Agumbe: Cobra Capital of India | A Complete Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  1. About
  2. Why is Agumbe called Cobra Capital?
  3. Interesting Facts
  4. Places to visit in Agumbe
  5. Places to visit near Agumbe
  6. Things to do
  7. Best time to visit
  8. Best Hotels & Resorts
  9. Places to eat
  10. How to reach

About Agumbe

Travel Guide Agumbe

Agumbe is a rainforest hub in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. It is the last surviving rainforest of India. With 7640mm annual rainfall, the region is also known as the Cherrapunji of South India. The vast but fast-depleting biosphere is made up of dense forests, tropical hills, gushing streams, and torrential waterfalls, replete with rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, making it a holistic ecosystem in itself. Because of its rich natural resources, Agumbe forms a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Agumbe lies in the southwestern part of the state, about 98KM from Mangalore, 357KM from Bangalore, and 55KM off the Arabian Sea coast. The highest point of the Agumbe hills rises to 2700ft. The highlight of of this mystical place is its five prominent waterfalls – The Kudlu Theertha Falls, Kunchikal, Barkana, Onake Abbi, and Jogigundi Falls, which collectively define its real beauty. 

[Also Read: 10 Incredible Places to Visit this Monsoon]

Why is Agumbe called Cobra Capital?

The forests here are known to be home to a huge population of cobras and other rare species of tropical snakes. That is why it is also called the Cobra Capital of India. However, despite such a high number of poisonous snakes, the human-snake confrontation is very rare. Apart from King cobras, there are also other seasonal insects and worms like leeches, various kinds of beetles, earthworms, and more, which frequent the natural habitat in the monsoon.

Interesting Facts about Agumbe

The hill station of Agumbe has connections to modern Indian pop culture. For those who have grown up in the 80s, they would surely remember the popular TV series- Malgudi Days. Trivia is, that the fictional town in the show (and the eponymous novel by R.K. Narayan) is base popular TV series- Malgudi Days. Trivia is, that the fictional town in the show (and the eponymous novel by R.K. Narayan) is based somewhat on Agumbe. Many scenes were shot within and around the town. Many scenes were shot within and around the town. The ‘Big House’ featured in the story is a real-life establishment and is believed to be 100-year-old. 

Another interesting fact about this place lies in its natural reserve. Many medicinal plants and fungi have been only discovered and the species are named “Agumbensis”.

[Also read: 5 Must-Visit Offbeat Getaways for Book Lovers]

Places to visit in Agumbe

Rich in natural wonders set in a scenic landscape, Agumbe offers a host of sites to visit and explore. Check out these most-frequented places to visit here

1. Jogigundi Falls

Jogigundi Falls in Agumbe
Jogigundi Falls
  • How to Reach – The famous falls lies at 4KM from the town bus station. You can take the local bus or book a cab to travel and then trek for 1KM to reach the falls.
  • Timings – 6AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 2-3 Hours
  • Tips – You can take a dip in the natural pool at the bottom of the falls or hike through the adjacent wooded areas. The best time to visit the falls is right after the monsoon when the water level is higher.

2. Agumbe Sunset View Point

  • How to Reach – The sunset point is located on Udupi-Agumbe Road, 3KM from the town bus station and a 15-minute walk from Agumbe village. You can take the local bus or book a cab or walk up to the point.
  • Timings – 6AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 1-2 hours
  • Tips – The best time to visit is from November to January when the sky is clear and you can see the Arabian coast from the hilltop.

3. Barkana Falls

  • How to Reach – The waterfall area is located at 7KM from the Agumbe bus station. You can take the local bus or book a cab to reach.
  • Timings – 7AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – INR200 for a permit from Forest Department.
  • Time Required – 3-4 Hours
  • Tips – You can visit during monsoon to see the falls in full vigour but be warned about slippery roads and overgrown forests.

4. Onake Abbi Falls

  • How to Reach – This waterfall lies at 8KM from Agumbe bus station. You can take the local bus or book a cab to reach the nearest road and then trek for 5-6KM to reach the falls.
  • Timings – 7AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 3-4 Hours
  • Tips – Explore the surrounding jungles to spot Sambhar, mouse deer, and civet cats.

