Do you also love experiences where you feel you have discovered a hidden paradise? Where it is only you and a few locals that live there. That was the feeling we got when we visited the Dudhsagar Plantation and Farmstay. When we were there, it was only us and 4 others visitors staying there.
The Dudhsagar plantation offers a farmstay, with a natural swimming pool (be ready to swim with a few cute frogs), all kinds of different floral species, spices and domestic animals.
Most of the food is locally grown at the farm. In addition to the breakfast offered, it is possible to get a traditional home-cooked lunch and dinner.
Included in the accommodation is a Spice Tour of the plantation. We found it interesting to see how the spices are cultivated, many we had never seen before. I am sure every visitor will see and learn something new.
We also got a new friend, Charlotte the spider that had made her home in one of the trees at the plantation. To be honest, I am normally terrified of spiders. However, there was something with the atmosphere and the tranquility in the middle of nature, that made me calm. I was however happy that there were no spiders inside the cottage, only two cute frogs.
A Beautiful Oasis – Tambdi Waterfall
Through the Dudshagar Plantation, we found out that it is possible to visit a secluded waterfall in the jungle, the Tambdi Waterfall. The visit can be perfectly combined with a visit to the oldest still standing temple in Goa, Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla. It is built in the 13th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also from there where the hike starts.
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After hiking 4km in the warm and humit jungle, suddenly this oasis appeared in front of us. The beautiful waterfall felt extremely refreshing and cooled us down more than we could have imagined. Have you ever found an oasis like this? #incredibleindia #dudhsagarplantation #tambdiwaterfall #eccentrictraveler #communitybasedtourism #bhagwanmahavirwildlifesanctuary
I would suggest keeping the visit to the waterfall and temple as the only part of the itinerary for the day. The walk through the jungle is both beautiful and rewarding. During the walk we felt very warm, thus the cold waterfall felt extremely refreshing. We had the waterfall all to ourselves. Believe me, you do not want to have to rush somewhere else, rather have time to enjoy.
How to get to the Tambdi Waterfall
We did the visit with a knowledgeable local guide, Samir, that the owner of Dudhsagar Plantation and Farmstay arranged for us. He picked us up at the plantation in a jeep, took us to the temple and then hiked with us to the waterfall, telling us stories of the wildlife he has seen in the neighborhood. He furthermore showed us the wildlife on the hike; snakes, spiders, birds, monkeys, and butterflies. The price was very fair, 2200 INR (Indian Rupee) in total for the whole trip.
Make sure to have good shoes on, and to bring enough water. A big part of the hike is upwards, and it is very humid and warm, so it is important to have enough liquids. The hike is about 3-4 km, each way.
The Dudhsagar Waterfall
One of the must-see places, both me and Vigdis had put on our must-visit list, was the Dudhsagar waterfall. We went the day after our visit to the Tambdi Waterfall.
We had read in Lonely Planet that it is 603 meters and the second highest in India. There seems to have been some mix-up, as we have found out that it is 310 meters, but still one of the highest in India.
We got a spot in a jeep around 10:30 in the morning and the area of the waterfall was completely full and everyone was very loud. We found it too crowded. Our host told us that it is because, for a lot of people living in India, they do not get the possibility so often to visit natural places, with so clean water to bathe in.
It is a beautiful waterfall, but if you do not like too crowded spaces, I would either suggest to go very early in the morning (the first tour is at 7:30) or use your time visiting another place instead. We personally enjoyed our visit to the Tambdi Waterfall much more.
How to get to the Dudhsagar Waterfall
At the moment there are 300 jeeps allowed to go to the Dudhsagar waterfall per day, departing from Collem. The system is slowly being changed to be pre-bookings online. The old system is arriving at a very long line in Collem, where everything was very chaotic. I highly recommend the pre-booking, as otherwise you risk standing in line for a long time and not even getting a ticket.
The website for booking a trip is: https://www.ticketpapa.com/dudhsagar-jeeps
The booking is made for one jeep, that can fit 7 persons, and costs 3500 INR Normally when you arrive at Collem, you can find people that are looking for a jeep, so you can sell your empty seats to them for a full jeep. Additional compulsory charges are 50 INR per person for forest entrance and 40 INR per lifejacket.
The Cottages at Dudhsagar Plantation and Farm Stay
The cottages are simple, where 2 out of 5 offer a shower under the open sky. Each has a private bathroom. There are options of double beds, twin beds or a family cottage. There is a small terrace in front of all the cottages, with a table and chairs to enjoy the surroundings.
When walking out of the cottage, I loved the view, looking up seeing palm trees, banana trees, and other exotic plants.
The best way to get to the Dudhsagar Plantation and Farmstay
We took a taxi with AC from Panjim, which costs less than 2000 INR. (Make sure you ask for the price before starting the trip.) We had not pre-ordered a taxi, so our guesthouse arranged it for us. For us, it was the perfect way to get there, and a fair price for 1 and a half hour travel.
It is also possible to get Dudhsagar Plantation and Farmstay to arrange your transfer from anywhere in Goa, if contacted well in advance. Furthermore, they can arrange guided trips around the area and answer any questions. You can find all the contact information on their website: http://www.dudhsagarplantation.com.