What comes to your mind when you are planning for a trek in a group: Mesmerizing views, Interacting with locals, Understanding local place, Interesting group to chit-chat with, Team activities; well if you are hoping that you will be able to get anyone of these if you going to Kumara Parvatha then you might be disappointed.
I never thought that I will be writing a negative review when I started with my blog but seems that trek to Kumara Parvatha in 2 days has crossed all the limits and has forced me to write this review.
Me along with 2 of my friends decided to go to Kumar Parvatha on a weekend through Bangalore Mountaineering Club. Kumara Parvatha is considered as one of the toughest trek in South India and third highest peak in Karnataka. The starting point of the trek is Kukke Temple, first leg of the trek ends at Battara Mane which is around 5.5 KM from Kukke Temple, most of the trekkers stay here at night. The second leg of the trek is quite difficult and is around 8.5 KM long with a constant slope of around 35-45 degree, not to mention that there is just one water source in the whole stretch which is also during the start of the second leg so make sure to carry at least 3-4 liter of water, some energy bars and dry fruits during the trek.
We started at around 7:30 AM from Kukke Temple, are reached Battara Mane in around 2 and half hours. This leg of the trek is relatively easy but it also doesn’t have any water source in between. You can get basic food and water in Battara Mane but don’t expect anything to satisfy your taste buds, mostly you will get rice and sambhar which is also bland. I would suggest to carry snacks with you and eat that along with the lunch and dinner so that you can satisfy your hunger. Make sure you refill your bottles here and carry some energy bars with you for the next leg of the trek.
Initial part of second leg is easy not much to ascend. After battra mane you will come across a viewpoint where you can relax bit. The forest office just after the first viewpoint. Very soon you will come across second viewpoint, it’s after this the trek becomes really hard and the slope starts increasing. After around 45 mins you will get a water source and then just some mins away is reach Kallu mantap where you can for some time. The next stage of the trek is the most difficult part of whole trek. It’s because of steepness of the trail. You will gain lot of altitude during this stage. If you are trekking in summer then this part will be very difficult one. Distance of this stage is about 3 kms. Time required to trek is about 2 – 3 hours. By this time you will be at Shesha Paravath and it has a better view that Kumara Parvatha. If you are really tired or are already late I would suggest you to stop here and not go to Kumara Parvatha. Shesha Parvatha to Kumara Parvatha is relatively easy as compared to previous stage but it’s still a demanding one. You will descend bit and trek trail goes inside forest. In about one hour you will reach Kumara Parvatha. We reached the peak at around 2:00 PM after 7 hours of trekking with one hour break in between. I was quite excited to reach the peak and was hoping to get some mesmerizing views, but I was highly disappointed after reaching Kumara Parvatha. It’s basically a flat peak without much views around, Shesha Parvatha had much better views as compared to Kumara Parvatha.
We were a group of around 32 people to start the trek but the level of difficulty is such that around 20 people were only able to complete the trek. After taking a break of around 20-25 mins we decided to come back to Shesha Parvatha and wait there for the rest of the group to join and then descend with them. At around 3:30 we started our journey back to Battara Mane and reached at around 6:00 PM. After trekking for almost 11 hour and around 22 KM in a single day we were really exhausted, there we still some people coming and the last one reached Battara Mane around 8:00 PM, that’s almost 13 hours after we started in morning. It was not untill 8:00 PM the dinner was ready and there was no snacks in evening. Thanks to the snacks that we kept with us we were able to wait till 8:00 PM for dinner which was same as lunch, though the food was below average we ate as we were very hungry. After an exhausting day we slept very early and again started our descent at around 7:00 AM in morning and reached back to Kukke Temple at around 9:30 AM.
As we went through Bangalore Mountaineering Club, we had to abide by their timings and complete the trek in one and a half day but in my view Kumara Parvatha should be completed in 3 days or atmax 2 full days where you ascend on day 1 camp on the peak and then descend on day 2. The total length of the trek in around 13 KM for one way and to complete it in one and half day is very tedious, that to where there is scarcity of water and the food available is so basic that you will eat it just to get some energy. Overall I was disappointed with the trek as it has very less to offer and too much to put into. There are a lot of treks in Western Ghats which are much more beautiful and less demanding which should be prefered over Kumara Parvatha. For those who are doing Kumara Parvatha as their first trek I would suggest to go to some other treks and then go to Kumara Parvatha if you are willing to put the required mental and physical exertion. Also it would be best to do this trek on your own rather than through any club as most of them try to complete the trek in one and half day which becomes very challenging and there is no special arrangements made by the groups which you can’t do yourself.