KUMARA PARVATHA(KP) TREK






Kumaraparvata also known as Pushpagiri is the third tallest peak in the western ghats of Karnataka at a height of 1712m(5624ft) is very close to Kukke Subramanya temple and is one of the most beautiful peaks in the whole of western ghats.
This mountain is on the border between Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu district. So the lights of Somwarpet town in Kodagu can be seen from the peak. It is very popular among the trekkers of South India and an ideal place for trekking and exploring.
Considered to be the Toughest trek of its kind in South of Sahayadri hills, you can either start from Bidalli from Somwarpet, Coorg or from Subramanya, South Kanara side the latter being more difficult.If you are traveling from Bangalore side the following itinerary ideas can help you to plan. They are of course suggestions based on popular routes people plan. Based on your situation and convenience you can easily make different versions of these four  itinerary ideas  discussed.

Itinerary Idea 1:

This is a very popular 'circular route' from Bangalore to KP and back. The popularity for this is mainly because in this itinerary you'll be trekking the full trail across the Western Ghat, instead of the trek up to the KP peak and return to same base by same path you accented (see Kumara Parvatha Trek for the Trail options details ).
Take one of those over night KSRTC services from Bangalore to Somwarpet (book if possible in the Volvo, you'll reach fresh for the day long trek).
Get freshened at Somwarpet , have breakfast and catch the 7'ish bus to Beedehalli. Or you may even hire a jeep, if traveling as a team.
From Beedehalli walk towards Hegde Mane village and further to Kumarahalli where the Forest Check Post is located. Pay the entry fees and complete the entry permit formalities. You're set to go in to the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary where the Pushpagiri or Kumara Parvatha peak is located.
Camp inside the forest over the night. Start decent towards Subrahmanya side next day morning.
Exit the trek trail by evening near the Subrahmaniya town. Check in at a hotel to rest at Subrahmaniya , head to the Kumaradhara River close by or head to KSRTC bus station directly to take KSRTC bus back to Bangalore, based on your preference and time at hand.
You can do this itinerary in the reverse order too. Bu the Somwarpet towards Subrahmaniya is preferred, since you'll be very tired after the trek and quickly want to get to a lodge/hotel/restaurant or catch bus. Subrahmaniya town is right next where your trail ends, whereas Somwarpet is a good 25km away. By the way from Subrahmaniya you can catch a train also to Bangalore (see Kukke Subramanya and Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya).

Itinerary Idea 2:

This is quite straight forward route you can get a direct connection (bus or Train) to Subrahmanya from Bangalore. (see Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya for options and driving directions).
The trail begins very close to the temple in the town. If you are driving from Bangalore to Subrahmanya, you can park your car/bike at the parking area around the temple or at the lodge premises you've checked in.
In this plan, you'll be trekking back to the same point where you set off the trek. Most likely you'll set the overnight camp at the peak, the Kallu Mantapa somewhere midway or even near the Battra mane (Bhat's home, the lone house the whole of trek trail).
Out of all the travel plans, this is the most convenient from Bangalore to the base point of Kumara Parvatha. Note the bus and train do get overbooked during the festive season at the temple, and also for those special religiously significant days.
When it is busy at Kukke Subrahmaniya, it is even tough to find good hotel accommodation or space to park car.

 TREK  ROUTE FROM SOMWARPET :

                "MAP FROM SOMWARPET SIDE"
                   DISTANCE : 7-8 KMS
                  TREK LEVEL - EASY
The first part of the trek from Bidahalli to Hegdemane is 5kms of walk along the normal asphalt road. Enroute we come across the Kumardhara river flowing underneath a bridge.Get refreshed up in the cool water and prepare for the trek applying lime, tobacco salt etc to protect from the dreaded leeches.
As you keep moving forward with paddy fields on the sides of the road and Cardamon strewn across the road on plastic sheets to be dried, you see the peak ahead of us.We reach Hegde Mane a very small village that had greenery everywhere and a major chunk of it was the paddy fields. Simply a feast to the eyes. As we move  further we slowly and stealthily engulfed in mist.

                               "Paddy fields we come across while on the way to hegde mane"   

As you continue further you come across Kumarahalli temple from where by taking a right turn the actual trail starts. The route is mud laden for about 2 kms.We reach the forest dept check-post where the entry fee wI'll be collected  with a written memo saying that they are not responsible in any way if attacked by wild animals.On crossing the checkpost, you see the hanging bridge the stream flowing beneath and the last place for filling the bottles with water. . The change in scenery begins instantaneously after crossing the bridge.We enter the dense canopied jungle of Pushpagiri wild life sanctuary with very little sunrays strewing upon the dried leavesd and twigs which was wet due to incessant rains. Beware of leeches in these areas.

