A trip is the most satisfying when it is the journey that excites you rather than the destination. The beauty of a trek is in the pleasure you get putting yourself through physically challenging tasks, sweating it out and oompa-lumpa-doopity-do what you set out to do i.e. reach the top. Mid-December, a group of 6 of us set out to trek Kumara Parvata, believed to be the toughest trek of Karnataka.
Things to know before trek:
* The hill is open for trek between October and Februrary.
* The trek is 14 kms one way from Subrahmanya.
* There are a couple of streams on the way, which are sources of potable water.
* Accommodation options are 1) tent provided by the Forest Dept. ,2) tent provided at the only home on the hills - Bhattra Mane - a family of Brahmins who also provide vegetarian meals (Rs.200/person), 3) the family also allows you to sleep on the veranda (free of cost) or 4) pitch a tent you carry on your own. Since the hill is open for trekking only on winters, the night will be dewy and sleeping in open is not advisable.
* Food options are 1) Breakfast (Rs.100 for Upma/Poha/flavoured rice), Lunch (Rs.150 for rice, runny sambar, buttermilk, leftover breakfast) and Dinner (Rs.150 for rice, runny sambar, buttermilk) - unlimited vegetarian meals at Bhattra Mane or 2) food you carry on your own.
*It is advisable to keep your luggage light but here are a few items that'll help with the trek - Cap, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, extra pair of clothes and socks, sports shoes, water bottle, juicy fruits and required food, glucose/sugar, pain spray/painkiller, odomos, first aid, cash (online payment not available since mobile network isn't available on the way), jacket/sweater, flashlight.