Awesome Agumbe, a place lesser known to many and yet divinely beautiful. Lying in the heart of the Shimoga district, Karnataka, Agumbe is one those exotic places which becomes a must visit for all nature lovers. The prime attraction of this place is the pristine beauty which exudes an untouched ambience.
This hill city receives the largest rainfall in the state of Karnataka and is also the highest point in the western ghat region. It is called the Cherrapunji of the south! Full of evergreen forest cover, it is also an absolute paradise for hikers and trekkers.
Being only 50 kms from Manipal, it can easily be covered in a weekend. The best way to reach this place is via a pre-booked taxi, which should cost around Rs 1000 for a whole day’s trip. Numerous travel operators give various off-season/student discounts which could be availed. Another viable option is to take a regular bus from Manipal.
As the roads have around 18 hairpin bends on the way up, it is advisable not to drive by oneself if one is inexperienced in hill driving.
On the way to Agumbe, the first place of interest is the Koodlu Theertha falls. One can reach there only after a half an hour trek through the hills but the wait is worth it. Skinny dipping in that cold water is another out of world experience. After you have had a relaxing bath, you can then go on to check out the Barkana falls. The best part about the second waterfall is that you can go right at the top of it and then look vertically down the cliff. The Barkana falls is the 10th highest fall in India. If you are going with a group of friends you would love the walk till the mouth of the fall…..it is a trail right through a Protected Forest.
Another place of Interest is the Kuchikul falls. With a dropping height of 459 mts, it is the highest tiered waterfall in India, and gives rise to the Sita river. A view of it can be captured by the adjoining hill tops. Water rafting and other water sports are also conducted from January – May.
The final stop in awesome Agumbe is the Sunset Point where the rays shimmer and stream through the hills, piercing the clouds and presenting you with the most marvelous of views.
Sit down with friends, have a bite of hot tasty Papdi chaat served there and rejoice… and by night-time, you could easily be back to the hostels!
As John Muir said, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in”. A naturist’s habitat, awesome Agumbe has all the ingredients to take you out for a joyride in the laps of nature. More than anything else, the ride to this place itself is so refreshing that you hardly need another reason. A welcoming break from the daily hustle bustle of the college life…
1 . Distance from Manipal : 45 km ( 1 hr)
2 . Accommodation Availability: The Circuit house and Dak Bungalow are the most viable option but they obviously give priority to government officials. Hotels are few and of average standards; and are located near the bus stand. Going early in the morning and returning by nightfall is the best option.
3 . Eateries: It’s better to pack your food along if you are averse to eating strange mixes of spice…although the local ‘Dhabas’ do serve ethnic dishes which you could taste.
4 .Travel Alert: Although ample security has already been deployed, it is advisable not to venture out into unknown areas of the hills due the perceived presence of Naxalites as well as dangerous animals. For any further enquiry you can contact the local tourist information centers.
10 Clicks from Agumbe is another wonder of nature, less explored, but one that provides some awesome vistas – Kundadri.