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  • Dhiraj D Sharma

Kumara Parvatha Trek

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Things you should know before you trek KP:

How to reach? A Govt. Bus/Private - direct bus to Kukke Subramanya will take 7 Hrs on an average from Bangalore. From there you can either walk or take an auto-rickshaw to the start point. Journey through train is also possible which takes an average of 8 Hrs to reach from Bangalore to Subrahmanya Road. On reaching the Subramanya Road station you can take either an auto, jeep, or bus to reach Kukke Subramanya. Problems you might face are odd timings and the frequency of trains, which is less. Choice of traveling in your own vehicle is the best when traveling in a group which enables you flexible timing and exploring the other end option Where to fresh up after reaching Kukke/Beddhali Trek Path? You will find a lot of hotels, public toilets, and natural stream on both the side of start, choose anything of your choice, have BF carry packed food to have in-between the trail if you’re not planning to cook. Start Points & End Points: KP has various start & endpoints. 1. 24 Km Trek: Start from the popular choice of starting from Kukke & Ending back at kukke

2. 24 Km Trek: Start from the less popular choice of starting from Beddhali Trek Path & Ending at kukke 3. 19 Km Trek: Start from Kukke & End at Beddhali Trek Path

4. 19 Km Trek: Start from Beddhali Trek Path & End at Kukke 5. 14 Km Trek: Start from Beddhali Trek Path to Peak & End at Beddhali Trek Path – One Day Trek Should you carry food/tents? The homestay Culture at the peak offers you tents with sleeping bags (300 INR, Two Sharing, and food at a cost of 150 INR per meal, per person. Subject to availability, you can pre-order them on call @ 9480230191. You can always make your choice of carrying your own gear. Should I take permission from Forest Dept? Groups/Solo Backpackers starting from Kukke will meet the forest Check post after the first 6 Km, close to Homestay Culture/Battra Mane. You should provide any Govt. ID and pay a Trek fee of 350 INR per person. Best time to Visit: Oct to Feb is the best time to visit the peak which is just after the rain and before it’s too hot. Interested in Leach bite, go when it rains June to Sept, The Peak remains close to visitors in summer, stay updated with news around or call the Homestay Culture for Info Can I Camp & cook? The Group is allowed to camp at a specified point and location allotted by the Forest Dept and one can also cook – You should carry all the essentials on your own. Not advisable for Solo travels.

Should I worry about the wildlife moment? Thought the peak is rich & diverse in its natural habitants’, it’s a matter of luck to see them. Advisable to always move out in the group and stay conscious. One can see a lot of birds, snakes on the trek path which is common. What to Pack? Read our other blog on what to carry for the trek at always advisable to pack lite and carry sufficient as per your requirement. Now read on my experience:

I had been here before… And when I revisited the place it did not make me feel the same… I was excited to be back here again and I was recollecting all the memories of being here before to my friends who said yes to adventure this time. I was trying to mimic the same kind of trip since the previous plan worked well for us; in fact, it worked really well in our favor. I had first traveled to KP in the year 2014 and now back in 2020 what remained the same was the excitement in me.

Now take a look at how our trip worked for us:

While there are many ways to travel and reach the start point our group wanted to travel by train, for many the idea was just taken because they had never traveled in train before. We had booked the travel well in advance but never got it reserved till the last min that only meant we had to travel in an unreserved compartment. I knew how it would be to travel in the unreserved compartment so we had the plan of reaching the station early and blocking our seats well in advance. To our surprise, the train reached the platform only 5min before the departure time and our friends just made it before minutes to departure. All in all, it was just a little adventure to find ourselves comfortable to travel. The curious once had never traveled in train before started observing a lot of things and structure until there was a real fight among people for seats; the train we were traveling had more miles to reach and carried a lot of people like us. After some time the search was for food now, we had not packed anything for the journey assuming there would be vendors across and the call came in, and only when we were close to buying something was all done… nothing left for us, except the face and we had to settle ourselves for some snacks we carried.

