Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kumara Parvatha - Trekkers Paradise

Feb 3rd (Friday):
SriVatsa :" Arjun , I have weekly off on 6th and 7th , so shall we plan for some trekking ? ". 
Me: " OK , lets execute the plan."
Vatsa : " How about going to KP ( Kumaraparvatha ) ?
Me : " Cool, lets go !!! "
Vatsa : " Fine, who all are coming ? "
Me : " We both , and I'll ask some of my friends(who are interested in trekking). "

Also I called up some friends, some refused saying they had different plans and some agreed to join. At Last 4 of us decided to trek. 
We were about to leave Bangalore on Sunday(5th Feb) night as there was a pooja at my cousins place on 4th and 5th. Accordingly Vatsa booked the KSRTC tickets to Kukke, but at the last moment 2 of my friends dropped from the plan by giving their own stories. 
So finally Me and Vatsa had to go. The bus was at 9.15PM. But unfortunately, there was a terrible traffic jam in all the roads leading to Majestic. At 9Pm, we were still near Town Hall due to the heavy road block. At last our prayers were answered and we could catch the bus in time. 
Me and Vatsa were school friends and studied together for 10 years. We entered the bus, settled the baggages and chatted for a long time about our schooling days. There were many topics to discuss :) , this was just to kill time. Somehow after the never ending roads of Bangalore, the bus finally crossed Nelamangala and reached Kunigal. The bus stopped at a roadside Dhaba. We had some hot " Thatte Idli's and Parota's " . It was 1 AM, but the dishes were hot and delicious.

Once the bus crossed Sakleshpur, we could see mist covering the ghats. What a sight it was !!!
At 4.30 AM, we reached Kukke. Roamed the town for a while, waited for the sun to rise and for initial trekking practise, we trekked till Kumaradhara river which was around 2kms from the temple. Freshened up, came back near the temple and ate breakfast at " Neo Mysore cafe". Dawn was amazing as the weather was cool. Could see the first rays of the sun, and began trekking by chanting
 " Sri Kukke Subrahmanya Swami ki JAI ".

Kumara Parvatha is a mountain located in Subramanya (village) of Sullia taluka, Karnataka. The village is known for the Hindu Kukke Subramanya Temple. In spite of being a small village, it is a well-known shrine, and  draws large number of devotees throughout the year. The peak is at a height of about 1712m, and is about 13 kms from the temple. This mountain is on the border between Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts, so the lights of Somwarpet town in Kodagu can be seen from the peak.  

Kukke Subramanya is a Hindu temple located in the village of Subramanya in the Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District near Mangalore, Karnataka, India. The temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Here Lord Subrahmanya is worshipped as the lord of all serpents. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge under Lord Subrahmanya when threatened by Garuda.

Ashlesha Bali Pooja & Sarpa Samskara are two important Sarpa Dosha Poojas that are done at Kukke Subramanya Temple.

KP is arguably the most strenuous trek in Karnataka making it one of the most beautiful mountains in the western ghats. This always excited me and made my desire high to trek at KP.

This peak is one of the most beautiful peaks in the whole of Western Ghats. The trek is of two days. You can either start from "Bidalli" from "Somawar pet" (Coorg) side or from "Subramanya" (South Kanara) side.
 Route 1. From Subramanya you get a place called Girigadde on the way to the peak on the first day of the trek, then you get a old structure well known as Mantapa and from there the top is 3hours trek(time depends based on your capacity). 
Route 2.From Somwar pet, reach Bidalli which is enroute to the peak. From Bidalli you get buses to go to Somwar Pet in Coorg.

Transportation :
Kukke Subrahmanya can be reached by road from Mangalore and from Bangalore. KSRTC operates buses on a daily basis from these two places. The nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport (Bajpe Airport), at a distance of 115 kms. The nearest railway station is Subrahmanya Road (SBHR) Railway Station on Mangalore-Bangalore railway route, which is 7 kms from Kukke Subrahmanya.

Wild Flower
Vatsa and Me at the entrance

First 6 kms is through dense forests, till Bhattara Mane. 

