Agumbe is a little village in the Shimoga district of the Malnad region in Karnataka. It is sometimes called “The Cherrapunji of the South” after Cherrapunji, in Northeast India. It is the most scenic place in the Southern part of India. Agumbe is a tiny hillstation tucked away in the heart of the Karnataka Western Ghats. Agumbe is famous for spectacular sunset and many visitors come here to watch it. The sunset here gets reflected from the Arabian Sea onto the horizon. It receives the heaviest rainfall in the South India and has many rivers, streams and waterfalls in the area. It is the only rainfall research centre in India. Agumbe is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus among others, it is also called ‘Hasiru Honnu’ which means ‘green is gold’.
Agumbe being one of the most scenic places on the Western Ghats of the Karnataka has the lush green view all around with spectacular sunset. The Agumbe forests are considered as one of the World Heritage Sites. A lot of waterfalls dot the areas in different hills and peaks in Agumbe. Agumbe is rich in bio-diversity. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kudremukh National Park are located adjacent to Agumbe. Agumbe is also called King Cobra capital because of the high number of snakes of the species being found here. Interestingly, despite the high density of King Cobras in the region, incidents of snake-human conflict are rare.
Taking a trip to Agumbe is a pleasant experience, it has picturesque beauty and is ideal for trekking. Forested trails lead from here to a jungle pond called Emkal Kere, a hillock called Nishani Gudda, and to Barkana Falls. Many hills, rivers and streams are hidden within the deep forests and slopes in and around Agumbe. And within these landscapes are many birds and animals including reptiles and plant species, some of which are rarely found in other parts of the world. The Agumbe to Emkalkere, Agumbe-Kudluthirtha-Seethanadi and Agumbe-Norshimha parvatha-Kigo are some of the interesting treks. Most tourists visit Agumbe to trek through its forests or to visit the waterfalls. Trekking to the Kudlu Theertha Falls or Nishani Gudda offers a once in a lifetime experience.
Tourist Attraction :
Sunset Point :
It is located on one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats and offers magnificent view of the setting sun on the Arabian Sea. It is ten minutes walk from Agumbe. On a clear day, one can watch the sun go down the Arabian Sea giving way to the moon. It provides views of the setting sun on the horizon of the Arabian Sea. This point is situated at the 14th hair-pin bend of the mountainous road that leads to Agumbe a beautiful sunset can be caught over the Arabian Sea.
Barkana Falls :
Barkana Falls, counted among the highest waterfalls in India, is the 11th highest waterfall in India. The viewing point for the Barkana Falls is about 4 km from the end of the approaching vehicle track. Barkana Falls is one of the prime sources of hydroelectricity in Karnataka as the water is used to power a hydroelectric system. Located amidst the thick and dense forest areas of the Western Ghats, the falls together with the adjoining Barkana valley, makes a panoramic view. You will find the Barkana viewpoint on the way to the falls. It will give a magnificent view of the dense jungle. It is counted amongst the ‘must see places’ of the region by all those who visit Agumbe.
Jogigundi Falls :
The Jogigundi Falls is located around 3 km from Agumbe. Situated on the way to the Barkana Falls, it can be reached on foot after a 10 to 15 minute trek. This waterfall begins from a small pond where the water of Malapahaari River is collected. Later, the pond water merges with Tunga River while crossing the valley. Jogi Gundi derives its name after a saint (Jogi) who used to meditate inside the cave near the falls. It is filled with water most of the time. It is one of the most preferred locations for trekking. You will be greeted by the natural swimming pool.
Koodlu Theertha Falls :
The Koodlu Theertha Falls is formed by the Seeta River that falls into a pond from a height of around 300 ft. Owing to the belief that the sages meditated at this site thousand years ago, the pond is considered holy, It is located 20 km Formed by the Seeta River. It is a picturesque trek through the dense jungle. The best time to visit this fall is during the monsoon and winter seasons. The Manga Theertha, also known as the Monkey Falls, is situated close to the Koodlu Theertha Falls. It is a beautiful fall that is on the must see list of all tourists headed to Agumbe or even Shimoga district. This waterfall cascades from the height of 126 ft in the pond and is known to be the source of the Seeta River.
Onake Abbi Falls :
The Onake Abbi Falls is located at a trek distance of around 8 km from Agumbe is among the popular tourist attractions. Located at 400 feet, the falls can be reached after a trek of 5 kms from the rainforest. Once you reach the top, it is possible to get a complete view of the waterfall. The falls derives its name from the word Onake, meaning a pounding stick that is used for pounding grains in villages. The first part of the name ‘Onake’ is a Kannada word that refers a pounding stick, used to measure the weight grains in villages.
How to Reach :
By Air : Nearest airport is Mangalore(100 km), Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available at the airport.
By Train : Nearest Railway station is Shimoga (90km).
By Road : Buses are available from Bengaluru and other places to Agumbe and Theerthahalli which lies on the National Highway NH-13 and then towards Agumbe.