Places to visit in Agumbe Ghats

Last Updated on May 9, 2024

Agumbe Ghats in the dense rain forest located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. Geologists call it the “Cherrapunji of the South”, owing to the heavy rainfall throughout the year.  This ecological hotspot is not your usual tourist destination.

But its raw natural beauty makes it one of my favorite offbeat places to visit in India. Driving through the dense jungles during the monsoon was one of our most exciting road trips from Bangalore. Here in this post I will talk about the things to do and places to visit in Agumbe.

Places to visit in Agumbe Ghats

Nestled in the hill-forests of the resplendent Western Ghats of India, Agumbe is closely associated with R.K Narayan's book “Swami and his friends”. The famous book was based on a fictional village called Malgudi which later became the title of its TV adaptation Malgudi Days!! If you grew up in the 90s, this must certainly ring a bell. Well, Agumbe is the place that was chosen to play the titular role in the lovely TV series.

Here are the highlights of this place that will make you realise why it is one of the best places to visit in Karnataka.

Agumbe Lake

This lake is located right opposite to the Agumbe Rainforest checkpoint. It is the first thing you will see as you reach Agumbe. The lake is so clean that you can see the fish from the banks. Reach here early morning to feed the swans and the fish. We reached here before 9 am when the gate to the Agumbe park was not open. But the officer at the checkpoint was kind enough to allow us to enter the lake and feed breadcrumbs to the swans.

Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARSS)

Source: Unsplash

The most unique place in Agumbe is the Rainforest Research Station. It is a field-based research institute here. This is a center for study of a wide range of wildlife species, most significantly that of King Cobras. Besides research, the center is known for its work towards conservation of this eco-sensitive area. You can see various local species in this center. If interested you can visit their website for short-term and mid-term volunteering activities.

Sunset Point

Sunset Point - Best places to visit in Agumbe Ghats

Just a 10-minute walk from the main town will take you to the sunset point. The golden hour here will surely make it to your album of the best sunsets of your life. You can stay in Shimoga and come here in the evening to experience the sunset.

Waterfalls of Agumbe

The Agumbe Ghats is blessed with some scintillating waterfalls. The Barkana Falls , Jogi Gundi Falls and Onake Abbi falls are the most famous among them. The Barkana falls located only 1 km away from the Sunset viewpoint. It is the 10th tallest plunge in India.

Jogi Gundi Falls is the best among them. Just a few kilometers from the main town hidden in the dense rain-forests lies a cave. A stream of water gushes out of these caves imparting a magical touch to the greenery around. Trek 1 km through the forest trails to discover this beauty. The Onake Abbi falls is another beautiful cascade, that you can see after a 5km long trek through the rainforests.

Kundadri Hill-top

Just a few kilometers drive uphill through the forests will bring you to the Kundadri Hill Top. It is known for the old Jain temple, but the highlight is the panoramic view on a clear day. But if it’s raining, like it does here frequently, you might not be able to see anything. It will still be a mesmerizing experience, like you are standing on the edge of the world.

Kundadri Hill top – places to visit in Agumbe

Gopalakrishna temple

If you are driving from Bangalore to Agumbe, you can take a short diversion to the Gopalakrishna temple. This 14th-century temple is another footprint of the Hoysala architecture in South India. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temples have 108 steps leading to the “Garba Griha” – the sanctum sanctorum. These symbolise the 108 names of Krishna.

Where to Stay in Agumbe

The only problem with visiting Agumbe is the lack of places to stay in Agumbe. I suggest you to stay in Shimoga or Chikmagalur as there are more options there. You can also visit the famous Jog Falls and Honnemaradu Lake in Shimoga. A trip to the Coffee Land of Chikmagalur is also awesome.

How to reach Agumbe

If you avail public transport, you can take a Bus to Agumbe directly. Or you can take a bus to Tirthahalli and from there take an autorickshaw to Agumbe. The nearest railway station is in Udupi which is 50 km away. However, the best way to reach Agumbe is by bus or car. The views are mesmerizing.

Distance from the nearest cities:

  • Mangalore to Agumbe- 100 km
  • Udupi to Agumbe – 54 km
  • Mysore to Agumbe- 275 km
  • Bangalore to Agumbe – 347 km

So, here's my short introduction to the beautiful obscure place called Agumbe. Miss travelling? Here's what you can do till you get a chance to visit Agumbe Ghats.

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Things to do and Places to visit in Agumbe Ghats - the resplendent rainforests of Karnataka, India. An introduction to this obscure gem of India.

Blogger's Notes: The post contains affiliate links. The pictures are mine unless otherwise mentioned. The picture used in the pin is courtesy Unsplash (Creative Commons). 

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  1. Pashmeena Chowdhary says:

    Loved each word..And waiting to explore a lot of new places..Happy to have found this blog..Best wishes .Pashmeena

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks a lot Pashmeena!

  2. Great start… Will look forward for more posts on the challenge

  3. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    Hello old AtoZ friend! I loved reading Malgudi Days when I was younger and I’d love to visit the Agumbe ghats some day too.

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Hello Noor. Glad you liked it.

  4. Shilpa Garg says:

    Have never heard about Agumbe Ghats. But it was wonderful to explore it virtually through your words and hope to visit it someday in real life too. Thanks for an interesting and informative post!

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks a lot Shilpa.

  5. Aww…my heart! I mean, I fell in love with the first pic that I stared at it for long <3
    I'm sure I'm going to love this series of yours and that I'd be adding all these gorgeous places to my bucketlist.
    Happy A to Z 🙂

  6. Superb! yes, I have heard about Agumbe.. its on my travel wish list.. your blog is just going to push it to the top of that list!! and yes, this is an innovative way to present the region! Good start!

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks Archana!

  7. Jyoti Jha says:

    Lovely place very beautifully described. Waiting for more such places to explore.

  8. Lovely post…I didnt know Malgudi was based on Agumbe

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks Esha. That’s why I chose to write about lesser known places

  9. Sitharaam Jayakumar says:

    Wow Agumbe seems to have everything, lakes, temples, waterfalls. Must be a really beautiful place. Deefinitely on my to be visited list of places.

  10. never heard of this place. But I am big fan of malgudi days. It brings back childhood memories…

  11. Sabyasachi Mohanty says:

    Really nice.post…Western Ghats are really stunning…especially monsoons..

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks Sabyasachi! I adore the Western Ghats

  12. Pradeep Nair says:

    Good one! I don’t think many people know about the connection with Malgudi Days. That photo right on top is truly breathtaking!

    1. Sinjana Ghosh says:

      Thanks Pradeep. Hope you enjoy the series.

  13. Esha Chakraborty says:

    Aha lovely…had no idea malgudi was based on this place

  14. Didn’t know about this place in India. Thanks for showing it to me <3

  15. It looks like there are a lot of incredible things to do in the area! Thanks for all of the helpful tips.

  16. India must be an incredible country. I would love to visit someday and learn more about these off-the-beaten path places like you‘ve written about. Thanks for this!

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