All You Need To Know About Agumbe, Karnataka

Photo of All You Need To Know About Agumbe, Karnataka by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Agumbe hill, (c): Flickr

Photo of Agumbe, Shivamogga by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

If you grew up in the 90s and have never heard of Malgudi Days, there’s something missing in your life! Malgudi, a fictitious town from R.K. Narayan’s novel is actually Agumbe Village, the utopia one would always want to live in! It was here that Swami and friends played in the dusty alleys and by the waters of Sarayu River without a care in the world!

Replete with old-world charm and gorgeous waterfalls away from the hustle and bustle of cities, Agumbe is India's one of the best places to explore the wildlife and the scenic views of Western Ghats, attracting offbeat travellers from the North and South, wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts. Here’s your guide to Agumbe to make your trip simply awesome!


Agumbe village, (c): Flickr

Photo of All You Need To Know About Agumbe, Karnataka by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

With a population of around 500 people, Agumbe is a tiny village nestled in the Shimoga District in the Malnad region of Karnataka. It is one of the most untouched and mesmerising hills stations in south India!

Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agumbe is a treasure trove of lush green rainforests of Western Ghats, breathtaking monsoon vistas, gushing waterfalls and a plethora of wildlife. Being one of the last surviving rainforests in India which receives an average of around 7,000mm of rainfall annually, the highest in all of South India, gives it the tag of ‘Cherrapunji of the South’!

The village is also known as the ‘Cobra Capital’ of India because of the number of Cobras that are found here and could be encountered while driving along the Ghats. It is also a home to more than 70 other species of snakes!

Best Time To Visit:

Agumbe weather remains pleasant for most parts of the year.

Mountains covered with dense fog in Agumbe, (c): Flickr

Photo of All You Need To Know About Agumbe, Karnataka by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

October to February: The best time to visit is in the post-monsoon and winter months when Agumbe remains the most scenic and green with mountains covered with dense fog. This is also the best months for trekking and exploring Agumbe’s rainforests.

March to May: Summer months and is quite dry and hot.

June-September: The monsoon months when the place receives heavy rainfall and the temperatures remain hot and humid. Although it is not advisable to visit Agumbe during monsoons due to heavy rainfall and restrictions on trekking and other activities, this is the best season to witness Agumbe’s waterfalls in all their glory as well as for wildlife photography and herping!

How to Reach Agumbe:

(c): Flickr

Photo of All You Need To Know About Agumbe, Karnataka by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

By Air: Mangalore Airport is the closest airport to Agumbe located 135 kms away.

By Train: Udupi Railway Station is the closest railway station to Agumbe at 60 kms and Shimoga Railway station is 90 kms away from Agumbe.

By Road: If coming by bus, there are buses from nearby cities including Shimoga, Udupi and Mangalore. Direct buses including KSRTC are available from Bangalore to Agumbe as well.

While driving to Agumbe from Bangalore, reach Shimoga first either via Tumkur and divert towards Thirthahalli or head towards Hassan via NH 75 before diverting towards Agumbe via Belur.

Things To Do In Agumbe:

1. Watch the Sunset from Sunset Point:

Agumbe sunset point, (c): Flickr

Photo of Agumbe Sunset View Point, Agumbe by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Agumbe is known for hypnotizing sunsets. Located on the Udupi-Agumbe road on the Agumbe Ghat and a 10 min short walk away from town, the Sunset Point forms the highest peak on the Western Ghats and offers a panoramic view of the sunset across the Arabian Sea.

2. Visit the Gopala Krishna Temple:

Gopala Krishna Temple, (c): Flickr

Photo of Gopala Krishna Temple, Mysore Division by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

This is 14th-century temple from the Hoysala period, roughly 25 kms away from Agumbe. It has been attracting travellers for a long time for its sculptures and the typical Tulunadu style of construction. Located at a hilltop the temple is accessible only on foot and the 108 steps leading from the basement to the top symbolize 108 names of Lord Krishna. It is open throughout the year from 7 AM to 7 PM every day.

3. Drive to Kundadri Hill:

Kundadri Hill, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Kundadri Hill, Bangalore Division by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Located roughly 16 kms from Agumbe on the Theerthahalli-Agumbe road, Kundadri Hill is a gigantic monolithic rock surrounded by dense evergreen forests. With a 17th century Jain temple and two small ponds at the top, Kundadri Hill offers panoramic views of the surrounding Western Ghats. The scenic drive all the way to the top amidst thick jungle cover and winding roads offers an exhilarating experience!

4. Trek to a Waterfall in Agumbe:

Due to heavy rainfall there are many waterfalls in Agumbe located close to each other. They give an elegant view of the hills. The waterfalls are-

Kunchikal Falls:

Kunchikal Falls, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Kunchikal Falls, Mysore Division by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Located 50 kms away from Agumbe on the Shimoga-Udupi border, this is India’s highest waterfall formed by the river Varahi with height of 455 meters. Special permission is required for visiting the falls due to its proximity to the Hydro-Electricity project.

