The Enchanting Kumar Parvatha

February 24, 2024

As a glance through a newspaper, my eyes attract the news- "4K trekkers flock KP, the government seeks report". This news took me back to 2 weeks, where I had a wonderful opportunity to witness this peak for the second time. Of course, credit goes to the youth hostel Mangaluru unit for organising this trek.

The Kumar Parvatha peak which is fondly known as Pushpagiri peak situated in the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary under Sahyadri ranges. KP peak is considered as one of the toughest treks not only from Karnataka but from the Southernmost part of India. It is the fourth highest peak of Karnataka whereas second highest peak of Kodagu district. Climbing altitude of around 1700 meters/5600 feet makes it one of the challenging treks. The trek distance which is around 22-24 kms usually done by most of the trekkers in 2 days, but both the times I was enough fortunate to cover the peak in 1 day, once from Somwarpeth side and this time from Kukke-Subramanya side.

This trek has lots to offer to trekkers starting from thick forest, open grasslands, vertical rock climb, water streams and mesmerizing view of mother nature. The variety of green shades soothes your eyes, so the hurdles which you face while climbing the peak, you feel like they are worth. The best views come after the hardest climb.

Difficulty level: If the trek is done in 1 day, then trekker needs a good level of physical fitness and endurance. If it is done in 2 days, it is considered as easy to moderate. Not recommended for beginners if you are not physically active.

How to reach: Subramanya is easily accessible by bus or train from Mangaluru and Bengaluru.

Accommodation: Various sources of accommodation are available as it is a religious place. Also, from the KSRTC bus stand it is 1.5 km to the forest gate.

Best time for the trek: Post monsoon (Oct -Feb). Not recommended in the monsoon or summer due to leeches and hot weather. If you are planning to do the trek in 2 days, first stay is available at bhataremane where you can get tents on rent, in case if you are planning to do it 1 day then one should start the trek early morning by 5am.

The trek has mainly 4 stages, first one is bhataremane/Girigadde, second stage is Kallu Mantapa, third one is Sheshparvatha and final stage is Pushpagiri peak which is summit point.

Now about my trek experience: On the 13th January we started around 6:00 p.m. from Mangaluru and reached at kukke Subramanya. After having dinner, we halted at the temple guest house. Accommodation was a dormitory with bunker beds. Next day morning after having breakfast we reached at the forest gate around 5:45 a.m. Due to Makar Sankranti holiday, there was a huge crowd. At the forest gate backpacks are checked for single use plastic, flammable objects, etc. Count of plastic items which we carry are noted down by the forest department, upon our return, we must ensure, we have brought all the non-biodegradable items back with us. Forest guards are doing this job very well. We were around a group of 55 trekkers. As the bag checking was taking quite a long time, we decided to start the trek in smaller groups as soon bag checking done.

At 6 a.m. it was still dark, we all had gotten a head torch with us, we started the trek. It was very calm and quite we could hear birds chirping. First 4.5 km trail passes through thick forest with quite a good ascent starting from elevation 146 meters to 854 meters. Since the trail was passing through thick forest and the weather was also pleasant, so this stretch was quite enjoyable.

By the time we reached Girigadde/bhataremane it was 9 a.m. Once we reached bhataremane, we could see hundreds of tents along with trekkers. Here, another forest office check point is there, where we must pay forest fees of Rs 350. After completing formalities, we resumed our trekking towards Kallu Mantapa - second stage of the trek. After Girigadde now trail passes through open grasslands. After trekking for about 3 kms, we reached kallu Mantapa. It is Mantapa like structure made up of 4 stone pillars. It is one of those selfie and rest points too. Here we took light fruit refreshment and headed towards the next point that is Sheshparvatha, trail to this also goes through open grasslands.

Sheshparvatha peak is situated at an altitude of 1572 meters. Now, due to open grassland and increase in the temperature, the trail was becoming challenging. Again, after covering a distance of around 2.5 km, we could reach Sheshparvatha which is another selfie point with huge rocks. After this point PushpaGiri is about 1 km, first half km we have to descent down followed by an ascent steep where a vertical rock is situated.I felt crossing such rock was quite challenging for me. Once this rock was crossed again around 30-minute walk, we reached Pushpagiri peak around 11:45 a.m. We had gained around 1550-meter elevation in around 5:30 hrs. Best part was due to Makar-Sankranti there was a special Pooja at the peak which happens annually. We were fortunate enough to get Prasad. After that we did our petpooja from our packed lunch box. By this time our most of the group trekkers had reached the peak, after doing a group photo session, we started descending back around 12:45 p.m.

Now the sun was in quite active mode, so the temperature was getting increased compared to the morning's pleasant weather. Now most of the place’s trail was descending, but it was hurting knees due to boulders. We reached at bhataremane around 3:30 p.m. Here we had to do some formalities at Forest checkpost to ensure that we have returned from the peak. From Bhataremane to main forest gate distance is 4.5 kms but by this time body was tired and legs were refusing to walk further. But then there are always your friends who help you to achieve your goals. By the time, we reached the main forest gate, the Sun was about to set, so it was getting dark. At Forest gate again backpacks were checked to ensure we have not left any non-biodegradable items on the peak. After having some snacks, group boarded the bus and return journey started towards Kudla.

During this trek I realised one thing, in the Nov 2022 I took my first half Marathon by considering my habit of long-distance walks during treks. And now my running journey has given me the endurance to sustain such moderate to difficult treks. Cross trainings are always beneficial.

An important note to the young generation of Mangaluru who has got stuck into drug menace. Mangaluru is the city which gives you ample options to enjoy thrilling moments through adventures. It can be youth hostel Mangaluru (YHAI, Mangaluru) trekking group, Mangalore Runners Club (MRC) or We Are Cycling Club (WERC). Take pleasure in those genuine moments with your friends. Follow safety guidelines and see how adventure activities can bring more happiness to life.

By the time I finished this write up, I read another news – “Government imposes temporary ban on trek paths that do not have an online booking system."




By Revati Shendure
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Comment on this article

  • Nagesh Shetty, Surathkal

    Mon, Feb 26 2024

    Very Descriptive...Well done.. Mr Vishnu Bhat's view is partly correct... Infact , Trekking makes One all the more aware of Mother Nature and goes along way in Conserving it for Future generations . Trekkers should be educated about Responsible and sustainable practices during this wholesome ,challenging and funfilled activity.... The Youngsters should be exposed to Trekking at an early age so that they are made aware of the Bounty of Mother Nature and I am sure they will care and nurture Her .... In a way Trekking bonds People and above all keeps Youngsters away from Harmful Social mediaa...!!!!

  • vishnu bhat, bangalore

    Mon, Feb 26 2024

    trekkers will not rest till the place and surroundings are completely ruined. some places need to be left free of any human interference.

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