Kumara Parvatha(also known as Pushpa giri), situated around 280 kms from Bangalore near Kukke subramanya, is around 5600 feet higher than sea level, a trekker’s paradise and once of the most scenic places I have ever seen. Having never organized a two day trek before, I have no trouble recalling how I managed to botch up quite a few vital ingredients of the trek.
Sunset at the Mantap
What originally started as an eight member trek whittled down to five after rumors of the king cobra and a treacherous trail at Kumara Parvatha went round. Two more withdrew a day before the trek for personal reasons. In spite of an alluring temptation to cancel the trip citing the dropouts, the final three warriors stood resolute: Me, Lenin (my college mate) and Yogesh(my colleague).
We had booked tickets in the KSRTC bus to Kukke leaving Friday night. I decided against taking out my swift as we were planning to start the climb from Kukke and make the descent on the other side at Bidahalli, Coorg. Come Friday, Yogesh and I had a client deliverable to complete. Pressed for time, we couldn’t hire a tent, buy provisions or supplies satisfactorily – these contributed greatly to our fall later. Have you ever been on a trip where you aren’t sure it’s on until the bus conductor hoots and the driver puts his foot down on the accelerator? Nope. At least hope you understand how I felt!
Reached Kukke at 4 a.m., rented a room and slept for the next 4 hours. Skipped the customary temple visit in the morning and started the trek immediately after breakfast. The way to the top is very picturesque. The valleys and the peaks proudly let you know why nature is personified as a woman. Our next pit stop was the famous Bhattar’s house situated midway to the peak, around 4 hours from the Kukke. More than the free lodging (for around 50-60 people), delicious meals and other mundane comforts, it’s the willingness to support and help people that sets the Bhattar household apart. This place is an oasis for the weary trekker. Many trekkers camp near the Bhattar house for easy access to food and water. Thank you Mr. Bhattar, you simply rock!
Yogesh trying to build up some energy
We left the Bhattar household at around 4 p.m., paid the entry fee at the forest department and headed to the Mantap – the place where we planned to stay the night. Mr. Bhattar had kindly lent us mattress after we informed him about our plan and warned us about the strong winds at the Mantap. To all you folks who read blogs and think the Mantap is some sort of Kalyana Mantap that can house around 12 people – brrrr, snap out of it. Take a tent if you want comfort! The Mantap is a shackle, a stone hedge sort of a structure that couldn’t accommodate more than 5-6. And unluckily for us, it was already occupied.
Why nature is personified as a woman
Our hopes faded when we saw quite a few people already settled at the Mantap. And we had no hope of making it back to Bhattar’s house as darkness descended quickly on the valley. With only a few stars around, rains seemed imminent and sleeping under the moon was not something we were looking forward to. We reached the mantap and made a few enquiries. Fortunately for us, the others were sensible enough to bring tents. We heaved a sigh of relief. The mantap was all ours for the night!
No Kalyana Mantap this!
Bread, jam and butter never tasted better for dinner and the campfire we got going enlivened us in more ways than one. The trekking group from Tyco industries pitched tent beside the mantap and we discussed about other possible treks in Karnataka and Kumara parvatha peak. They informed us about another group that had gone to camp at the peak to catch the sunrise. And thanks for the warning regarding the heavy winds Mr. Bhattar, the gales were a bitch. Dearly held on to the mattress and bed sheet against the howling winds throughout the night.
Liked the first Part?? Here's what happened next kumara parvatha trek Day2