I visited Agumbe this monsoon finally. It was a long wait. I knew about this place since long time. But with one reason or other, my visit did not happened. Even this time also, had to postpone our journey once because of the landslides on the ghat road to Agumbe.
So here is why I suggest you to only visit Agumbe when it is at its most beauty, the monsoons.
To those who are new about Agumbe, here goes a little intro.
First of all, Agumbe is in Western ghats of India, in the Northern Karnataka to be little more exact. It gets the highest rains in the South India. Hence it is the wettest place often described as the Cherrapunji of South India. Agumbe is green and wet most of the time, with beautiful rainforests and much more beautiful waterfalls. It is said to have the highest population of snakes in the country. King Cobras are quite common here.
Agumbe is peaceful , a small village in the mountains and it becomes even more stunning than usual during the monsoon, the best time to visit Agumbe, the only sad fact that you won’t be able to visit the waterfalls. It will be closed but that won’t make you feel bad I gu. You can definitely ditch waterfalls for such a wonderful rain experience.
Monsoon was at its peak when I visited Agumbe. The rain didn’t stop from the time I reached there on a saturday morning. Agumbe was sleeping tight under the blanket of fog. The rain was not heavy, mostly drizzle. It feels like the rain is behind you, watching, wherever you go here. It was a chill feel all over.
Spotted a big house on roadside itself, right guess, it was the well known Doddamane. I had read about the Doddamane in most stories of those who visited Agumbe. Wished to stay there but couldn’t get a room since we did not call them in advance. Doddamane is an old house, it was the only option for accomodation there before the other hotels and guest houses. There was a television series telecated in Indian national channel, based on the book “ Malgudi days” by R.K Narayan. The Doddamane was a one of the main character in that series. It is managed by Kasturi akka and her son now. Most of those who travel to Agumbe prefer to stay in Doddamane.
Nowadays, you will have more options to stay in Agumbe. Many hotels and homestays are functioning here. We found one near to the bus stand.
The rain had no intention to stop. A public protest was going on there that day. The people are demanding the authorities to control the wild animals from destroying their crops. This is a big issue in most parts of the Western ghats. The conflicts between wild animals and the people are increasing day by day. We can’t take the sides of either the people or the wild animals. It is an issue that has to be handled without harming both sides.
As someone who was born and raised in a different part of the same mountains, I have experienced these issues personaly. The people living here are people mostly farmers, whose life completely depends on the crops. It is miserable when the crops get destroyed by the wild animals. We cannot blame the animals, they are losing their habitats and food, so they come out of the forest in search of it. Sometimes people kill animals and sometime the animals kill people. It goes like that.
That day, most people supported the protest by closing the shops. They came out in the streets even in the rain. Later, got the sad news that all the waterfalls are closed due to heavy downpour. Hence we decided to trek Kavaledurga fort. After walking around the village for sometime, took the bus to Thirthahalli. From there you need to catch another ride to Kavaledurga. Kavaledurga fort is on the top of hill, you need to trek up the top to have some amazing views of this place. The trek is an easy one and best time is again monsoon.
Spent a lot of time in the fort, since the rain was not stopping, didn’t have any intention to come back.
Read more : Kavaledurga fort trek
Next day morning, hired an autorickshaw to Kundadri hills. There is an old Jain temple on the top and we will get some good views of the areas around.
Later, had the complete day to explore the little village of Agumbe. The village looks lazy in the rains. We cannot see much people outside, few shops here and there on the roadside. Most houses have a covering of tarpaulin sheets to escape from the damage of rains. We walked all around the village. The roads turned to small streams, water goes all the way to reach the nearby river.
The Rainforest research station is another good place to visit in Agumbe. There is nothing much to see there. The walk through the forest to reach there and interaction with the people working in the research center will be a great experience. They are mainly studying about the King Cobras here. You need to walk few kilometers to reach the research station.
The last thing to do in Agumbe before we leave was the sun set point. It is around 2 km from the village center. The route goes through the forest. We decided to take a walk.
Agumbe is located in between the road connecting Udupi and Shimoga, which are the major towns in this region. So there will be vehicles on the road all the time. The sunset point and some other viewpoints are the attractions on the roadside itself. Lot of people stop there at evening to see the sunset.
