Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kumaraparvatha (popularly called KP)

It was after a long long time we had planned for a big trek and I was so looking forward for it. It was all planned a month ago and with fingers crossed I was hoping my mom does not come up with some plan and cancel my trek. Luckily for me, nothing came up and at around 8:30pm I found myself with Vidya, Prithvi, Ranjit, HP, KP, VKN, Puneet, Sanjeev and Sharath at KSRTC bus stand all set for the big trek…!!!!!

The drive to KP is surely a memorable one, an experience you surely don’t want to miss. All through it,Me, vidya and Ranjit spent most of the time speaking, rather cracking ourselves up. We were the only trio in the entire bus of 50, speaking and not sleeping. The road to KP is an amazing one. Should be in Guinness book of world records under “Bumpiest road” category. I have decided to give an award to our govt for maintaining it :-). We came up with reasons for the condition of the road, “Meteorite hit”, “amazing engineering” were some of the good ones we came up with. Vidya and Ranjit were only experiencing the bumps while me seated at the window was having a doubly effect, I could see the craters our bus was being driven through. By the end of the journey all the connections of our brains were loose and hither thither :-)..leaving none of us sane. Honestly I enjoyed every bit of this drive.

By 4:30am we reached Kukke, and found ourselves a decent hotel to freshen up. By 7:00am we were at the foot hill of KP, all set to start climbing.

I had done a little research on KP. KP is considered one of the toughest treks of Karnataka. Its summit is 4000 feet above sea level and one has to trek 18 kms to scale it.
KP is situated near a pilgrimage called Kukke Subramanya, in South Canara district. Its abt 9 hrs drive from Bangalore and must say a memorable drive :-)

Equipped with this knowledge, I put myself in power saving mode right from the beginning. No talking, no laughing, take baby steps, only small rests, no huge gulps of water..etc etc.. First 3 hours of the trek was through a thick forest. The trees form a nice canopy, making it easy for trekkers. But the forest is so dense, that is very very hot in there. Hence we named the forest as “Sekhe kadu” .The trek through this forest is however very steep, rather steepest of the whole climb I would say.

After this, is abt 1 hour of trek through partial grassland to reach a place called “Battara mane”. Battara mane is a full fledged house with all basic amenities right in the midst of the mountains. I would call it, “Heaven for trekkers!!!”. The battru who lives here makes his living by cooking food for trekkers. He has a farm on this mountain where he grows rice and vegetables needed for his living. We had a tasty meal at his place and a quick nap and moved on to the peak.

The remaining trek was through plain grasslands. 3 hours of trek from the battara mane was to get us to the mantap. But with the sun burning the hell out of us, it took us 5hrs to reach the mantap. The mantap is just a small roof supported by 4 pillars, and no walls :-) We were to spend our night at this place. Near to this mantap was a small stream where we quickly freshened, re-filled out bottles and settled down to watch the sun fade away into the far off skies. The winds were fierce, many a times I felt like they almost blew me off the ground :-) . I sat there for a long time staring into the fading skies, contemplating. There seemed to be a strange similarity between me and the sky, we were both changing very fast indeed and both did not seem to realize if the change was for good or bad. The deep blue sky was now changing colour, and my deep rooted thoughts were changing too. Thus contemplating the day sunk along with me into my sleeping bag :-).

Next morning, we were to trek abt 3 hrs to reach the peak. By 7:00am we grabbed a quick breakfast we had carried and started off. After about 1 hour’s climb we reached Sheshaparvatha. The view from this peak is amazing. A dark cliff, off which white clouds seem to fall off like water….honestly I don’t want to describe the scene with words and do injustice to the beauty there. From the past 10 mins I have been trying to find words to describe the beauty of that place but still not succeeded and now I give up. People you need to see it, no words can describe it.

After abt 2 hours more of climbing through some deep jungles, we reached the peak “Kumraraparvatha” and usual photo sessions took over, I too posed for some. My batteries gave way by then. I requested a trekker from another trek group to take some for me and he gladly agreed, this kind person’s was named Naresh. Got introduced to his friends Sandeep and Dinesh, quickly shook hands, welcomed each other to the peak and off we started back.

Trekking back was not an easy one for me. Its always been difficult for me to climb down, and this one was no exception. But yeah we did have some fun too. We made camp fire, and Puneet came up with a brilliant idea of making a toast in it and did some R&D with bread. Vidya had fallen silent by now, guess it was the chillness that troubled her more than the fatigue. Prithvi and Ranjit came up with a protocol to figure out that Vidya was with us, it was called the Bow Bow protocol. Later I, Puneet and Prithvi somehow hit on this topic of Indian mythology and we talked and talked endless till we actually finished climbing down. We shared a zillion mythological stories, and these made our climb down so much easier for us. Later for a while the topic was Nokia verses Motorola and guess who was defending Motorola??? :-) u guessed it right ppl :-) !!! Once we hit the road, we booked the tickets back to Bangalore and then went to seek blessing from lord almighty, Kukke Subramanya Swamy.

We still had 4 hours to be spent at Kukke before we start off to Bangalore. To kill time, I bought a book abt the historical significance of Kukke. Was surprised to know that the place has so much of history hidden. Later while in the queue for prasadam, I overheard a lady say, “Anything wished for at this place, would be granted”. Had read the same in the book too. So, I then asked the almighty there for something I really want, now waiting eagerly for lord Subramanya to grant me my wish :-)

Along with nature’s best form in display, HP’s timely comments, Sharat’s musical sessions :-)(which he promised he would record and get me a cassette of the same), VKN’s cold stares, Ranjit’s trendy look( courtesy Vidya’s cap), Vidya’s hilarious narration of the story of our reincarnation, and many other small things made the trek an enjoyable one.

I want to do this trek again, with a friend of mine who missed it this time. Kumarapravatha, hopefully we’ll meet again soon. So long See You!!!!