Agumbe or Aagumbe is located at a height of 826 meters in Shimoga district. Agumbe was the backdrop for the shooting of the film Malgudi Days, based on RK Narayan's novel. Agumbe and its surroundings are filled with thrilling and adventurous trekking routes. Densely forested paths lead from here to a jungle pool known as Emkal Kere, a small hill called Nishani Gudda and the Barkana Falls. Agumbe is also called 'the Cherrapunji of South India'. Distance from Shimoga to Agumbe, Karnataka is 93.2 km and takes around 1 h 50 min. Distance from Brahmavar to Agumbe, Karnataka is 49.5 km and takes around 1 h 14 min via Brahmavar - Hebri Road and Udupi-Agumbe Highway. Distance from Kavaledurga Fort, Kavaledurga to Agumbe, Karnataka is 37.0 km and takes around 51 min via NH169A.
Visitors may also drop by a locally popular 14th century temple with Hoysala-style sculptures consecrated to Lord Gopalakrishna. The sunset as seen from Agumbe is a marvelous sight and is a popular draw with most tourists, particularly between the months of November and January. A microwave tower serving as a major landmark of Agumbe, is to be found at this point.
Sri Venugopala Temple
Sri Venugopala Temple at Agumbe is a typical Hoysala art and one can find the image adhering to Hoysala architecture. The inner sanctum is covered with additional external hall which is quite typical in Tulunadu style, because of excess rain, the architecture differs from other Hoysala temples. Looking at the temple one can easily make out that several Kings granted for its improvements.
The best time to visit the temple is during September-March as the weather is quite cold and during days its not that hot. During summer, Agumbe is quite hot and if you are lucky you could spot some Bisons enroute to it. Rainy seasons is not advisable, as its the wettest place. Lots of waterfalls such as Vanakeabbe, Jogigundi, Barkana are awesome to visit and explore. Also the nearby hillock of Kundadri gives you amazing view of Chakra backwaters, Kodachadri and lush green paddy fields admist thick forest cover.
Distance from Ernakulam, Kerala to Agumbe, Karnataka is 530.6 km and takes around 13 h 5 min via NH17 and Kochi - Panvel Highway.
Varahi Hydro Electric Project
Varahi is Karnataka's first underground powerhouse – a key milestone in the corporation history of KPCL. The river Varahi takes its birth at a height of 730 m in the Western Ghats at Hebbagilu, near Agumbe in Shimoga District. It joins the Arabian Sea near Kundapur. After a 25 Km initial run, this swift and powerful river falls 455 m in cascades to form the bellowing Kunchikal falls.
Initially conceived as a surface power house at the blueprint stage, Varahi was later converted into an underground Powerhouse. The decision for the change-over was based on three key parameters : technical, economical and our concern for environment protection. Stage I of the Varahi Hydro Electric Project has a total installed capacity of 230 MW and Stage II of the Varahi Hydro Electric Project has a total installed capacity of 230 MW contributing 1100 MU annually. This consists of 4 x 115 MW Generating Units at Varahi underground Powerhouse and two 4.5 MW units in the power house at the Mani Dam site.
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