Chasing The Monsoon In The Western Ghats Over The Train Tracks!
Bombay which is the prominent port on the West Coast was once ceded by Portugal to England as the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she wed King Charles II. In 1888, a railway track was built to support the goods carrying from Murmagaon in Portuguese Goa to New Hubli in Dharwar district of British India. It was owned and maintained by the London based Portuguese West of India Guaranteed Railway Company. It was mainly built to connect the Western Ghats to westwards running connecting line of Southern Mahratta Company.
Despite being the important source of transportation since hundreds of years these trains in Murmagaon shows the immense natural beauty that attracts several trekkers towards it. Trekking from Castle Rock in Karnataka to Kulem in Goa along the railway lines is a truly adventurous experience that everybody must try once.
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Dudhsagar – Dudhsagar falls literally translates to ‘sea of milk’ when it creates the beautiful white foam on merging with water of the lake. Apart from being the important mode of transportation it still makes the remembrance of old days with its structure. It is a popular attraction among visitors throughout the year but the view of fall especially when train crawls from it below in monsoon is a view to die for. Many nature lover trekkers place their camps just beside the bridge to enjoy the lullaby of the train and the rain during this time.
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Caranzol Railway Station – With only 1 platform, Caranzol railway station is a small railway station in the South Goa district that serves Caranzol village. This is one of the three stations in Braganza Ghats along with Dudhsagar, and Sonalium. These stations are always busy with several railways staffs to ensure all safety standards and the operations of railways, especially during monsoons. Although from Sonalium you can take a rough road through the woods that is mostly used by tourist heading to fall from Kulem. But crossing through this way during monsoon can be quite risky because of several flowing streams in between.
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Castle Rock railway station – It is a small railways station in Karnataka that serves the Castle Rock city. With two platforms, this station was built by west of India Portuguese Railway for delivering the economic impetus but it was not that successful in that time and Bombay worked as the port of ships from Europe. But nowadays, it developed a lot and used extensively for transferring goods over the Ghats. You can easily witness its changes and beauty at Castle Rock railway station where several trains daily wait for their turn to ride on the beautiful magnificent hills. Can’t wait for a romantic trip to Kerala? We have amazing tour packages for you just a click away!!
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Sonalium – With only 1 platform, Sonalium railway station is a small railway station in the South Goa district that serves Sonalium village. Being one of the three stations in Braganza Ghats, it is more than a hundred year old and now converted into a busy broad gauge. From good carriage to passenger trains, you can easily witness their echo in the wooded hills and narrow valleys. The view of trains among the beautiful streams, immense forests and milky waterfalls attracts the attention of several visitors.
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Kulem – It is a very prior railway station in South Goa district that serves Kulem Village. It has three platforms and a very popular trekking spot. Trekking along the track covered with greenery, mountains and forests in monsoon is something must try for everyone. The thrill of immense forests, in and out of trains from tunnels, milky streams on the magnificent mountains make it a memorable adventure for trekkers. Among all these adventures the view of beautiful Dudhsagar waterfall, 14km away from castle rock and 11km from Kulem is a popular attraction.
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The Western Ghats – The Western Ghats are also known as Sahyadri. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the eight hottest hot spots of biological diversity in the world. It is also known as the Great Escarpment of India. Steep slopes, immense forests, wildlife, incessant rains describe some features of Western Ghats. The railways’ line was built under the guidance of some best engineering experts, machinery, and skilled labourers. In its construction around 16000 workforces mainly from South Asia and Afghanistan to Ceylon was involved.
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Tunnel No 2 – The Tunnel No 2 is the longest tunnel of about 409.95m that covers the region of Castle Rock in Karnataka to Kulem in Goa. It is a railway track that consists of fourteen dark tunnels, five sturdy viaducts and seven lean bridges. You can easily get the idea of hard work of the several workers who contributed to the building of these immense tunnels by just a view at it. These tunnels are built on the hills by digging it into granite and its viaducts are constructed over the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Sanguem and Paroda rivers.
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(Header Image Source: Flickr @Dheeraj Clickr Rao)