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ADVENTURESOME

blog submitted by aayush

KUMARA PARVATHA (KP) TREK 

There is so much to be said about mountains, and there are so many people who have beautifully put into words how undeniably incredible they truly are. There is something very mystical about the green mountains. Being an adventure lover the whole idea of going through one of the hardest trek of the Western Ghats was unquestionably the most enthralling one. I was excited to be amidst the alluring landscape. As we started moving through the twisted roads guarded by the tall trees and continuously roaring winds that became our constant companion ,taking us to the most perfect picturesque location . Kumara parvatha is regarded as the third highest peak in the whole Karnataka only after mulyangiriand and Tadiandamol peak.

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INFORMATION IN BRIEF:

Location                                                     Dakshina Kannada (District) > Karnataka (State) > India (Country)

Distance from Bangalore                        280 Kms

Trek starting point                                    KukkeSubramanya Route

Trek difficulty Level                                  Difficult

KumaraParvatha trek distance              13 KMS(Oneside)

KumaraParvatha peak height                1712 Mts

Time to trek                                               8-10 Hours (one side)

Camping site                                             Allowed

Best time to trek                                      Oct to Feb

Permission                                                Required, should be taken from forest office

Trekking fees                                            Trekking Fee-Rs 200

Contact Number                                      Battaramane* - 9448647947 (For food and Accommodation)

Alternate numbers to battramane       9480230191, 9945618495, 9480527765.

Mr. Jayaraj (forest range offer)              9449475506, 9141226784

FROM BANGALORE TO KUKKE TEMPLE:

On a late Friday night of cold November we started off from Bangalore. The journey was quite lethargic as everyone was tired from their office work, until we stopped at a roadside shop for late night tea. That was the first time we all interacted with each other. We travelled around 280 km for 6 hours. The roads were all twisty that reminded me of a trip i had in hills of himachal. All of us were feeling sleepy so we started dozing off in our seats. Overnight journey in the bus gave us back pain. We stretch our legs in the morning and freshened up, had some juice and later a light brunch.

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THE TREK BEGINS:

It was a chilled sunny day and we all were ready to start off our journey. It all started from a small temple town of Kukke Subramanya. At the base we had our formal introductions. We were a team of 15 people. Prashant told us about our journey and activities we were supposed to do up there. We took some group selfies and started our hunt for the wilderpeople.

                 The first few kilometres were hardly a climb. Our trail went through lush forest, small stones and gravels covered the whole path. We couldn’t help but stop on many points to let the beauty of our surroundings sink in. After about an hour of tireless trekking the forest started testing our endurance. It was all wet out there due to overnight rainfall. We thought we were lucky until one of the groupie pulled out a leach from his leg. We even saw a gigantic spider on the way which seemed like a tarantula. I must say if you guys are planning to come here you must be prepared for the worst. But we weren’t worried at all as the organizers had a special guy only for medics with first aid kit and snake bite kit. With not a single soul in sight, i thought we’d taken a wrong way until we reached the waterfall. There we decided to take a short break and relaxed for some time. We drank from the waterfall the water felt like a stream from heaven.

                Beyond that point the woods became dense and the path became steeper. The last part of the trek demanded a strenuous climb – before we were finally out of the dense trees. The sun was so harsh on us we had to apply sunscreen all over our exposed body parts. When we all reached the base camp they were serving lunch and we all ate like we hadn’t eaten in days. Though it was simply Sambar and rice but it felt so fulfilling that we couldn’t think of anything else. After continuous trekking for 4-5 hours we were all tired as hell and wanted to take rest at the basecamp itself but Prashant motivated us and convinced us to complete the trek in a single stretch.

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FINAL STRETCH 7 KMS:

It was 3 in the afternoon, we took permission from the forest department and went to conquer the KP hill. We left our backpacks and sleeping bags at the base camp and only took water bottles with us. It was hot as hell as the forest disappeared and we were left with thorny bushes and uneven path, no wonder it is called the toughest trek of Karnataka. Somehow we managed to reach the sheshaparbat’s top. That feeling, I have no words to describe it in words. Finally we had made it. It was about 5 in the evening and cold wind was blowing, the sky was crystal clear with only the setting sun at the horizon.

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Have you ever visited a place that you wished would remain a secret? Ever wanted to keep it from the world – and only for yourself?

This was one such place for me.

A trek so beautiful that the physical workout felt like it was worth it... a destination so picturesque that I felt like I was in the land of God.

