Places to visit in Agumbe Ghats
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 it’s 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Read my book Postcards From India which is free on Kindle Unlimited
- Read Malgudi Days on Kindle
- Read The very Best of RK Narayanan on Kindle
- Tune in to Amazon Prime or Hotstar and binge Malgudi Days
- Try Amazon Audible – the audiobook free-trial
- Subscribe to Backpack & Explore
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