How to reach Agumbe
We can reach Agumbe from Bangalore, Udupi, Mangalore and Shimoga. You need to reach any of these places and catch a bus to Agumbe. From Bangalore, there are Karnataka government buses and few private bus services. An overnight journey from Bangalore will take you to Agumbe.
Udupi is the nearest railway station if train is your mode of transport. Agumbe is 60 km from Udupi. Other nearby railway stations are Mangalore and Shimoga
Stay in Agumbe
There are only few options for hotels in Agumbe. The Doddamane is the first choice if you are looking for a homestay experience. Call Doddamane and reserve your bed well in advance. It will be full mostly during weekends and holidays. A big group can not stay there, they have few rooms only.
There is one hotel opposite to Agumbe bus station. They have many rooms and the hotel will make arrangements for your local travel in Agumbe also. We paid 700 INR for a double room for one day.
I saw couple of other hotels, but no idea how they will be. There are also many other homestays in Agumbe.
Agumbe, travel expense
My major expenses in Agumbe was for travel and stay. The bus from Bangalore and the local travel take the major share of trip cost. If you are traveling single or in small groups, then you need to take auto rickshaws to reach most of the sights around Agumbe. Else you need to bring your own vehicle. The fare for auto rickshaws are tolerable compared to other tourist locations.
If alone, team up with some other groups and you can share some of expenses.
Sometimes, the hotel people will make arrangements for local travel if a group is ready. You can also walk to the nearby places like sunset point and rainforest research station.
Cost for food is normal.
Things to in Agumbe
For me, Agumbe is more about rain. Even if I am not able to go out also I would be happy about this place.
But there are many things to do in Agumbe. The waterfalls are the major attractions. Most of the waterfalls are little inside the forest, need to trek to reach them. You need to hire a guide to visit those places.
Forests here are thick rainforest. Exploring them will be a great experience. Narasimha Parvata trek is very popular here. It is a forest trek and will be closed in the monsoon
The next best thing to do in Agumbe is surely the Kavaledurga fort trek. Just walk up to the top of fort and enjoy the views.
Do visit Kundadri hills to get some amazing views of this area.
Visiting the Rainforest research center would be good. The people there will give you some insights about the snakes there and the studies they are carrying out there. The walk to the research is also nice. Check out their website: agumberainforest.org
Visit the sunset point, it is about 2 km from Agumbe bus station. It will be little crowdy. When I was there, couldn’t see the sunset, it was totally cloudy. But the more beautiful was the long walk we had at the late hours of the daylight.
Karkala is also near by, about 45 km from Agumbe. Karkala is known for its centuries old jain temple. You will get buses to reach Karkala from Agumbe. It is a good place to visit if you have more time.
Agumbe to Kundadri hills
Kundadri Hills is about 18 km from Agumbe. If you go by autorickshaw, they will charge you around 500 INR for two side journey. You will also get bus till half way. Take any bus that goes to Thirthahalli and get down at Guddakeri. Then you can hike or take an autorickshaw. It will save you some money. Somebody told me that there are bus service till the base of Kundadri hills, but not sure about the timing.
Things to know before you visit Agumbe
First thing, if you are visiting Agumbe, would only suggest that, you need to be prepared for the rain. Carry water proof covers and umbrella. In monsoon time, don’t thing that the rain would stop, it’s not that easy.
Also bring few pairs of extra clothes.
Definitely there will be leeches. It will be annoying, bring whatever required to prevent the,. Salt is a good repellent. I have seen people spraying something to kill them, but just give them a hard knock with your fingers, they are gone.
For food, there is a good restaurant in the bus station, roadside itself.
All the shops will close by 9 PM, so better make sure you have everything before that.
Agumbe is a destination for rain. If you want to experience the monsoon in the Western ghats, Agumbe should be your first place.The rain may not let you go out and see the places but it will catch your heart
Hope you liked the place.
Do visit Agumbe.
Let me know your suggestions, queries and feedbacks by the comment box below. I like to hear from you and am happy to help.
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