The Malgudi Town

It happened so, that somebody suddenly said, Malgudi town! The dusty trails, little mud houses and childhood memories of waiting for the show, came rushing back to me. While on my Kanyakumari to Kashmir quest, Agumbe; the Malgudi town called me and I took a rickety bus to Swami’s dreamland!

 

Source: Hingara

Quick Facts about Agumbe:

  • It is popularly known as : The King Cobra capital of India, the Cherrapunji of south and the Malgudi town
  • It is also, the last surviving lowland rain-forest of India
  • Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, Agumbe hides amidst popular neighbours like Bangalore. This makes it easily accessible yet offbeat
  • The best time to visit is post monsoon, let’s say, September and October
  • Agumbe can be crazy during monsoons. Though everything is green, blooming to life, I’d still suggest hop on post monsoon

What to experience:

  • The bus stop: The bus halted with a jolt on a random place. The driver in a heavy Kannada accent said, “what macha, wake up!” . The stop did not look one bit close to a bus stop, but so it was. A step down the bus felt much like a Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”, stepping a 100 years back in time. My village romantic heart still hums the wonderful feeling of stepping into the Magudi town.
  • Malgudi Days: The background score of Magudi days is bookmarked in the childhood memories of kids raised in the 90s. If you feel that R.K Narayan’s Malgudi is an imaginary town, wait till you visit Agumbe, where most of the episodes were shot. To my surprise I discovered that Swami’s house, is open to travellers. It is popularly know as the dear Kasturi Akka’s home that warmly welcomes travellers.

Malgudi days

 

  • Waterfalls: Agumbe is also a paradise of many waterfalls. Especially in monsoons and quickly after that, it looks like God was in the mood for magic and love. Though there are a plenty, Jogigundi falls remains close to my heart. You could also visit: Onake Abbi, Koodlu and Barkana
  • The kavaledurga fort: Forgotten in the loom of time, this fort is merged with the forest. The ruins tell the tales of what a beauty it would have been. The fort trails lead up to a vantage point that opens up to the jaw dropping view of backwaters of the Varahi dam
  • Agumbe Rainforest Research Station: Surprisingly enough, this is India’s one of the last surviving rainforests. It is located 1.5 km away from the main village complex. There are around 30 kinds of mammals and amphibians, 500 reptile species, hundreds of different butterflies and bird species here. It’s a paradise for research scholars, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Source: Hingara

  • Sunset point: Sunset in Agumbe reveals the sun setting in the Arabian sea. But only on a clear day. Worth a try, I’d say.

Where to stay:

  • Hingara Nature Stay: I am totally in love with this! And if you were my friend, I’d rather drag you there. So here’s a quick story about Hingara. It’s a 350 (three hundred and fifty fucking) years old heritage home. Shashank, the guy who owns and runs it, set a cozy life in Australia at defiance because he had a Swadesh moment and wanted to go back to his village and work. Gradually, he started this homestay. The place breathes of  Agumbe’s culture and wildlife.

Hingara, the 350 year old heritage home

  • Malgudi days house: Tavellers can stay at Swami’s house. This homestay is popularly known as Dodda Mane.
  • Agumbe Rainforest Research Station: Travellers with a dream to live in a jungle could stay here. There is dormitory with six bunks (that is 12 beds).

Must explore traditional cuisines:

  • Nool Puttu with sweet coconut milk or spicy gravy
  • Khotto
  • Akki Rotti
  • Neer Dosa
  • Kayi Kadubu

How to reach?

  • Airport: Fly to Mangalore. It is just 100 kms away from Agumbe
  • Railway: There are 2 railway stations options: 
    1. Shimoga (95 km)
    2. Udupi (51 km)
    3. Direct buses to reach Agumbe are easily available from Shimoga and Udupi
  • Road:
    1. Take a bus/drive from Bangaluru to Agumbe (357 km)
    2. In case there is no direct bus, take a bus to Theerthahlli from Bangaluru and then to Agumbe

Pro Tips:

  • Agumbe receives the second highest rainfall in the country. Though it turns into a paradise during monsoons, the forest department has to shut down entry to some places. On the contrary, if you visit a little too late or early for the monsoon, the charm is lost. 
  • During monsoons, keep a bag of salt handy to get rid of the leeches
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water

 

 

 

 

 

About

Still exploring. Kind of bipolar- for my equal love for home and the world. Essentially believe in what George Bernard Shaw said, "life isn't about finding yourself but creating yourself"

9 Comments

  • Juli July 25, 2018 at 4:05 pm Reply

    I kind of interested a lot with that 350 year old house, isn’ that fantastic to read about something of value still standing. Wow! Thank you for sharing.

  • AMIT PRABHU July 25, 2018 at 5:23 pm Reply

    Tana na tana na na na.😉

  • Abhiram July 25, 2018 at 11:22 pm Reply

    Good enough

  • Sivasanth July 27, 2018 at 5:21 pm Reply

    I have been agumbe few years back …it’s wonderful experience like you sad…

    • Ambika Bhardwaj July 28, 2018 at 8:24 pm Reply

      So glad you would relate to it! Did you visit in the monsoon?

  • Rajat Kumar August 1, 2018 at 10:48 pm Reply

    So, Udupi is place in actual. I only knew it as a restaurant. Malgudi Days is iconic and best of childhood memories from 90s, and I never did any research on it. So, today I got to know…

  • nishant August 29, 2018 at 3:44 pm Reply

    Did you find an ascetic tiger and a yogi who could speak to it?

    One more place on the bucketlist! Thanks for the share.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj August 29, 2018 at 4:42 pm Reply

      That’s in the comic book right under your bookshelf!
      Of course you should go to the Malgudi town.

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