Onake Abbi Falls, Agumbe

View from the top of Onake Abbi falls near Agumbe. Image Source

Trekking in Agumbe can be a pleasant prospect for the place abounds in natural beauty. The high hills and many waterfalls and streams flowing through the dense jungles add to the joy of hiking through the trekking trails in this little place that is a hidden paradise nestled in the Malnad region of Karnataka.

Agumbe is also called ‘Hasiru Honnu’ – green gold as it is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus.

Agumbe, a small village in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, is one of the places that receive the heaviest rainfall in Southern India. It is known as the Cherrapunji of the South and the rains feed streams, rivers and the many waterfalls here. The dense rainforests of Agumbe are home to the only permanent Rainforest Research Station in India.

It is also part of Malnad. It is surrounded by a rich biodiversity, and adjacent to one of the last surviving lowland rain forests.

Agumbe now hosts India’s first automatic weather station exclusively to monitor changes in rain forests, courtesy well known herpetologist and Whitley gold awardee Dr Romulus Whitaker. This significant contribution is aimed at protecting the country’s rich biodiversity.

The famous R.K Naryan’s Novel Malgudi Days T.V serial was shot here.

The department of forests will develop a medicinal plant garden, Agumbe Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (AMPCA), in 215 hectares of the Western Ghats region. The garden proposes to have 300 varities of plants used in the field of medicine – ayurveda, sidda and unani, homeopathy.

What to See in Agumbe

Gopala Krishna Temple: The beautiful 14th century Gopala Krishna Temple of the Hoysala period is a landmark here, and it attracts many tourists.

Sunset Point: This place is located on the way up the hills that lead to Agumbe. From here, on a clear day, you can get a magnificent view of the Arabian Sea, which lies many miles away.

Kunchikal Falls: Fed by the Varahi River, this is the highest waterfall in India, at a height of 1493 feet. Read more about Kunchikal falls near Shimoga here.

Barkana Falls: This is the 10th highest waterfall (850 feet) in India, 259 meters above sea level. Barkana falls is formed by the Seeta River, stop at the Barkana view point to get the glimpse of the Falls.

Other Waterfalls: Onake Abbi, Jogigundi and Koodlu Theertha are other beautiful waterfalls here.

Trekking in Agumbe

Agumbe is becoming a trekker’s paradise with its many scenic trekking routes. You can trek up the hill to the Sunset Point from where, if there is no mist, you can get a lovely view of the distant Arabian Sea.

Kunchikal Falls is at height of 1493 Feet. It is the second highest waterfalls in India.This falls is formed by Varahi River.

Jogigundi Falls: Trekking to the nearby waterfalls is also something that a lot of tourists to Agumbe take up, and the Jogigundi Falls is the nearest point, involving a trek of about 3 km from Agumbe. It is a small but lovely place that you can try out.

Koodlu Theertha and Sunset Point: From Agumbe, the trek to Koodlu Theertha is a picturesque trail, and the Sunset Point is on this route. This trek takes you through the jungle, alongside a rushing stream. The pool at the bottom of the falls is safe to swim in.

Barkana Falls: The trek to Barkana Falls is a beautiful trail, again passing through deep jungle. This is not a good trek during the rainy season. On the way to the falls, you will pass the Barkana Viewpoint. From here, you can get a tantalizing view of the waterfall, across a stretch of dense jungle.

Onake Abbi Falls: The trek to Onake Abbi Falls is a short trail, and there are steps leading up to the top of this small but amazingly beautiful cascade. From the top, you can get a full view of the waterfall and the stream that it creates. Onake means pounding stick in Kannada.

Agumbe-Sringeri: If you are looking for a longer hiking trip, the Agumbe to Sringeri Trek is the most popular trail. This trail passes through the beautiful Narasimha Parvata in the middle of the forest. The top of this peak is famous for its view of the sunsets, but it has to be a clear day, without clouds or mist, to view this.

Best Time To Visit: November to January.

How to Reach Agumbe

  • By Air: Mangalore is the nearest airport, it is 100 km away.
  • By Train: Shimoga, 90 km away and Udupi, 55 km away are the nearest Railway Stations to Agumbe.
  • By Road: You can get buses from Bangalore and other places to Agumbe or to Theerthahalli and then onto Agumbe.

Agumbe is a small village and does not have many commercial hotels or resorts. But tourists can stay at the Travelers’ Bungalow. Another popular option is the Doddamane, a Home Stay present in the village.

Taking a trip to Agumbe can be an amazing experience and even if you have to brave jungle trails and leeches, it is well worth the trip.

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