A Walk Above The Clouds
Author : Ramakrishnan_Mn
Trek name- Kumara Parvatha
Trek Level- Difficult
Trek distance- 13 kms (one-way)
Trek time- 8-10 hours (one-way)
Peak height (Altitude) – 1712 mts
Starting point- Kukke Subramanya Temple
Nearest Town/Centre- Coorg
Kumara parvatha has always been in my bucket list as it was a must do trek for anyone from South India. Located in the Western Ghats, the trek started from Kukke Subramanya temple in the district of Coorg. It is among the tallest peaks in Karnataka.
The trek was a 2-day programme and hikers like me frequent these hills from Kerala and Karnataka alike. A weekend to wash away all our stresses and worries of our monotonous life, and dissolve ourselves in the greenery, hide among the milky white clouds.
The trek is be divided into 4 stages, starting from Kukke temple to Battar-mana to the Kal-mandapa to Shesha Parvatha to Kumara Parvatha. Shesha Parvatha and Kumara Parvatha are twin peaks, with a wild valley between them, where we can pitch tents for the night, the other alternative being to scale both the peaks before dusk and camp atop Kumara Parvatha.
Stage 1 is through the forests, from the base camp beyond Kukke temple. These are thick forests with reptiles and leeches and carrying water along can be very handy, as you will not come across any streams or water sources for a few hours. Eventually, after trekking for about 3 kms, you will reach the open hills, a milestone marked by a stone dome, piled up rocks resembling a peak. Further along after as much distance, is situated the forest range office, where you are required to give details and an entry fee (additional fee for camera). Nearby is the Bhattar-mana, where a family resides, and provide food and accommodation upon request. (You would probably reach there for Lunch).
The 2nd stage is the scaling to the rock temple/ kal-mandapa, a lone structure, along the slopes of the hill. There is a small stream nearby where we freshened ourselves up and refilled our water bags. Stage 3 is another stretch towards the first of the 2 peaks, Shesha Parvatha. This route is filled with great views of greenery and wide view into the horizon.
The last lap is from one peak to the next, with a thickly populated green valley, cradled between Shesha Parvatha and Kumara Parvatha. Part of the dense forest, elephants roam about here at night as there is a water stream nearby. Campers either halt here for the evening with the intention to scale the Kumara Parvatha summit early at dawn, or continue upwards and pitch tents at the open space atop the peak, well-hidden above clouds. Either ways, you will experience severe mist in the morning, when you begin your final ascent/descent.
Once you reach the summit, the Kumara Parvatha peak, you are at heaven and alive, at that. Unless you are someone with zero trekking experience, I’m sure you can relate to what I said. The expanse of clouds stretched across the sky, climbing up towards you is such a breath-taking sight, arraying themselves like an army of clouds.
The descent started with a steep stony slope, or beside it, depending on whether the stream is carrying water or not. The initial hours were more tiring, but once you are in the conquering mood, it is flowy go! We followed the same route, scaling Shesha Parvatha, to the kal-mandapa, back towards and past the Bhattar-mana or the forest range office, whichever you consider the landmark on your way up.
Once back at the base- Kukke temple, I would suggest you go straight to the stream which flows beside the temple. A dip in the water and the effect is doubled after the long trek down. There are hotels nearby, which was our obvious next destination, before we headed home.
- Not recommended for first-timers.
- Preferably in groups.
- Keep your senses open for movement of wildlife- the area is home to elephant herds and other animals.
- Jogging and other physical exercises recommended for at least 2 weeks prior to this trek.
- Light food during the trek- fruits, chocolate bars and nuts strongly suggested.
Campper @ Ramakrishnan_Mn