Mountains have always attracted me right from child hood. Living in the foothills of the Velliangiri mountains for the past 6 years has made me fall in love with them even more. Palani, Marudhamalai , Vaishno Devi, Char dham Yatra(Involves trek to Kedarnath, Kantisarovar, Badrinath, Gangotri and Gomukh), Velliangiri Trek, Chatruagiri Hills, Kailash & Manasarovar, Sunderbans, Sandakphu (Darjeeling), and now Kumara Parvat. The thirst for these mountains is only increasing as days go by.
So here is how the trip was… LOL!! We had no clear plan in the beginning but it was pretty clear that we wanted to go up this Kumara parvat after listening to talks on the sacredness of these mountains. Ten of us from Coimbatore and Ten of our friends from Bangalore decided to join hands together for this trek. We finally ended up with 6 from Coimbatore and 6 from Bangalore. There are two ways to reach the parvat. One is Via Somwarpet (the easy way in and out) and the other one is via Kukku Subramanya (you know the opposite). Somwarpet route was blocked due to heavy rains and without a choice we met at the Kukke Subramanya temple at around 8 a.m. on the 19th of July 2014. One of our friends messaged about the pouring rains and why he is cancelling his tickets. Hmmm…Told him this is all the more reason we wanted to go.
After a long discussion it was clear that we cannot make the trip in a day. So we decided to start around 11 a.m. from the foothills of the temple on the 19th July. We moved up slowly and the only fear factor for all of us in common was “LEECHES”. (I am still able to visualize how Nagappa shouted every moment he got a leech on his shoes). We reached “Battar Mane” at around 3 in the noon. Sambar, Rice, Butter milk and a porriyal was the menu. What more to ask? The Food was heavenly and the Battar seemed to be a good man after all. (Charges Rs. 350 for 3 meals and a tea).
Two solutions for Leeches: One: Mix oil with snuff powder and apply.
Two: Dettol J (Will this company pay me for this ad..?)
Some key factors about the trek:
Location: Dakshina Kannada (District) , Karnataka, India.
Trek starting point: Kukke Subramanya Route
Trek difficulty Level: Difficult
Kumara Parvatha trek distance 13 KMS (Oneside)
Kumara Parvatha peak height 1712 Mts
Time to trek 8-10 Hours (one side)
Best time to trek: Oct to Feb (Again who cares...! if you can enjoy anything)
Permission Required, should be taken forest office
Trekking fees: Trekking Fee-Rs 200; Camera fee - Rs100 ;
Contact Number: Battaramane - 9448647947 (For food and Accommodation)
We halted in Battar mane for that night and started playing cards. The only thing that we are famous for in all our treks is for CARDS. (Santu saying “YES” when he gets all wrong cards in Bluff game!). We slept early and started by 6 a.m. the next day.
Battar Mane… (He is in the middle)
The next day morning we got up at 5.30 A.M. We divided ourselves into two groups. Five of us started early and the remaining of them came 20 minutes later. We were supposed to wait near the Kallu mandapa, a 2.5 kms trek. We crossed the lake and started walking straight without resting (thereby missing that kallu mandapa which was close). We realised that we have missed the meeting point only 2 kms before Sesha Parvat our next stop. Hmmm…Let’s be honest. Initially after seeing the trek we were thinking to change plans, eat, sleep and rest in Battar mane. Then came the “Messiah”. A sign board showing only 2 kms to Kumara Parvat. Hurrah…Despite heavy rains, 3 of them bare feet, torn and shattered windcheaters, uneven rocks and stones, we had a strong determination to reach the peak somehow.
Walk via this waterfall…Visualize guys…
What followed after the Sesha parvat was just unbelievable. Heavy rain, thick forests, leeches, wet clothes and torn jackets…. What more…? Due to heavy rains the stream was in full flow and the water falls was just awesome. We walked up the hill through these waterfalls and finally reached the slippery rocks. Walked with all four legs and reached the summit of the Kumara Parvat. Yep! We did it! We could not stay there for long due to thick mist and heavy rain. We decided to meditate for some 15 minutes, doing our Guru Pooja and started trekking down immediately. Ten minutes later we were joined by our second group. Photo sessions followed and then coming down happened pretty quickly. We reached Battar mane around 3 p.m, had lunch and started towards the foothills.
At the peak!!
Every inch of the body started aching while we were down to the foothills. It started pouring down even more heavily.
My overall experience about this trek: It is just unbelievable. It sounds mad to go for a trek in this monsoon. But Dilwale Dulhaniya Le.. No no no… I mean if you have the will and determination you can make it. Please make this trip with proper planning and take enough supplements. I am waiting to do a trek in summer to see how this place looks like without the mist.
Participants : Nagappa, Balbhim, Dhananjaya, Santosh, Naveen, Sambath square (they were two), Thilak, Raj kumar, Shiva and myself Arun. J
Vote of thanks: Whom to Thank and whom not to? Santosh for planning trip from Bangalore and his lovely friends, Tilak for making sure everyone reaches the summit and come back, Raj kumar for his encouraging words to go further up, Nagaraj for his reactions while playing the card game and Sachin for guiding us through all way. So.. Ready for another trek? Come and join us?
For further reading:
Kumara parvat…The name comes from Kumara (Lord Muruga) and Parvat (Meaning Mountain). He is said to be an accomplished yogi who shed his body standing up these hills. (Yogis usually master one of the seven chakras and leave their body either by sitting or lying down). So He was something different. This place has six faced stones around and are also called the Shanmuga.
Kukke Subramanya - The temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Here Lord Subrahmanya is worshipped as the lord of all serpents. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge under Lord Subrahmanya when threatened by Garuda.
Leeches - Leeches are segmented worms with suction cups at each end. Their bodies are flattened, much wider than they are thick.
Battar Mane – The only place of refuge in the complete trek. Food is awesome. He has tarpaulins for us to sleep. If we get more volunteers, I would like to clean it and paint this house for him. (Anyone for volunteering?)
Thank you for taking your time to read this article. J