It’s been exactly one year now when we all roomies (Pran, Lokesh, Shrinivas, Vijay, Nishal, Me), Vishwa and Amaresh (friend’s of pran) decided to go for the long pending trip to GOA en route dudhsagar. We planed for this trip long ahead so that friends staying in other states could also take leave. Everyone was excited about the trip as we finally are going to Dudhsagar (got famous recently due to chennai express movie). As 15-Aug-2014 was coming on Friday, we had a long weekend plan set ahead. We made our reservations for train till Hubli junction. We started the journey on Aug-14 from Bangalore station and reached Hubli around 8 AM in the morning. And from there on, we would catch other train till Londa Junction where we met Vijay and Nishal who were travelling from Mumbai and Pune respectively.
Once we reached Londa Junction, we decided to take a car to reach Castle Rock station. Before the car was booked, all of them started discussing about drinks rather than searching for the car. As it was 15-Aug, there were no much vehicles available which worked as advantage to the cab drivers who were charging hefty amount. After bargaining, we came to mutual understanding and agreed to pay Rs. 2000. We stopped after few minutes to refresh ourselves and purchase drinks from the store. As expected, the price was high as it was remote area and dry day. It was around 12 PM when we reached Castle Rock and it started to drizzle. As it was Independence Day, Pran was eager to carry Indian flag with him throughout the journey. After searching nearby, he saw a car which hoisted flag on it. He silently moved near the car, stole the flag and hurriedly join the group.
Castle Rock is the last station that lies within the border of Karnataka. We decided to have food and then start the trek. As we walked to the remote village beside the railway track, rain poured heavily. We somehow managed to reach a small hotel/mess where we have our food. As everyone was hungry, they had food to their heart’s content. It was around 1.30 PM when we started our trek from Castle Rock. The trek from Castle Rock to Dudhsagar is 11 km long which included series of rail tunnels and takes around 6-7 hours to reach Doodhsagar. One of the difficult task was walking on railway tracks. At first, We would not balance right and use to walk in between the tracks but later after walking for about an kilo-meter or so, you start to catch the correct rhythm and start walking comfortably on the tracks.
The first tunnel is at quite a distance from Castle Rock Station. We reached Tunnel #2 shortly after crossing the first tunnel. This is the longest tunnel on the entire stretch which stretches a distance of 2.4 km and resembles the entrance of a church. This tunnel is a bit curved and hence you surely will require a torch to navigate through. It took us around 10-15 minutes to cross this tunnel and the experience was thrilling but scary at the same time. It is really an adrenaline pumping experience to cross such a long tunnel. As we kept on walking along the railway path, so did the drizzle behind us. It followed us to quite some distance, then we all decided to take a break and refresh ourselves at Tunnel #4. Friends boozed and enjoyed the moment.
As we resumed, rain stopped completely and which showed the serenity and calmness which lies in forest. There was a waterfall aside one of the tunnels seeing which all of them drenched in it and played near it, it was such a fun watching them enjoying under the waterfall. After an hour or so, we resumed our trek. After Tunnel no.6, lies one of the most scenic rail section – The Viaduct and the tunnel combination (pic below). We were mesmerized by the sight which we just witnessed. A tunnel was drilled through a huge rock of mountain and a bridge was built just at the exit.
After crossing four more tunnels, we witnessed the single lined track developing into a double-line. Hence an indication that we were nearing the Dudhsagar Railway Station. A few steps away from the Dudhsagar Station lies the ancient station built by the Portuguese which was called ‘Dudh Sagur“. Just after this station, lies the last and the final tunnel before the very alluring yet mighty powerful Dudhsagar Falls. We were eager to complete this stretch and witness the falls and wanted to know the reason for all the hype which people have created where they say all this trek is worthwhile. Tunnel no. 11 was traversed quickly and we got closer the Dudhsagar Waterfalls Railway Station. After crossing this station, lies the Dudhsagar Falls.