Kumara Parvatha Trek
Kumara Parvatha, also called Pushpagiri is the third highest hill in Karnataka, standing tall at 1712 mts above mean sea
level (5615 ft). Situated at confluence of 3 districts of Hassan, Dakshin Kanada and Kodagu, the hill base point is temple town of Kuke Subramanyan. Because of temple, lots of hotels are there, either to change or even stay.
Name: Kumaraparvatha or Pushpagiri
Height: 1712 mts or 5615 fts
Trekking route: ~14Kms one way.
Time needed: At least one night, need to camp some where in hill.
Trekking path: Starts some 500mts left of temple – Bhatta’s home (Bhattru Mane) – Forest check point – Mantapa (Mandapa) – Sheshaparvatha- KP
Trek rating: Easy to moderate in November, December
Hard in monsoon
Best to visit: a) want casual trekking: Nov, Dec, Jan is the best time.
b) KP is toughest in monsoon and promises a completely different experience.
So decide on your taste and so season.
We went in peak monsoon and only regret was we couldn’t see scenery. Otherwise, it was a very adventurous experience, as you will read.
1) To good research before you start, on subject like weather etc. It is important. Weather will decide your checklist down the line.
2) Inform Bhatte before hand, if you plan to refresh in his house.
3) Tent, extra pair of clothes, trekking shoes. Avoid sandals etc.
4) Winter wear, as it may be cold and windy at top
5) Light food
6) If sunny, take sun cream lotion (if you want to)
7) Rainy wear (if rainy season)
8) Knife, if its leach season. Most important tool in rainy season.
9) No alcohol etc allowed. Will be frisked at forest office and so better light your bags.
How to reach?Kuke Subramanya is the station to reach.
Road: Bangalore- Mysore- Madikeri- Somarvet- Subramanya (recommended)
Bangalore- Hassan- Saklespur- Subramanya (Horrible..when we went)
Bus stand is also very near the main temple and well connected by Bangalore, Mangalore.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Subramanya Road (SBHR) railway station on Mangalore-Bangalore railway route, which is 7 km from Kukke Subramanya.
Kukke Subramanya Town:
The temple town is famous for Kumaraswamy temple and is visited by locals through out the year. Because of constant inflow of pilgrims, the town has many lodges, hotels and dharmashalas. Despite many rooms, in weekends, it may be difficult to get one. So that gives a sense of scale of people visiting the place. ATM, restaurants are not a problem here.
Neo Mysore cafe is worth lunching and dining. Its 100 mts from temple.
Date: 2nd October,09.
Weather: Record breaking rains, with strong winds, poor visibility.
Who all? Me, Rahul, Milind, Rohan, Roshan, Praveen, Sayeed, Abhishek, Abhijit, Vineet,Senthil.
We were an orkut group of 11 people, no one knew each other (few exceptions). What started as a post in orkut community, turned into reality and 11 people converged to Jaya Nagar’s new bus stop at 9:30 PM on 1st October. For the first time, trip of such a big group started as per plan and not as per Indian time. Good to see that. After brief intro of each other, we started by 10PM we started in out comfortable tempo traveler.
The route via Hassan and Saklespur was horrible, but somehow we reached Subramanya on time, 6AM. It was raining heavily and we knew its gonna be long trek. After freshing up in a hotel dormitory, we were all set to start the trek. Had breakfast and we all started for the trek. For trek, one has to go ~500mts left of temple. There’s a board giving intro of KP, and this is where one has to off road to start jungle trek. Watch read 8:15 AM. First two KM is like normal walk through jungle. Since so many people trek here, a well – defined trail is formed right to top of KP. It was raining, but trees were shielding us and with well formed trail, we covered first five 5KM trek to Bhatta’s house very fast and reached there by 11:00 AM. There are regular signboards to guide on distance you have covered from Subramanya. The trek was full of leaches and had to careful through out the trek. With we were fully drenched and there was no scope of drying out. Clouds were just everywhere, above, below, right, left, in mouth, on face, just everywhere. Visibility was just few meters.
Once reached Bhatta’s home, dried ourselves by 10-20%, go drench again in seconds later on. Got the news that lunch
will be ready only by 12:30PM.So just relaxed inside hut and watch other groups joining in. By 12:30 PM, hut was filled with trekkers and bags. There were around 50 trekkers and we were discussing what is there in Bangloreans that they are interested in such crazy treks. Nice way of time pass.
