A Monsoon Weekend in Agumbe Rainforest
Most people avoid visiting the place during the rainy season. Still, if you love to explore the depths of the beautiful and enigmatic rainforest of Agumbe, the monsoon is the best time to visit. Agumbe is dry and humid in the summer, cool in the winter, and most stunning in the monsoon. Due to the rain, the roads look clean, the air is fresher, and the sky is clouded with a strikingly beautiful silver fog that you won't find in any other season.
How to get to Agumbe
Agumbe is easily reachable through major cities and towns in Karnataka, including Bangalore, Udupi, Mangalore, Mysore, Shimoga, and Chikmagalur. You can either bring your car or hire a self-driving car and reach Agumbe via NH 75 and NH 48.
The two nearby stations to Agumbe are Shimoga (90 km away) and Udupi (55 km away). You can easily get an autorickshaw from both stations.
There is no airport at Agumbe. If you are visiting from other states, you can get a flight to Mangalore airport, which is 150 km away from Agumbe.
You will get plenty of KSRTC and private buses from Bengaluru to Agumbe, or you can take a bus to Shimoga and Thirthahalli and take a second bus to Agumbe.Things to do in Agumbe
Besides sightseeing, the Agumbe rainforest offers adventurous and fun experiences such as hiking, camping, trekking, bird watching, and forest exploration.
Waterfall Hopping: The monsoon is the best time to go waterfall hopping in Agumbe, as the place is less crowded and you can actually enjoy the raw and real beauty of the cascading waterfalls while spending time with friends and family. Agumbe is the hub of three waterfalls—the Barkana Falls, the Jogi Gundi Falls, and the Onake Abbi Falls—located within 200 m—8 km.
Driving: If you travel in a car, then driving across the Agumbe Ghat road is a beautiful experience. The roads are usually less busy and cleaner due to the monsoon. You will love driving through the winding routes with their hairpin bends and the incredible views of the hills on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other.
Kundari Hills Trekking: The Kundari Hills are the highest peak in the rainforest and the most popular sport for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. The way to the hills is through Thirthahalli, around 32 km from Agumbe. The base is within 12 miles of Thirthahalli. The trekking route covers an ancient Jain temple, the dark, mystifying forests of the Western Ghats, and the most beautiful sunset view.
Enjoy comfy homestays: You will find several other comfy and friendly homestays offering home-cooked food to enjoy in the windy and cool monsoon.
Your itinerary for the weekend:
Day 1: Explore the Agumbe Rainforest
- Start your journey by driving to the base of the ancient Kavaledurga Fort. The route starts with green rice fields.
- You will come across an ancient temple and several ponds used to store water in ancient times.
- This is the easiest trek at 2.5 km, and you will get a stunning view of the rainforest from the top.
- Head back to your vehicle, take a walk in the rainforest, and maybe dip in the pristine waterfalls.
- Move a bit farther toward the giant lake at the heart of the forest.
- Head back to your homestay, make a bonfire, and have some hot dinner for your next day's journey.
Day 2: Rainforest Pools, Nagara Fort, and Kundari Hills
- Pick up your bags and check out of the homestay.
- Visit the Nagara Fort on the way.
- Visit the ancient Devagange, a swimming pool filled with rainforest water. The pool is made to draw natural rainwater from the surrounding area in all directions and exit at the end. This way, the water keeps rotating and doesn't get stagnant.
- Visit the Kundari Hills, the highest point of the Agumbe Mountain Range. an adobe of dense rainforest filled with pristine rivers, magnanimous lakes, and rich vegetation.
- Overnight, journey back to your city to catch your bus, train, or flight.
The best place to visit during your Agumbe Rainforest trip
The sunset point
The Agumbe Sunset Point is a 10-minute walk from the main town and is a great place to enjoy the mesmerising view of the dark rainforest while basking in the warmth of the sun.It is perched at 825 m above sea level, located at the 14th hairpin bend of the ghat road. Don't miss the sunset; it's the most beautiful feature of this location.
Timings: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Located 25 km from Agumbe, the Gopalakrishna Temple is a 14th-century temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was built during the Hoysala period and is a major landmark in the town. Even if you are not much of a religious person, you will still appreciate the intricate Hoysala art and architecture of the 14th century, which brings so much history to ancient India.
The inner sanctum includes an external hall made in Tulunadu style. Leading you from the basement to the Garbha Gruha, the 108 steps symbolise the 108 names of Lord Krishna.
Timings: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The milky-coloured water from the Seetha River cascading from a height of 260 metres makes your trip to Barkana Falls worthwhile. The Barkana waterfall, India's 10th highest waterfall, is considered a hidden gem of the Western Ghats and is located in the dense forest's in-depth womb.Make sure to add this to your trekking list, as you want to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to explore the lush rainforest and encounter a broad variety of species of flora and fauna.
Entry: Rs 200 per person to get permission from the Forest Department.
Timings: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jogi Gundi Falls
Imagine swimming in a natural pond surrounded by waterfalls and the lush greenery of the deepest rainforest. It is something that you only see in movies, but you can actually experience this in Jogi Gundi Falls.
Jogi Gundi Falls is a magnificent waterfall located 4 km from the Agumbe bus station. You should also feature this in your trekking itinerary.
It is located inside Agumbe's rainforest, with crystal-clear water flowing down from a 20-foot height into a huge pool. Unlike traditional waterfalls, the water from the Jogi Gundi falls comes from a cave, runs through the fills, and merges into the Malapahaari River. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours admiring the beauty of the deep jungle and swimming in the pond.
The entry fee is Rs 100.
Timings: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Onake Abbi Falls
The Onake Abbi Falls, located just 8 kilometres from the Agumbe Bus Station, is a sight to behold. The name Onake means "long pole," which describes the waterfalls cascading down a single branch like a pole. It falls from 500 feet and is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Western Ghats. The trek offers a jaw-dropping view of the dense jungle and the waterfall that flows through, tearing the stone walls of the mountain.
You can reach it by trekking from the Agumbe bus station towards the checkpoint. A small arch with the words "Oushadeeya Sadya Vana" can be found. Start your journey from there, witnessing the mysterious rainforest on the way. Be ready with your binoculars and DSLR camera to take pictures of the Sambhar, Civet, and Mouse Deer that you are about to meet on the way.
Another route is through the Agumbe checkpoint, next to a small park with a sign reading "Onake Abbi Jalapathakke Charana Hadi." If you start from here, you will join the first path.
Timings: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Doddamane: This is the most popular homestay in town, and it was featured in the popular Malgudi days. Located in the heart of Agumbe Village, the place is open to road travellers.
Agumbe Rainforest Research Station: It is located 1.5 km from Agumbe town. You can book a dormitory with bunk beds and some amazing researchers, biologists, and conservationists as roommates.
Seethanadi Nature Camp: It is located in Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can book dormitories or tended cottages close to the river. It is a great place to spend your weekend with multiple types of rooms, including a wooden cottage, tent, and dormitory, with a bathroom, housekeeping, a coffeemaker, and a bunch of other amenities. The rooms here start at Rs 2600 per night.
Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology: You will get basic accommodations here at a reasonable price.
Kalinga Center for Rainforest Ecology: Kalinga offers basic accommodation. Visitors are welcome to visit any time of year..
Well, if you want to enjoy the luxury of hotels and resorts, you will find them aplenty in Shimoga and Udupi.
Check out the following hotels and resorts:
- Tinton Resort and Water Park
- Kolavera heritage
- Belachikatte homestay
- Setthanadi nature camp
- Muduvalli Heritage Homestay