In the state of Karnataka, within the Shimoga District is the hill station of Agumbe. It is a little village nestled on a plateau on the top of the Someshwara Ghat. In the old days, when people used to travel to erstwhile Bombay to colonise there, they would say “agumbe” which meant ‘will eat later’, where ‘later’ stood for ‘the time after descending the hilly terrain’.
A lot of waterfalls dot the areas in different hills and peaks in Agumbe. Situated between the Shimoga and Dakshin Kannada districts, Agumbe is accessible from the nearest town of Sringeri at a distance of 26 km. There are some remnants of temples and artistic sculpture of the Hoysala rule in the 14th century.
Landmark Point of Agumbe village is marked by a microwave tower. This village is primarily a hill which is the highest in the Western Ghats and is termed as the Cherrapunji of South India. It receives the highest amount of rainfall in Southern India and the second highest in the country. Agumbe hill is one of the four peaks in the Western Ghats that borders the mainland and divides it from the coast.
Along the slopes are the lowland rain forests, which are the second largest in the world. For carrying out various research activities and due to the rainfall in this region, there is the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), which is the only permanent rainforest research station in India.
Agumbe is also called as the ‘capital of king cobra’ due to the variety of species of cobra found. The television series of R K Laxman’s Malgudi Days was shot here. Also, the presence of the famous herpetologist Romulus Whiitaker in the Rainforest Research Centre has brought a number of researchers as well as tourists to this place.
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. Trekking and other mountaineering activities can be done in these slopes and forest regions.
From Bangalore, this hill station is at a distance of 380 km and 100 km from Mangalore and has communication through road to other neighbouring cities. Buses are available from the nearby towns of Sringeri and Shimoga. The best time to visit Agumbe is during the winter months.