DUDHSAGAR FALLS (literally “Sea Of Milk” ) is a 4-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in Goa. It is 60 km from Panaji by road and is located on the Madgaon-Belgaum rail route about 46 km south of Madgaon and 60 km north of Belgaum.
Dudhsagar Falls is amongst India’s tallest waterfalls with a height of 310 metres and an average width of 30 metres. The Falls is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and the Mollem National Park, amongst the Western Ghats. The waterfall forms the border between Karnataka and Goa States. The Falls are not particularly spectacular in the dry season, but, during the monsoon season, however, the Falls are fed by rains.
It gets its name as it appears like an over-flowing SEA OF MILK. Legend has it that a beautiful Princess lived in the forest on the edge of the King’s Palace grounds. She enjoyed bathing in a lake nearby and ritually drank sweetened milk, from a ‘golden jug’ upon finishing with her bath. One day, while enjoying her jug of milk, she found herself being watched by a handsome Prince, standing among the trees. Red with embarrassment at her inadequate bathing attire, the Princess poured the jug of milk in front of her to form an improvised curtain to hide her body, while one of her maids rushed to cover her with a dress. The ‘sweetened milk’ cascades down the mountain slope, to this day, as tribute to the virtue and modesty of the Princess.
The area is a wild and scenic deciduous forest and an ardent bird-watcher’s paradise. Many species of birds, insects, plants and animals abound here. The FAUNA found, in the Sanctuary, are gaur, panther, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, wild boar, sambar, leopard, porcupine, wild dog, bonnet macaque, common langur, jungle cat, civet, flying squirrel, Malabar giant squirrel, pangolin, slender loris. Occasionally, tigers have also been sen, but the area is famous for King Cobras, though other snakes found are python, krait and viper, as well as non-poisonous snakes. About 200 species, of birds, are found in the Sanctuary, of which the better known ones are Indian Black Woodpecker, the Pied Hornbill, the Paradise fly-catcher, Fairy blue bird, Drongo, wag-tails, barbets, kingfishers, emerald doves and grey jungle fowl.
By and large, sighting of wild animals, on the tails leading to the waterfalls, are poor due to human activity. However, what you will see plenty of are monkeys of various types, who scamper down the steep slopes to greet visitors. Feeding of monkeys is prohibited and will incur a fine, if found guilty.
The most pleasant weather is to be experienced between November and February. March to May can be warm and uncomfortably humid. The monsoon months of June to September are the most scenic, when the entire area is lush and green. However, during these months, the access to the waterfalls could be cut off due to flooded rivers and huge quantities of water cascading down the falls.