With so many treks yet to be explored in India, especially the southern part of it which can be accessed over the weekend, I never imagined having a repeat trek within a span of 2.5 years. But many things fell into place and I was going for my second attempt of Kumaraparvatha peak. But atleast some of the factors where different this time around (1st KP trek)
1. It was a winter trek against the monsoon trek the previous time.
2. Trek path was reversed. This time it was Kukke to Somvarpet.
|Initial Climb From Kukke|
With a free weekend and SK insisting on his first trek to KP, we finally decided the destination. Booked the onward journey tickets for 5 of us (Shashi(also on his 2nd KP trek), SK, Ashwin, Praveen and Myself.) for the 11th Jan 9.30 pm Rajahamsa bus leaving to Kukke Subramanya. Since we had decided quite late, we were to adorn the last few rows of the bus, which resulted in disturbed sleep later on as the bus negotiated the ghats. Reached Kukke @ 4.50am which was shocking since even the KSRTC website predicts reaching the destination no sooner than 5.30am , that too after leaving Blore late due to the festival rush and the long weekend.
|All the 3 peaks in 1 shot|
Early morning trekking has its own charm. A dead calm forest suddenly springs into life within the first rays of sunlight. Birds, insects and what not chirping away to glory. Was a very soothing music to the ears :). Since this time around there was no monsoons, didn't encounter even a single leech for the entire duration of the trek. The plan for this day was to reach Bhattara mane for lunch(@ around 11am) and reach peak by 5.30 pm. But things were to be moved beyond expectations for the next 2 days. We covered the first 6 kms of the trek through the dense jungle and 1km of grasslands and reached Bhattara Mane's house at exactly 9am :P. Just before reaching Bhattara mane one gets to witness all the 3 prominent peaks one has to conquer(the first unknown peak, Sheshaparavatha and finally KP) .We were not sure at what time lunch would be served since we didn't want to loose time loitering around this place. The next section would be through sun baked grasslands and Ashwin had some difficulties in the climb. But surprisingly they informed us that it would be ready @9.45am :P. Hence it was a no-brainer and we had some awesome spiced buttermilk followed by the simple lunch of rice, sambhar and pickle (80/head).
Left the place at around 10.30 , moved towards the forest check-post , joined along with a IISc group of 3 in order to bring down the costs (they issued entry receipt for 5 people for a grp of 8 with 200/head). From here starts the most challenging part of the trek, in fact the only challenging part. Open grasslands , with no shade and steep gradients, one has to conquer 2 peaks before attempting the final peak of KP. Here the progress was slow. In these grasslands the only watering point available is @Kallu Mantapa which is almost 2.5-3kms from Bhatta's house. Reached the place, rested in the shade of the mantap, refilled our bottles and it was time to move on. Many first timers easily get decepted into believing that the first peak is the final destination of KP. With the other 2 peaks invisible they see that peak as the highest in the vicinity. Once we climb up our first "false" peak one gets to view the awesome drops from the sides of Sheshaparvatha. Close of 1000 ft vertical drops !!!!!! . Also from the 2nd peak there is stone projecting into the oblivion, where I had got a snap taken. Even after 2.5 yrs I still hadn't got the guts to sit on the edge of the rock , but Shashi was so interested to have a snap taken sitting on the edge. This was not surprising since his mobile wallpaper is of a person sitting on the edge of Preikestolen in Norway and he looked desperate to replace that with his own snap :P.
|Tents Being Erected|
|Just before Sunrise- with Venus|
Reached Somvarpet and the driver recommended Hotel Surabhi, which was bad according to my tastes. Spent close to 1.5 hrs in the bus stand and at 2.30 the Volvo bus arrived. This bus was facing some technical difficulties hence the drive was slow. Reached Blore at around 8pm and I directly took a bus to my home at Kengeri. Overall I felt it was more thrilling to trek to KP in monsoons for better views, less crowd and leech infested pathways(the absence of which u feel something is amiss :P )
Trek Distance-> 21kms (Kukke->Bhattara Mane/Forect Check Post(7km)- Kallu Mantap(10km)- Peak(14km)- Bidahalli APC(21km))
Total Cost Per Person -> 1.6 K
Bhatru Mane Contact No -> 9448647947/9480230191 (Got to book food or accommodation in advance)
Bidahalli Jeep Driver No -> 9449332006