A cold winter morning in Bangalore and you have long weekend ahead of you, the perfect climate for a road trip. After much thinking we decided to hit the road on a Friday morning, and the destination was set to Agumbe.
Agumbe, the place which brings back childhood memories of Malgudi Days. The fictional place of Malgudi was brought to life in Agumbe.
Located in Shimoga district in the Malnad region of Karnataka, and is often known as the Cherrapunji of the south. Agumbe receives the second highest rainfall in India after Cherrapunji. A ride of 375 km north-west of Bangalore brings you to this beautiful place.
Bangalore-Tumkur-Shimoga-Teertahalli-Kuppali-Kundadri-Agumbe (Night Halt)
Agumbe- Sringeri- Chikmagalur- Mullayanagiri- Hassan-Bangalore
An early start from the city and with a number of stops we planned to reach our destination by night. The first stop was made at Tumkur to fill our hungry stomachs and prepare for the next stop. The roads are pretty much empty which forces you to rise the throttle of your vehicle. As the ride proceeds we decided to visit the Gajanoor dam which is about 11 kms away from Shimoga.
Gajanoor dam is an ideal place for photography sessions, after which the next stop was at Sakrebailu. It is an elephant training camp located on the highway, the training camp does not attract many tourists, hence it almost empty most of the time.
The road from Shimoga to Teertahalli has a very panoramic view, with the Tunga river and the entire stretch covered by trees across the roads, it's a paradise. The next can be made at Kuppali, it is the birthplace of the renowned Kannada poet Kuvempu.
Kundadri is the next stop. It is a hillock atop which we can witness a magnificent sunset and as well as sunrise. One can find a Jain temple which adds to the beauty of the place. The ride to the top is quiet a challenging one, the road is well-developed from the base to the top.
And finally we reach our destination Agumbe and we decided to make ourselves comfortable at the much famed Doddamane. Doddamane would be a familiar sight to anybody who had watched Malgudi Days, the house has a heritage of about 150 years and needless to say the host Kasturi akka who treats you as her very own.
The next day begins with the hot breakfast provided to us by Kasturi Akka, after which we decided to take a stroll across the place. Agumbe is considered as the home of the mighty King Cobra, if interested one can step into the Rainforest Research Centre and get a lot more about the reptiles and if your interest still prevails you can volunteer with the centre.
The mornings at Agumbe are generally misty, and the slight drizzle just added more to the beauty. We decided to move ahead towards Sringeri. There are total of 13 hairpin bends in the Agumbe Ghat section, which again is a very photogenic stop.
After the darshan at Sringeri we decided to head back to Bangalore via Chikmagalur. A certain stretch of the road from Sringeri was in a bad shape, nevertheless it is part of the drive. We reached Chikmagalur around 3:00 PM. A thought was given to call it a night here, which gives us time to head towards Mullayanagiri.
Mullayanagiri is one of the highest peaks in Karnataka with a height of 1925 metres, it is a trekker's paradise.
The next day we decided to start early and head towards Bangalore. We are back to our daily routine with the ample energy we received from the journey. The trip to Agumbe is one which is easy on your pockets and yet worth it.