– Barkana Falls:

Barkana Falls, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Barkana Falls, Mysore Division by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

At a height of about 850 ft, the Barkana Waterfalls is the tenth highest waterfall in India. Originating from the Seeta River, reaching the falls requires an adventurous trek through dense forest cover. Usually covered as part of the Narasimha Parvatha trek, this trail also leads to the origin point of the Barkana Waterfalls above the valley that makes for a magical sight.

– Onake Abbi Falls:

Onake Abbi Falls, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Onake Abbi Falls, Agumbe by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Falling from a height of 500 feet, the Onake Abbi Falls form one of the highest waterfalls in the entire Western Ghats. It gets its name due to its long shape similar to that of an ‘Onake’, meaning a long pole used to grind spices. Located 8 kms from Agumbe town, one needs to undertake a scenic yet challenging trek to reach Onake Abbi Falls. Prior permission from the forest department is, however, required for the same.

– Jogigundi Falls

Jogigundi Falls, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Jogigundi Falls, Agumbe by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Named after saint Jogi who is believed to have meditated near these waterfalls, the Jogigundi Falls lies 4 kms away from Agumbe and requires a 10-15 minute hike through thick forest trails from the main road. Unlike typical waterfalls, Jogi Gundi has its origins from a cave and forms a natural pool at its base that makes for a scenic view.

– Koodlu Theertha Falls:

Koodlu Theertha Falls, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Koodlutheertha Falls, Nadpal by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

One of the most beautiful and serene waterfalls in the whole of Agumbe region roughly 20 kms away from town, Kudlu Theertha falls from a height of 300 feet into a natural pool. It is also the first fall of River Sita and hence, goes by the name of Sita falls as well. Visitors will have to undertake a short hike through the forest in order to reach Koodlu Theertha Falls. A nominal entry fee also needs to be paid at the forest check post before entry.

Where To Stay In Agumbe:

Homestays are your best bet to enjoy a truly authentic Malnad experience. Apart from homestays, Agumbe offers limited options when it comes to accommodation with most hotels and lodges located away from town towards Thirthahalli (32kms), Sringeri (28kms) or Hebri (20 kms).

1. Doddamane Homestay

Doddamane Homestay, Agumbe; (c): Flickr

Photo of Doddamane HomeStay, Bisle by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Relive your childhood memories at this heritage homestay where Malgudi Days was shot. The warm hospitality of Kasturi Akka, the owner of the house combined with the authentic Malnad cuisine and Kashaya served here is bound to make you feel at home, away from home. Call in advance to make a booking.

Address: Agumbe Main Road, State Highway 27, Agumbe.

Contact: +91 94486 03343, 81812 33075

2. Seethanadi Nature Camp

Seethanadi Nature Camp; (c): TripAdvisor

Photo of Seethanadi Nature Camp, Udupi by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Located in the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary around 15 kms from Agumbe, the camp offers a more adventurous option to make the best of the outdoors and spend the night in the lap of nature. The camp offers stay in dormitories or tented cottages close to the river along with a variety of outdoor activities for the nature lover including nature walks, bird watching, white river rafting and more.

Address: Seethanadi Nature Camp, Hebri Karkala Taluk, Udupi, Karnataka 576112.

Contact: 094495 99758 ; +91 080 40554055

Book Here

3. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station

Agumbe Rainforest Research Station; (c): TripAdvisor

Photo of Aagumbe Rainforest Research Station, Agumbe by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

The ARRS offers a unique opportunity to stay at the heart of Agumbe while spending time with an enthusiastic bunch of conservationists, biologists, and researchers for roommates. Around 1.5 km from Agumbe town, the research station offers basic accommodation in the form of dormitories with bunk beds.

Address: G39R+F66, Suralihalla, Agumbe, Karnataka 577411

Contact: 081812 33185

Book Here

4. Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology

Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology; (c): TripAdvisor

Photo of Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology, Thirthahalli by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

KCRE offers a unique opportunity to experience nature in its most pristine form while gaining a deeper understanding of life in the rainforests. KCRE welcomes people to engage in direct conservation throughout the year along with an opportunity to engage with researchers who are willing to share and educate thereby taking your time in Agumbe beyond a mere rainforest experience.

Address: Kālinga Mane, Agumbe Hobli, Guddekere, Taluk, Thirthahalli, Karnataka 577411.

Contact: 094808 77670

Book Here

Cost Of The Trip:

You can spend about 2-3 days in Agumbe, which would cost you around 6,000-8,000 INR depending on the activities. No matter how much time you spend here, it’ll be a soul-stirring journey that’ll be cherished for years to come!


Leeches: Any visitor to these parts must be prepared to encounter leeches while walking in the rainforest. Adequate precaution in the form of leech socks must be taken. These can be obtained locally.

Raingear: Umbrellas and a good raincoat are essential as there is almost constant rain and high humidity at the peak of the monsoon months.

Agumbe village is blessed with some of the highest waterfalls, rivers, beautiful forests, and wild animals. All that makes it a heaven for those in love with the Western Ghats and need a peaceful vacation. I have already started to get itchy feet, what about you? Let us know in the comments below.

Also Read: Escape Amidst Nature at South India’s Remotest Luxury Jungle Resort

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