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|— village —|
|Elevation||826 m (2,710 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Agumbe (Kannada: ಆಗುಂಬೆ) is a village located in the Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka, India. Located in Thirthahalli taluk and the Malnad region, Agumbe is among the places in India that receive very heavy rainfall earning it the sobriquet, "Cherrapunji of the South".Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, the only permanent rainforest research station in India is established here. The renowned herpetologist, Romulus Whitaker called Agumbe the capital of King Cobra. An area near Agumbe has been converted into a protected area for Medicinal Plants to help conservation.
World Heritage site
Agumbe receives the second highest annual rainfall in India, next only to Cherrapunji (or the nearby Mawsynram). It receives a mean annual rainfall of 7,640 millimetres (301 in). The absolute maximum rainfall recorded in Agumbe in a single month is 4,508 millimetres (177.5 in) (in August 1946).
Amagaon in Khanapur taluk of the Belgaum district has reached the magical figure of 10,000 mm annual rainfall twice in the last six years (2006–11). Thrice in the last six year (2006–11), Amgaon has received more rain than Agumbe and Hulikal.
A comparison of rainfalls for between Agumbe, Hulikal and Amagaon for the "Cherrapunji of South India" title is given in Table 1.
Table 1: Comparison of rainfalls for Agumbe, Hulikal and Amagaon for some years.
|Year||Agumbe Rainfall (mm)||Hulikal Rainfall (mm)||Amagaon Rainfall (mm)|
- 2011 figures are for South West Monsoon period only (June 1 to September 30)
Note: Amagaon has received over 10,000 mm of annual rainfall twice in five years (2006-2010). The exact amount of rainfall is not available.
Places of Interest
Sunset in Agumbe is beautiful. There is a sunset point, located on the 14th hair pin bend on the serpantine road to Agumbe (from Udupi) which receives a lot of visitors. On a clear day, one can see the sun setting over the Arabian Sea though the sea is quite a long distance from Agumbe.
- Barkana Falls
Barkana Falls is the 10th highest waterfall in India with a height of 850 ft/259 mts. It is formed by the Seeta River.
- Onake Abbi Falls
This is another waterfall near Agumbe. In the Kannada language, "Onake" means a pounding stick which is used to pound grains in villages.
This is a small water fall which is near to Agumbe, it takes about 10 to 15 min to reach this place.
- Koodlu theertha falls
A beautiful waterfall just 20 km from Agumbe, includes a Trek of 3–4 km.
Kunchikal Falls, with a height of 455 mt (1,493 feet) it is near Masthikatte,(next to Ghati Chandikamba temple) Shimoga District.(and not near Agumbe, as detailed in some travel agency tips) It is also near Hosangadi village of Udupi district. It is cascading waters of Varahi River, over hundreds of rocks but the falls is live only during rainy season. In other months, it goes dry because the water is dammed at Mani dam and Varahi Hydroelectric Project.
Agumbe is near the town of Thirthahalli on the National Highway NH-13. From the state capital of Bangalore, Agumbe can be reached by taking NH-4 till Tumkur, then NH-206 till Shimoga and then NH-13 to Thirthahalli (a total distance of about 380 km.). Udupi on the Konkan Railway is the nearest railhead. The nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport.
It can also be reached from Bangalore, via Hassan ~ Chikkamagalore ~ Balehonnur ~ Jaipura ~ Sringeri ~ Agumbe. This is the shortest route from bangalore.
Another choice of route is from Bangalore via Hassan ~ Belur ~ Chikkamagaloor ~ Sringeri ~ Agumbe.
