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Old 14th December 2016, 16:28   #1
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Default Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

26 hours away from comfort zone @ nature's abode: Trek to Kumara Parvata, Subrahmanya, Karnataka.

Pushpagiri or Kumara Parvatha, at 1,712 metres (5,617 ft)

Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka-temple.jpg

View of Shesha Parvata, Kumara Parvata and other peaks from Subrahmanya Temple

When: 10th, 11th Dec 2016
Oct to Dec being the best time to trek Kumara Parvata. But being weekend crowd was more.

Total distance of the trek: 27 kms

20 kms on Saturday - Subrahmanya temple to Bhat's House 6 kms (first part of the trek). Forest check post to Kumara Parvata peak 7 kms (second part of the trek). Kumara Parvata peak to forest check post return 7 kms (third part of the trek).

6.5 kms on Sunday - From camping site to Subrahmanya

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View of Kumara Parvata from Shesha Parvata

This trek was long pending in my bucket list of places to visit. Many said it's easy to start trek from Somavarpet (Coorg) side and descend from Subrahmanya side. But for many reasons we opted tougher Subrahmanya - KP - Subrahmanya trek. In the end 6 out of 9 persons in our team completed this trek successfully.

We carried tents, food essentials, healthy liquid beverages, enough water bottles, dry fruit mix with us. Tried to reduce the backpack weight as much as possible. But as you proceed with the trek small small items too feel heavy on your shoulder. I used tiny 24 mm lens this time. Easy to handle, light weight, landscape photos came out good too.

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Day1: Saturday, 10th Dec 2016

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Initial trek is through forest

Temple to Bhat's house part of the trek is through forest. Bit difficult due to gradual ascent as you progress. But you don't feel the harsh sun because of thick vegetation. We covered this part within 3 to 3.5 hours. At 8.30 AM we started our trek after breakfast from Subrahmanya. Reached Bhat's house in batches between 11.30 to 12 noon.

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Girigadde Bhat's House

Here water, rest room, very basic veg lunch available. Remember this is the only option for food throughout the trek if you don't have any food stuff or packed food with you.

After lunch we headed to near by forest check post. 3 guys decided not proceed with the trek. Remaining 6 persons enrolled name, other details and paid the fees for further trek. We pitched our tent near the first view point in a flash, kept our main backpacks inside tent as we had people to take care of them. Location of our campsite was very good. This was the best thing we did by reserving our camping site. Later people will throng in here for camping as the location is good.

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View from our camping site

We carried only essential snacks, beverages, water in a mini backpack for the tougher part of the trek. Started from forest gate at 12.45. They cautioned us you are already late for the second part. We aimed by 8 PM we must return to our camping site.

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~o~

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Next target was "Kallu Mantapa" (small resting place with stone pillars and roof) which is 2.5 kms from Bhat's House. This part was moderate through a narrow path. But afternoon sun was high, without any shade. Near to Kallu Mantapa there is a stream, which is the last source of water. Further sources were already dry. If there is no further rain this stream also will turn dry within a month or two.

Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka-img_7785.jpg

~o~

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Contd.
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Old 14th December 2016, 16:56   #2
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Default 26 hours away from comfort zone @ nature's abode: Trek to Kumara Parvata, Subrahmanya, Karnataka

We proceeded further taking short spell of breaks. Next target was "Shesha Parvata" which is around 3 kms. This was the very difficult part of the trek, path full of rocks, elevation between 60 to 70 degrees. We have to ascend one more hill before attempting Shesha Parvata.

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Many negative thoughts will dampen your spirits as you attempt both these peaks. "Why I am doing this?", "Ohh! I can't do this further", "I could have enjoyed weekend doing much easier things", "Why we opted this stretch under hot sun?" etc. If you are determined, if you believe in your abilities definitely you will not turn back but proceed further. That is what we did.

Here our group split into mini batches, everyone said we will do it in our own speed, don't wait for others. So I proceeded further without waiting for others. Reached "Shesha Parvata" by 2.45 PM. After reaching I could make out the difference in energy level clearly, those trouble causing negative thoughts long gone, cool breeze was there for company, even the final target "Kumara Parvata" visible, mesmerizing scenery all around. Nirvana moment for me.

