Sometime back while re-reading Malgudi days I came to know that Malgudi days was shot in Agumbe that is some 2 hour journey from Shimoga. Agumbe holds the second position after Cherapunji in terms of highest rainfall and is a famous rain forest along with King Cobra preservation center. I took a bus going to Agumbe from Shimoga bus stand. Initially I had no idea that Agumbe will be so far but I realized that soon after.
For a naïve tourist he can totally get lost and come back without seeing anything if he wanders around the town rather than visiting the Agumbe valley. It was month of March and hence I missed the rainfall (I should have checked that before I decided to visit this place.) I started from Shimoga around 6 AM, while you are supposed to be there early morning to view to sunrise from the ghats and reched there at 8.
I wandered in the town, it was totally empty, everyone must be sleeping after having afternoon lunch, after walking around I found an autowalah who offered me to take to Koodlu Tirtha Falls that is again some 20 kms away from town, he asked 500 rs for taking me up there and bringing me back. The route was awesome, I was mesmerized by the green fields and trees on my both side. At a point my auto rikshaw dived into a small river and I was half wet with water splashing all over me it also took away all the tiredness that I got during my bus journey.
As we moved towards the falls the climate got colder, it took some one and a half hour for my auto rikshaw to a point from where trekking started. The rikshaw driver joined me along (must be fearing in case if I get lost and so will be his money.) Jokes apart he guided me through the forest and brought me next to the a tall waterfall that was not in its full force but still looked grand. There were tourists around, a group of students from Manipal was enjoying their trip and so were a few villagers. The auto driver whose name was Raju introduced me to a local friend who invited me to his house for lunch. It was a traditional South Indian lunch with Rasam, Sambar, papad and rice along with two vegetables. After my stumptous meal I somehow ended taking a nap at their place. Raju was so nice that he actually waited for me to get up from my slumber and only woke me up when he realized that if we don’t leave we’ll miss the sunset.
So he drove back, same road, same fields and same trees and he dropped me at sunset point and I saw sun going down in the ghats. After this I asked him to drop me off at the bus stand, he insisted me to stay at his place for the night and that he’ll take me to a few more places the next day but I simply couldnot because I had other travel plans. I still regret his offer after I saw breathtaking pictures of Agumbe rainforest and ghats while googling.
So I left for bus stand, and took a bus for Shimoga with new memories of these simple people who are happy with whatever they have got unlike us who keep wishing that we had more and more. I said goodbye to the ghats.