes easily there. Post that we had a tea at station and believe me that tea was worth Rs 1000/- since we didn’t get any tea from morning and our body was completely tired and rainy weather was much in the favor of tea. Goa Express arrived at 4:30 PM and we came very close to end of our Journey.
Goa Express: After boarding the train, when it was passing from the Sonalium Station towards DudhSagar WaterFalls, it reminded us of our morning journey. We could able to recollect each and every moment spent in our mind. Good part was that we were going to get one more view of DudhSagar Falls from the train. It crossed DudhSagar fall pretty quickly though. After crossing DudhSagar, the train was moving towards Castle Rock Station and the view outside the train was awesome. There was a deep valley on one side of the train completely covered with lush green trees. Mountains were touching the horizon, cloudy weather with sun’s light getting scattered all over the valley made the whole view soothing to the eyes.
We all sang melodious songs while going back to Pune in the train. This time we were pretty loud compared to last time but more entertaining as well. We had our dinner and then we slept. Pune came around 3:45 AM in the morning. This brought our memorable journey to an end.