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A Real-time Trip to the Fictitious Town of Malgudi

If you missed out on reading or watching R.K. Narayan’s first ever collection of short stories, The Malgudi Days, as a kid then your childhood must have been horrible. It got published in 1943, and has attained huge popularity ever since. Of course, there were so many things going on with the World at that time, and something like Malgudi Days acted as a bandage over the wounds for the common man. Again, that’s what a great piece of art is supposed to do.

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In 1986, Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag made it into a series, both in English and Hindi languages, which was first telecasted on Doordarshan.

Agumbe

According to the novel, Malgudi is located on the banks of Sarayu river (fictional), next to the Mempi forest (also fictional) which is situated on the borders of Mysore and Madras. Many of the readers believe that this location is actually Mysore itself, as many of the aspects mentioned in the story about the town matches with that of Mysore.

The actual location in which the TV series was shot is Agumbe which is a high altitude village in Shimoga district, Karnataka.

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 It is also 110 kms away from Chikmagalur, another popular hill station in Karnataka. Nicknamed as the Cherrapunji of South India, this beautiful hill station is enriched with forests, rivers, and waterfalls.

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The village of Agumbe is laid-back and relaxed, and is the kind of utopia one would want to retire to. The main attraction in the village is the ‘Doddamane’, or popularly known as Swami’s house.

Swami’s House

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The house is actually 150 years old, and now belongs to Kasturi Akka and her family. It is a cozy little house that offers food and accommodation to visitors, free of cost.

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The house is famous for its old-fashioned hospitality, and doesn’t charge a single penny. Instead, Kasturi Akka accepts whatever the visitor offers her. She uses the money she gets from the visitors to run the place, and educate under-priviledged children.

Places to visit near the Doddamane

Now Agumbe, in spite of the Malgudi days series, has long been marked as a favorite tourist location in Karnataka. It receives the most amount of rainfall in South India, and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Some of the most popular tourist locations near Agumbe are the Kundadri and Kodachadri Hills, Udupi, Malpe, Karakala, Kolluru, Sringeri, Chikmagalur, Shivamogga, and Thirthahalli.

Sri Venugopala Krishnaswamy temple

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It is a typical Hoysala architecture, and has undergone numerous renovations from several kings. It’s architecture differs from other Hoysala temples, with an inner sanctum covered by an additional external hall. It is just 2 mins from Doddamane.

Sunset Point

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Being the hill station that it is, Agumbe showcases one of the best sunsets one can ever witness. The sunset point is just a 10 minute walk from the village.

Barkana Falls

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The Barkana waterfalls is formed by the Seetha river which flows through the region. It is situated deep in the dense forest at a height of about 850 ft. Trekking all the way to the falls through the rainforest is an unforgettable experience.

Jogi Gundi and Onaki Abbi Falls

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Both the falls are only a few kilometers away from the village. The Jogi Gundi waterfalls come out of a cave that runs through the hills. You will have to take a 1km trek from the road to reach the waterfall. The Onaki Abbi falls is situated at the edge of the Western Ghats.