Time for us to be out: It was 3:00 AM in the morning well in time when we reached Kukke Road Station our drop point, we were all out with a lot of excitement and courage of conquering the mighty mountain before we did that we decided to freshen ourselves at the public toilet and sipped a hot coffee at the station. Meanwhile, the Jeep driver searched his first customers in the mist and it came in as a chance to us. Auto, jeep, and bus are common means for one to travel from Railway Station to the start point Kukke Subramanya Temple. A nice, short journey to reach the start point that takes 25 Min. Before the Sunrise: Reaching the start point early is always good, and to reach this early is having time to loaf around or rest well and we chose to rest before we start, enquired few hotel rooms to rest for a couple of hours before the sunrise, we found it was not worth and we chose to rest where everyone had slept by the temple street… we put our sleeping bags to use at 4 AM and woke up to the temple song. All that we wanted was food and we head to hunt for hotels at 6:15 AM and few of them with big names were ready with the BF and we ate to the content of skipping the meal last night. We had also planned to carry boxes for the next meal and so we did fill our boxes to serve ourselves in the afternoon.

After the Sunrise:

The Temple Street

We navigated our road to the start point beside the temple street and everyone here is a guide to you. They ask you to carry sufficient food and water with a smile and wave hands encouraging you to be safe around. It would be a Km from where it all starts; the road also has a lot of shops, which offer you tents, sleeping bags and other essentials on rents. A Karnataka Forest Dept Board greets you and welcomes you to get started. I saw loads of people gearing up for the challenge and told my friends we are in for the same while remembering that no one was around in the year 2014, except our boy's group of 13 in 2014. The Rush was scattered, I saw a lot of people halting in some time from the start point. Groups were divided into individuals now and left with their own thought, what would you also see in common is friends group holding on to the challenge, a laughter in the time they can’t, a story from the past, an angry individual who would scold everyone in the group for the choice, a motivating friend and people struggling to carry themselves with all the bag load in. In this interval of time, you shall see strong characters who walk up the trail in very few hours, the true spirits keep them going and everyone looks at them being amazing, they work for a homestay culture at the base camp of KP (Popularly known as Battra Mane) who cater to the need of basic tent stay and food and these men who work for them carry all the ration to the top. Be it be a 25kilo Rice bag or salt bag … it has to pass through this way. At Sunshine:

Resting while soaking in sun

The fun was all the suffering and to add more fun to the suffer-fest, we were now out of the wood forest to the shoals – it was just the daylight at peak hitting hard as we enter the shoals, I remember it was just 10 AM now and we felt the heat beating up with longer breaks along with snacks, meeting new friends on the trail.

Watching the happy faces that were now done with their mountain call and returning back home, one simple question by now from our group to them was how far is it from the place we stopped to the Homestay culture. We had plans to halt there for the day, rest, and continue from there the next day and we did accordingly. We reached the base camp/forest check post to seek permission and halt at 11:15 AM at a decent pass with first-timers in the group.

At Base camp: Forest Check post / Camping Area

A View of Homestay/Battramane

The Forest Dept check post collects brief info about the people in the group and charges an Entry Fee of 350 INR as entry fee, digital version, or the hard copy of any Govt. Id is required at this stage to register. Here you shall find toilets and drinking water.

What I could witness was a rapid change in the number of people participating, this was way too popular for the adventure lovers now and back then it was just our team of 13 Boys with Forest Dept Staff with only 4 tents of ours pitched and today while I shared all that experience to the staff there, they said today we have fewer people, if you had come last week you would have not had the place to pitch the tents they said.

Packed food in lunch Box

And to my curiosity when I asked the number of people who were present today, they responded it was just 250+ today. We sat down for stories with the forest dept people after refreshing and pitching the tents at the campsite within no time the campsite was full of people, camps all over, with tired faces and songs. Before we fell asleep we registered for the dinner tonight at the Homestay culture

The Evening:

Before I woke up the team had set itself to a small walk at the base camp to witness the magical sunset from the mountain tops. I could see more people than ever and less green. The magical hour was magical in itself and it did not spoil the hopes of hundreds who gathered around. Immediately after the Dusk, the kiosk was to be among the first to have dinner.

Don’t expect too much for the dinner if you’re depending on the homestay culture, what you would be served is a basic but tasty food: 1. Rice & Dal/Rasam 2. Rice & Buttermilk 3. Salt & Pickle

All at 150 INR for a person, per meal. I’m sure you would be glad to eat all that you can when on an Adventure.

