Escape - Kumarparvata trek

9:13 AM

When it comes to trekking in Karnataka, Kumarparvata(ಕುಮಾರಪರ್ವತ) comes first in the mind. A beautiful mountain situated between Southa Kanara (ದಕ್ಷಿಣ್ ಕನ್ನಡ) and Kodagu (ಕೊಡಗು) districts of Karnataka. At a height of 1712m, the peak is amid astonishing scenic views.

Preaparation for the trek:
We were a group of 8 girls and 8 guys from bangalore. A lot of googling led us to a proper preparation for the trek. The time was October and rain had just stopped. We hired tents to spend night. The next worry was leeches and most of us were scared of that. The Kumaraparvata mountain is near Kukke Subramanya temple, a famous shrine in Karnataka and devotees visit the place during weekends. So, you can always expect full booked buses. Kukke is well connected by trains from bangalore but the booking should be done 2-3 months in advance. We relied on private transport called Subramanya Travels.

Day before the trek:
 We left from office early and collected tents from BMC office near old airport road. We also took 1 ltr of petrol as it would help us to put up camp fire in the night. The bus left from majstic by 10:30pm and we reached kukke around 5 in the morning.


Trek day 1:
When we reached Kukke we found all hotel rooms booked(we had expected that). The hotel manager gave us a guesthouse for 1600rs rent. House was pretty old but we had only 2 hours of business there. By the time we were ready to rock time was clicking half passed 7. We started walking towards the temple which was about 1km from our guest house. There are many hotels available there for morning breakfast.

Trek starts:
The entry to Kumaraparvata is right next to the temple. A small road takes you down near the forest from where the trekking starts. People are very friendly and they will guide you. There is a small board indicating entry to the forest. Trek is completed in 2 stages.


Stage 1:
Kukke Subramanya view from the hill
Forest
Stage one includes walking through a dense forest. There is pretty good trail to walkby. It was raining a night before we went for trek. So the moist soil was heaven for leeches. If you stand up for 1 min, you can find atleast 5 leeches crawling up your shoes. So the best way to avoid leeches is to keep walking. As it was early october, the forest was lush green. The jungle part covers around 4-5 kms and it took us 3 hours since many of us were already tired. Once you are out of jungle you have to climb a moderate steep to get onto the hill.   From the hill you can view the Kukke temple from where you had started trek. There is a good pathway which will lead you to a grassy hill and straight upto the Bhattarmane. Bhattarmane is a house of a bhatta(priest), he does agriculture there. You an find your meal at his house. He charges 60rs for rice, sambar and buttermilk. Bhattar mane is approx 8km from the starting point and it was 1:30pm by  the time we reached his place. Most of us were tired and they decided to stay back there. I had a high desire to goto the peak and my friends helped me with a sleeping bag.

Stage 2:

Trekkers
Way to Mantapa
The second stage starts after bhattarmane. The path goes around bhattarmane which will take you stone benches which are benches kept in circular fashion on the hill top. Next to it is a forest department office where you have to pay 200rs to enter the forest. Its a reserved forest so carrying alcohol and any other flamable items is strictly prohibited. The ascent from here is gradual and the mountain face is covered with thick green grass. It will take around 2-3 hours to reach mantapa, a stone structure where most of the trekkers camp for the night. Here there is a stream of water where in you can collect it for your further trek. This stream dries up after November. So you are thinking of trekking here after november you have to carry water from bhattarmane. From here Kumaraparvata is about 2 hours of trek. My friends had camped near bhattarmane and I was left with only sleeping bag. Unfortunately it was about to rain.So I had to get back near bhattarmane where my friends had put up tents. Reaching Kumaraparvata looked impossible. But I started climbing and reached Sheshparvata which is adjacent to the summit. As I was there thinking to return
Tree covered in cloud near mantapa
a wind brought a thick layer of cloud on me and the visibility fell to 5 meters. That was the most beautiful moment of my life. For the first time in my life I was above the clouds. I could see a thick layer of cloud passing through half the way of mountain. As I was getting late and the time was 5:30pm, I started moving back to the camp near bhattarmane. It was drizzling and almost dark. Flashlight was usefull though. I reached the place where my friends had put up tents and were waitng for me.Tents were ready and a false attempt was made by them to put up campfire with wet wood. After a little chitchat it was time to sleep.


Panaromic view of the mountain


Sunrise behind the mountain
Day 2:

We woke up early in the morning to view the sunrise and this time we were not late. We reached the stone benches to see the awesome view behind the mountain. After spending dome time here we decided to pack up and climb down as we had a bus to catch by 2pm. Climbing down was easy and effortless and hardly took 2-3 hours. After we reached down a dip inside the river which flows infront of the Kukke Subramanya Temple was refreshing.





Trekking details:
Base camp: Kukke subramanya.
Connectivity from Bangalore: Well connected by Govt & pvt buses and trains.
Journey hours:  7 hours in bus, 8 hours in train.

There is another way to reach the peak. It is from the Somavaarpete taluk.


Trekking season:
October-March(advised)



Difficulty level:
Very difficult for amateur trekkers.
Moderate for frequent trekkers.

Must carry:
  • Tent, sleeping bag and mat.
  • Good trekking shoes.
  • Water(2-3lts). You can fill it up at Bhattarmane
  • Leech repellent if you are going before november( Iodex spray, salt). Leech socks are the best options.
  • Proper winter wear if you are going after Nov. Temp on the hill slides to 5c during winter
  • Flashlight, First aid kit, Knife, rope, energy drinks and food items.
 Important guidelines:
  • Reserve your tickets in advance. You cannot expect to get a seat in train while coming back 
  • Start trekking early in the morning, sooner the better. Try to reach the summit by eod.
  • Lunch at Bhattarmane will be available after 11:30. Bhatta also prepares breakfast and lunch for the next day
  • Stay with the crowd always. Kumaraparvata is safe though.
  • Woods in the forest will be wet till October sic rainfall is often in the region.
  • Keep your backpack as light as possible. Dont carry too much of food. 

  Total trekking time:
  • If you are a frequent trekker, you can reach the summit  in 8-9 hours.
  • If trekking is rare for you and your stemina is relatively less then you will reach mantapa by the eod.

Tips for photographers:
  • Dont forget to capture the macro beauties of the jungle.
  • View from the mountain gives a perfect landscape.
  • Get up early to capture the most beautiful sunrise you might have seen in your life.
  • Stone benches and Mantapa gives a perfect snap with beautiful landscape in the background.Try to avoid people in these pics.
Trekking rules:
  • Trekking without the forest dept permission is punishible.
  • Do not carry alcohol. Do not smoke in the jungle
  • Do not throw anything during the trek. Dustbins are seen at many places. Keep the trekking place clean for the following trekkers.
 Happy Trekking :)

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2 comments

  1. Hi. Nice article. Thanks for it.. I have a little query.
    I am planning to travel solo. Will their be any problems regarding permission? If I find a group on the spot, I will tag along with them. But, in case if I don't get one, will the forest officials allow me to go? I had faced some problems in Nandi Hills where they won't allow solo travellers. Kindly guide me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kumaraparvatha on weekends is usually crowded with trekkers. So, you will find many fellow trekkers. There is a forest office halfway where you need to pay 200rs entry for further trekking. They dont advise camping at the peak but you can camp if you find a crowd. Do not camp near the water stream at the peak as animals use them during night. Camp at Pushpagiri peak or the forest inbetween KP and Pushpagiri peak. And do not carry alcohol, officials check bags for alcohol.
    Overall trekking in KP is allowed for anyone. And do not trek there once Monsoon approches. So this weekend is your last bet this season.

    ReplyDelete

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