“Yeahhhhh!!!” was the word we (Arjun, Ramesh, Mahesh aka Maggi, Vishnu, Santhosh, Kengal Rohith and Dhanush aka Danny and myself) shouted when Danny took our photo in front of Kukke Subramanya Swamy temple. Time was almost 8:30 am when we finished our 8 hr Bangalore-Kukke train journey (which was first time for me, The Train Journey) and a little fresh up in temple and breakfast in nearby hotel. Arjun told Danny to buy some packets of water and juices for which Danny refused as he always thought limited resources in every trip makes him feel adventurous and told one can get water on the way at two points and we already had like 5 lit of water which we thought sufficient before we reach first water source point. But this was the second mistake in our journey to KUMARAPARVATHA.
OBJECTIVE: To reach top of Kumaraparvatha.
CHECKPOINTS: Bhattaramane, Kallumantapa.
Our journey started through a typical western ghat road, covered by dense forest on either side with early morning sun rays trying to fall on the ground escaping from the thick lust green leaves of the tall trees. One could see houses here and there and also could hear chirping sound of birds from deep inside forest. After a 10 min walk, we arrived at a board named Kumaraparvatha, towards left of the road where maggi and I had a snap.
The journey from there started entering into dark thick forest having small and steep path, which is full of stones and roots of big tall trees coming from the ground. Looking at path I thought what happens if one comes in rainy reason? And answer was reminded by “Man Vs Wild” TV show. It wasn’t even 5min journey from the board when all of us were tired and stopped for rest. Danny told that if we move in groups it makes us slow and suggested to move separately or in 2’s and 3’s. After a 5min break, I started and went alone for another 5min. In mean while I observed that for every 25 steps ups, there were 5 steps flat path which gave time to recover lost stamina and I hoped it will be same throughout 13 km, but it wasn’t, and ended 5 min later after which there were only ups(et) because of which gradually I lost energy. I waited for others by sitting over a big trunk that was down blocking the path. Everyone came, rested and started again and this time it was Ramesh, Kengal and I who left early. Another 10min journey, we had break and this time only Kengal left early. I took break for every 8-10min and gradually became last. In mean time everyone took off their shirts but I didn’t, as I feared for leeches which I came to know by reading about this place and every blogger highlighted this matter in their blog. But none of us came to see a leech in our whole journey and probably because of the season we came. Finally I took off my shirt and went slowly carrying cricket bat (!) along with Danny, Arjun and Vishnu, while all others carried dry woods for campfire (we carried from starting point of our journey, although one could get in top)! These are the two weird things we made and still I don’t know reason why Danny brought bat? We took 5min break for every 10min walk and this routine continued for an hour and came to know that we just completed 30% of the journey of 13 km by Danny who was already been here once.
After so many walks and stops for rests, we were at the end of forest and nearer to the grasslands. Although we (Arjun, Danny, Vishnu and myself) had 5* chocolates (while others didn’t) we were damn exhausted. We finally made to the grasslands from where we had a good view of Kukke. We kept asked Danny, where is Bhattaramane? , where is Bhattaramane? And he replied “another 10 min”, “another 10min” every time. The interested thing I observed is if someone asks how far some place is, we normally reply in length. But here it is in time! After 3 times 10min walk, we (this time it was Mahesh instead of Vishnu along with Arjun, Danny and I) were so exhausted that we ate the apples I bought. Another 3min walk we were at Bhattaramane! By that time others already had refreshed and were ready to bat lunch.
We spent an hour and had full meals at Bhattaramane and 45min rest at first view point and a 25min break at toll which is also a forest office. From there only four of us left soon and reached second view point and waited for others to come. Later started one of the toughest walk of my life for more than an hour. The journey from there was so hard because the sun was in his vertical position and there weren’t any trees on either sides and path was full of stones and is steep. After too many stops (it was like 5min break for 10 steps) and rests and drinking too many drops of water, we finally made it to the pond near Kallumantapa where we had idli’s and chutney which we bought from a hotel in kukke.It was semi good but was better at that condition and I left soon with few others. From Kallumantapa we started by taking a short cut but a steep path. Here it looked the top was so near, but when we reached a top point, we always saw another. 30min later we crossed a top point and headed towards Sheshaparvatha . This time Maggi and Vishnu were in front and Ramesh and myself in second while others were still crossing the top point we made by shortcut. Another half an hour Maggi and Vishnu made it to the top of sheshaparvatha. 20min later Ramesh and I made it to top where Maggi and Vishnu were sitting at the edge of the cliff. 30min later others also made it and we had wonderfull time with amazing view which we never had before.
Finally darkness swept the whole hill. We made a camp fire kind but used that to cook maggi noodles. As I mentioned earlier not getting enough water was second mistake, carrying only maggi for food and finishing all the chocolates and fruits on the first day itself was our first mistake (although we brought so many accessories that never came to use). Because of these mistakes we didn’t had a single drop of water and a piece of food for second day! After a good sleep (only for few including partially good sleep for me) we got up at around 5:30 in the morning and left.
We stared our second day journey by moving along the cliff and crossed heap of stones twice and after a difficult and damn exhausted walk (in case of me and I think in others case too). Finally we made it to the top of Kumaraparvathaaaaa from where we had another beautiful view of other side of Kumaraparvatha and thus we completed the objective of our mission. Mission Kumaraparvatha accomplished. Although mission accomplished we were yet to return safely, so the story still continues….
At the top of the hill we had another round of good sleep (this time in case of everyone). Half an hour later the sun started to burn me and hunger in my stomach began to revolt against me. So I quickly woke up and asked everyone to leave. Only Vishnu supported me. After 5min chat with others Vishnu and I left while others again went to sleep. Because of the good sleep we gained some energy and started to walk in confident. 10min later we came by another group who gave us a pack of biscuit and chocolates and water. This gave us a second sign of confident in our return journey and so we made an express journey to pond near Kallumantapa where we refreshed and had stomach full of water and waited for others to come. Few came and few were near and without waiting for others once again Vishnu and I left early. Another express journey and we were at Bhattaramane.
We didn’t have lunch there because we thought to have lunch and ice creams and cool drinks down back in Kukke. So one more adventurous journey started with only water as our source of energy. For half an hour we moved pretty easily but later started one more exhausting journey. In less than an hour we made out of the forest and were at road. I was so exhausted that I walked damn slowly and Vishnu was like 50mtr ahead of me. For the last 500mtr I got lift in a bike from a local and got down later and waited for Vishnu who came with a biscuit pack in his hand and mind it was me who is last to make it to the top and I was the first to return down. As we planned Vishnu and I had lunch in hotel and lots of cool drinks and ice cream and had a perfect midday sleep. 3hrs later Ramesh and Santhosh came and told they too had sleep at Bhattaramane and so they were late and by 6 pm every one of us was in the same place where the trip started.