At a distance of 54 km from Udupi, 95 km from Shimoga, 100 km from Mangalore and 345 km from Bangalore, Agumbe is a cute hill station located in Shimoga district in the Malnad region of Karnataka, India. It is situated at an altitude of over 2100 feet. Agumbe hill is one of the four peaks in the Western Ghats that borders the mainland and divides it from the coast.
Agumbe is also known as the Cherrapunji of South India. It receives the highest amount of rainfall in Southern India and the second highest in the country. It is also called Hasiru Honnu means green gold as it is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus.
It is surrounded by a rich biodiversity, and adjacent to one of the last surviving lowland rain forests. It is also the place where RK Narayan has filmed his novel Malgudi Days. It is also famous for 14th century Gopala Krishna temple with Hoysala-style sculptures and a beautiful sunset. Sunset View Point is located on one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats on the Udupi-Agumbe Road. It is ten minute walk from Agumbe. On a fine evening, the sunset can be seen over the Arabian Sea.
The dense rainforests of Agumbe are home to the only permanent Rainforest Research Station in India. Agumbe hosts India's first automatic weather station, founded by Romulus Whitaker in 1943. 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. Agumbe is also called as the capital of king cobra due to the variety of species of cobra found.
During rains, Agumbe and the surrounding region come alive with several waterfalls; Kunchikal Falls, Barkana Falls, Onake Abbi Falls and Jogi Gundi Falls are some of the popular ones. Agumbe is the base station for several trekking destinations & waterfalls spread around the hills.
- Jogi Gundi Falls - 4.5 km
- Barkana Falls - 8 km
- Onake Abbi Falls - 8 km
- Jomlu Theertha Falls - 25 km
- Kudlu Theertha Falls - 26 km
- Narsima Parvatha trek (2 day trek via Barkana Falls)
- Kunchikal Falls (56 km)
Accommodations are available at the inspection bungalow and a lodge near the bus stand. Locals also run several home stays for tourists.
The best time to visit Agumbe is during the post monsoon & winter seasons between September and January.