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How small we humans in front of nature

On the way motivated few other trekkers, who were saying "ohh! one more hill, I can't". Tried to uplift their spirits by saying, "tough part of the trek is already over, final target is just 2 kms away. If you return without completing, after few days thought of not completing the trek will irritate you, which is more painful in my opinion". They agreed what I rightly said and completed the trek, even thanked me during return when we met again.

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After a quick break, I proceeded further. Kumara Parvata is another 2 kms. View from here is fantastic. We have to descend from Shesha Parvata through a track which goes through forest. After 1 km, path full of rock welcomes you. Looks like during rainy season this will turn into a waterfalls. Even a month back this part was slippery it seems. Now no sign of water, rocks were well dried.

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Those part of the trek is difficult. View of Shesha Parvata and near by hill.

Next you have to climb a cliff. Initially it looks scary but doable just using hands. After the climb, covering some distance I could see the waving flags. This is it! I have reached the peak. That was before the estimated time, at 3.30 PM.

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Kumara Parvata peak

Took a deep breath, also took much needed rest. 10-15 people were here, that's it. Calm, quite atmosphere. Suddenly a thought came, what about other members of our team? No mode of contact as there is no network. I was slowly getting ready to return at 4.00 PM. One person from our team turned up all exhausted. This was a joyous moment for me. I felt happy that I could share my joy with a person at least. After some time remaining 4 persons too arrived. In the end we were all happy for successfully reaching the Kumara Parvata peak. Here there is a small Shiva temple (gudi). We took his blessings, also much needed rest.

Forest department guard on duty here suggested to visit nearby echo point quickly. Others opted out of this. As I had already took nearly 1 hour rest rushed to that point. Absolutely deserted place, fantastic views of the mountains, valleys below. If you shout anything, same will get echoed after 3-4 seconds.

At 4.30 we started our return trek (7 kms). Our aim was to reach camping site before 8.00 PM. We had couple of torch with us, also trekking under moonlight not much of an issue. Still we wanted to complete tough part of the trek and reach "Kallu Mantapa" at least before nightfall. Descending too is difficult here, because of the rocky path. Good trekking shoe is very essential for this entire trek. We could see couple of guys loosing grip and falling down at this stretch. Luckily no major injuries to them.

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Our return leg was faster, maintained healthy speed and were all together. Reached "Kallu Mantapa" before dusk. Could not get proper sunset view due to clouds. But twilight view was very good. From here on moonlight and torch light were there for our company. Quickly refreshed at nearby stream. Splash of icy cold water on the face was relaxing.

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Reached forest check post before 7, well within our estimated time. All were happy for successfully completing major part of the trek. Here you get water, rest room facilities. Took some time to freshen up.

This place was like mini 'Kumbh mela', full of activities. Many were trying to pitch their tent, some were searching places, some were preparing food. We escaped from that mad rush and reached our camping site. Here not many people due to limited space.

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Quickly prepared Masala Tea, ready-to-eat snacks for dinner (we carried Nandini Goodlife milk packets, that was of great help). Had our dinner. Exchanged experiences, chit chatting other topics for some time. By 9.00 PM all were inside their assigned tent for a much needed sleep. Thus our day 1 of the trek successfully completed.

Day2: Sunday, 11th Dec 2016

Morning got up by 6.30 AM. As said earlier, near by forest check post has rest room, water facilities. Near by Bhat's house too has these facilities. If not enough, those open space all around the hill is yours for morning duties. After refreshing we again prepared masala tea. We had noodles with us for breakfast. Majority said better to have breakfast at Bhat's house. So we dropped the idea of preparing noodles. After tea, everyone voluntarily took part in winding up tasks. Within 30 mins all are ready after packing, including the tents.

We had upma, rice bath, butter milk, tea at Bhat's House. Spent some time with him asking about his life at a place which is totally cutout from main stream. We were awestruck after hearing he has a farm with 30 cows next to his house. He even supplies milk to dairies at Subrahmanya daily. Remember reaching this place is possible only by 5-6 kms walk (trek). He has some contacts who regularly supply essentials like rice etc from Subrahmanya by walk.

