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Kumara Parvatha Hike

25th Dec 2014
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 1/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 2/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 3/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 4/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 5/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 6/7 by Eva Rana
Photo of Kumara Parvatha Hike 7/7 by Eva Rana

Talk of hiking and see the glow of one's face! Apparently mine turns all orange :) After a good planning, we started from Bangalore towards Kukke Subramanya via Sakleshpur on Dec 24th night.

Day#1 : Kukke Temple - Bheema's Rock - Bhattar Mane - Kallu Mantapa

Freshening up at a public restroom, we packed 1L water bottles each,tied sleeping bags to our respective rucksacks and took turns in carrying the four tents and the cooker we carried all the way from home. After breakfast at 8AM, we started the trek. Twelve of us started ascending those never ending steep trails that lay ahead, stopping for short intervals, gossiping on the way, holding trees to take support at times, posing for cameras, passing cooker to each other and wondering if the whole trek was gonna be totally STEEP! We couldn't have been more right for all we were to know. Plan was to have lunch at a priest's house, 7kms from the base. On the way we passed a checkpoint called as Bheema's rock which is almost midway between Bhattar Mane(priest's house) and Kukke Temple downhill. Eventually, we started seeing how far up we were from the forests which now looked very tiny! That was some silent motivation. This continued for another 2-3 hours with sun directly above us making the climb much harder, before we reached our checkpoint#1 for the day.

Delighted and relieved, we had sumptuous lunch comprising of rice, sambhar, pickle and buttermilk.They even have the facility of accommodating people(limited) if they wanna stop over/camp that night.But our aim was to reach Kallu Mantapa at the earliest in order to find good camping spot for the night and it was another 2-3hrs uphill.Post refilling bottles, freshening up, 30 mins power napping we set out on the trail once again. Crossing the forest office enroute, we paid a fee of 200 INR per person (forest permission). On the way, there are two view points we stopped at, to rest. Western Ghats are absolutely magical and one can never get enough. We were sharing our old hiking experiences, be it Kudremukh or Bhramagiri, Todiandamol or Mullayangiri...each of us had the passion to trek and that united us. Finally reaching Kallu Mantapa, we found that all good camping spots were taken. A little disappointed, we didn't wanna settle for a spot we didn't like. And that's precisely when we cranked it up a notch by finding a spot 300m above the usual camping sites and took shelter by a big rock with a view to kill for. Water stream helped us in recouping the water supply part.

Next mission was to clear the ground, teach everyone on how to pitch tents,collect dry wood, fill cooker with water. With sun setting on our left,all of us learn to successfully pitch tents. Eating apples and dry fruits, we decided to clear some more area on the high land to make fire and cook food. One slight mistake and it could turn into huge forest fire coz of breeze and dry grass almost everywhere. Torches and head lamps came to the rescue and also afew candles I found on the big rock that gave us shelter. Three people cut vegetables, four cleared the ground by pulling grass/removing stones, three of us made fire! Keeping fire alive was the challenge for the night. We used Volini spray and oil to keep the fire going on.Chulha was built with three big stones. Rice, vegetables, masala, salt and oil were emptied into the cooker as we waited for a WHISTLE! Even after 45mins, when the fire had started to die and cooker struggled for the first whistle, we gave up on patience and decided to eat whatever cooker had for us inside.

Completely shocked, we saw that the pulaao was totally cooked! The first group success right infront of us and all of us squealed in that victory. There, right in the middle of nowhere, under a million of stars, in fresh chilly mountain air, we had the best Christmas dinner. Around 9.30PM, we were all inside our respective tents. Exhausted, it wasn't tough to sleep in the tents inside warm sleeping bags.

Day #2 : To the peak and back to Kukke

Part1 : Kallu Mantapa - Sesha Parvatha - Kumar Parvatha

One of our friends decided to stay back and that helped us hiking to the top without any heavy luggage. We started at 7.20AM with a target to reach KP peak in 3hrs. After steep ascend of another 1hour we reached Sesha Parvatha which was truly a victorious moment. You can see the whole Pushpagiri valley underneath your feet when you sit on the rocks. Its like standing on the edge of the world while you never ending deep gorges. People afraid of heights should really not venture towards the edge! Post countless pictures, we began for what lay ahead of us - KP, the reason why we were there in the first place. There was a nice descend through a cold patch of forest with scanty sunlight and moist earth. Suddenly the trail finished and we saw a huge wall of black rock standing infront of us. That's sure to break one's spirit, but I suggest you all to never quit when you've come so far!

Having climbed the high wall of rock, we now battled for our way towards the top through what seemed like a huge dried waterfall. The stones were loose and some of the slippery. Every step had to be watched cautiously. Look behind and you see 180 degree drop! By 9.15AM, five of us were on the KP Peak! The best part was finishing the climb before sun came out properly. Rest of the group joined us after 45mins.

What remained next was returning back to our tents, folding them and getting the hell out :)

Part2 : Kallu Mantapa - Bhattar Mane - Kukke Temple

Walking down is definitely more difficult.By 12.30PM, we started from Kallu Mantapa.After 2hrs, we reached Bhatt's house and again had lunch. Hungry since morning, it was more than luxury for us. Napping for around 45mins, we started for Kukke Temple, which was the last part of the whole hike. What amazed us, was the realization that we had climbed so much the day before when we were getting down. It seemed like a never ending trail, where we stopped quite a number of times, reassuring ourselves that we had crossed a certain fallen tree that was in path ahead. Our group had always divided itself into smaller chunks with people who were relatively fast,those who gossiped and walked leisurely and those who had troubles walking coz of slippery shoes. With almost dried water bottles, we knew we were nearing the end but somehow it never finished, making us restless. We were loosing the daylight, which pushed us furthermore to pace up our steps to reach the end. By 6.20PM, we had finished the hike are were safely inside our TT which we had taken from Bangalore.

Contented and happy, we witnessed one more beautiful sunset but from the base.The weight of the bags had crushed our shoulders and back, the steep terrain ached our legs, but there was a sweet realization that WE DID IT, that we completed the toughest trek in Karnataka. Around 30kms in two days was no joke!

Lastly, I'd like to put afew things I learnt on KP trek:

1. Always travel light and carry first aid

2. Always leave some water spare! You never know how far is the next water stream.

3. Always carry lighter and camphor(for fire) and a torch or two (for evenings)

4. Trek in early morn(post dawn), before the sun comes out completely and makes the hike even more difficult.

5. Wet wipes/paper soaps comes in very handy

6. Carry sunscreens and wear caps/sunglasses

7. Walking sticks/hiking poles are useful when climbing down

8. Wear hiking shoes only and thick socks

9. Carry a digicam instead of a DSLR

10. Carry as many fruits possible, preferably oranges.

11.Takes lesser breaks of more duration rather than small breaks in small gaps. Same goes with consumption of water.

12. Always follow the already present trails.

So that's it from my KP Logue. Hope it helps! Happy hiking :)

5 Comment(s)
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Photo of Gaurav Thakur
Gaurav Thakur
Amazing write up
Sun 01 04 15, 21:12 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Sohom Dasgupta
Sohom Dasgupta
Great Blog .... Just wat is needed for the trek..Hope to see some more of this from you in 2015.. Happy Hiking !!
Sat 01 03 15, 18:33 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Eva Rana
Eva Rana
Thanks Sayan and Shishir :)
Sat 01 03 15, 09:42 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Eva Rana
Eva Rana
This is India Jason :)
Sat 01 03 15, 09:42 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Sayan Debnath
Sayan Debnath
Awesome :-)
Sat 01 03 15, 02:49 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·