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Agumbe Hill Station

Cherrapunji of South India

The picturesque hill station of Agumbe is located in Karnataka’s Shimoga district. This can be located exactly at the Theerthahalli Taluk. Filled with dense forests, abundant greenery and serene valleys, Agumbe is a haven for the natural lovers. The amount of rainfall that this place gets is second only to Cherrapunji which is the wettest place of the country. There is a forest research spot here by the name of ARRS (Agumbe Rainforest Research Station). This is a huge tourist destination and the first of its kind in the country. The dense forests of this place are the abodes of the highly venomous King Cobra that can be spotted when tourists undertake a wildlife safari.

This place is the perfect place for relaxation as it located far away from the maddening pace of urban lifestyle. If you have an eye for adventure, you can venture into the awesome trekking trails of this forest, provided you have the valid approvals and permissions from the authorities at the forest department.


Agumbe was virtually unknown until the scenes for the famous show, “Malgudi Day”, based on a famous novel by RK Narayan, were shot here. The most significant part of Agumbe is the forest area. As you walk along the forest area, you will witness the jungle pond named EmkalKere, close to which you see the beautiful waterfalls of Barkana. As you go towards the interiors of the forest, you will witness a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Gopalkrishna, that can be traced back to around 14th century. The temple was constructed in Hoysala pattern of architecture and needless to say, this was built during the rule of Hoysala kingdom. The Hoysala kings, one of the most powerful dynasties in South India, ruled for around 400 years between the 10th and 14th centuries. Since there was an ongoing conflict between the Chalukyan and Kalachurian dynasties, the Hoysalan kingdom rose to prominence and started ruling over the area which is known as Karnataka today.


The Agumbe Hills station houses rare and exotic species of for and fauna that are not commonly found in other places. Rich biodiversity surrounds all over the hill station and this place is probably the last example of lowland rainforests. There are lots of magical medicinal plants and herbs like Listsaea, Eugenia, Diospyrous, Ficus, Garcinia, Myristica and Hoiligarna found all along the paths that lead to the forests of Agumbe. Due to this, this place also known as “HasiruHonnu” in the local dialect, which means “green is gold”.
The Rainforest complex of Agumbe comprises of the forest areas of Theerthahalli, Shankaranarayana, Hosanagara, Kundarpur and Sringeri. The waterfalls of Barkana, Jogigundi, Kunchikala and OnakkeAbbi are in full flow during the monsoon season, presenting a spectacular sight to the tourists.

Adventure Activities

Agumbe hill station is a place that needs to be visited by tourists who have an eye for adventure. Trekking all the way to the forests or one of the many waterfalls here makes for a great physical exercise. Usually tourists who come here seeking an adventure filled trip engage in trekking all the way to Kudlu Theertha Falls or to Nishani Gudda. You must be careful about the presence of the harmful leeches on your way as leech bites can be extremely painful.

As you trek, you will be treated to some phenomenally beautiful spots like the Sunset Point. From here, you can get a panoramic view of the entire hill station. If you are lucky and if the weather is clear, you can even view the Arabian Sea from here. You can also find the architectural ruins of many great temples that were constructed during the Hoysalan dynasty here.


Sunset Points

As you trek you way to the dense forests of Agumbe, you will find some amazing sunset points. At each of these points, galleries are constructed for the benefit of tourists.

Kunchikal Falls

Varahi River is from where this waterfall gets its waters from. At a height of 1450 feet, this is considered to be taller than the Jog Falls and hence is the tallest in the country. In terms of height, it ranks 116th in the world. Most of Karnataka’s hydro- electric projects are sourced by these waterfalls.

Barkana Falls

This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of Karnataka. At a height of 850feet, this is the 11th tallest waterfalls in the country and is nicely nestled within the remote and dense forests. Along with the Barkana valley, these waterfalls combine to give an excellent view of the hill station. The source of water for this comes from the Seeta River. Barka means mouse deer and kana means home. One can get to this place by participating in a 3km trek from the Mallanadur village, which is located at about 8km from the hill station. Mallandaur is well-connected to the state of Karnataka through rickshaws.

Jogi Gundi

This is another important tourist spot located within the dense forests of Agumbe. Located at just about 4 km from the main hill station, this place located in the midst of deep jungles, is sourced by waters from the Malaprahaari River that fall at a height of 25feet. A 15 minute narrow trek takes you to these cave these caves. In the earlier days a saint or jogi used to meditate inside the caves, which is how the place got its name.

Achakanya Falls

This is located near Aralsuruli on the path that leads to Hosanagara. During the monsoon season, this place presents a very pretty picture as the Sharavati River leaps from this point at a height of 7m.

KoodluTheertha Falls

These waterfalls, sourced by the Seeta River, fall into a big and deep gorge from an impressive height of 300feet. This is considered to a sacred Hindu spot. A 3 to 4km trek will take you to this place. Monkey Falls, also known as Manga Theertha is located in close vicinity to this place.

Gopalakrishna Temple

This temple dedicated to Lord Gopalakrishna, has an impressive Hoysalan style of architecture and can be traced back to around 14th century.

Best time to Visit

Since the milky-white waterfalls, the streams and the valleys are in their full form during the rainy season, Agumbe must be visited during the monsoon season.


Since Agumbe is a small hill station, there are not many places to stay here. If you want to look for some decent budget or luxury accommodations, you can check for the same in the nearby locality of Udupi.

How to Reach


Theerthahalli is the nearest town to hill station and tourists must first come here to go to the hill station. National Highway No.13 is directly connected with Agumbe and the roads are well-maintained. Many state run buses from Bangalore and Shimoga are connected to Agumbe.


Udupi railway station on the Konkan railway sector is the nearest railway station to Agumbe.


Mangalore International Airport, that is well connected with flights from various places in India and abroad, is the nearest to the hill station of Agumbe.

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