Vatsa trekking

Littering is strictly prohibited. Trekkers usually put all their trash in a carry bag and drop them off in the garbage cans available in the path to and fro Kumara Parvatha.

Some unknown insect

Kukke town from the top. This place is around 3kms uphill from Kukke. 
From here , Bhattara Mane is around 2kms. After 500mts from this spot, grasslands start. By the time , we reach Bhattara mane, we would have been stressed out. Its an ideal place to stay and refresh up at his house. 

After a tiring trek till Bhattara mane, we stopped for a while to eat food.The food was great, we get Rice, Sambar , Butter milk, Pickle. The pickles were awesome.The cool water at his house was a much needed drink to refresh us. Later, we started to trek further. 
The place is beautiful during monsoons, it is lush green and enchanting. During summer, it'll be barren as you can see in the picture. Though there was slight greenery during this time, it decreases later.

There are 4 peaks in the range.
1. Bhattada Rashi
2. Shesha Parvatha
3. Kumara Parvatha
4. Siddha Parvatha 

Some people say that Siddha Parvatha is inaccessible and some say that it is accessible. 

Kumara Parvatha is also called Pushpagiri in Kodagu.
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is one of 21 Wildlife Sanctuaries of India's Karnataka state.
This sanctuary is located in Somwarpet taluk of Kodagu district and has some attractive scenery. It is home to rare and endangered birdlife and is designated as one of the important bird areas of the world.The rich Kadamakkal reserve forest is a part of the sanctuary. Pushpagiri is the highest peak in it. The sanctuary adjoins Bisle reserve forest to north and Kukke Subramanya forest range to the west.
On the way we saw 2 Rat Snakes.

Kallu Mantapa

We were accompanied by Harish(forest guard) of PWS from Bhattara Mane(forest checkpost). The time we reached  mantapa , it was almost 4pm. We could not climb the peak of Kumara Parvatha the same day, as we could not return to Bhattara Mane for night. Moreover we did not even have tents or sleeping bags. Also, Vatsa had to go to the office on 7th night. So we decided to return to Bhattara Mane after resting for a while at Mantapa.

The evening was about to start, as we could feel the cool breeze. The different layers of the mountains, from the top were mesmerising. Also the cool Sholas were incredible.

 It was time for Sun to go home. The golden lighting during sunset was something which gives a great feeling. It fills the whole valley with Gold.

Hot Jamoon
Trying a different theme in photography.
After the sun set, we were able to witness the vibrant sky with some classic shades of beautiful colors. As the darkness and chillness arrived, we thought of putting a small camp fire. We asked the permission from Forest Department guard, near the view point. He gave us the permission to do so. So, we put the camp fire which lasted for 15mins ( as we didn't have dry grass and sticks) to burn. Vatsa collected some grass and made the camp fire, and I was busy in photographing the sunset. But that 15mins was the most memorable time in my life .

We poured water to the fire to make sure that it does not spread. As it is summer, there is a great chance of forest fire to occur.

That day, we had done a lot of trekking and were tired to the core. Came to Bhattara Mane, after energising ourselves at the camp fire. Had a great dinner. Believe me, Bhattara Mane is seriously a divine place amidst such beautiful scenery. They  treat you like their relatives. Talked for a while with Bhattru, and slept. I got a great sleep that day. 

The next morning , we had to come down to Kukke. So got up and 6.00 AM, freshened up and left the place by 6.30AM. 

The sunrise was beautiful.
When the first rays of the sun touched the peak, everything was mystical and magical. The whole valley was brought to life.
The rays of the sun kissing Kumara Parvatha.

It took almost 2.5 hours to reach down. 
After coming down to Kukke, we booked a lodge. Took a refreshing bath, and went to the temple to have Darshan of Sri Subrahmanya swami. Though it was crowded, we could get a good Darshan. From there we went to "Adi Subrahmanya", which is also a famous shrine in the premises. 
Finally after a great trek and a Beautiful Darshan, we left back to Bangalore.