The trail is clearly marked by yellow colored sign boards. The three boulders which is inclined at a moderate angle and continued moving towards the next boulder which was much steeper. The skies opened up and navigating through the boulder is very hard so we circum navigated around the edge by helping ourselves upward by holding on to the bushes. Everything look so green and lively. 2 hours of journey comprising of two more boulders we will reach a point where a signboard mentioned 0.75km to Kumaraparvata (Pushpagiri), we will reach the top of the tallest peak in that range. When it was almost dusk the clouds cleared up giving a GLORIOUS view of the sunset. A fiery red ball of flame and just beautiful.A thing to be remembered for lifetime.

The early mornings will  have a beautiful view of the clouds above the lower mountain ranges around us.There were 2 layers , one layer in lower elevation than us and one which was at higher elevation. From the top you could actually see the western ghats forests spread to such a huge distance, so many hills, mountains in view.

Start you return journey to Kukke Subramanya . Since there was no demarcation, the same uphill route should be taken.The water point other than the bridge is at the peak and the direction is marked on a boulder with yellow paint, hence the return journey is along that water path.
The initial part of the descend will be pretty much along a path of the water falls so it will be pretty slippery. At one point we will reach a point where there will be a huge rock. A small steep route is found along the right side of the boulder from the top. Very steep and slippery. After trekking for an hour, we reach the famous Kallinamantapa – a stone structure capable of holding up a tent. Water bottles are filled up from the nearby trough. This route leads to Bhattara mane amidst a place called Girigadde. The route is mainly filled with grasslands spread over the hills.This view is in complete contrast to what we had witnessed the previous day and some breathtaking drops.
This stretch seems to be under the rain-shadow region and only grass grows here. But the path is strewn with small rocks and boulders which strain our ankles and knees during the descent. An hours trek leads to forest guards office whereone has to display the obtained permission letter. Another 5 mins we reach Bhattara Mane. After having meal here, you can start your journey. Same down the lane we again encounter a leech infested forest and with rains in between the progress on the way to Subramanya. The trek ends here. Another 1 km journey to Kukke Subramanya town.

Kumara Parvatha is just being lenging and enduring treks in the western ghats gives one an immense satisfaction in conquering this peak. The sunset, the sunrise, the rain, the nature’s beauty, the deep forest cover, the vast grasslands, the view of the surrounding hills, super cool and sweet water in the stream, a gang of friends and trekking over 2 days. Well what else can one ask for?? “ Trekking is an addiction – a beautiful one at that.”

TREK ROUTE FROM SUBRAMANYA SIDE :

 "MAP OF TREK FROM SUBRAMANYA SIDE"
        DISTANCE - 13 KMS (ONE SIDE)
        TREK LEVEL - MODERATE

One can reach Subramanya from Bangalore by bus or train. There are direct buses from Bangalore to Subramanya which can be booked online at KSRTC websites. There are also direct trains from Bangalore to Subramanya. However, Subramanya bus stand is nearer to the Subramanya town from where the Kumara Parvatha trek begins. If you go by train, Subramanya railway station is around 20 Kms from Subramanya town. So you will have to take a jeep from the railway station to Subramanya town.
Try to arrive at the railway station or the bus stand in the morning so that you can start the trek early. There are toilets in the main street of Subramanya temple where you can get fresh in the morning. There are also shops which open in the morning. You can have breakfast there in the morning and also pack some food before starting for the Kumara Parvatha trek.

Kumara Parvatha trekking route:

Above is the map of Kumara Parvatha trekking route. Here is a link to Kumara Parvatha Hiking Trail Map. You can easily download this map and use GPS to guide yourself while climbing the trek. For more details refer the map.
Kumara Parvatha Camping sites:
Earlier people used to camp at the Kumara Parvatha peak but now it has been banned by the forest department of Girigadde or Pushpagiri. Now you can camp only nearer to the Mantapa or nearer to the forest department office. You are not allowed to camp at the Kumara Parvatha Peak.
However, forest department allows you to go to the peak but you will have leave behind your tent and camping gears at the forest department office. You will have to return by evening and pitch your camp there.

