Friday, January 8, 2010
This is about most challenging, thrilling and beautiful trek I had. You feel the sprinkle of mist, gentle touch of cold breeze, you forget yourself with beautiful green nature, you walk through the clouds and feel as if your at the top of the world. You feel lucky for choosing this place for trek, this is the Kumara Parvatha found in the western ghats near Sri Subramanya, standing tall with the hight of 1712mtrs.
The trek is of around 15 km. This neat and well organized trekking plan was made by our friends at Banglore. They were 16 guys and we 5 joined from Manipal. Since we had heard of this being toughest trek in this region we had prepared well for the encounter. Our plan was to start the trek as early as possible, so we left Manipal previous day evening itself. We had an arrangement to stay at my cousin's place Hosamata near to Subramanya. It was amazing bike ride from Manipal to Subramanya. This bike ride in the dark night inside a forest was amazing. Ravida was searching for correct roads and did great job without missing way. In full dark night, under clear sky, stars talking above you, in a forest road the bike ride will be most thrilling. Try to switch off your bike lights and watch the sky, you will fall in love with the moment. We reached the place Hosamata by 10pm. Morning we left the place early to join our B'lore team at Subramanya, 25km from Hosamata.
At Subramanya we visited temple, had our breakfast, we distributed few items to be carried to the peak between us and ready to start by 9am.
Destination Bhattara Mane...
Initially we have to walk in the forest. After covering each km, you can see the distance boards. From the place of start, Pushpagiri Forest area boundary was 5km. Distance was not in our mind. We had plenty of time with us. Our principle was to walk slowly but steadily, so that we can reach the peak by evening where we can camp. The beauty of the nature was inspiring. We took nice photos. Watch out for leeches, of course it was not a rainy season, but inside forest you will find them here and there. After a nice trek by 12 in the afternoon we reached Bhattara Mane(Girigadde).
Which is after trek of around 6km. We had called them in the morning and had told them to prepare food for us. It is the only house at that height except a nearby forest check post. By the time everyone reached the Bhattara Mane, it was 2pm. We had local food they had prepared(rice, saambar and butter milk). We left Girigadde by 2:30 pm after taking permission from forest checkpost and paying the trek fee.
Our next destination was Mantapa. We felt this part of trek took everything from us. It was testing our stamina with hot sun beating on the back. Also you don't really find any tree for shadow. It is a plain, beautiful green mountain. We had some lemon candy's with us which really helped. By 4:30 in the evening we reached Mantapa. First thing you notice there is pure and cold nature filtered water. Mantapa is at the bottom of first peak. From distance it may seem to be one peak, but there are 3 peaks, 'Shesha Parvatha', 'Siddha Parvatha' and 'Kumara Parvatha'.
We have to cross Shesha Parvatha to reach to Kumara Parvatha.
We had some snacks we had brought. We were in a dilemma whether to spend night there and start again in the morning since some guys are really tiered or to go further till 7pm. We were not knowing exactly how much more to climb. Many had not yet reached Mantapa. Finally we decided to move on. We spent some time there, filled our water bottles and started again. Sunil and few more guys were walking really fast to find a place to camp before sunsets.
Finding Camping Spot...
By 6pm we were at the bottom of second peak. Fist peak was on our way to see the sunset. So we climbed 2nd peak really fast so that we don't miss the sunset at any cost. But this part of trek late in the evening was really superb and chilly breeze made it so easy for us. We were on the peak of second mountain to see the sunset.
"When I admire the wonder of sunset or beauty of moon, my soul expands in worship of creator"
Such will be the glory of the moment. The sun went down beneath the long dark lines of hill and cloud. Golden rays were touching us. I was feeling as if someone has stolen an orange from our bag and is taking it away from us. I even searched my bag:).
We spent some time watching sunset and taking some photos. By the time it was already dark. We had a forest ahead, where we had heard of camping place. We used our torch to enter forest. Thanks to few guys who really walked fast and found a good place to camp. Some were busy in getting tents ready, some were collecting dry wooden pieces for making fire, some more guys were still on their way. It was 8pm when everyone came. Then we opened food items we had brought(chapati, bread, jam ect). Enjoyed our forest dinner. It was not the peak where we were supposed to go. Decided to start again to the peak in the early morning. We had four tents and few guys slept outside with sleeping bags and mats. Since it was early winter season, it was freezing cold. As we were tired we got nice sleep.
By 6am next day we started again. Few guys who had decided not to climb further previous night, also started again. We had to climb for another 45 minutes to reach the peak. Cool valleys and foggy paths were awaiting for us. The winter presents you the air with mist, a trek with visibility only at an arm's distance.
There is a temple in the peak. We spent time there till 8am but visibility was the same. Sun was playing hide n seek.
We started our return trek by 8:30am. When we climbed the 2nd peak, a pleasant surprise was waiting for us. We were above the clouds. They were not looking like clouds, they were the white crest of an enormous wave. The moment just blown away all the tiredness. we own the world for a moment, free of earth, free of mountains. Suddenly green mountains flash here and there. Sun comes out in between making clouds look like a silver mountain. We played with clouds and filled that beautiful moment in our eyes. After spending some time we started return trek again.
Coming down might be bit difficult for some as it requires to maintain balance than applying strength. Still it was not so difficult. We stopped once at Mantapa, had our breakfast and started again. This time we didn't visit Bhattara Mane. By 2pm we were in Subramanya and waited another hour for everyone to come. Had our late lunch, said goodbye to our Banglore friends who were returning by night train and started our journey in reverse order till Manipal.
Best Time to Visit:
Early in the winter or between November and March.
Things to Carry(Listed:Abhi and Guru):
1. Warm clothes during the night.
2. Shorts/Loose pant suitable for trekking. T-Shirts.
3. Cap / Bandanna / Sunglasses. (Good to have cap)
4. Shoes - Pair of good trekking shoes, canvas shoes or sports shoes/ 2 pairs of
socks. Good to have Slippers too.
5. Back Pack -A good backpack, sufficient to hold all your belongings. Make
sure your luggage's are light.
7. Garbage bag to collect any litter we may create (or other people have
8. Insect Repellent(for those sensitive to mosquitoes/insects). (Optional)
9. Water - Atleast 2 ltrs of water per person(you can refill in between).
10. Torch - Need to bring their own torch.
11. Shawl or bedsheet - if sleeping in the tent/or sleeping bag based on your
12. About 4 news papers/tissues.
13. Water proof jacket in case it rains.
1. Avoid littering the place with garbage and plastics.
2. Don't disturb the wild animals and birds if you find.
3. Make sure you extinguish the fire fully once you leave the place.