“We know what we are, but know not what we may be” – William Shakespeare
Well, the uncertainty of completing the trek always bogged me, for Kumara Parvatha or Pushpagiri being the toughest trek in South India, I was apprehensive about the entire trek.
Kukke Subramanya is a small temple town 230km from Bangalore. Subramanya temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Overlooking the temple is the Shesha Parvatha and Kumara Parvatha peaks, KP at 1712mts (5617ft) is the highest peak in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Ghats of Karnataka.
Initial climb to Kumara Parvatha
We were a group of eight, amateur and experienced trekkers brave enough to take on the road ahead. The trail is 13 kms one way. The trek is difficult and challenging as it is a steep climb throughout. Bhattaramane is the only Oasis/house you can find throughout the trail and is found after completing 6kms of the trek. And it is the only point of access to food, water and accommodation (if you have not got tents of your own). During the trekking season, the stay at Bhattaramane has to be booked well in advance as it accommodates around 15-16 people alone.
The trail runs right next to the temple and leads to a winding road of about 1.5kms where the forest area begins, marking the start of the Kumara Parvatha trek. After almost 2.5hrs we rested before we started again and after 45 minutes we reached the top where the trail gives way to open skies and grassland terrain. Bhattaramane was just 20 minutes off from there.
On reaching Bhattaramane, we washed our faces with cold stream water and got to down to eat the most delicious, simple vegetarian food of hot rice and sambar, pickle and buttermilk. It was the best food ever!
It was an ideal, calm and peaceful evening as we watched the sun set in all its glory and so did our tiredness.
Owing to our exhaustion after the entire day under the sun we wanted to make the most of the early morning weather the next day. We packed our bags with loads of water, energy bars, dry fruits, a few snacks and of course glucose and electoral.
The trek through the moderately thick jungle
We started at 5:30am. About 300m from the house there is the Forest dept. office where we have to give our credentials and pay a registration fee. Once it was done we started our climb. The weather was perfect. The view was beautiful and the place was serene. We held onto a good pace and were able to reach Kallu Mantapa, an open stone-pillared structure with a water source nearby and a camping place for some trekkers.
It is a very steep climb from this point on and the path is very slippery owing to gravel, but there are alternate rocky paths as well which are comparatively easy to tread. The sun was up and the place was pristine. We reached Shesha Parvatha, the peak which is visible from the Subramanya temple.
The sunset from top of Kumara Parvatha is quitr spectacular
The last mile to Kumara Parvatha peak is through a small forest which gives way to a rocky terrain that marks the peak of Kumara parvatha. At the peak there is a sacred area of Lord Shiva’s Ling.
We were elated that we made it through the toughest trek. After exploring the peak we came across a viewpoint from where we could see the passing clouds beneath us! The view was amazing and marvelous.
The downward trail was tougher with the sun beating down on us in all its glory. We were thoroughly exhausted by the time we reached Bhattaramane. We had our lunch and started again. We made it back to the bottom around 6:30pm in the evening.
The entire trek was challenging but the strenuous trek did have its perks, for the view at the top was fantastic.
Shwetha is an adventurer, traveler, writer, photographer, philosopher, always wanting to live on the edge. The pursuit of “Meaning of Life” has been her raison d’être and she truly believes in “Variety is the spice of Life!”
All images by Shwetha Krish