Kumara Parvatha contact information:

Bhatru mane (have advance booking) +91-9448647947, +91-9480230191, +91-8151036344
Forest camp, Girigadde, Kumara Parvatha contact number: Jayaraju: +91-9449475506, +91-9141226784
Bhatru Mane, Kumara Parvatha (Fooding & Lodging):
Bhatru mane is the mid-point of the Kumara Parvatha trek. It comes just before the forest department office. You can get food at the Bhatru Mane but you will have book your food in advance. Each meal costs around 100 per plate. In the section above, their number is shared. You need to call them before the trek about the number of people coming to have lunch or dinner or both and on what date. They understand mostly Kannada. Do not expect them to speak English or Hindi if they might have learned over the years then that’s a different thing.

Kumara Parvatha local guide:

You can get a local guide at this number 8105103634. They arrange and organize Kumara Parvatha trek from Subramanya, the base of the Kumara Parvatha trek. They have the pickup facility from the railway station at 5 AM as well. I think they charge around 1200 rupees per person. But better you should call and confirm with them.

Kumara Parvatha trek Plan:

If you are going on your own. Below is the plan I would like to recommend for you:
  • Get down at subramanya and get fresh at the public toilets on the main street of Subramanya temple
  • Have early breakfast from the shops in the same street and also pack some lunch if you do not want to pay at Bhatru mane.
  • Reach forest department office, pay the forest entry charges and leave behind your camping gears to Kumara Parvatha trek (remember camping is not allowed at the peak).
  • Enjoy at the peak and return and pitch camp near forest department or at Mantapa.

Kumara Parvatha trekking tips:

Here are some tips about how to avoid leechesKind of trekking shoe and Tent Guide 

Use Snuff powder in socks and shoes to avoid them. Keep on looking for them in shoes/socks time and then. Sleepy small town, cold and windy. Luckily they have public toilets for temple there, get freshen up. Let local shops open. Eat, get packed heavily for lunch. Take some spare food too. Ask local for the route to Kumara parvatha. After an half kilometer walk, you will see a board to Kumara Parvataha.
Trek begins:
Old & dark woods; smell it; feel it; walk as much as you can before sun becomes too hot. Cover as much of distance as possible before sun says a warm “hi”. Sun shows its face now. Rays filtering through woods dripping, scattering over the trail. It is a mirage and an eye-candy. Heat & sweat. Wipe themThe twin peaks, Marigundi and Shesha Parvatha from a distance inviting you. You will have to cross them to reach Kumara Parvatha. Bhatru mane  from this point is just 5-10 minutes away. 

 Bhatru mane, Kumara Parvatha 
Note: There is a hut here maintained by some people you have to call them and book your lunch here.
Phone number of Bhatru mane: +919448647947 and +919480230191
Now, if you are planning to stay there at Bhatru mane, you can go and explore places like sunset point (near by). Have breakfast and start again to Kumara Parvatha. From Bhatru mane, it takes 5 mins to reach sunset point. Still the panoramic view of western ghats are awesome here.It’s a photographer’s paradise. Sit on the chairs there. Lonely; realize; resound; wonder; enjoy; see a philosopher and nature lover inside. A true place where you can discover outside and within.Never ending magnificent view of western hills range. Walk little further and you reach at forest check point. Pay the fees to enter Pushpagiri wildlife and move on ahead. Take the entry passes and enter the wildlife. Keep moving ahead soldier. Enjoy the beauty around.
Grasses; trees; flowers; meadow; hills- Life must be so beautiful here. 

Kallu mantapa, Kumara Parvatha 
A four pillars structure. There is a water source here. (fill bottles here). All around is the grassland and flowers. I encountered almost 10-20 types of different varieties of flowers.
And grasses are of around 1-2 feet of height. From here begins the reality check of how hard hiker are you. The gradient of 40-50 degree of steepness. Man! you have to push yourself and others too.
Lean forward. Did your back hurt? Are you trying hard to maintain the center of gravity?
Stop. Look behind for others. Push them. pull them. Watch your steps; don’t let them find a cramp or bent.
The view at Marigundi and Shesha Parvatha are breathtaking.
“Get up guys let’s move on, before it gets too dark, cold and windy”.
Sitting their after lot of calf muscles exercise was most soothing part of the trek.
Put your hands on ground. Push yourself up.
-It will be time to move on.
From Shesha Parvatha, one more trek through leech forest but little downhill.
That’s the only relief. Though, final part of the trek requires last uphill trek to reach Kumara Parvatha. we come across a very small stream with little flowing water.
Climb down or almost run for 15-20 minutes and then climb up for 30-45 minutes and you are at the peak. Removed shoe at little running stream. 


Kumara Parvatha top 
"HUMAN AMIDST NATURE"
 Collect dry woods. pitch tent; somebody go and fetch water before its too dark. Cover the bags at one place with tarpaulin if you are planning to stay up there for a night.