Kumara Parvata

Preface

Preparation for a month or two, every now and then discussion with folks, gathering more and more info through all possible sources. Argh! we can’t wait more for the day to arrive, the most anticipated trek for me and my friends.

Railway reservations, accommodation, renting trek gears & Go Pro, preparing list of food and snacks to be carried and the essential and safety equipment’s all gushing in my mind… The list never ends, last-minute check list preparation and going through the same to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Prior preparation also includes gathering information from forest officials if the trek is allowed in the season(Most pleasant: October – February) you are planning to visit, call Bhattara Mane and inform about your stay/food requirements – details at the end.

Itinerary:

Day 1 (20:30)- Left Bengaluru via train
Day 2 (05:30)- Reached Subramanya and refreshed in a room
Day 2 (08:00)- Breakfast
Day 2 (08:45)- Started trek from temple side
Day 2 (12:00)- Bhattara Mane
Day 2 (12:20)- Forest office
Day 2 (14:30)- Kallu Mantap
Day 2 (18:30)- Back to Forest office
Day 3 (10:30)- Breakfast
Day 3 (11:00)- Started to descent
Day 3 (14:30)- Room
Day 3 (19:00)- Temple visit
Day 3 (20:00)- Dinner
Day 3 (23:00)- Left Subramanya via train.

If you stare at the above semi detailed itinerary you can notice that we couldn’t make it to the summit. I proudly say that we couldn’t make it as nature had a different plan for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Recording…

We all know that a picture speaks more than words, we went ahead of it and made a video to record our entire journey from start to end! It’s just for our memory, hope you enjoy it.

[Watch it till the end!]

Actual start

We reached the base with the guidance of locals from the temple side, we started our trek at 08:45 with full enthusiasm. We had grabbed 2 tents to pitch in, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, enough food and water for our entire trek, utensils to prepare food with a portable stove!
Yeah, we had this plan in our mind to be completely self-reliant on food by preparing it ourselves wherever time permits and it’s a lot new experience you see, food prepared by a bunch of boys amidst wild served hot in a cold weather. All these added up to 30-35 kilo to be shared by 5 of us!

I can’t say that initial 3-3.5 hours of trek to Bhattara Mane is easy, it is moderate enough and we all were dripping sweat! En route you get a water source where one can refill, with short breaks now and then we finally made to Bhattara Mane, refreshed and refilled water again and headed to forest office. I could see many exhausted trekkers were in deep sleep in Bhattara Mane. We had not informed about our arrival to Bhatta as we had our own plans and there was a different scene at the forest office.

A group of 10-15 guys had already surrounded the forest office, we on the other hand had talked with higher officials for a permit to stay at peak at our own risk. The guards there briefed us about the next journey and precautions, and only then we came to know the group that had gathered around before tried to bypass the forest office with their tent gears when they were not given the permission to continue unless they went without camping gears. Now we took a deep breadth and conveyed our plan which was similar(to camp at peak), the guards expressed their helplessness, also we understood the situation with a quick bite of our packed meal we decided to just take the essentials for our next journey without wasting much time leaving behind our camping materials at forest office.

The next few hours are grassland terrain, can say it as easy to moderate. There are beautiful valleys and view points here and there. That splendid view of every peak we visited were serene, we went on and on in search of Kallu Mantapa, which was our next milestone but it didn’t seem nearby. Here we noticed that ascent had increased and we were not covering much distance. As we proceeded we found another stream of cold, fresh water source relaxed and filled our bottles, this is a sign that you are closer to Kallu Mantapa. We reached Mantapa at 14:30 and relaxed with heavy breathe, noticing clear 360° view. En route others had mentioned that we need to cross 2 other mountains to finally reach Kumara Parvata, with a heavy heart beat, blood gushing to our brains we decided not to proceed further considering time constraints. You see you have to travel back the same steep trail back AFTER DARK! We inaugurated our cooking session at Mantapa, within few minutes there was a drastic change in weather, it was all foggy and to our bad it started pouring. It is  common to expect such changes at that altitude. We tried all strategies to boil the water and finally prepared Maggie. We had drawn passers attention who gave us big smile as they proceeded.

Note : Kallu Mantapa is on Pushpagiri, next comes Shesha Parvata and then comes Kumara Parvata(both hidden behind Pushpagiri)

The Return

We proceeded back to the forest office, quickly pitched our tents close to a nearby view-point near the forest office and its permitted to pitch in tents here. The guards were very helpful and they offered us to stay in one of their rooms, we thanked them for the offer and kindly declined(“What’s the point in carrying/renting heavy tent gears all along with us?” was running in my mind) and said we wanted to experience camping though we would use the room to cook. We pitched our tents and quickly returned to forest room and turned it in to a kitchen.

The Chef inside us were all in swing, prepared spicy corn soup, Egg-Maggie and Omelets all together a different experience. I started remembering my Chemistry lab, joy filled our eyes as we ate, had few chat around the view-point in a dark misty environment and went to rest in the tent.
Morning session started with Upma and boiled eggs, shared our love with the guards as well. There were some instant mixes which were left unused and gave it to guards. We started our descent at around 11:00, 4 liters of Tang quenched our thirst way down. Reached room in Subramanya at 14:30, fully exhausted and flat on beds. Woke up around 17:00 took bath and refreshed, visited temple. To our bad it was ‘Ekadashi’ – No prasadam(langar) at temple. I missed it very badly, because it is healthy and tastes good at the same time! My sole purpose of visiting temples.

With all these sweet and soothing memories we returned back home, though somewhere we had heavy heart of not accepting we couldn’t conquer KP. Nature has its own way of teaching new lessons, true that.

Our suggestions

  1. Carry light
  2. Start early 5-5:30 ideal time to trek
  3. Split whole trek to 2 parts :
    Day 1: Base to Bhattara mane(enough rest)
    Day 2: Bhattara mane to peak and return back to base
  4. Enough water refill spots, should worry in summer else not
  5. Know your surrounding as you follow trail, you need to return back you see.
    Though its a single trail, there are few deviations here and there which would lead to dead locks and confuse while returning
  6. Do not litter, carry garbage bags and keep environment clean
  7. Do not measure distance in Kilometers, measure it in Hours

Detailed Trail (Till Kallu Mantapa)

Contacts:

Bhattara Mane : 9448647947
Forest Guard     : 7829615810 (Siddappa)

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