(I’d often wonder on my trek if I was dreaming.)

We all were busy taking photos on the hill top all at once we heard a voice “abhi 1km aur jaana hai” ,this was Prashant who was pointing out a mountain adjacent to the one we were sitting on. He said this is not KP we are still undone. Trust me, after hearing this most of us sat there itself and laid our weapons. The mountains soared upward as if determined to kiss the heavens. And Prashant is one of his kind, he motivated us and the scene of the hill top dragged our legs forward ,that one km felt like 100 but somehow we completed it.

                        The mountains lay in a great line like the spine of the land. It was as if long ago they were a great beast, only to lie down one day and never get up. Perhaps the beast fell into an enchanted sleep, perhaps its soul was still in there. To cross them the clouds must go high and meet the colder air up there, then they dump their rain on us every drop. It was such a relief, we all were filled with immense sense of fulfilment. There was a flag of Karnataka and India hoisted on the top. Now we could only imagine how those soldiers must have felt when they had captured the tiger hill. There was a shiv temple on the top and the sound of the bell is still roaring in my ears. I slept on the rock and gazed at the bare sky. Now a days such clear sky could only be dream of.. Being this close to nature made me forget about all the sorrows of life and wanted the time to stop there in that moment forever. I was almost asleep but got startled by a voice, it was Prashant again. He wanted us to get down at the basecamp before it was dark,7 km walk had made us hungry like animals and exhausted so he gave us some energy bars.

                      We started descending faster than we came up. It was really difficult to walk down in dark. There was a point where I slipped and hurt my leg. The crew decided to slow down a little bit. When I reached the basecamp they told me that it was a ditch where I slipped.

                      When we reached the basecamp Prashant was ready with all tents pitched. We all had our dinner and were planning to have a good night sleep as we were tired as hell but again Prashant had something else planned for us. I must say he is full of energy all the time and moreover he has a very nice sense of humour. We all have our views about the trek and he told us about the next day’s program. We played a game called MAFIA.I do not recall how long we played it – but it was enough to suck the tiredness of the trip out of us. At around 2 we all went in our tents and slept like a baby.

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THE NEXT MORNING - GETTING DOWN:

Next morning we woke up and as soon as we gazed up towards the sky, for a moment the world turned into water, mists and greens. Wherever or whatever we see were all shadowed by the misty curtains. We met a few fellow trekkers there. We exchanged a few 'hellos and thanks' which in return got my camera to wake up. We clicked a few awesome shots. The mountains were all covered with clouds and it appeared so majestic that one would never want to leave there. Sun was playing hide and seek from behind those mountains. We absorbed as much as we could and finally decided to go down.

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We had our breakfast at the same place. We then went back to the same waterfall for another dip – before finishing our trek back to kukke temple. At the waterfall we took some awesome pictures and a group selfie. Now it was time to say goodbye to KP. While the climb up took between 4-5 hours, the way back was only 3. As always, there was a sense of achievement after finishing this trek.. We straight away went to Kumaradhara River. Since the dawn of civilization, bathing on river seems to a pleasure words can’t express. The flow was fast so the villagers had put ropes along the banks to hold while bathing. That one dip in the water felt so good that for a moment I thought of telling Prashant that if he wants to go he can but I wasn’t going to go anywhere at least not for that day. We played in the water, captured some awesome shots. Everyone were showing their skills in swimming,in one such attempt everybody leaned on the rope so heavily that it came out and started to go with the flow. That scene was mixed feeling of terror and excitement. We couldn’t stop laughing for about 10 mins. I didn’t want to come back from there but that “khooni Monday” you just can’t skip was calling us. It was like a dream come true for me. Though I am their regular customer and had been to a lot of treks with them all across Bangalore and nearby areas but this was my best trek with #adventuresome till now.

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how to reach: From Bangalore, KSRTC has very few buses to Kukke Subramanya. Prefer to hire a private bus or car.

Things to bring: Food, trekking shoes with ankle support to keep your blood in your own body (otherwise it will all be sucked by the leeches), first aid kit, rain sheet and torch light.

Food and Restaurants: Mr. Narayana Bhat arranges food and camping for trekkers at nominal price

Permission from the forest department: They charge 200 per head . Night trekking is not allowed (After basecamp)

Peaks: Pushpagiri (1748m), Kumara Parvatha(1712m), Seshagiri (1500m).