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Next available human habitat is over there!

We thanked him, settled his bills, also gave extra food supplies we had with us to him. By 9 AM, we were all set to start last part of the return journey. This was super quick, unlike yesterday which took nearly 3.30 hours. By 10.30 we reached Subrahmanya.

Some insights:

* Spending night inside the tent, at isolated place, somewhere in between the hills was great experience.

* Entire team was in full josh, all were in joyous positive mood, cracking jokes, laughing. That made a huge difference in successful completion of the trek.

* Bhat's House lunch, breakfast very basic but no other options. We must congratulate, support him for living there for so many years against all odds.

* Coming out of our comfort zone and exploring trek like these increases positive energy, self belief, refreshes body soul and mind.

~o~
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Old 14th December 2016, 17:32   #3
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Default Re: Photologue: Journey through my lens

Thanks for penning this down, re-lived the trek which we had done while doing my engineering. We had taken the Somvarpete-Kumaraparvatha-Subramanya route and roughed it out in the night without any camping gear ( too poor or plain stupidity).
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Old 15th December 2016, 10:53   #4
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Default Re: Photologue: Journey through my lens

Thank you mazda4life.

Now a days getting trekking gears on rental basis is lot easier, also there are many blogs, sites as reference for planning. College day trekking, trips were unique without any planning, without any preparation or hiking gears. Not even proper shoes. Nostalgic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda4life View Post
Thanks for penning this down, re-lived the trek which we had done while doing my engineering. We had taken the Somvarpete-Kumaraparvatha-Subramanya route and roughed it out in the night without any camping gear ( too poor or plain stupidity).
Thanks vijayols for the compliments, encouraging words.

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Brilliant medley of various trips done!Photographs are simply breathtaking.The trek from Salkeshpur to Subramanya was beautifully captured.
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Old 20th December 2016, 13:20   #5
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Thanks for sharing, Nempuguru! Creating a fresh new thread for this trek.
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Old 21st December 2016, 10:58   #6
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Some more info:

* At forest check post one has to pay Rs. 200/- for further trek (no separate charge for camera). They will note down all the details about team, individual.

* Camping is allowed near forest check-post or Bhat's house surroundings. Not beyond that.

* Nov-April chances of forest fire is more. One reason trekkers discarding cigarette butts without even thinking this will cause a major issue later on. Forest officer on duty quoting, recently there was a bush fire. Around 300 trekkers were stranded near peak as the fire went out of control.

* Request to fellow trekkers this is not the right place to carry cigarette or alcohol. Till date there is no restriction from forest officials. But better to maintain serenity of the place by self imposing on these.

* Mr Bhat will charge Rs 110/- per meal (either lunch, breakfast or dinner). It is better to inform well in advance about your trip, meal preference.
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Old 21st December 2016, 11:09   #7
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Some more photos:

Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka-img_7614.jpg

~o~

Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka-img_7712.jpg

Our team busy pitching tent

~o~

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The elevation

~o~

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Last part of the trek, path full of rocks

~o~

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That's the way to Shesha Parvata peak. Elevation, hot sun, rocky path are the challenges.

~o~

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Twilight view

~o~

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~o~

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Masala Chai preparation. Tea never tasted so good before.

~o~
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Old 21st December 2016, 15:30   #8
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Good to see vistas of Kumara Parvatha. Been there 3 times between 2000 - 2011. We were allowed to camp on the peak those days.

How crowded is the route during weekend these days ? I guess atlease few hundreds of trekkers hit the peak during weekends in the season.
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Old 21st December 2016, 17:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nempuguru View Post
Some more info:

* Camping is allowed near forest check-post or Bhat's house surroundings. Not beyond that.
Thanks for bringing back the memories. In 2006, I had spent a night at the peak under open sky on a full moon day. Those were the days without easy availability to camping materials.
Girigadde Bhat is a savior on KP treks for people without any preparation for food. If my memory is correct, Bhat himself and those people who carry supplies for him from Subrahmanya on their shoulders apparently cover this up-hill stretch in less than an hour and a half. Their calf muscles were as hard as a rock
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Old 23rd December 2016, 08:34   #10
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Awesome trek this! I have done this about 12-13 times and always want to do it again. I am taking a few friends during first weekend of January. After camping was banned on peak, have visited only once (Dec 2015). Where was the exact place you camped? Is there a specific place now anywhere betyween Forest checkpost and bhattara mane?
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Old 23rd December 2016, 09:58   #11
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Thanks Prasanna. Crowd was more, that weekend around 250-300 people were there. Many come casually without even knowing the terrain, difficulty of the trek and end up near Bhattra mane itself.

