This was my second time to Kumara Parvatha. I had hiked this mountain (maybe) around 10 years ago. I vaguely remembered the hike which I had done back then. So I decided to hike again – after all how hard can it be? I am a person who has hiked to Everest Base Camp you know!

My ego was smashed and crushed when I started hiking Kumara Parvatha. The experience showed me where I belonged and where the mountain was. It put me back to my place. Yes, I was got down to my level – Everest Base Camp seemed easy. I abused and cursed myself for daring to hike Kumara Parvatha. It was a Saturday morning, where I could have been on my bed, cozily sleeping. But I was here hiking within the forests to reach our first stop – Battara Mane.

Before I go into any more details of my hike, let me give you a background. Kumara Parvatha is a mountain that is respected by all trekkers. A mountain that is considered as ‘the’ toughest mountain to conquer in South India. A mountain that is huge and has a difficult terrain. The altitude of Pushpagiri a.k.a Kumara Parvatha is about 1712 metres (5617 feet) and the trek starts at 420 metres. And it is the second highest peak in Coorg, Karnataka.

Hiking details

There are two ways to get to the peak:

  • From Kukke Subramanya and this is the difficult hike among the two.
  • Or from Somwarpet and this is comparatively an easy hike.

Important information:

  • Permits have to be taken from the forest officials who also count the number of plastics (such as bags and bottles) you are carrying. And these have to be got back and discarded at the garbage bins provided at Forest checkpoints. Please please please do not litter.
  • There is no camping allowed at the peak. The only place allowed to camp is at the forest check point near Battara Mane.
  • You need to carry your sleeping bags and tents till Forest checkpoint. We left them at the forest checkpoint and ascended the peak only with a day pack containing water bottles.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and proper clothing. There are snakes in the national park even though I didn’t see any.
  • After a certain point, most of the track is grasslands which means it is super hot and you can get dehydrated easily. So carry at least a minimum of 2 litres water. There are 2 to 3 streams where water can be refilled on the path. Also water can be refilled at Battara Mane.
  • There are basic toilets at Forest Checkpost and Battara Mane.
  • Food can be arranged at Battara Mane.
  • Avoid monsoons as the track can get very slippery especially while descending.

Various itineraries

Itinerary 1: From Somwarpet (2 days) – Moderate

Day 1: Overnight journey from Bangalore to Somwarpet. The distance between Bangalore and Somwarpet is 237 kilometres. Note: Since this is an overnight journey, I am not counting this day.

Day 2: Get your permits and ascend from Somwarpet to Kumara Parvatha peak (7 kilometres). This section is steep. After spending some time at the peak, descend from Kumara Parvatha peak to Forest Checkpoint towards Battara Mane (7 kilometres).

  • Total distance hiked: 14 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Somwarpet ➡️ Kumara Parvatha ➡️ Shesha Parvatha ➡️ Battara Mane.

Camp at Forest Checkpoint.

Day 3: Descend from Forest Checkpoint to Kukke Subramanya (7 kilometres) and start for Bangalore.

  • Total distance hiked: 7 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Battara Mane ➡️ Kukke Subramanya.

Itinerary 2: From Kukke Subramanya (2 days) – Very difficult

Day 1: Overnight journey from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya. The distance between Bangalore and Kukke Subramanya is 281 kilometres. Note: Since this is an overnight journey, I am not counting this day.

Day 2: Ascend from Kukke Subramanya to Forest Checkpoint via Battara Mane (7 kilometres). Get your permits and ascend from Forest Checkpoint to Kumara Parvatha peak (7 kilometres). After spending some time at the peak, descend from Kumara Parvatha peak to Forest Checkpoint  (7 kilometres).

  • Total distance hiked: 21 kilometres.
  • Grade: Very difficult.
  • Path: Kukke Subramanya ➡️ Battara Mane ➡️ Forest Checkpoint ➡️ Shesha Parvatha ➡️ Kumara Parvatha➡️ Forest Checkpoint.

Camp at Forest Checkpoint.

Day 3: Descend from Forest Checkpoint to Kukke Subramanya (7 kilometres) and start for Bangalore.

  • Total distance hiked: 7 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Forest Checkpoint ➡️ Kukke Subramanya.

Itinerary 3: From Kukke Subramanya (2 days) – Difficult

Day 1: Overnight journey from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya. The distance between Bangalore and Kukke Subramanya is 281 kilometres. Note: Since this is an overnight journey, I am not counting this day.

Day 2: Ascend from Kukke Subramanya to Forest Checkpoint via Battara Mane (7 kilometres).

  • Total distance hiked: 7 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Kukke Subramanya ➡️ Forest Checkpoint.

Camp at Forest Checkpoint.

Day 3: Get your permits and ascend from Forest Checkpoint to Kumara Parvatha peak (7 kilometres). After spending some time at the peak, descend from Kumara Parvatha peak to Forest Checkpoint  (7 kilometres) and descend from Forest Checkpoint to Kukke Subramanya (7 kilometres) and start for Bangalore.

  • Total distance hiked: 21 kilometres.
  • Grade: Difficult.
  • Path: Forest Checkpoint ➡️ Shesha Parvatha ➡️ Kumara Parvatha ➡️ Battara Mane ➡️ Kukke Subramanya.

Itinerary 4: From Kukke Subramanya (3 days) – Moderate

Day 1: Overnight journey from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya. The distance between Bangalore and Kukke Subramanya is 281 kilometres. Note: Since this is an overnight journey, I am not counting this day.

Day 2: Ascend from Kukke Subramanya to Forest Checkpoint via Battara Mane (7 kilometres).

  • Total distance hiked: 7 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Kukke Subramanya ➡️ Battara Mane ➡️ Forest Checkpoint.

Camp at Forest Checkpoint.

Day 3: Get your permits and ascend from Forest Checkpoint to Kumara Parvatha peak (7 kilometres). After spending some time at the peak, descend from Kumara Parvatha peak to Forest Checkpoint  (7 kilometres).

  • Total distance hiked: 14 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Forest Checkpoint ➡️ Shesha Parvatha ➡️ Kumara Parvatha ➡️ Forest Checkpoint.

Camp at Forest Checkpoint.

Day 3: Descend from Forest Checkpoint to Kukke Subramanya (7 kilometres) and start for Bangalore.

  • Total distance hiked: 7 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Path: Forest Checkpoint ➡️ Kukke Subramanya.

My hikes

First attempt

As I mentioned earlier, I have hiked Kumara Parvatha twice. The first time I followed the Itinerary 1: From Somwarpet. And at that time when I did the hike, camping was allowed at the peak. This hike was organised by Exotic Expeditions and I must say it was very well organised. Santosh is a great guy and he ensures everyone are taken care of.

  • Tour group name: Exotic Expeditions.
  • Cost: Approx. INR 2950 per person. This was really long time ago, so please don’t quote me.
Gallery

Second attempt

The second time, I followed the Itinerary 2: From Kukke Subramanya. Due to which the hike was very difficult. This has by far been the most difficult hike I have ever done. I did this hike with Bangalore Mountaineering Club India. Nikhil and Sachin were the two coordinators and they were very good as well.

  • Tour group name: BMC India.
  • Cost: INR 3100 per person.
Gallery

 

Follow #rakssabbaticaldiaries2019 and #solopassport for stories of my career break and travels.

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