Kumara Parvata Trek, Karnataka, India (with photos)

Kumaraparvata(KP) also called pusphagiri hills is one of the most beautiful & adventurous trek in the Indian state of Karnataka. KP being at a height of 1712 m is the second highest peak in Karnataka (First is Mullyangiri) There are 2 routes to KP, one from Kukke Subramanya & the other from Somwarpet. Going from Somwarpet -> KP -> Kukke Subramanya is the most beautiful, scenic, adventurous, thirilling experience.



In this blog I am going to share our experience to this wonderful trekking & also give some tips & guidelines at the end. Me & my 8 friends went for this trekking in the month of September, when the rainy season was still not ended. Best time to visit this place is October - March.
We took KSRTC Rajahamsa bus from Bengaluru to Somawarpet, reached Somawarpet early morning at around 5 AM. Trekking actually starts from Bidalli, we get buses to Bidalli only from 6:30 AM onwards, so we had to wait till that time, during that time we arranged all our bags with distributing the food, sleeping bags other things. We took a bus to Bidalli & there we had our break fast.

It was around 8:00 AM when we started our trekking. In the photo at the left side you can see our trekking group. Things we carried for trekking, enough food to sustain for 2 days, minimal clothing but with 1+ jacket, sleeping bag, 1.5 ltrs of water each of us, knife for self protection, salt & nashi powder for getting rid of leeches. Bidalli to KP peak is around 14 km, & from peak to Kukke Subramanya its around 15 km, so the total trek is around 30 Kms, so be prepared to have enough stamina to trek 30km, its not just walking on a plain land, there are some rocks to climb too, climbing the hill is not much difficult, but getting down the hill puts more pressure on your knees & you get knee pain. Ok, now at this moment we were all set to start our terk. Since we went almost at the end of the rainy season, we could see greenary at the beginning of our trek itself. The first 1 hr trek was thru the paddy fields. The scenery was so good, we spent lot of time there to take photos. The land was fully covered with paddy fields with green mountains behind & small huts in the middle of the mountain. below you can see few photos of this beautiful scenery. This is just the beginning of our trek, so just imagine how it would be as we proceed further to the peak.
After crossing this paddy fields, we were about to enter the forest. Before entering the forest, there was a forest check post. We had to pay an entry fee there. After that we passed through a nice hanging bridge, we did'nt go on that hanging bridge though as it was almost broken :)

The water stream was small so we could pass it easily, spent some time in that water as well. After this point we entered in to the real rain forest of western ghats. We did have any guide, two of my friends (PK & BP) knew the route as they had done this trekking once, PK was leading the trek & we all followed him blindly :) Till some point of time the trekking went on fine, since it was a rainy season the land was wet hence many leeches stuck our legs, it was lightly drizzling also, so the weather was awesome & we enjoyed the initial forest trek. After some time we took a break as it was already afternoon, then we took a light food & started our trek again. We hit one more water stream, jumped in to the water, spent some time lying down in the water. After a good relax in water, we started heading to the peak. Since it was the first time we were walking in to the thick forest & we could'nt see a single person on the way, we were bit scared. We used to freak others by making some weird sounds of animals :) But actually we could hear some real sound of wild animals though we did'nt notice any in our entire trek.