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Originally Posted by prasanna_indaje View Post
How crowded is the route during weekend these days ? I guess atlease few hundreds of trekkers hit the peak during weekends in the season.
~o~

Thanks for sharing your experience Shubbi. Trek/tour without any preparation, gears has different level of enjoyment. Cherishing those experience brings back smile even after so many years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubbi View Post
Thanks for bringing back the memories. In 2006, I had spent a night at the peak under open sky on a full moon day. Those were the days without easy availability to camping materials.
Girigadde Bhat is a savior on KP treks for people without any preparation for food. If my memory is correct, Bhat himself and those people who carry supplies for him from Subrahmanya on their shoulders apparently cover this up-hill stretch in less than an hour and a half. Their calf muscles were as hard as a rock
~o~

Thank you funkykar. 12-13 times that's really an achievement.

If possible avoid camping next to Bhattara mane or Forest check post, during weekend looks like mela is going on. We reserved our camping place near first view point by pitching tent around noon itself. Here limited space, but view is very good. Checkpost is nearby, you can utilise facilities like water, toilet from there. Forest officials were friendly, always helping/guiding people as much as they can, even though crowd was more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
I am taking a few friends during first weekend of January. After camping was banned on peak, have visited only once (Dec 2015). Where was the exact place you camped? Is there a specific place now anywhere between Forest checkpost and bhattara mane?
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Old 23rd December 2016, 10:36   #12
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Got it. Many thanks. I have stopped going Kumara Parvata during holidays ot weekends. I always take the Friday off. Thursday night bus to Kukke. Start trek friday morning and camp during night. While descending saturday morning, you get to meet and greet ascending trekkers in 10s and sometimes during long weekend its 100s and resembles bangalore mysore highway during weekend.
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Old 27th December 2016, 10:43   #13
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Hi Nempuguru,

KP is a amazing trek . I had done this several times when I was in Banglore back in 2001 to 2007. If you don't mind here is a trek report that my friend and co-trekker Tejas wrote down. This trek was memorable to me atleast on the first day for wrong reasons...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trek Report – Kumara Parvat – 27th and 28th Sep 2003

The trekkies team who trekked to Kumara Parvat (KP) this weekend came back with two major conclusions. Firstly, the chow bhath at Kumara Tirth Café at Kukke Subramanyah is bad for the stomach and secondly, a plateau is a geographical feature that can slope from an angle of zero degrees to 30 degrees!!

Some history before we begin. As per the official maps, KP is the first peak also called as Bhatadarashi (heap of paddy) and the tallest is called Pushpagiri. However, the entire range is called Pushpagiri range and comprises of 4 peaks, Bhatadarashi at about 1400 metres, Shesh Parvat at about 1600 metres and Kumara Parvat at 1700 metres. The fourth and highly inaccessible peak is Sidhar Parvat which is quite adjacent to KP. Our aim was to start at Kukke and head to KP via Bhatadarashi and Shesh Parvat.

The trek began with the usual assembling at the place of the non existent map of Karnataka at the KSRTC bus stand at 2230 hrs. The team comprised of Hemant, Vikrant, Sujit, Veera(pan), Anantha and Tejas. No latecomers, no frantic mobile calls, a very soft start to a trek. Everyone was aboard the 11 pm deluxe bus for Kukke Subramanyah. After spending a sleepless night through the jolts and jerks and ghost windows (which opened on their own every 5 mins), we reached Kukke at 5:30 am on Saturday. The morning ablutions were finished at the Dharmshala near the temple and we settled for a breakfast at Kumara Tirth café. All had a hearty breakfast of idlis, khara bhath, kesri bhath and the now notorious chow chow bhath which was eaten by Vikrant alone. At 7 am, we set out for the ascent.