I would like to thank Mr.Bhattru, and Mr. Harish(forest guard) for helping us to make this trip a very memorable one.
Mr. Harish ( forest guard)

with Mr. Bhatt

Guidelines for Trekkers :

1.   Do not carry unwanted luggages, make your backpack as light as possible
2.   Carry lots of water, as there is no water source till Bhattara mane.
3.   There is water source after the forest guest house and near the Mantapa, But do not drink there as It is not good .
4.   As far as possible, do not trek in summer.
5.   Please do not throw garbage and plastics enroute, let us save nature.
6.   There are lot of Dust bins enroute, you can dump the waste there.
7.   Please make it a Plastic Free zone.
8.   It is difficult to trek from Kukke side ( I have not tried from Somvarpet side).
9.   September - November is ideal just after the monsoon ends.
10.  Things to be aware of : Snakes, Leeches , Unpredictable weather(during monsoons with strong winds)
11.  Have to get permission from Forest department by paying 200Rs (INR) per head.
12.  Get good tents / sleeping bags if you are planning to stay at KP.
13.  Do not take any risks, Life is precious. 
14.  Do not harm Flora/Fauna.
15.  Leave Nature as it is. 
16.  If you put up a camp fire, make sure you pour water to it when you are about to leave.

Shoot nothing but pictures, take nothing but Memories and leave nothing but Footprints



  1. Arjun, wow man...this is surreal!

    you people sure has a wonderful trek there till Kallu Mantapa and your photos are amazing, love each of those landscape shots :)

    and a suggestion, the alignment of the photos and text is a little out of order, probably reducing the size of the photos should help!

  2. Awesome kano :) Mr. Bhatt did not allow us to take a photograph. Its amazing that he allowed you to take one. You would have caught the early morning scenes because you can get better pictures of hills peeking out of a bed of dense white cloud flourished all around whereever your eyes can reach. The on-trek photos have come out very well and your narration, as-always, gives very legato feeling :)

  3. Pics are really really good and Narration too Arjun..:-)
    No words to say Awesome Photographer..:-)

  4. Really AWESOME pics.....:-)
    Landscape pics are really WOW......:-)

  5. hey. nice trip :) can u provide me harish phone number. thank you :)

  6. Thanks for the tips. We are planning this month. Really helpful, great blog!!!!

  7. thank u very much,, i'm planning to trek in midst of sep. your photos were awesome,, may i know which cam you are using

    1. Thanks Vallesh.
      Sorry for replying very late :)
      I was using Nikon D90 (at that time - during the trek). Now I am using Nikon D7100

  8. Nice trip and awesome narration.
    i'm feeling pity on you that even after you mounted till kallu Mantapa, You didn't treck fully. its amazing at top.
    with my experience we were enjoyed only 10% till kallu mantapa, and 90% thereafter.
    you will never forget that experience if you would climbed that. I dont have words to explain it.
    one suggetion: getting enough holydays treck till the end and you will come to know what I said.

  9. Hi arjun....! its.... its.... so awesome...!
    So nice pics...! i just cant put in words to explain hw nice it is...!
    it is very helpful....! Thanks for the tips....!
    i wish i will go as soooooonnnn...... as possible...!

  10. where can we get the forest permissions ??

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  13. Excellent pics and a very good narration!!! Planning to go next week.


  14. Very good information for trekkers who wants to visit KP. Thank u Guys. Planning to go on 31 Dec.

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  17. Awesome. I was there last weekend :)

  18. Hi Arjun, this is a lovely post. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures.

  19. Hi,

    Nice blog...Can you tell me how can we get the forest department permission and do we have to book the food at bhattmaran.

  20. Amazing pics..

    Thanks keep update again. If you want to explore India by bus then click here and book your bus ticket online.

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  22. Feel the breath,silence and views around. Awesome. Had been ther Nov 2014. It was just perfect weather with lush green slopes. Carry enuf water. Don't take unnecessary luggage. Have food @ Bhattara mane as this is the only place u get food once u start climbing.

    From lodging and darshanam @ Kukke temple, to pick drop to the start point of the trek everything was arranged and organised. Even the food was arranged at Bhattara mane. Trek start point is about 3kms from Bus stand.

    Contact 8105936344 for all the services.

  23. This is one of the best I have seen.Thanks a lot for the very nice pictures and comments.


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