Kumara Parvatha conquered - Part 1

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

The plan of welcoming 2009 on the peak of Kumara Parvatha at last seemed to come true. Bhai had backed out from trip; we also had cut short our long trip which otherwise was of 4 days , because of some unavoidable reasons. At last Byre, Pujar, Ethapay and I, all were standing in the mist coated Kukke KSRTC bus stand on 31st morning.

It took no time for us to find a lodge near the bus stand. Though we all tried our best to finish the morning rituals and the breakfast ASAP, it was already few minutes past 10 in the morning. Then Ethapay made sure we all stuffed our bags with at least 3 big water bottles each, along with few small bottles of soft drinks, apples and Glucose packets. The sleeping bags for each and a tent contributed its share of weight in our back packs. Each of our back packs were already weighing close to 10 Kgs. Amongst us Ethapay was the only one who had trekked Kumara Parvatha before.

Get set, Trek!
Ok.. there we were on the road adjacent to Kukke Subramanya temple which leads to our destination, Kumara Parvatha. It was 10:30 in the morning with Sun all set to roast us alive. There we read a board welcoming the trekkers, pointing to the direction of route to Kumara Parvatha. The board read the height of Kumara Parvatha as 5615 feet above the sea level. It also mentioned about the mile stones for trekkers. That said, to have our lunch in Bhattara Mane we had to trek for 6 Kms. We started trekking.

Walk in the woods [from Kukke to Bhattara Mane]
The initial stretch of trek to Kumara Parvatha is all along the trails in the woods, with bare roots of trees paving the natural stairs up the hill. Thick canopy protected us getting exposed to the sun light. Ethapay kept warning us that it is going to get steeper and steeper as we proceeded in the woods. Few chocolate wrappers and empty water bottles thrown along the way signed us we are not going to be the only crazy gang who is gonna celebrate new year on the tip of Kumara Parvatha.

When we were all wiping our first drops of sweat on the side burns, we got to hear some people speaking. We were surprised to see a couple resting on the rocks there. The guy looked more tired carrying their only back pack and his huge belly. We also pit stopped there enquiring the whereabouts of the couple. We came to know the couple is not actually planning to trek till the top, but only till Bhattara Mane. Their plan was to return down after having lunch in Bhattara Mane. Even otherwise the couple did not look fit enough to trek to the peak of Kumara Parvatha for me.

We left the couple behind and trekked ahead. We were amazed see a shirt and kaavi dhoti clad Tarzan overtake us carrying a 25 kilos sack of rice on his head! On enquiring him, he said he is from Bhattara Mane [must be Bhat’s son]. We were stunned to see his climbing pace and wiped our sweating faces. It reminded me of the saying ‘Udara nimithham..’. When we asked him he said we still have to climb 3+ kms to reach Bhattara Mane.

We kept mixing Glucose in the water bottles and kept emptying the bottles. Soon we realized the water were carrying would almost be finished by the time we reach Bhattara Mane.

Bhattara Mane
The last stretch (say, of 1 km) to Bhattara Mane is off the thick woods. There was no canopy to protect our beautiful skin here after ;) Now we could see the town of Kukke, which seemed like a blot on a green canvas from that altitude. Our calf muscles had started whining already. Ethapay said to reach the peak of Kumara Parvatha we have to trek almost the same distance we trekked from the foot of it to Bhattara Mane. That info almost killed our enthu. Byre started blaming Ethapay for demotivating the boys.

Around 1:30, we got the sight of a red tiled roof and few Aracnut trees. All of us sighed seeing Bhattara Mane. Dozens of pairs of shoes outside his house said we are not going the only gang that is going to celebrate New Year atop Kumara Parvatha. We splashed the cold water from the tap all over the face, took some snaps and rushed in for the tasty food that was awaiting us. Ethapay had already called up Mr Bhat and booked our share in the huge containers kept on the compound of the Verandah. We joined the queue with a thali in hand.

I don’t know whether the basale soppu sambar [Malabar spinach] was that tasty or it tasted so well because we were hungry and tired and half dead. While chatting with Bhat, the man himself he said walking 200 mts from his house we get a place called Girigadde. It is basically like a toll where we have to pay Rs. 115/- per head to trek ahead towards the peak of Kumara Parvatha. I was surprised that Govt does not spare to loot people even in a spot like this. I quipped ‘Why?’ my voice quoted with rebelliousness. Bhat said it is for the Govt, just like paying at toll. He even agreed that is quite too much to pay.
Bhat even warned us that toll keeper does not let people after 3:00. I did not understand this rule too. It was already 2:35 and we hurried up swallowing the last morsels left in our Thali. The other gang had already left when we were having our lunch. We paid Bhat for the delicious lunch, filled empty water bottles and walked towards Girigadde toll.

It takes just 10 minutes walk from Bhattara Mane to Girigadde. The toll keeper there instructed us not to litter around while trekking Kumara Parvatha, to put off the camp fire before descending down. We nodded our heads. Toll keeper asked us how much time we took to reach Bhattara Mane, we said 3 hrs. He said, ‘then it will take you guys 4 Hrs to reach the peak’. We thanked him and left the toll gate.

[to be continued...]

Comments (2)

Very Nice Experience Anna!

We did the trek from other side of the hill and yours is really a tough route. I am glad you did it!

The Bhat with whom you spoke is actually Girigadhe Bhat's son. The "real" Mr. Bhat was the one who set up his home at such a high altitude. He is no more :(

Looking forward eagerly for part2

Shenoy mam,

Ohh that means you trekked from Somawarapet is it..? Is that route easy compared to Kukke..?
How many hours does it take in that route to reach the peak..?

May be my crazy mind thinks of that route some time to trek KP for the second time.. ;)

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