Half an hour into the trek, Vikrant started complaining of stomach ache and wasn’t able to go on. He even contemplated going back but we egged him on. Further on, the entire chow chow bath was on the forest floor and Vikrant was in even more distress. This problem was more compounded by leg cramps and a relentless ascent and humid forest cover. But he held on and bravely climbed on with us. Kudos to Vicky for his endurance in what is one of the most punishing treks.

Our first big halt was The Rock. Water and Glucon D made their usual rounds. By 10:30 pm we reached our first halt, Bhatamane. This place is about 5 kms from base. This was supposed to be our lunch halt but we were told that lunch would be served only by 12:30. This called for a major change of plans and we decided to press on. We refreshed ourselves with glassfuls of buttermilk. Hemant did not forget to make plans with Bhat for lunch for the next day.

Bhatamane to Mantap (that’s just below the peak of Bhatadarashi) was the toughest climb of them all and we all suffered from empty stomachs. Mantap is a small stone structure consisting of a stone platform and roof supported by 4 pillars. Thankfully, Surya devta was merciful and we were blessed with a nice breeze and a cloud cover that kept the sun at bay. We were pleased to rest at Mantap after the strenuous climb but more pleasing was lunch. Khara bhath, Bisibele Bhath for lunch followed by Kesri bath for dessert put to rest the grumblings of an empty stomach and put some life into tired limbs. I need not mention Vikrant wasn’t too enthu about this lunch. The climb from Bhatamane to Mantap took us 3 good hours. This place has a source of water but it might not last till summer.

We left this place at 3 pm for the next climb to Shesh Parvat. By this time clouds had moved in thick and fast. The entire valley was blocked out from view. Half an hour later we stopped for snaps and apples. Gradually we made it to Shesh Parvat. This peak comprises of 3 rocky overhangs which resemble the hood of the cobra and hence the name. The weather was very ominous now. I remarked to Vikrant that this weather could not hold for too long and it would rain. 2 minutes later we were greeted by a steady rain and extremely poor visibility. Wind and rain at 1600 metres isn’t pleasant by any standards. Anantha and I were without jackets and we shivered through this bad weather. To complicate the situation, the rain coincided with the point where we make a descent into the forest between Shesh Parvat and KP. This is a very frustrating region where, after having climbed such a great deal, you descend for roughly 200 metres and then climb up again. Now the forest floor was damp, slippery and treacherous. In places, the track is on the edge of the cliff and all you need is a slip to go down under!! With the rain and poor visibility, we lost our way couple of times and had to back track.

The last stretch to KP is the trickiest, most exciting and is the surprise package of the trek. It consists of making your way through a waterfall. We had to walk through boulders and stones of the stream on all fours before we encountered the flat slippery rock face of the waterfall. Fortunately there is a small route around the rock which takes you to the top of the waterfall but you still need to walk across the rock face to get back on track. On a rainy day this is as dangerous as it gets. Finally, 6 soaked and tired ppl reached KP. Hemant was soon into his elements. Standing at the centre of the peak, he commented (very knowledgeably), that the camping spot could either be on the right or on the left. We headed downwind to the left and found a camping spot to accommodate 2 tents. The tents were quickly pitched. Everyone deleeched, changed into dry clothes and entered in to the warmth of the tents. Cooking dinner was out of the question. Outside the tent was moist and windy. So we decided to munch on biscuits and mosambi for dinner. We all gathered in one tent and in torch light we feasted on Time Pass, 50-50 and mosambis. In one evening, we must have eaten the equivalent amount of one years of biscuits. Hungry and tired bodies don’t think, they just eat. With nothing more to do, we retired for the night. I was the smart guy with just a chaddar and no sleeping bag. Thankfully, Sujit partly shared his bag with me but a few hours later, I found myself shivering in the cold under a chaddar that was getting increasingly damp. I made multiple attempts to re enter the sleeping bag but Sujit threw me out each time. Next morning he realized that he could not sleep all night due to cold and that was because he had left his bag unzipped. He had left his bag unzipped because he “shared” his bag with me. Serves him right !! In the other tent Veera had a stereophonic surround sound snore music as he was caught in the cross fire between Vicky and Anantha.