As we headed further we encounter 2 paths going in different directions, now we got confused, our lead PK also got confused & there was no direction, there was nobody in that middle of the forest :( We got scared a little bit, then our lead PK managed to recollect some thing & took us in the right direction :) After going little further it was almost 4:30 PM & the sun was setting down, we found one good place to settle down in the
night. It was a big rock surrounded by bushes & it was a uphill. We collected wood for campfire & made all the arrangements for dinner. It started getting dark, we were lucky as it was nearing full moon day, so even in the night we had some moon light. Then at around 7, we lit the campfire, had dinner & it was 8 PM. We were in the middle of the forest & it was still 8 PM, time was not passing, then we started discuss some topic, it was 10 PM, then we thought of rotating the sleep. 5 ppl slept & other 4 were awake. For our bad luck it started raining lightly, we did'nt have tent :( managed with the sleeping bag. Campfire went off. It was hard to kill the time & finally managed to kill some time by discussing some nice topics ;-) It was around 4:30 AM, ppl started waking up & it was too cold. So we again lit the campfire & everybody surrounded that. It was around 6:30 AM we pack up & started our trek to the peak.
The big mistake we did was, we finished almost all the water & as we head to the peak we hardly get any water streams, so always keep sufficient water at any point of time, otherwise you might get de-hydration. Then as we were nearing to the peak, we thought of having a break & had the break fast on the way. Since we did'nt have water, we had juice & one of my friend Manoja took tomato ketchup as tomato juice :)



After having breakfast it was around 8:30 AM we started our trek to the peak. Now the last thing before we reach the peak was a big rock climbing. It was steep & a very difficult task for the beginners atleast. We climbed in chains, first we passed all the bags & then each of us climbed
with the help of other. As we almost climbed, one of my friend Raghs dropped the big vessel we took for cooking, it made a big sound & then nobody dared to go & get it :) Then finally we reached the peak & we were so exited & happy to see the beautiful scenery. Wind was blowing heavily & we could see the clouds under us. There is a small temple at the peak, we prayed GOD to take us back safely :) We all took a nap & relaxed for some time, then we realized that we are very thirsty, there was no water. So we started to get down the peak to Kukke Subramanya. Again there is a big rock thru which you have to get down slowly, there was a small water falls in that rock, we filled up our bottles with water after having enough water. The rock was very slippery so with caution we managed to get down the big rock.

After a little bit of trekking we encountered the grassland. The scenery was too good. Since it was getting late we did'nt take much break & also since it was getting down from the mountain it was very painful. Then we came across a small forest then we almost reached Bhattra Mane. On the way we met few ppl climbing the peak from Kukke Subramanya. We asked them how long is Kukke Subryamanya & how is the route. They said there is one more thick forest we need to cross. So we did'nt stop at
Bhattra Mane as it was already late afternoon. We also did'nt have torche & match box. So we went on without stopping. Then we entered the thick forest again, Sun was almost setting down, we still had to trek another 5-6 km in the thick forest. In this time one of my friend Vinay who was little fat started getting knee pain & he sat down saying I can't trek anymore ! ... Man, its already getting dark & we are not equipped to stay overnight in that forest. Me & my friend Shashi managed to carry my friend Vinay & cover certain distance, it was already dark, 7:00 PM then we could notice some people. Then we got a big relief, it was almost Kukke Subramanya town.

We first went to a fruit/juice stall, had mousambi & other fruit juices, it was so good. I even remember that & feel like drinking there when I visit there again. Then we took shower, & had darshana in the temple. We got a bus tkt in some private bus to Bengaluru. Had dinner & then boarded the bus. Thatz it, it was when the conductor was saying Majestic last stop, I woke up.
It was such a wonderful trek, i loved it.

Some useful info/tips for this trekking:
* Though there is a good greenery all thru the year, the good time to visit is August - March
* If you go in the rainy season, then carry salt, nashi powder to get rid of leeches
* Carry enough water when you are going to the peak as you don't get water near the peak
* Going from Somwarpet -> Bidalli -> Peak -> Kukke Subryamanya is good as you get to see beautiful scenery, water streams & a good experience :)
* Don't carry too much luggage, minimal clothing, but carry enough food & water
* Carry torche & matchbox. For self protection you can carry small knife
* Prepare yourself to trek 30Kms by practicing walking/jogging few days before :)
* Keep the forest clean, don't do littering, carry all the plastic waste back & dump it at proper places.

Useful links:
http://www.dreamroutes.org/western/kumaraparvta.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumara_Parvata

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