Doddamane

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Big House located in the heart of Agumbe, is an architectural wonder. Few episodes “Swami and Friends” Shankar Nag’s famous TV series Malgudi Days were shot here. Sir M Visvesvaraya, Jawaharlal Nehru visited this house. 3 generations of the family live here even now.

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Dodda Mane (Big House), located in the heart of Agumbe in Shivamogga ( Shimoga ) district, some 370km north of Bengaluru, is an architectural wonder. The wooden columns stand lightly, without betraying the fact that they are supporting a 20,000-plus sqft built-up area. 

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Dodda Mane belongs to the Raos who once owned huge tracts of farm lands in the region and cultivated areca palm and paddy. It was built as a small house in 1860s by Vasudeva Rao and gradually expanded into a three-floor mansion. The process took three years, says Kasthurakka (Kasthuri Jayanth Rao, 69, matriarch of the 10-member household.) 

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ಆಗುಂಬೆಯ ಪೇಟೆಯ ಬಳಿಯಿರುವ ಸೀತೆ ಎಂಬಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಖ್ಯರಸ್ತೆ ಬಳಿ ಕಾಣಸಿಗುತ್ತದೆ ವಿಶಾಲವಾದ ಎರಡು ಮಹಡಿಗಳ ದೊಡ್ಡಮನೆ.

ಈ ಹಳ್ಳಿಮನೆಗೆ ಇರುವ ವಿಶೇಷ ಮಹತ್ವವೆಂದರೆ, 1900ರಲ್ಲಿ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣವಾಗಿದ್ದರೂ ಹೊಳಪು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳದಿರುವುದು. ಈಗಲೂ ಇದು ಮುಕ್ಕಾಗದೆ ಚಿರಯವ್ವನದಿಂದಲೇ ಉಳಿದುಕೊಂಡಿದೆ.

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The house was built of stone and mud, with plenty of wood thrown in; Mangalore tiles provided for the roofing. It is what's commonly called in local parlance a Thotti Mane — built around a huge open courtyard. Every drop of rainwater which falls on the courtyard seeps into the ground via four pits. 

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The house has 28 rooms, seven foyers, two kitchens and a 20-seat dining hall. There is also a small coffee room, where a cuppa is not only savoured but also prepared. The foyers are big enough to feed at least 100 people at a time. 

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As has been the practice with the Raos, Dodda Mane's doors are always open to visitors through the day. They are provided accommodation and treated to Malnad-style food. It is left to the visitor to contribute what he or she wants. 

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Malgudi Days, the famous TV series based on the works of R K Narayan, was shot in Dodda Mane in mid-1980s. Director Shankar Nag found the house an authentic prop to turn Agumbe into Malgudi village. "Nag said the house provided the perfect setting to shoot the episodes of his serial," 

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ಮನೆಯನ್ನು ನೋಡುವಾಗ ಥಟ್ಟನೆ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಕಟ್ಟುವುದು 1986ರಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ದೂರದರ್ಶನದಲ್ಲಿ39 ಕಂತುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಸಾರವಾದ 'ಮಾಲ್ಗುಡಿ ಡೇಸ್‌' ಧಾರಾವಾಹಿ. ಶಂಕರನಾಗ್ ನಿರ್ದೇಶನದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿದ್ಧವಾಗಿ ಕಿರುತೆರೆಯ ವೀಕ್ಷಕರ ಮನಸೆಳೆದ ಈ ಧಾರಾವಾಹಿಯ ಬಹುಪಾಲು ಚಿತ್ರೀಕರಣವಾಗಿದ್ದು ಇದೇ ಆಗುಂಬೆಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಈ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ.

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Sir M Visvesvaraya, the country's earliest technocrat visited this Marvellous house. Visvesvaraya advised the occupants to pull down the third floor as it could have affected the base pillars. "The third floor, which had 15 rooms, was demolished in the late 1920s. The base pillars are intact till today and all wooden material carved out of teak and rosewood is in a fine state.

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Dodda Mane played host to Diwan of Mysore Mirza Ismail in 1939. Jawaharlal Nehru visited the house twice.

It now houses the family's fourth, fifth and sixth generations.


It is worth to visit Agumbe during the months of October to May for a memorable trekking experience.

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ಈ ಮನೆಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಲೆಂದು ಅನೇಕ ಗಣ್ಯರು ಬಂದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಬರುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಸರ್ ಎಂ. ವಿಶ್ವೇಶ್ವರಯ್ಯ, ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಒಡೆಯರು, ದಿವಾನರು, ಧರ್ಮಾಧಿಕಾರಿ ವೀರೇಂದ್ರ ಹೆಗ್ಗಡೆ ಮೊದಲಾದವರು ನೋಡಿ ಖುಷಿಪಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಆರ್.ಕೆ. ನಾರಾಯಣ್ ಬರೆದ'ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಮತ್ತು ಅವನ ಗೆಳೆಯರು' ಎಂಬ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಮಾಲ್ಗುಡಿ ಡೇಸ್ ಎಂಬ ಹೆಸರಿನಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡವಲ್ಲದೆ ತೆಲುಗಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಪ್ರಸಾರವಾಗಿದೆ. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಅನಂತನಾಗ್, ಮಾಸ್ಟರ್ ಮಂಜುನಾಥ್ ಮೊದಲಾದವರು ಅಭಿನಯಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಇದರ ಚಿತ್ರೀಕರಣ ನಡೆದ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮನೆ ತಂಪಾದ ಪ್ರಶಾಂತ ವಾತಾವರಣದಲ್ಲಿದೆ. 

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Reaching Agumbe

Agumbe is 380 km from Bengaluru

Route 1: Bengaluru - Tumkur - Arsikere - Kadur - Tarikere - Shivamogga - Thirthrahalli - Agumbe.

KSRTC runs only one Rajahamsa till Agumbe from Bengalurur City. Till Shimoga there are lot of KSRTC buses available from Bengaluru. From Shivamogga ( Shimoga ) both private and KSRTC buses are available to Agumbe.

Places to See

Waterfalls

Barkana Falls

Onake Abbi Falls

Jogigundi Falls

Kunchikal Falls

Koodlu Theertha Falls : Waterfall is located 20 km from Agumbe.


Scenery

Sunset Point : It can be reached by a 10 minute walk from Agumbe village.

Kundadri Hills

Nishani Gudda

Agumbe Rainforest Research Station


Temple

Gopalakrishna Temple: 14th century temple that is known for its beautiful sculptures. Representing the Hoysala art and architectural style, the temple is believed to be constructed by the erstwhile Karnataka rulers. Located on a hill near Agumbe, the temple is accessible only on foot.

Kudremukha National Park


Heritage

Doddamane 

Places around Agumbe

Udupi Krishna Mutt

Shringeri

If you are interested in exploring Agumbe and near-abouts, I would recommend this place with multiple thumbs up. One needs prior booking here as most of the time this homestay runs full. Bookings can be done by calling Kastur Akka at 08181-233075 or her son in-law Ravikumar Pai at 9448603343. Kastur Akka can converse in Kannada, Konkani, Marathi, Kannada, English, Hindi and a bit of other South Indian languages.