We all awoke by sunrise. The skies were clear and a badly needed sun was just rearing his head over the trees. Hemant went clicking snaps of the gorgeous valley below. It was a view you get when in an aero plane. It was just surreal to be standing there, shivering in the early morning chilling and staring into the green and misty vastness. Sujit tried showing me the Arabian Sea. According to him, it is a sea which I could not see even with my spectacles. Surprisingly, you get a cell signal on the peak and Vikrant was discussing differential amplifiers, x86 processors and digital gates at 7 am in the morning using his cell phone.

KP also has a water source, a perennial well. Breakfast was Wai Wai noodles of the Maggi family. Plates of piping hot noodles were quickly gulped down. We decamped and packed quickly. Then we went for an exploration of the KP peak. We climbed Hemant's plateau,which is at an angle of about 30 degrees. So much for your idea of a plateau. For the 250th time during the trek, he said that on the slope of a plateau, some 250 people had camped one night (that’s excluding the people who came from the Somwar Peth side. For more details contact Hemant, who will gladly repeat this story for the 251st time).
Vikrant showed us the Tadiandmol peak in 3 directions. We saw the small Shiva temple, a small fort like stone structure on the peak. We decided that we would marry off Hemant at the Mantap and we also named his 3 children, Edmund Hillary, Sherpa Tenzing and Bachindra Pal, all of Mt. Everest fame. Vicky has promised to get Hemant on a horse and is going to dance in front of the horse. Hemant, in turn, has promised to serve chow chow bath at the wedding.

By 8:30 am we began our descent. The descent is just as tricky and in fact more torturous than the ascent. The route is very rocky and steep and that puts a great strain on thighs and ankles. Veera twisted his ankle and was hobbling most of his way down. We kept our pace and somehow managed to reach Bhat’s place for lunch. By this time we were tired and very very hungry. Lunch was sambar rice and buttermilk and rice and pickle. Sambar hasn’t tasted so good in years. It was a satisfying experience, may the gods bless Bhat and his family. We were having time crunch to reach Kukke and book tickets for the return journey. Hemant was chatting away to glory with Bhat and we had to force him out. By this time, Anantha and I had developed severe blisters on our feet which made progress slow and torturous. So Hemant and Sujit pushed ahead while the rest of us followed slowly.

By 4:30 we reached Kukke. After 2 days of either ascending or descending, the first few steps on flat terrain felt weird but welcome. We refreshed at the Dharmasala. Tickets for the 10:30 Ultra Deluxe bus to Bangalore were already booked. We took turns visiting the Subramanyah temple. Then we went for coffee to Neo Mysore café which bang opposite the Kumara Tirth café. Vikrant prevented people from using even the STD booth next to Kumara Tirth.

Dinner specialty was boiled rice which many of us were eating for the first time. Sujit was unable to finish his boiled rice and had to visit the loo one more time after dinner!!
The 10:30 bus happened to be the same bus in which we traveled from B’lore to Kukke. What is deluxe from Bangalore is Ultra deluxe from Kukke. The driver set out at top speed. I think those ppl have only one pedal, the accelerator. Braking means just lifting the foot one inch. By 5:30 am, we reached a wet and rainy Bangalore. Everyone quickly boarded autos and set out for home.

A special mention must be made of Anantha. This was his first trek ever and KP is no simple trek by any standards. But Anantha never complained and in spite of his pain, he completed the trek along with everybody. By far, none of us have fit bodies. But a trek like this shows that trekking is as much an effort of the mind as it is of the body, if not more. Every time you go up there, you think why would anyone want to put himself/herself through so much pain and discomfort. Some things, I guess, are beyond words.


Tejas Patki
29th Sep 2003
Bangalore

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Old 29th December 2016, 11:03   #14
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Default Re: Trek to Kumara Parvatha, Karnataka

Thanks vikrantj for sharing the logs. Please share some photos too if you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
Hi Nempuguru,

KP is a amazing trek . I had done this several times when I was in Banglore back in 2001 to 2007. If you don't mind here is a trek report that my friend and co-trekker Tejas wrote down. This trek was memorable to me atleast on the first day for wrong reasons...
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