Navigating in the Dark

The Sunrise Trek: Little light-filled with life

What woke us once with the birds chirping high – the song of nature in 2014 was gone? It was flooded crowd around who woke us up way before the alarm; I could see people already leaving for the trek in the dark, it was 2:45 AM the crowd was keen to capture the Sunrise at the peak, also a strategic move by the foresters to beat the heat and manage the crowd. We left the campsite after unfolding our camps and bags, leaving it at the forest camp – a quick rap to start with a bag full of water bottles to sustain till we were back here at the base camp. I was happy to see around some initiatives by the Forest Dept to check for plastic, count on things that people carried to the top, and keep a deposit of 500 INR to make sure plastic carried along is not littered on top.

People wait for the Sunrise

Light becomes crucial at this moment, we used our head torch, Mobil torch, and everything possible to navigate and pass on and the crowd was scattered again in time. With rays pointing out of the dark, we ran in excitement to watch it glow, we ran in joy a distance and halted a while unspoken. Bhoomi was on her first trek with us, and her courage to not give up gave a new boost to me, Shalini was close to her dream of completing the trek in all spirit possible, Raj was now lost thinking what she had missed doing and I was cherishing the moments that I had once made and I was making one more here. It was a pause for a while to witness the Sunrise but it was the clouds that came in time to block the view. But the ocean of clouds added to the loss of sunrise.

A Km before we reach the hilltop, the main peak (Pushpagiri) I told my friends to walk slow and listen to to the amazing whistle of the Malabar Whistling – Thrush, it welcomes all its visitors to the peak with the song and back walking to the woods crossing a small stream of water onto the hills again with just a few meters to the top and we made it again.

The Hill Top:

View from Kumara Parvatha

The Pushpagiri is at the height of 1,712 Meters the highest peak of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka and one of the longest walk trail of 24 Km. Well, ones it’s done, the feeling of my belief that “Adventure is in doing, and not being done” gets stronger in me.

What we could now clearly see is the ocean of Clouds soaking the mountain, the green with fresh dews, tired faces with a joy of accomplishment. A group of old ladies took all the attention and when we had an opportunity to talk to them, we also learned that Adventure has no limit to the age, they were Super citizens with the age of group varying from 55 to 67 years. We were amazed. We also made new friends who offered some refreshment to feel good. We spent some good amount of time hereafter making it to the top at 8:15 AM The Decent:

After all the climbing from the 2-morning clubs, we had to let it go all of what we had achieved and conquered now. We had plans of getting down from the other end but had to settle for the decent from the same side since we had not carried food supplies with us. Getting down takes a lot of conscious efforts, a wrong foot could help you land nowhere in the midst of green. Just before a mile to be back to the base camp we halted at Kallu Mantapa to source water from the small source which catered the need for hundreds out there. Many had emptied the water bottle they carried and had to be in the Queue for long and the sun came hard at us again within no time and we rushed to the Base camp as early as possible to avoid the sun and to fill our stomach back at the Home culture. We were happy not to throw out anything that we had carried to the top and collected our deposit successfully. The Day:

We now realized that we had the entire day to ourselves and no more hurries, we had our bus to catch at 9 PM and it was just 12 Noon at the Base camp, we headed towards lunch after refreshing and pay off the dues at the Home Culture and be thankful to what was offered to us. After the lunch, we also decided not to walk out but rest for a while and walk in the shade by 1 30 PM and we were on time to start off with all the sense of accomplishment. It was a slow pace followed by a study break at intervals in time.

Now I also had an opportunity to also walk to the nearby stream to fill in water for the group, it’s a clear deviation on the way back

Tanned Legs

Time ticked but not footsteps, the more we walked down the feeling of walking, we had to walk more to reach the start point and finally, we finished at 4:15 PM and looked at our faces with that feeling that we made it.

The City Hopping : Right, when we finished, there was a small shop – vending cut fruits and some natural cool drinks, I did not see anyone walking without sipping one so did we spent some time there waiting for an auto to drop us back to the temple street for the city hopping.

Refreshing at Kumaradhra

Talking to the auto driver, helped us made plans to go to Kumardara – a holy stream which is at the distance of 1.5 Km from the temple. We took a dip, enjoyed the fall of water which was so refreshing, and with so much time we then went for a temple run at 7 PM. Our team wanted a quick darshan of the god but he did not answer with so many people ahead of us. Savoring the Prasada at Temple, we also ate out at the big hotel names and walked to the Bus Stop to catch our Bus at 9 PM which took us back to Bangalore with a lot of memories to cherish for life.

With love, Dhiraj

Passion Traveler -Team Parikrama.

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