Being a part of Malnad and Western Ghats, Agumbe and its surroundings are rich in biodiversity. It is adjacent to one of the last surviving lowland rain forests in the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kudremukh National Park. Many new species of flora and fauna are found in this region. Agumbe lends its name to the following species which were discovered here:
- Selenops agumbensis: A spider of genus Selenops
- Tarenna agumbensis: A shrub
- Drosophila agumbensis: A species of small fly
- Irenopsis agumbensis: A fungus
- Hygroaster agumbensis: A fungus
- Dactylaria agumbensis: A fungus
Other species discovered around Agumbe include:
Some of the Spectacular Agumbe Fauna
Agumbe Rainforest research station (ARRS)
Agumbe is the location of the only permanent rainforest research station in India which was established by the herpetologist, Romulus Whitaker. Whitaker chose Agumbe as the location for this station since this was the area where he spotted the King Cobra in the early 1970s. Financial help to build this station was provided by Whitaker’s mother, Doris Norden who willed him money that helped him purchase 8 acres (32,000 m2) of land in Agumbe. The main goal of the research station is to study and conserve the rainforests of South India, using King Cobra as the flagship species. One of the main goals of this research is to help the state of Karnataka establish the world’s first King Cobra Sanctuary. Experts from various fields were invited to aid in the research and understanding of the basic biology of the King Cobra which is an endangered species. For his efforts in setting up this station, Whitaker was awarded the United Kingdom's top conservation prize — the Whitley Award in 2005. Whitaker used the £30,000 cash prize that came with the award to set up cottages, buy basic scientific equipment, and a vehicle. The research station is eco-friendly and is not connected to the state's electricity grid and uses solar power and a micro hydel unit. Even the fencing around the station is of smooth wire so that it does not hurt the deer and leopards passing by. The station consists of two cottages for researchers and a refurbished farmhouse that serves as the hub. The station follows three-pronged approach involving research, education and conservation. Regular visits to schools are made and lectures including demonstrations on snakes and conservation are given to students.
Medicinal Plants Conservation Area
Established in the year 1999, Agumbe Medicinal Plants Conservation Area (MPCA) is an area created for the conservation of Medicinal Plants. This area is located at an altitude of 600 to 700 mts above Sea level. Some of the species of plants found here are Garcinia, Myristica, Litsea, Diospyros, Holigarna, Eugenia and Ficus. An organisation called the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) conducted a survey in the MPCA and identified 371 plant species of which 182 were medicinal. Some of the species of plants that are found here are RLs (Red-listed and hence endangered):
- Adenia hondala
- Celastrus paniculatus
- Garcinia gummi-gutta
- Myristica dactyloides
- Persea macrantha
- Vateria indica
Malgudi Days is a famous television serial which was directed by Shankar Nag and is based on the novels written by R. K. Narayan. Many episodes of this serial were filmed in Agumbe in 1985. In 2004, a new set of episodes of Malgudi Days have also been filmed at Agumbe under the direction of Kavitha Lankesh.
Since 2005, Naxalite activity has been occasionally observed near Agumbe and hence checkposts created at all intersections. This however has not hindered the natural beauty of Agumbe and its surroundings.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Agumbe|
- Agumbe being called as Cherrapunji of the South is mentioned by "Agumbe awash in monsoon magic". Online Edition of the Hindu, dated 2005-07-29 (Chennai, India: 2005, The Hindu). 2005-07-29. Archived from the original on 30 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- A description of the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is provided by Romulus Whitaker. "Wet and Wild". Online Webpage of NewIndPress.com, dated 2006-10-27. Express Network Private Ltd. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Agumbe being called as the capital of King Cobra is mentioned by P. Oppili. "Whitaker gets top UK conservation prize". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 2005-04-28. 2005, the Hindu. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Arabinda Ghose. "Link Godavari, Krishna & Kaveri". Online Edition of the Central Chronicle, dated 2007-03-28. 2007, Central Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Rainfall data of Agumbe is provided by "Western Ghats Biodiversity Information System - The Climate". Online Webpage of Centre for Ecological Sciences. Indian Institute of Science. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Studies in tourism, wildlife parks conservation By Tejvir Singh.Pub: Metropolitan(1982) Page.280 
- "Varahi Hydro Electric Project". Karnataka Power Corporation Limited. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Discovery of Caudalejeunea pluriplicata in Agumbe is mentioned by Ram Udar, U. S. Awasthi, F. Shaheen. "A new Caudalejeunea from India". Online Webpage of JSTOR (Journal Storage). 2007 JSTOR. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Discovery of Notothylas dissecta in Agumbe is mentioned by "Notothylas dissecta, A Hornwort new to India". Online Webpage of JSTOR (Journal Storage). 2007 JSTOR. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- Discovery of Cyclotoma alleni in Agumbe is mentioned by "A new species of beetle described from India". Online Webpage of NCL Centre for Biodiversity Informatics. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- A description about the Agumbe MPCA is provided by V. Prabhakaran. "Agumbe Medicinal Plants Conservation Area – A tribute to [[Kuvempu]]". Medplant Network News Volume 3, September–October 2003, Issue 03. International Development Research Centre, Canada. Archived from the original on 30 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-16. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "The Malgudi that is Agumbe". The Hindu. Feb 20, 2011.
- Filming of a new set of episodes of Malgudi Days is mentioned by "Malgudi Days are back". Online Edition of The Deccan Herald, dated 2004-04-11. 2004, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd. Retrieved 2007-05-16.