Places to visit near Agumbe

Travel Guide - Agumbe
View from Sunset Point

Apart from the popular tourist places, also include these scenic locales in your sightseeing itinerary

1. Gopalkrishna Temple

  • How to Reach – The historical temple is located in Kabbinale village, 25KM from the Agumbe bus station. You can take the local bus, book a cab or rent a car for the day to travel and return.
  • Timings – 7am-7PM
  • Entry Fee – Free
  • Time Required – 2-3 Hours
  • Tips – Visit during September and March for comfortable travel since the temple sits on a hill and is only accessible on foot.

2. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary  

  • How to Reach – The wildlife sanctuary lies at 21KM from Agumbe village. You can book a cab or rent a car for the day to travel and return.
  • Timings – 6AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee – INR 200 (adults), INR 100(children)
  • Time Required – 4-5 Hours
  • Tips – You can explore the Sitanadi Nature Camp or try rafting on the Sita River on your trip.
Video Credits – Curator Cast

Things to do in Agumbe

The tourism here involves a lot of exciting activities and things to do within the Agumbe rainforest area. With an all-natural environment, you have plenty of options for hiking, trekking, camping, forest exploration, and bird watching.

  • Waterfall hopping. Other than the popular Agumbe waterfalls, there are many other scenic falls nearby that you cannot miss. Within 50KM of Agumbe, there are three more waterfalls you can visit – Kudlu Theertha, Jomlu Theertha, and Kunchikal Falls.
  • Drive through the Agumbe ghat road. This ghat is famous for winding routes with hairpin bends, that spiral to the highest point. At every turn, you can enjoy stunning views of the hills on the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Stop by for photo ops or stopover at camping grounds to enjoy the natural environment.
  • Experience trekking. The Kundadri hills near Agumbe is a popular spot among trekkers and hikers. The trek base is situated about 12 km from Thirthahalli. The distance from Agumbe to Thirthahalli is about 32KM. The trek route covers ancient Jain temples, lush tropical forests of the Western Ghats, and stunning views of sunsets. The route spans 14KM both ways and takes about 12-14 hours. 
  • Experience homestays. The house from Malgudi Days is the most popular homestay here. But there are also quite a few of them scattered throughout and the nearby villages. You can get a taste of the culture and the way of life along with home-cooked food and interaction with the hosts and the residents.

Best time to visit Agumbe

Being in an evergreen landscape, the weather here is defined as sub-tropical humid. Although monsoon is the time when the entire region becomes denser, greener, and mistier, it is safe to avoid the rainy season since the soil is loose and the forests and nearby villages are often flooded. Winters are very chilly and cold and summers are hot and humid. So, the best time to explore is between November and February, when the weather is pleasant and dry.

Best Agumbe Hotels and Resorts

Most resorts and hotels here are scattered around Shimoga and Udupi. Check out these hotels and resorts.

  • Kanaka Heritage
  • Seethanadi Nature Camp
  • Belachikatte Homestay
  • Kolavera Heritage
  • Muduvalli Heritage Homestay
  • Tinton Resort & Water Park

Places to eat in Agumbe

Agumbe itself doesn’t have any food options but the nearby highways and towns have local diners and eateries.

You can try these restaurants for a quick bite –

  • Hotel Maurya
  • Shree Ganesh Grand Vegetarian Restaurant
  • Hotel Guru Prasad
  • Hotel Taj
  • Brundavan Garden Restaurant
  • Sri Shabari Grand

How to reach Agumbe

Agumbe roads

By Train

There is no rail connectivity to Agumbe. The nearest railhead is in Udupi, 54KM away. You can get public transport like a local bus or book a cab from Udupi to reach Agumbe.

By Road

Agumbe is well-connected to major cities and towns in Karnataka, like Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Shimoga, Udupi, and Chikmagalur. There are regular state-run and private buses from these cities to Agumbe. The best alternative to reach here by road is to book an outstation cab or rent a private car from these above places and drive to Agumbe via NH 75 and NH 48.

By Flight

There is no flight service directly to Agumbe. The nearest airport is in Mangalore, about 95KM away. Mangalore is well-connected to all major cities and towns in South India and other states. You can fly to Mangalore and then book an airport taxi to reach Agumbe.

Witness the beauty of Agumbe by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.  

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