Agumbe: This Quiet Village In Karnataka's Rainforests Is The Perfect Monsoon Destination

Bookmark Agumbe, a small village nestled in Karnataka's Western Ghats, for its verdant rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife.
Agumbe: This Quiet Village In Karnataka's Rainforests Is The Perfect Monsoon Destination. Credit: Canva

Agumbe: This Quiet Village In Karnataka's Rainforests Is The Perfect Monsoon Destination. Credit: Canva

For fans of R.K. Narayan's Malgudi Days, Agumbe will be an incredibly special place – the fictional town was serialised in this very village! Often referred to as the "Cherrapunji of South India" due to its heavy rainfall, Agumbe boasts lush evergreen forests teeming with flora and fauna. But more than its serenity, Agumbe is on a naturalist’s map for one reason: it is a crucial habitat for the majestic King Cobra, the world's longest venomous snake, reaching up to 18 feet. This abundance of snakes makes Agumbe a prime location for King Cobra research, which is why herpetologist and wildlife conservationist Romulus Whitaker established the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station in 2005 to further study these fascinating creatures.
Kudlu Theertha Falls Credit iStock
Kudlu Theertha Falls. Credit: iStock
While October to February offers the best conditions for trekking and exploring the vibrant jungles, it is during monsoon that you’ll see the rainforest come alive. If you’re okay with a ‘damp’ experience, here are some incredible places you can visit here.

Narasimha Parvatha Trek

This trek leads to the highest peak in the rainforest, Narasimha Parvatha, standing at 3800 feet. The journey begins in Malandur village and winds through dense forests before reaching the summit, offering stunning views of the Kudremukh valley. Along the way, trekkers can witness Barkana Falls, the tenth-highest waterfall in India. The sights and sounds of the forest come alive – chirping birds, buzzing insects, and rustling leaves create a symphony for the senses. Other waterfalls waiting to be discovered include Onake Abbi Falls and Koodlu Theertha Falls, all accessible on foot.
Credit Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Gopalakrishna Temple

A 25-kilometre journey from Agumbe leads to the 14th-century Gopalakrishna Temple, a marvel of Hoysala architecture. Built under the guidance of architect Muniyangala Krishna Prasad, the temple is renowned for its exquisite sculptures. 108 steps lead from the base of the hill to the sanctum sanctorum, symbolising the 108 names of Lord Krishna.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary, located 21 kilometres away, spans an area of over 314 sq km and provides habitat for various animals like jackals and spotted deer. Guided trekking and bird-watching activities are organised by private companies. While jeep safaris aren't available, you can stay at nature camps that offer exciting white-water river rafting experiences on the Sita River.
Doddamane Homestay Credit TripAdvisor
Doddamane Homestay. Credit: TripAdvisor

Doddamane Homestay

For a true Malgudi Days experience, a stay at Doddamane Homestay, the iconic "Big House," is a must. This 100-year-old heritage homestay offers a chance to immerse oneself in village life. Visitors are welcomed with warm hospitality and delicious vegetarian meals.

Sunset Point

A 10-minute walk from town, the sunset point unveils panoramic views of the valley. If the rains relent, you should definitely enjoy a picnic on the grass and witness the breathtaking sunset.
King Cobra Credit Canva
King Cobra. Credit: Canva

Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology

For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, volunteering at the Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology (KCRE) is an option. Founded by biologist Gowri Shankar, the centre offers camping options deep within the rainforest. Visitors interested in rainforest ecology and conservation can participate in general treks, nature photography, bird watching, and specialised courses.
Note: You need to obtain necessary permits from the DFO of the Shimoga Division or the Range Forest Officer of Megaravalli before trekking near Agumbe.

How To Reach Agumbe

  • The nearest airport is Mangaluru Airport, approximately 95 kilometres away.
  • Udupi Railway Station, 50 kilometres away, serves as the nearest railhead.
  • Agumbe is accessible by road from Bangalore or by bus.
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