Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kumar Parvata Conquered

Well, I wanted to write this blog for days. It's been almost a month since we climbed Kumara Parvata, but finally now I have got time to write.The experience of climbing was really incredible and breath taking. We were gang of seven members, me, Sharath a.k.a Dumma, Madhava, Bharath, Anees, Nitin and finally how can I forget, Suhas. We left the campus at around 1:00pm and reached Mangalore KSRTC bus stand at 1:30pm.  We boarded a bus to Bangalore planning to get a place called Gundya, which is 20kms from Subhramanya and catch another bus to reach it. (though direct buses are available from Mangalore to Subhramanya, we preferred this route as the roads are better). We reached Subhramanya at around 5:30 pm. We found a decent place to camp the night. (You get better and cheaper places to stay as you move away from the town centre)We spent the rest of the evening shopping for cucumbers(the best cucumbers I have had so far) and other things which we thought will help us survive in the mountain. We visited the temple to seek the almighty blessing for tomorrow's trek.

Next day we got up at around 5:30 am and were ready by 7:00 am, we had breakfast and hit the trail by 7:30.  The path starts with a tar road branching of the main road leading to the temple just near it. We have to go on this road for about 10-15 minutes we reach the start of the path, there are lot of sign boards announcing the start of the trek and details about the various landmarks and resting places along the path.We started the trek exactly at 8:15 am. Each one of us picked up a suitable stick lying around for support and named the according to our wishes. I named my stick Spikethon (it had a lot of spikes) The path is clearly visible and distinguishable. The first part of the trek is through fairly descent forest. We were able to spot lot of birds and heard a wild boar. The morning sun peeking through the forest cover and the greenery was truly breath taking. We were able to climb this part fairly easily since we were all fresh and had a lot of enthu, the steepness increases as we move towards the top of the hill and the forest gives way to thick and long grasses.  We reached Bhattara mane(house)  at around 10:30 am, the distance from the start to this place is around 6kms.Bhattara mane is located in kind of valley surrounded by hills and the trekked path is the only way to this place. The house is a mud house and like a typical village house has cow sheds.etc and is surrounded by areca plantation. In Bhattara mane food and accommodation are available, but you must inform him before hand.We rested till 12 noon, had food(upma,rice, sambar and curds, all unlimited for 50 bucks) and started again at 1:00 pm. 

From bhattara mane the path is little flatter for about 1-1.5 km and consists of going over small hills. We first went to the forest officials office to get permission. We have to pay around 125(you get receipts)  each and give him details about ourselves. There are two observations platforms between the bhattara mane and the mantapa.The really tough part starts now, the path gets very steep and the heavy lunch and the afternoon Sun made us all tired very fast. Some of us including me had to resort to consumption of glucose. We could see the false peak now. the trails now contains climbing over a steep hill and then climbing again  to reach the False peak(we like many others thought that the false peak to be the actual peak, the actual peak will become only visible after climbing the false peak). The path is surrounded by thick grass and rocks on either side and there are some forest cover near the foot of the hills.We took rest at mantapa (this is a fairly old mantapa constructed from stone and is at the foot of the hill in front of false peak) for 20 minutes and had some biscuits and chocolates. We again started and moved very slowly and finally reached the false peak at around 4:30 pm. The actual peak Pushpagiri became visible.The view from the false peak was spectacular and we rested near a cliff and took a lot of photo pics

The path then takes a downward slope through the forest where the cool winds refreshed us, we walked a further distance of 1km to reach the foot of the hill and  encountered a small stream. We refilled our bottle's here and the water tasted wonderfully sweet. The climb now was little tough and it became really steep, halfway through we had to climb a single vertical rock/boulder and Suhas had to drop his stick and become Spiderman to reach the top. I had to use some of the plants growing on the side to reach the top. Finally at 5:15 we reached the top of Kumara Parvata. We all implanted our sticks as a mark of triumph and photo Session was in place. The peak is kind of a plateau and is bare in the middle but has forest cover near the borders of the top. The view is breathtaking and you have a 360' sight. We found a suitable place to camp the night. After resting for a while we went around gathering firewood for the camp fire, by the time we collected enough firewood the sun had already set. The sunset was beautiful and amazing. We lit the fire and started cooking Maggi, after filling our stomach with hot Maggi, we had some cake courtesy Anees whose birthday happened to be on the same day. After wishing him and giving him a GPL, we all laid down to sleep. We did not have any tent and slept on the ground itself. We were able to sleep till 12:30 in the night when the chilling cold caught us. We all (except Suhas) woke up and started up the fire again. It was really cold and numbing, we were all wearing two sets of clothes(I personally wore three shirts and one shorts and a trouser and had two bedsheets to cover myself) and still we could not sleep. So the routine throughout the night involved starting the fire and warming by it and sleeping for some time till the cold caught us again.(exception of course Suhas who did not wake a single time).

We all got up around 5:30 burnt all the remaining firewood and waited anticipating for the sunrise to happen. The sun was finally visible on the Horizon around 7:00 am. The morning view of the surrounding was really fantastic, you could see rivers of clouds flowing below us and the shadow of the mountain, the sight of green grass as the sunlight fell upon them was one to be remembered upon. We had some slices of bread and started the downward trail at around 7:30. The downward trek was relatively faster and the morning view along the way was beautiful at the least.We reached mantapa at 10:30 took some rest there for some time and loaded ourselves with biscuits. We crossed Bhattara mane around 11:30 and came under forest cover. The trek downwards was little taxing since we had not got proper sleep the previous night.Suhas was really tired and had a hard time concentrating and fell a dozen times. Sharath and Nitin on the other hand raced downwards and our group was split in two.We took a diversion on our way and went to a stream to cool off our heels. We reached the starting point, we were all exhausted and hungry. Group pics were taken and we headed of to town and had a sumptuous lunch and drank a lots of juices. We then a boarded a couple of buses to get back to campus. All in all the trip was exciting and a wonderful experience.