Dudhsagar is one of the India’s tallest waterfalls having the height of 310 m (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 meters (100 feet). The fall of water from that height creates the illusion of a literally sea of milk falling from the top. Dudhsagar is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the border of the Indian state of Goa and Karnataka. It is 60 km from Panaji by road and is located on the Madgaon-Belgaum rail route about 46 km east of Madgaon and 80 km south of Belgaum. This story is written by one of the Survivors Sonia Bharadwaj
In her story, Ms. Sonia has narrated the epic experiment they (entire group of 25 people) had faced while on their trip to Dudhsagar in Goa. The most horrifying story written by Sonia will make your think twice before you decide to visit this place. Sonia along with the group of 25 people visited this place during her last visit to Goa. Sonia was not alone but she had two of her kids with her who are also the witness to this most horrifying incident. It is the true story of the 25 people who were captured amidst the scary and horrendous shock that took place on their trip to Dudhsagar falls. What is shocking and mind-boggling about this horror story is not only the incident which took place. It is more about how most people turned their backs to other people who were in a desperate need of help and were stuck between the option of either life or death.
Hi, My name is Sonia Bharadwaj and here I am going to share with you a Life Threatening experience I had on my last visit to the DudhSagar waterfalls in Goa. I seek your patience in reading this long story. It is important that I share every bit of it so that you guys never get trapped in a similar situation.
Last year on 15th June, I visited Spice garden in Goa along with my friends. On the entrance, there was a sign board “Welcome to Dudhsagar Falls.” At the entrance, there was a restaurant and we were greeted very well. The people manning this place reached out to us and started offering us various packages like Elephant ride. Elephant shower in spice garden or a visit to Dhudhsagar. When we told that our Hotel staff has informed us that Dhudhsagar Waterfall is closed, they said that the Ride in a Jeep is closed but the other entrance is open for which we will have to go by train in order to reach DudhSagar waterfalls.
Since the kids were very excited to see Dhudhsagar waterfall and there were other groups of people who were also visiting the place along with us, we readily agreed. We were asked to leave our belongings in the car and pay 1000 Rs per person. Good sense prevailed that we did not leave anything in the car and agreed to pay only on our return. Till here everything looked normal and part of the process of going to Dhudhsagar waterfall. Guide by the name, Krishna was assigned to us for the full journey of the DudhSagar waterfall.
We got our first shock when we reached the platform and realized that we had to board Goa Express with our small kids. Krishna assured us that the journey was for 5 minutes only. He assured us that he had tickets for all of us. All of us Boarded the train and again felt comfortable as there were a TT and lot of policemen who looked very friendly to this guide. 5-minute journey as told to us became almost 25 min to 30 min. We were misguided on the time, however since the journey seemed comfortable and kids were enjoying the new experience of traveling by a local train, we kept quiet. DudhSagar waterfalls were nowhere to been.
Now finally our destination came and we were told that we only have 1 minute to get down. We were 14 people including small kids and another group of college students. Total 25 people had to get down in 1 minute. We were shocked, but we managed as this guide literally pushed all of us out. Our first shock of life was that there was no platform and we were asked to jump on railway tracks. The train was stopped for us only and the TT and Police were also involved, that’s why the stop was only for 1 minute.
We started yelling at the guide as we were on the railway tracks with dense jungle around us. He calmed us down by saying that the waterfall is only 5 min away and this is the normal and safe route. We followed him as we had no other option. We started following him in the jungle. All of sudden he started running back and said quickly get back as the water levels have increased.
When we inquired about the nine college students, he informed us that they managed to walk along the high water flow as they are all adults. Since we had kids with us, we were asked to follow another route. Now, he asked us to walk uphill on the railway tracks for 30 to 40 mins to reach Dudhsagar waterfalls. We all resisted and asked him to take us back. Now to our horror, he informed us that there was no train to go back and we had no other option but reach the waterfalls where his friends are waiting for us in the jeep.
We immediately thought of informing police or our Hotel staff, but there were no network Signals. Suddenly we saw those college students running towards us on the railway tracks. They informed us that this guy was not a guide. He had brought us here illegally.
Waterfalls were closed by the Forest department and no one was allowed to come to this place in this season due to high water levels and wild animals. The guide had told us that the water levels have increased but the fact was that he had seen the forest officers and ran away leaving these 9 college kids behind.
We all overpowered this guy and asked him to take us back. He expressed his helplessness by saying that there was no way to get back from here and the station from where we had boarded the train was 8 to 10 km from this place. After waiting helplessly for 1 hour, at 6;30 pm, a Good’s train passed by and saw all 25 of us including the kids.
It stopped but the guy refused to take us he feared to lose his job by allowing 25 passengers in the Good’s train. We pleaded that this person has misled us to this place and it is about to get dark, he did not budge. For him, his duty was more important than the life of 25 people. He left us at 6.30 pm with small kids in the middle of “Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary”. With the Sunset, the scary noise of jungle became more prominent. College girls started crying as their parents did not know about their whereabouts and there was no way to inform also.
Now the only option left with us was to fight against the situation. We started walking on the railway tracks as animals were less likely to come to the tracks. We used our Mobile phone lights to walk in the dark. None of us were wearing the sports shoes. 6 and 8-year-old kids walked continuously on stones without food and water for 2 hours in the middle of the dark forest. Twice the trains passed through the track, we literally had to jump off the track to save our lives.
None of the trains stopped. We had almost walked 6 km on the Railway track when a Good’s train crossed us. God sent Train driver was shocked to see 25 people in the middle of jungle crying for help. Without bothering about his Job, he allowed all of us to board the train. He was shocked that we survived on these railway tracks for 4 hours. He said that daily he crosses this jungle and has seen wild buffalo, snakes and even leopards around these tracks.
Finally, we reached the station and to our surprise, the restaurant owner and so called guides had packed their bags and run away. We did not contact police as we realized that Police was also supporting these goons and being the tourist we would have got into the trouble. I salute all the kids of our group for their courage, special thanks to the driver who stopped the train. I have sent this complaint to Goa Tourism Ministry and waiting for their revert. How can someone run an organized crime at a Government run place like Spice Plantation? For all of us, it was like a second birth.