June 28, 2021
Cocooned by the verdant ranges of the Western Ghats lies a dainty village – Agumbe. From rolling hills to countless waterfalls, this village in the Shimoga district in Malnad region of Karnataka is an explorer’s paradise. Here are 15 reasons why Agumbe should be on your bucket list!
Receiving an average rainfall of more than 7000 mm annually, Agumbe is popularly known as the Cherrapunji of the south. The rains transform this place to a dreamy land, making it a major monsoon attraction in South India.
If you want to experience green in all its glory Agumbe is indeed the right place to be as the tropical rainforests here are sure to enchant you with their beauty. They are also home to a variety of medicinal plants like Myristica, Diospyros, Garcinia, Litsea and Ficus. There is no wonder why the locals call this place ‘Hosiru Honnu’, meaning ‘green gold’.
If you love to get fascinated by the mighty waterfalls then pack your bags right now, because Agumbe has countless of them! Nestled in the thick forests of Agumbe lies numerous waterfalls waiting to be discovered by the adventure junkie in you. Here are some that you can’t afford to miss!
● Barkana Falls : Falling from a lofty height of about 850 ft, Barkana falls is one of the ten highest waterfalls in India. The waterfall formed by the Seetha river is located in Balehalli forest area. Located 7 km away from Agumbe, the falls
derives its name from the word Barka, referring to the Mouse Deer that lives in this region. It is also an important source of hydroelectricity in Karnataka.
● Jogi Gundi Falls
This is a serene waterfall, located at about 3 km from Agumbe and which is enroute to Barkana Falls. The water from about 20ft falls into a huge pool and if the conditions permit, you can even enjoy a swim.
● Onake Abbi Falls
Witnessing the spectacular sight of a waterfall fringed by green is indeed an experience, especially after a pleasant trek. Located about 4km from Agumbe, the water plunges a good 500ft here and is something not to be missed.
● Koodlu Theertha Falls
Looking for a tranquil place to contemplate? Koodlu Theertha can be that right place you’re looking for. It is said that years ago sages used to perform penance here, which is why it is considered holy by the locals. Located near Hebri on Udupi-Agumbe Road, this is the first fall of River Seetha. The water descends 300ft to a pond, in which visitors can enjoy a good swim.
● Kunchikal Falls
The cascading water falling from a height of 455 meter is a spectacular sight to behold. Located on the Shimoga-Udupi highway, this waterfall is formed by the Varahi river.
The emerald forests of Agumbe houses the only permanent Rainforest Research Station in India. The station located about 2 km from Agumbe was set up by the famous Indian herpetologist Romulus Whitaker in 2005. Constantly engaged in protecting the ecology of the rainforests, they offer workshops to spread awareness among the visitors and volunteers.The oldest weather station of India can also be found here. During the monsoon they also organise a lot of fun filled mud games. One can witness a beautiful grassland set against the backdrop of the enchanting mountains, enroute the ARRS. As the seasons change from monsoon to winter, the grassland gradually sheds its lush green dress to wear a mind-blowing golden yellow.
Golden hour in the middle of a golden land is something you must experience!
Due to the high density of King Cobras in the region, Agumbe is popularly referred to as the King Cobra Capital. The groundbreaking King Cobra Project was undertaken by the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, which was the world’s first radio-telemetry project for King Cobra and the first of its kind in India. The team at ARRS and the locals work together here and calls for catching Cobras are not something new but despite having such a high density of snakes, the human-snake conflicts are very few here.
Apart from the sparkling streams, rustic village and sprawling hills, Agumbe is also a famous trekking spot. There are numerous trekking spots which are sure to pump the adrenaline in your body. Most of the above-mentioned waterfalls can be reached only after at least a kilometre’s trek. Walking down through the unpaved paths roofed by the splendid canopies is going to soothe your soul. The Narasimha Parvatha is also another famous trekking spot. So gear up your trekker’s boots ladies and gentlemen!
‘If only Malgudi was a real place’ was your wish, then congratulations, your wish is granted. Shankar Nag’s popular DD serial of the 1980s, Malgudi Days, based on R.K Narayan’s work was mostly shot here. If you are an R.K Narayan fan, reliving the rustic lives of Swami and his friends is indeed something to tick off your bucket list.
Why stop there…you can even stay at Dodda mane – Swami’s house. This 150 year old house is owned by Kasturi Akka, who offers a warm welcome to the visitors.
