There were tears in my eyes when I was leaving Dodda Mane, tears after so long. Did I watch a sad movie before leaving that place? Or something tragic happened with me there? No. The tears were just due to the sadness of leaving Dodda Mane Agumbe. I don’t know how far I can convince you with the feeling that I got from this place… So what is it all about?
On way to Dodda Mane Agumbe
Dodda Mane is a home stay located in Agumbe Village (Cherrapunji of the South) in Karnataka. I must rather call it as Amma’s House as told by Kasturi Akka (Amma) to do so. She is an old lady who has been taking care of this 150 years old house from quite a few years. It’s the same house where two episodes of the famous television serial “Malgudi Days” were shot.
Foyer at Dodda Mane Agumbe
What’s special about this place is that you can stay and dine here for free. Amma doesn’t charge anything for all the services. It’s totally up to you if you want to pay for all the hospitality. She is happy with whatever is being offered to her in affection. The money is used to keep the place running, feed the poor and educate the underprivileged children of the town.
With Kasturi Akka at Dodda Mane Agumbe
How to reach Dodda Mane Agumbe
Agumbe is around 92 km from Shivamogga and around 60 km from Udupi. Shivamogga and Udupi are well connected to the popular cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, and Hubballi by railways and roadways. I took a KSRTC bus from Shivamogga (INR 90) and it took around 2 hours to reach Agumbe. For train booking check IRCTC.
Dodda Mane is within 2-3 minutes of walking distance from Agumbe bus stand.
How to Reach Dodda Mane
My Journey to Dodda Mane
I reached Agumbe somewhere around 7 pm, it had already gone very dark. The streets were almost empty. Also, there were just a few streetlights. The dead silence of the streets can sometimes be horrifying, so it’s always better to reach such small villages before dusk.
Road outside Dodda Mane Agumbe
After inquiring a few locals about Dodda Mane, I finally made it to the house. There is no board outside the house. One needs prior booking, as most of the time, Amma’s house runs full. I didn’t have any booking and the house was also full. Kasturi Akka called one of the visiting group and asked them if they were fine with me staying with them in the dorm. They agreed without any hesitation.
School Parade in Agumbe
Note: There is no online booking system. You can do a prior booking by calling Kasturi Akka at +918181233075/ +919448603343. Kasturi Akka can converse in Marathi, Kannada, English, Hindi, Konkani and few other languages.
Dormitory at Dodda Mane Agumbe
Dodda Mane and the family of Kasturi Amma welcomes thousands of tourist throughout the year. Within few hours of your stay, you are made comfortable and homely. The hospitality offered is very different from the one you would experience in a hotel, hospitality that truly came from the bottom of the heart.
Herd at Dodda Mane Agumbe
The house has few rooms and a big dormitory for tourist to stay. It also has a big foyer, a small temple, a herd and a water well. Toilets/bathrooms are at the back of the house with hot water facility.
Water well at Dodda Mane Agumbe
Food at Dodda Mane
Delicious!! One of the best and healthiest food I ever had. Kasturi Akka at an age of 68, wakes up at 4:00 am every day, to cook food for her guests. Just heads off to her dedication. All the food is served by the family members with lots of love and affection, just like they are your own family.
Food at Dodda Mane Agumbe
The food is purely organic, thanks to the variety of herbs available in the Agumbe jungles. Instead of plates, the family uses Banana leaves for serving food. The Kashaya drink served with every meal is made using 30 different herbs.
Breakfast at Dodda Mane
Few house rules to note:
- Eating Non – Vegetarian food is not allowed in the premises.
- Alcohol or smoking inside the house is strictly prohibited.
- The house gates are open only from 5 AM to 9 PM.
- You can eat as much as you want, but no wasting of food is allowed.
Places nearby Dodda Mane to see
From Dodda Mane, Sunset Point can be reached by a gentle walk of around 30 minutes. The walk amidst the dense jungle, is itself a very amazing experience. On a fine evening, the sunset can be seen over the Arabian Sea.
Sunset Point Agumbe
Other places of interest nearby are Nishanigudda, Vanakobbe Falls, Jogigundi Falls, Bharkana Falls, Koodlu Theertha Falls, Seethanadhi Nisargadama.
Places to visit near Dodda Mane Agumbe
So if you are looking for staying in a house where famous television serial “Malgudi Days” was shot, if you looking to eat one of the healthiest and delicious food, if you looking for some love and affection from a place, Dodda mane is the place to be at.
In just a day stay I was very attached to the place. I felt like I stayed at my grandmother’s house. Kasturi Akka(Amma), I will be back soon for sure!!!
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Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
Looking for other places in Karnataka, which you can club with your visit to Dodda mane. Check out these blog posts:
- Badami Caves, a guide to the historic caves of Karnataka
- Jog Falls Karnataka – As you’ve never seen it before
- Gokarna Karnataka, a piece of heaven for beach lovers
- Hampi, Karnataka – The land with millions of boulders
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