• waterfall goa

Mangeli Waterfall, a Monsoon Adventure

As it’s raining cats and dogs in Goa and I’m trapped inside, this seems like a good story to share.

We planned on waking up early to get to Mangeli waterfall at first, but early wake up calls literally never worked unless there is a plane to catch. Of course we showed up just about the time lots of domestic tourists were there getting drunk in the car park. Typical in Goa! I thought it would be fun to show this adventure as it started so you can see it how I did!

We drove off toward the Karnataka border with our friends Ryance and Babu. Monsoon in Goa is lush and green.. it’s quiet and peaceful, but it’s a little boring after a couple months of pouring rain. This monsoon is much better than the last so far (knock on wood). Last year it rained all through June and this year it rained only a week in June then stopped for two.

The drive was beautiful and stopping for food on the way is a good idea because the street-side restaurants on the highways serve decent food. I don’t eat Indian often, so when I do it’s better when I’m with my local friends because they really know what to order!

PS for more adventures in Goa, check out my e-book the Insider’s Guide to Goa.

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

As we got close, we hear the music before we saw the people. There were so many Indian men partying in the car park! One thing that most people notice in Goa is local men go out a lot and then women stay home. This is totally normal here but makes me feel bad for all the wives who are home with the kids while the men party it up. It really hit me when we went to Wok n Roll one night and a bus showed up with people coming for a birthday party. There were about 30 men, 6 little boys, and 2 women. The women were clearly there just to babysit the kids and the rest of the wives were at home. It’s just the culture.

This place was no different. I was the only girl and everyone kept calling me “ruski” meaning Russian in konkani/hindi (I’m not sure).

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

The waterfall was a lot of fun but the water was rushing so hard that we weren’t really allowed in. The word rule in the west means “one of a set of explicit or understood regulations governing conduct within a particular activity “.  The word “rule” in India I think must mean something different like, “a set of possible ideas you could follow but absolutely don’t have to and can very well do the opposite if that pleases you better”. The people in charge told us definitely not to get in but if we do they will hold my cell phone for me. Sweet deal.

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

On our way out, we saw a cow fight! I hate to see animals fighting but weirdly took photos…

waterfall goa

waterfall goa

Lastly, of course we have to swim in the creek we saw kids swimming in earlier. Ben went through those huge water spouts under the bridge like a crazy man and then the day was over!

waterfall goa

Practicalities: The waterfall is called Mangeli and is right across the border in Maharashtra. Any taxi driver will know how to get you there. You need only a half day for this.

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Ken Kai July 15, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Some beautiful imagery there Rachel. Love those little huts. The greenery around it makes me want to go there!

    • Rachel Jones July 16, 2014 at 6:32 am - Reply

      its gorgeous but i’ll admit it’s a little humid which kind of takes away from all the beauty after a couple months!

  2. Rebekah July 15, 2014 at 4:51 am - Reply

    I love the explanation of what a “rule” means in India. In China people say I look russian because russia is supposed to have beautiful women and its their way of giving a compliment. Maybe India thinks so too?

    • Rachel Jones July 16, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Ahh I wish the russian thing meant that, but it’s because goans think russians are taking over their towns & the russian girls have a bad reputation, so I think they were being mean!

  3. Christie July 15, 2014 at 5:08 am - Reply

    Looks gorgeous! Love how India has such a loose definition of a rule, that’s really funny that they told you not to go in but that they would hold your cellphone – love it!

  4. Empty Rucksack July 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Its ‘rusi’ and not ‘ruski’, rule has multiple meanings in our country , especially something that is never to be followed.

    Do visit the Tropical spice garden near mangeshi temple on a day when it is not raining, its a nice day out

    • Rachel Jones July 16, 2014 at 6:33 am - Reply

      ahhh rusi rusi! lol when my hair is pulled back i hear it all the time! The spice plantation, do you mean the one in ponda? i’ve been there a couple times!

  5. Justine July 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    This place looks amazing! That’s pretty hilarious that they warn you not to go into the water only to offer to hold your belongings. And the fact that everyone there is partying looks like it would be a pretty fun experience. Though it does make me feel really badly that women just sit at home while the men go out and party. I get that it’s the culture, but still…

    • Rachel Jones July 16, 2014 at 6:35 am - Reply

      Yeah it’s always a bit weird to be the only girl which is why I like going to things like this with my local friend, not that I wouldn’t feel safe without them, but I do feel more comfortable.

  6. Elora July 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Wow, sounds like such fun! I wonder if the culture there will change over the next few decades…it does seem SUCH a pity that more women and children can’t join. Staying cooped up at home (unless you’re a homebody that really does not like to get out) is not fun. It can relieve a lot of stress to get out, do something fun.

    • Rachel Jones July 23, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Yeah, It’s definitely different for the classes here. I’m not sure the correct terms (politically correct) but the village women don’t go out at all, well wealthy ones from Goan do a little, and women on vacation from other parts of India get to go out more!

  7. Neha July 24, 2014 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Its “Rusi” and not “ruski”. “Rusi” in a word in hindi which means Russian.
    While you are in Goa, you can plan a trek to Dudhsagar, its India’s fifth tallest waterfall.
    During monsoon it can only be reached through train.

    • Rachel Jones July 24, 2014 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Thanks Neha, and yes I’ve been in Goa a couple years now and still haven’t gone to Dudhsagar.

  8. sushant October 4, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    The adventure of a road trip gives a wonderful opportunity to escape the frenetic rat race of the city life and reconnect with nature. Riding through verdant landscape, lush greenery, waterfalls and taking in fresh air really can be a wonderful experience for all. Goans are gifted with this heavenly place which lies in Maharashtra but is as far as just 36 kms from Panjim. To reach Mangeli is not difficult at all; the direction boards alongside roads will guide you to a village named Virdi. From Virdi, one has to climb the steep hill and the sharp twisted roads require a certain amount of riding skills. There are several scenic spots on the way, where one can make a short halts. The splendid view amidst thick fog can make a fantastic backdrop for pictures.

    The snake-like tar roads accompany you for almost 30 mins from Virdi and thereafter it is pure off-road riding bliss. The water puddles and the slushy roads can give the rider a tough time while descending. The pillion can provide with some assistance to push the bike out of the muck! Mangeli has three waterfalls in total. The biggest of them is relatively more accessible than the other two. To get there requires a small trek for about ten minutes. The trek is very easy and the small huts on the way selling vada-pav, mirchi bhaji and hot cup of tea make for refreshing short halts.

    The initial 20-25 feet of the waterfall are heavily jagged rocks. The water crashing from a height splashes tiny drops of water on your face giving you rainbows wherever you turn your gaze. One can further climb these slippery boulders to reach higher but it is risky and is best avoided. The water is refreshingly chilly and the view from atop is splendid. Beware of strong currents. The picturesque village of Virdi offers a host of scenic locales for trekkers. The village has around five waterfalls in total and is a hot spot for trekking enthusiasts from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. If you wish to spend some quality time with your family and friends, a waterfall trekking trip to Mangeli is highly recommended!
    see mangeli on facebook
    please visit mangeli it a place nearby goa border.

  9. Shreya July 23, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Loved the humour in this article! I’m from Goa and see these sights so often. But your explanation of ‘Rules’ is spot on, it makes me laugh every time too :D

    • Rachel Jones July 24, 2017 at 4:11 am - Reply

      so glad you enjoyed this Shreya, I wrote this actually years ago and also just re-read it and had a laugh :D

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