Dodda means big and staying true to its name, it is a big traditional house with a central courtyard. The delicious Konkani style food served by Kasturi Akka is also something out of this world! Despite providing every basic comfort, Kasturi Akka doesn’t collect a fixed rate from those who stay here.
The Sunset Point is among the most popular places to visit in Agumbe.The viewpoint which is on one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats offers a splendid view of the Sun setting into the Arabian Sea. While the sky becomes a mesmerising canvas, the rolling hills of the Western Ghats form the perfect foreground. This is something you shouldn’t miss!
Being a part of the Western Ghats, it is no wonder that this place is booming with life. According to the research done by ARRS, 32 species of Mammals, 45 kinds of reptiles, 31 different amphibians, 202 birds species, 130 kinds of butterflies and numerous plant species call Agumbe Rainforests their home. Many endangered plantspecies like Garcinia indica, Dysoxylum malabaricum, Vateria indica etc are found here. It is also home to animals like tiger, leopard, dhole, king cobra, Indian bison, giant squirrel, sambar, gaur, dhole and endangered lion-tailed macaque. Birds like
yellow-browed bulbul and Malabar trogon are also found here.
The innumerable waterfalls will be gushing with water and the forests will be teeming with life during the monsoon season. If you want to witness the beauty and power of nature at its best, there’s no better time to explore Agumbe than the monsoon. Suit up and get to experience the monsoon in the Cherrapunji of the South. There’s a catch though! The forests will be ruled by the armed forces of leeches and so prepare well before venturing into the wild. Investing in good leech socks is highly recommended…no…let’s say it’s mandatory!
Situated at a height of about 3200 ft above sea level, the hills offer a breathtaking view of the land below.Choose to let your soul float in this magical place as it is known for amazing cloud formations. Witnessing the sunrise from such a height cannot be described by mere words! The ideal plan is to start from Agumbe at 5 in the morning but since there is a high chance for the jealous clouds to obstruct the sun rays, consider yourself lucky if you get a chance to watch the sunrise. Don’t get disappointed if you don’t get to see the sunrise as the view from high up won’t fail to impress you. Even the drive from Agumbe to Kundadri is exciting. There is also a 17th century Jain temple dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha and two natural pools that’ll be brimming with water during the monsoon. They also protect
various medicinal plants here.
A pleasant trek of about 5 km through green fields, wandering streams, stone laid pathways and big granite archways will lead you to a hilltop fort in the forest – Kavaledurga. With three rounds of wall fortifications, it was the fourth and last stronghold of the Keladi Kingdom, subordinates of the Vijayanagara empire. The beauty of nature lies interwoven with remnants of history here and the view from up above is definitely going to be worth the long walk. Along with a freshwater pond, there are shrines dedicated to Virupaksha, Vijaya Vittala, Mallara, Veerabhadra and Bhuvaneshwari inside the fort. The countless stories that this fort will tell you through its centuries old walls will stay with you forever.
Ever wanted to take a walk through Jurassic Park after watching Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece? Well, there’s an Indian version of it lying in the jungles of the Western Ghats – Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Covering an area of 314.25sq km, it is named after Lord Someshwara, the presiding deity of the temple located inside the sanctuary. Trekking to a waterfall and to meet an old ‘granny tree’ by walking through paths cushioned with green leaves and roofed by thick canopies is an entirely different experience. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including Tiger, Leopard, Wild Pig, Sambar, Spotted Deer,Jackal, Gaur, Barking Deer, Lion Tailed Macaque, King Cobra, Python and birds like Malabar Trogon, Ceylon Frogmouth and Malabar Pied Hornbill.
You can’t help but glorify nature as you make your way through a gushing river fringed with thick green forests on both sides. The Seetha River offers conditions forone of the best white water rafting in South India. It is a thrilling experience you should never, ever miss.
Unleash the creativity in you by nestling in the arms of mother nature or if peace is all that you want, you can experience plenty of it here. Let’s Go for a Camp’s Agumbe package offers to soothe your soul by taking you away from the crowd to a private forest, where you can feel one with nature. Other options for stay at Agumbe include
Mallya Residency and various homestays.
That’s just a trailer, there’s more that a trip to Agumbe can offer. The spectacular Sirimane Falls, the historic Sringeri temple, a brilliant representation of the Hoysala art and architecture – Gopalakrishna temple…the list goes on!
Can’t wait to explore Agumbe? We can offer you a little help. Check out our upcoming trips to know more and grab your opportunity