Agumbe is a picturesque
little village nestled on a plateau at the top of the Someshwara Ghat.
There is an interesting story behind how ‘Agumbe’ got its name. During
earlier days Agumbe functioned as a central point that connected this
part of the world with ‘Bombay’ (now Mumbai) and served as a launch pad
for people who dreamt of colonizing the wild and rich hinterland of the
Deccan Plateau. The word ‘Agumbe’ literally means ‘will eat later’,
this was precisely what people would say while ascending the 550m
Someshwara Ghats with bags on their shoulders and with dreams in their
from the Agumbe Ghats
Once a bustling,
Agumbe has settled into situated the quietude of nature that surrounds
it. With an annual rainfall of up to 11,0000 mm it has aptly earned its
name as the Cherrapunji of South India. Agumbe (13° 50.87 N 75° 09. 59’
E) is 643 meters above sea level along the crest of the Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats or Sahyadri as it is also known, is identified as one
of the world’s Biodiversity Hotspots, which means the biodiversity of
these forests comprises a high percentage of endemism with many taxa
highly threatened. The Agumbe Rainforest Complex (ARC), in the middle
of which ARRS is located, comprises of forests of the Someshwara
Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) and the Kudremukh National Park (NP), while
the entire contiguous Mookambika WLS and Sharavathi Valley WLS is a
part of the Kodachadari Hill Range. These two mountain ranges along
with a large tract of Reserve Forests around Kundapur,
Shankaranarayana, Hosanagara, Sringeri and Thirthahalli are referred to
as the 'Agumbe Rainforest Complex', one of the largest contiguous
forest stretches left in India.
Village and Surroundings
Agumbe Village is spread out across 3 square kilometres with a
population of less than 500 people who largely depend on their areca
plantations and forest produce to eke out their living.
Agumbe is also famed as the location for filming one of India’s most
popular television serials, ‘Malgudi Days’ based on the book by
R.K.Narayan. The ‘Doddamane’ (Big House) where the series was filmed
still maintains its beauty and hosts visitors every day. ‘Doddamane’,
is over 110 years old and the family there still maintains all the
traditional rituals and cuisines, a real living legend.
from a huge range of mammals, birds and insects living in the luxuriant
rainforest, Agumbe is also home to the world’s longest venomous snake
and a flagship species, the iconic king cobra. Since 2005 Agumbe has
also been the proud host to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station
which has pioneered the study of king cobras in the wild.