Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Kumaraparvatha Trek

Trek Name: Kumaraparvatha Trek
Peak: Kumaraparvatha (1709 MSL)
Dates: 30-Jun-2001, 01-Jul-2001
Participants: Chandan, Kannan(Chetti), Manesh, Sangeeth(Aliyan), Sanjeev(Khoj), Shibili(Shibs), Sreepad(Pad), Suresh(Warri), Sushen
Photos: Analog days. Nothing digital. Will scan and post some. Watch this space.
Route to Base:
Bangalore => Nelamangala => Hassan => Sakleshpur => Bisle => Kukke Subrahmanya

Trek Route:
Kukke Subrahmanya => Bhattara Mane => Mandapa => Kumaraparvatha => Mandapa => Bhattara Mane => Kukke Subrahmanya
Trek Map:
Not Available. Non-GPS days.
Altitude Profile:
Bunch of Useless Facts:

This happened in June 2001. This was our first true trek. We started from Bangalore at around 8 o' clock on a Friday evening in a Tempo Traveller from Prerana Tours and Travels (Phone: 91-80-2664 2223).

Ramesh, our driver was an excellent guy. He drives fast but without taking unnecessary risks. This was our second trip with him.

We stopped at a road-side dhaba, for dinner, and then got back into the van and promptly dozed off. By the time we woke up at 6 in the morning, we were in front of Subrahmanya temple.

Probably, our driver had thought that we were on a pilgrimage to the Subrahmanya Temple. He looked surprised when he saw us donning our trekking gear and heading for the nearest trekking trail.

We had two beach tents with us, which we had hired from Woody Adventures (Phone: 91-80-2225 9159). One was squeezed into my backpack and the the other into Chetti's. Though these were light weight tents, it certainly added weight to our already full backpacks. No wonder, Chetti and I were lagging far behind during most of the climb.

We had read some article written by guys who had done this trek earlier. We were to aim for a place called 'Bhattara Mane' (Bhat's House) first, spend the night there, and push for the summit the next day. Since we all had become 'soft' by easy city life, the climb was really hard. Also, this was reputedly the toughest trek in Karnataka.

It was rainy season and the forest was wet, which meant we had to fight the leeches too. This was our second brush with the blood thirsty worm. (Previous one was at Thusharagiri in Kozhikode, Kerala during a trek in our college days). Shibili was frantically jumping and running in front of me to escape them. We could not even stop for a few minutes to catch our breath, because the leeches would be all over us by then. After some time we realized that the best way was to ignore them. Ignore the squishy feeling inside your shoes. Ignore the blood running down your calves. Move on.

The dense forest around us started thinning down after some time. We reached some sort of an open space. Khoj and I were bringing up the rear for most of the trek. We saw the others waiting for us in a clearing. We were slightly piqued at them for not having stopped earlier. It seems Nair heard, what he 'interpreted' to be, an elephant's call for its mate.

Nair and Warri set of again ahead of us. Kannan and Chandan also resumed climbing. Pad, Shibili and Aliyan started as the third group. Khoj and I waited for some more time to nurse our leech related injuries, before joining them.

Nair was literally running ahead of us. Being thin and wiry, he had lot of stamina. Warri was also not far behind.

After what seemed like an eternity, we saw Kannan on top of a rim. He shouted saying he had found Bhat's Place. We went straight to Bhat's place, removed the shoes to let out the remaining leeches, downloaded in the nearby forest and had a bath in the ice cold water of a nearby pond. By the time we came back, food was ready. Never before had we realized that simple rice and sambar could taste so heavenly.

All of us swore that we will not climb the rest of the way. We had had enough for a trip. It had taken us more than 5 hours of back breaking climb to reach Bhat's place. Interestingly Chetti too swore the same.

With instructions from Mr. Bhat, we pitched our tents in a leech free area. Chetti, Chandan, Nair and Shibili entered the first tent (the family tent) and Warri, Aliyan, Khoj and I entered the second tent (the bachelors tent). Pad was left stranded in the middle. He tried clmbing into ours but we pushed him back and finally he had to take refuge in the family tent.

Supper was also arranged by Mr. Bhat. The menu remained the same but the taste was even better.

It rained heavily in the night, but we were safe inside our tents and sleeping bags. The family tent was a little cramped. Of course, it was meant for 3 people.

The next day, Chetti, Chandan and Nair woke up early to climb the rest of the way. Chetti came and called us. He heard 6 sleepy but determined 'NO's from 6 sleeping bags. Chetti went back dejected but nevertheless started climbing with Chandan and Nair.

The moment Chetti was out of sight the 6 of us jumped up and set about enjoying the day. We had very cleverly managed to save most of the food materials from being eaten by Chetti. After the morning's shitting, (Unfortunately Pad and Khoj had their shitting act captured in film), we started eating the bread and jam and mangoes and oranges that we had painfully toted up.

We climbed some small peaks around and took photographs. Mostly with jam-smeared faces.

By noon, Chetti, Chandan and Nair came back and we started our climb down Kumaraparvatha. Shibili announced that he will never leave "civilization" for another trek like this. But there never was a trek till this, that we enjoyed so much.