Arwalem Falls in Goa. India. Description, coordinates, photos

Arwalem Falls and Burial Ashes. Goa. India

Usually for our countrymen India is known primarily for its famous tourist state of Goa. On the one hand it has beautiful beaches, on the other hand no less beautiful, bright and lush nature. For now, let’s leave the beaches alone and let’s take up nature, more precisely the waterfalls of Goa. In particular stop at the Arvalem Waterfall (in the original Harvalem Waterfall).

It is located 25 kilometers inland from its west coast, and 1.5 kilometers from the town center Sanklim.

Arvalem Waterfall on the map

  • Geographical coordinates 15.551149, 74.02666
  • The distance from the Indian capital New Delhi is about 1500 km in a straight line.
  • Nearest International Airport Goa Dabolim is 30 Km Southwest

Arwalem Falls is located in the bed of the Kadnem River flowing through a dense, pristine jungle. The height of the waterfall is about 20 meters.

Arwalem Falls in India

Arwalem Falls. Goa. India

It is noteworthy that many sources indicate a height of 50 meters (this is approximately the height of a 16-story building), but after watching a number of videos about this waterfall, we, honestly, could not count there 16 floors, but 7-8 quite. At the end of the article, watch the video, maybe you can get a look at the 50 meters. According to tourist reviews, the height of the Arwalem waterfall is not more than 15 meters (as always, the truth is somewhere nearby).

This time there will be no epithets and admiration. In our opinion, Arwalem Falls cannot be called a favorite tourist spot. There are no tours or souvenir sales. Rather, it is one of the many waterfalls lost in the jungle of India, so there are not many travelers here. In addition, there is one Indian peculiarity associated with Arwal Falls that can scare away tourists.

If you are interested in really remarkable waterfalls, you should definitely pay attention to another waterfall. About 40 kilometers southeast of Arwalem is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India, Dudhsagar. It is much larger (and, let’s face it, more beautiful and powerful) Arwalem.

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What can scare away the tourist?

One of the many Hindu temples, the temple of God Shiva Rudreshwar, is within walking distance of Arwalem Falls. It is noteworthy that the image of Shiva faces directly to the waterfall.

Hindus often conduct their rituals here. In particular, the funeral. This is what can scare away travelers.

You know that in India it is customary to cremate the dead. Well, what remains after the burning is scattered by the relatives over the lake at the foot of the waterfall.

Arwalem Falls. India

Arwalem Falls in Goa

Technically, bathing in the lake is not forbidden. However, it is not recommended to do so here. During the rainy season, the streams of the waterfall are quite powerful, so strong currents form in the lake. During the dry season, the power of the waterfall decreases, but during this period, you can get an infection in the lake. Add to this the fact that locals scatter the ashes of their dead relatives here. We don’t think you would risk a swim here.

Arwalem Falls in Goa

Swimming here is undesirable

The few tourists who come to Arwalem Falls may see the steps on the lake shore and think that this was done precisely to facilitate access to the reservoir for bathing. All true, but there is one significant BUT. These steps are for people who have just dispersed the ashes of a deceased relative here.

According to Indian customs, after this ritual, one must necessarily wash away the filth of death by taking a dip in the lake. In addition, the locals have a negative attitude towards people who use the religious area as an entertainment. This does not mean that you will certainly be kicked out. If you respect the religious feelings of the Indians, and just come here to see the waterfall, of course, “welcome!” It should be noted that local young people do occasionally bathe in the lake, and sometimes drown. Maybe the spirits do not welcome such behavior and take away especially impertinent bathers?

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Given that you do not dare to swim near the waterfall, the best time to visit it is the rainy season. This is when the waterfall pours with unprecedented power and furiously spurts water, creating an abundance of splashing and noise.

Arwalem Falls

Arwalem Falls during rainy season

Arwalem Falls can only be reached by cab or on foot from the town of Sanklim, which can already be reached by public transportation.

Arwalem Falls in India

Arwalem Falls in India

This natural landmark can be heard from several kilometers away. These sounds mean one thing – the noise with which thousands of drops smash against the surface of the rocks, flying half a hundred meters. We are talking about Arwalem Falls.

Arwalem Falls Goa

Arwalem Falls Goa


The waterfall is located in close proximity to North Goa, on the cliffs of the Western Ghats. At the base of the waterfall is a lake that forms a unified whole with the surrounding landscape. very near there is a stone path that leads to a Goan temple dedicated to the Trimurti, which unites the three fundamental universal forces: creation, symbolized by Brahma, conservation, personified by Vishnu, and destruction, whose expression in Hinduism is considered Maheshwar.

Arwalem Falls

Those who visit the waterfall, be sure to visit the caves of Arwalem. According to local lore, they came into existence through the labors of itinerant Buddhists. They created dwellings for themselves where they saw fit. Scientists believe that this happened somewhere in the fifth century AD. The corridors of these caves converge into a large hall. There are inscriptions on the walls that are about eight hundred years old. There are several legends describing the appearance of these caves. One of the most common tells of five brothers who were at one time also warriors and had been in exile for many twelve years. Here they lived during the entire period of their exile. The locals refer to them as the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

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Arwalem Falls

The Arwalem Caves are considered one of the most mysterious attractions of Goa. They are located near Avralem waterfall and Sri Rudreshwar temple. The Pandava Caves are created in a laterite hill. It is a rather soft rock that has a reddish color. This place is referred to as a grog temple, in other words, it is a cave created by human hands and arranged as a temple.

Arwalem Caves

The waterfall itself falls as a cascade, starting at the top of a fifty-meter cliff and ending in a small lake. Opposite the waterfall there is a stone bridge, which many people use for photography and observation. There is plenty of water all year round, but after the rainy season the view is particularly impressive.


The waterfall stretches one and a half kilometers from the town called Sanklim and forty kilometers from the northern coast.

Arwalem Falls

How to get there

You can get there by public transport: a two hour drive from Mapusa. The stop is Arwalem. Then you have to spend half an hour to get to the falls.

The train will be inconvenient to use, due to the remoteness of the railroad tracks from this point.


Anastasia, 37 years old. The waterfall is located forty-five kilometers from Parja in the vicinity of the village of Sankvelim. You can get there on your own by scooter or bus. On the territory of the waterfall is the Rudreshwar temple. The height of the waterfall is two dozen meters, although many sources indicate fifty. It is best to come to see the waterfall in October, as after the rainy season, the waterfall becomes really powerful. There are observation platforms on the territory of the waterfall.

Lena, 23 years old. Chose this route as the safest for the whole family. It is rumored to be suitable even for inexperienced travelers, which we belong to. In fact, we liked the attraction. It is beautiful, there are no huge crowds of tourists, which is nice. here you can relax with the whole family, however, the locals are not very good about swimming in the lake. The fact is that it plays a religious role – after a person disperses the ashes of the deceased, he must wash it off. and dip into this body of water. And to use for entertainment what is used as a holy place is bad enough. Therefore, it is better to choose another place to rest in nature, and come here to enjoy nature and beauty.

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