Sunday, November 14, 2010

Waterfalls of Agumbe, Karnataka -1

     We planned a trip to visit "Kunchikal Falls", the highest tiered waterfalls in India since the monsoons were high. The waters of the Varahi river fall from a height of about 1450 ft forming the Kunchikal Falls. It is located in Agumbe, Shimoga district . As we had very little information about this falls, we thought this would be a nice place to explore. But, as soon as we reached Agumbe, on inquiring about Kunchikal Falls, we were disappointed to know that  no permission was granted to visit the same since the falls is loacted inside the dam region. As usual, thinking everything happens for good, we moved on to explore the other beauties of the mighty Agumbe.We found a guide to accompany us in our journey of exploring the forest of Agumbe .
      "Agumbe" is known as the "Cheerapunji of the South". Most of the episodes of Malgudi days was shot in and around the village of Agumbe. This place is known for the sunset, especially during November to January. The forests of Agumbe is one of the most important part of the western ghats . This is home for the one and only rain forest research station in India . This place is also called as the "Capital of King Cobra" , since its forests is home to a very large population of King Cobras. Off late, naxal activity has increased in these areas. Though during our visit,  everything looked  under control. We had to cross many check posts in the village and usually permission is required from the police department to go into the forest . 
Welcome to the  Cheerapunji of South
         We gathered information on places to visit around . The village of Agumbe has 3 waterfalls namely, the Barkana Falls  , Jogi Gundi Falls and  the Onake Abbi Falls, nearby. Most of the people told us to avoid going to the Onake Abbi falls due to the heavy leech infestation on the way . Hence, we decided to explore the other two falls.
        Our first  was the visit to Barkana falls . It has to be viewed from a view point which is about 4 kms walk through the dense tropical rain forests . There is a jeep track which ends up into a walking trail. The abundant flora and fauna of this  region is a pleasure to experience and be a part of. It was breathtaking. Beautiful birds  especially those endemic to western ghats like the Malabar Trogon, Laughing Thrush , Flycatchers , Dark Fronted Babbler , Horn Bills and many more... can be spotted here,  regularly . The Barkana falls  is the tenth highest waterfalls in India.The waters of River Sita fall as Barkana from a height of about 850 ft. The view of the Barkana falls is just mesmerizing .
Rain-wet  Road
Amazing Roads
Country Side Agumbe
Path to the Falls
Into the Forest
Agumbe's dense vegetation
Barkana Falls, Agumbe, Karnataka
The Mighty Barkana
A Closer look
Barkana Falls, Agumbe, Karnataka
Barkana Falls
View of the Valley
A Great view
A Small Stream on the way
To be  continued ............................


  1. Wonderful, informative post. Loved the pictures.

    I have been to Agumbe, seen O.Abbi falls and the other one ( "Barkana", which people there called "Seethe- kanive" ). And yes experienced the Leeches too !
    But din't hear of Kunchikal !

  2. Breathtaking captures and what a stunningly beautiful place! Terrific post! Thanks for your visit/comment! Always appreciated! Hope you have a great week!


  3. brought back fond memories... thank you

  4. wow what a place....such a heavenly view.

  5. Nice place to visit. Could have included stay place detail as well as distance /route from Bangalore.

  6. Looks to be an enchanting place. Will surely put it only list of "must see spots of karnataka"! :)
    As the previous comment requested, please do add details and experience on stay, distance and route from bangalore.

  7. @Yosee , Thanx for the additional info.
    @Sylvia,Deepak,Joshi,Prathiba . Thanx for the comments.
    @ Ayyangar sir and Nanda .Sure the details will follow in the next post and thank you for the comments .

  8. Lovely!... trekking to this place must have been great!...loved the photos...the name Agumbe and Shimoga are so beautiful

  9. namma kaadu guddagalu:)..loved the pics!

  10. great post with useful info and awesome views...

  11. Agumbe is amazing place, natural beauty. I have passed through the Ghat section as a kid several times. Never ventured out to see these beautiful falls before.

  12. @ Vyankatesh,nalini,Raksha,Pooja thanx for the comments .
    @ Rajesh you should venture at least once .

  13. About a month ago, i went on a trip to shimoga, exploring places just heard of, like you. We traveled almost all around the district in search of the Kunchikal falls, which internet claims to be the highest in India. We inquired all htrough the route about the falls, at Bhatkal, Jog falls, Sagar, shimoga, thirthahalli, Agumbe and all the way to Udupi. After the trip i was determined to find the secret of the falls, and inquired a lot, and finally last week met the chief forest officer at Agumbe.

    There is indeed a waterfall by the name, about 20km deviation from Thirthahalli. But its a small one, and the 455m height, the internet claims about it, is its height above the sea level. He said lot of people had been spreading wrong info about it for the past 2 years. Jog falls is the highest waterfalls in India.

  14. We planned to go there last monsoon. But fearing Naxal activity, we decided against it. Any idea how safe the place is now?

  15. @Jim: Very useful info. I was also under the impression that this was the highest falls in the country. You have prodded me to do a little research of my own...