Pushpagiri (Kumara Parvatha), at 1,712 metres (5,617 ft), is the highest peak in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
Early morning, 3.20 am, Karwar Express reached Subrahmanya Road (SBHR) Railway station, around 12km away from Subrahmanya town, where famous Kukke Shree Subrahmanya Temple is located. The starting point of Kumaraparvatha (Pushpagiri peak trek) trek, Adi Subrahmanya temple, situated less than 2km away from Kukke Subrahmanya temple.
From the railway station (KSRTC bus service is available even early in the morning) we boarded a bus which was waiting outside. It was a 20-minute bus journey and at around 4 am we reached Subrahmanya town, near the temple. We freshened-up and packed our backpacks with water bottles, lunch box, some chocolates, glucose, and other essential things. Our plan was to keep our travel bag in the cloakroom near the temple and to start the trek at around 5.30 am. But the cloakroom remained closed till 6 am, and so we had to find someplace to keep our luggage safe. While searching for a room nearby the temple, we come across a person, and he politely offered a room for safekeeping at 600 Rs. We were forced to accept it because it was around 5 am already and searching for cheaper rooms was not an option, if we wanted to start our trek at 5.30 am. Finally, we kept our luggage in the room, filled water in the bottles and walked towards the starting point, Adi Subrahmanya Temple. The road from Kukke Subrahmanya temple to Adi Subrahmanya temple is motorable and most of the people who come for trekking, park their vehicle on the parking ground near Adi Subrahmanya temple.
5.30 am reached near the temple and headed towards the small green gate, entry to the trek. It was all dark at 5.30 am in the morning, we had to trek through leech forest for almost 5-6km, till our next stop point. Our plan was to reach Bhatru Mane, have breakfast, refill water bottles and continue the trek. And we already booked breakfast at Bhatru Mane and informed that we would be reaching by around 7.30 am. The forest was completely dark, and we light-up the torches and started walking slowly. The silence of the forest and the surrounding darkness pushed me into a little bit of panic and I was walking behind the other two with Umesh leading the group. Somewhere near the trek trail, we heard a waterfall, which was a little far from the trek trail. Since it was dark and early in the morning, and we hadn’t planned to visit the spot.
And the moment we spotted an elephant dung on the trek trail, we started moving carefully for the next couple of minutes while maintaining complete silence. The trek through leech forest was so tiring and, at some point in time I felt completely exhausted. But it was better to move uphill, rather than stay idle inside the forest in the dark, so had some water and continued the trek. The weather was a bit foggy, but I was sweating, and finally, we decided to take a break, and sat on a rock on the trail, took rest for some time, had water and started again. The jungle got rid of the darkness after some time, and we continued our trek slowly and took small breaks in between.
After long trek through the leech forest, we reached an open forest covered with shrubs, bushes, and grass where the terrain became less steep and we continued at a normal pace and I felt a bit relaxed.