Goa is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in India and even the world. And this is because it has much to offer in terms of culture, beaches, and even waterfalls. However, hinterland tourism hasn’t been tapped as much as beach tourism. The most famous waterfall in Goa is perhaps the Dudhsagar waterfall which attracts thousands of tourists every year at the height of the monsoons. There are other smaller falls as well, the most iconic of which is the Arvalem or Harvalem waterfalls.
The Arvalem Waterfall
These iconic waterfalls are located approximately 2 km from the small town of Sanquelim in Bicholim taluka, North Goa. The Arvalem waterfalls are a gorgeous picnic spot and the best time to visit this pretty place is just after the monsoons. The rushing water cascades from a height of 50 metres into a shimmering, sizeable lake. It’s a great swimming spot for strong, season swimmers.
The area is also full of greenery, surrounded by fruit-bearing trees. One can see various trees such as banana trees, breadfruit trees, and even coconut palms to name a few.
Another tourist attraction in the area is the Rudreshwar Temple. This temple holds importance for the Hindus who believe in releasing the soul on the 12th day after death. There are also ancient, rock-cut caves which have some historical value as well as being a familiar spot for film crews.
But it’s also dangerous to visit. If one is not a seasoned trekker or even a strong swimmer, the chances of something going wrong may just increase. In fact, the newspapers shared a story of how an Afghan student tragically drowned at the waterfalls, just after the last monsoon season.
The Arvalem Waterfalls dry up?
As mentioned, the best time to go see the cascading water is just after the monsoons. The flow is reduced to a mere trickle in the summer. This year, however, the fall has dried up even before peak season. Locals blame the slipshod mining activities that went on in the state, during the previous years.
Prakash Pednekar, 62, a resident of Arvalem, said haphazard mining activities in the upper reaches has caused the fall to dry up. “The groundwater table, as well as other water resources feeding the river upstream, have been destroyed,” he said. TOI has more details here.
A group of tourists, visiting from Maharashtra were taken aback to see the dried up waterfall.