So after having lunch on rice, sambar and pickle, we started for next leg of trek at 1:30PM. First milestone, forest office entry point. Here bags were frisked for alcohol etc and entry fee charged on homo sapiens and cameras.
Till 5:15 PM, we passed though grasslands of high hills, walking against stream of water rushing down the hill, fighting leaches with swiss knifes, trying to get heat to beat cold chilly wind, crossing one hill after hill. Finally we had to cross through forest infested with leaches. We just ran through it, because of leaches and fear of final light going down.
Final trek is tracing the source of a water fall. A wrong arrow mis guided us and we were stuck in a place where
returning was not possible because of final rays of light and not finding a camp for putting up a tent was difficult. It was damp everywhere, leaches every where and wind fast and furious. Somehow after 15-20 mins of debate we decided to put up camp where we were. A small area of 3-4 sq mt we some how clamped tents. Some bushes gave us some shield from one side. But other three sides were just exposed naked to wind and whole night we held up tents from inside. It was win-win situation: tent saving us and we saving the tent. We changed inside to dry clothes inside the tent, only to get wet with in an hour. Had dinner on what ever we had and then some how tried to sleep now n then. Fear of leach bite, feeling of wetness, the crampy feeling, cold and violently oscillating walls of tent, thunder of wind outside, kept all of us wake up whole night, for 12 hours. Everybody had a thought, if they will be able to pass the night successfully or not. Now n then everybody asked me time as I was with watch and torch both. Sound from the other tent was coming, showing the situation to be same there.
To our fear, the raincoat shield of tent blew away, twice. And twice we had to go out outside tent in chilling wind to put
up the shield. That was worst experience as it had feeling of ice striking us. Oh! man that was really painful. Some how managed to put the shield again twice, we were seeing the first lights of dawn coming. With improvement in light by 6:30AM, we packed ourselves and by 7:15AM we were all set to trek down. Now rain had slowed down and so wind. But it was real slippery and descending proved to be more dangerous. With tent in my shoulders, I fell twice. I just ran through the leach infested forest, n hills, n grasslands. On way saw some seen of raped nature, as a group of 16 from Chennai, had just trashed the place where they had camped. I was praying to god to punish them, may be by broken hand or legs something, so that they have a lesson to learn.
Now our group was broken into pieces, with some way forward and some way behind. After reaching Bhatta’s house some decided to rest there and our group of 5 decided to carry on without stopping. We raced our way, only to find last 2 KMs proving to very painful. The feeling of completing the trek, made the legs very lazy. The mirage of road kept coming and making things worse. But somehow me n milind hit the road by 12:30PM. It was raining again hard and with no shed, we were taking a heavy shower. Soon after 30-40 mins, Abhi reached and now we had no idea where abouts of rest 8. We three decided to book a room and freshen up. After much struggle we finally found a dormitory room. We took bath, had lunch and even had a quick nap. Time was 6:30PM, and now we were worried about the other groups. THEY WERE UNREACHABLE. But finally with god’s grace, all reached by 7:30PM and now we were all together again. At 8 visited temple, only to find it closed. After having snacks as dinner, we decided to head back to Bangalore and started by 9PM from Subramanya. This time decided to go via somarvet and Madikeri, which turned out to be a very good decision, as road were much better than the roads we took while onward journey. At 12 midnight stopped in some village, finished all the eggs of a shop and started again. By 6:30AM we were in Bangalore and by 7:30AM, everybody at comfort of their beds.
Responses of group on trekking experience:
“ I came back alive. Thank god”
“ Omu, mujhe marna chahta tha, I ll never go such trek”
“ KP in monsoon…..never”
“Couldn’t donate blood for next 3 months, after donating so much to leaches”
“Love bites of leaches will be remembered for time to come”
“Conquered KP, against army of leaches, raging winds, 28 hrs of wetness, n fear of coming broken”
For me, I want to see KP again in Nov -Dec. Want to see in sun, what I conquered. This really was a very adventurous trek and the group was just awesome. You can’t ask more fun and adventure with a random group, in a long weekend. Waiting for such next trek with such group.