Kumaraparvatha is a peak in Western Ghats, Karnataka in the Pushpagiri forest range whose elevation is 1712m. It is known to be the toughest trek in Karnataka. The trek can be done from 2 routes – Kukke side and Somvarpet side. From Kukke side it is 28 kms to and fro done over 2 days camping and is difficult because of continuous ascent/descent trail. From Somvarpet side trek starts from Beedhalli through the Shola forest and total of 14 kms to be done in one day with no camping.
We did the trek from Kukke side and the route is as follows: Kukke temple – Trek entry point (1km) – Bhattaramane (5.5kms) – Forest office (500m) – Camp overnight near forest office/bhattaramane – Next day morning to Kallu Mantapa (2kms) – Sheshaparvatha (2.5kms) – KP peak (2km) – and back to Kukke same day.
People also climb to the peak on the same day but we found it tough as it was very tiring and involves steep ascent in the sun – for this you have to start from Kukke around 6am and cross forest check post by 11am as that is the deadline after which they won’t allow to go to peak same day and should return by 6pm.
Travel : From Bangalore to Kukke you have buses, train – for budget travel you can go for basic KSRTC red bus else you have sleeper as well. Suggest to travel overnight as the journey is over 7 hrs and you can get a room to freshen up for morning – take packed lunch from a restaurant at Kukke – you can dump the extra luggage at the free cloak room at Kukke temple – and start the trek around 10am.
Food : You can easily do this trek on your own as you can eat at Bhattaramane where they provide breakfast, lunch and dinner (Cost Rs.150) on demand and you have to book prior. For other times carry enough energy bars, fruits, ORS (Suggested – Enerzal), water bottles, candies and be mindful to carry your plastic back and not litter the place.
Trek charges : Rs.350 per person. Tent and sleeping bag charges are extra – book them in advance from Bhattaramane or forest camp if you’re not carrying them yourselves. Not sure of the charges. (Make sure to call and confirm beforehand because if it’s a crowded day then you might not get any tents or it might all be already booked.)
You can also go by various packages run by travel agencies from Bangalore – they offer with or without travel options as well.
Trek detailed experience:
30 December 2022 – Thursday night we left from Mysore towards Kukke in KSRTC. The seats were not so comfortable & also very cold that night. We reached Kukke at night 2.30am and walked around for sometime looking for stays. We expected to find a stay easily but because of a function in the temple all the stays were booked. Finally we managed to find one for Rs.900. It was not fully clean but we could spend the night in it. Woke up at 8am, had breakfast at an hotel, checked out and went to Kukke temple cloak room to keep our extra luggage as we wanted to carry only bare minimum on the trek. It’s a free cloak room so you can plan to do that as well. Then we went to Vishnu Bhavan hotel and packed pulav for lunch.
Our trekking bag contained – a tent, 2 sleeping bags, dry fruits, candies, lot of energy bars, a set of clothes, socks, water bottles, torch/headlamp, power banks. Note that you will not be allowed bubblegum if they find it during checking so better not bring it. We took turns in carrying our 8kg backback + a day pack both while climbing and descending.
We walked till the KP trek start point (You can take auto till here as well) which is almost 1km. Then started trek at 10.15am. Just as you enter you can see a big arch and forest checkpost where bag checking for plastic takes place. Also see the don’ts and do’s mentioned here and DO NOT play loud music while trekking in the forest.
First part was steep inside the dense forest for around 4kms. The path goes on with roots of trees forming natural steps for us 🙂 You will get negligible descent for just 2 times which is a rare sight on this trek. Regular signboards after each km are fixed on the trees if you keep an eye for it. After about 2.5km you get Doddkallu or the big stone which is the 1st resting point + a whole lot of other resting points which you will make on your own 😉
Continue for another 2km till it becomes more steep and you reach top of forest cover. From here on the route spirals to two – one is shortcut & steep whereas the other is gradual ascent. We always take the gradual one as it does not tire you quickly. You can take the other one if feeling very adventurous 🙂 Go for another km and you’ll reach “Bhattaramane” – ಅನ್ನ ದೇಗುಲ they call it. As this is the only home where they serve food else you have to carry food on your own. We ordered food for dinner here and then proceeded towards camping spot near forest office which is another 500m from here.
The food you get served is simple rice + rasam, pickle and buttermilk for Rs.150 for this you have to order prior. We reached forest checkpost at 1.15pm and pitched our tent. We had our packed lunch and the remaining was rest day as we planned to go for summit next day. At 5pm we went to watch the beautiful sunset which is visible a point nearby and stayed there till 6.30pm. We had dinner at 8pm at Bhattaramane and called it a day.
31st December 2022: We woke up at 4.30am and freshened up. There are only 4 washrooms here which are not cleanly maintained by the trekkers who come here. Again a bag checking takes place by the officers before allowing us to go for the peak at 5.30am – they take a count of all the plastic we have and after coming back it has to be the same else a fine of Rs.500 has to be paid. So we started our trek by 5.45am. Make sure to start early to skip the crowd and the sun as far as possible!
Taking our torch and headlamp we kept walking on the trail of stones barely visible. First group which started had 2 couples and behind them was the 2nd group of college boys of around 12. Next were us. After 2.5kms we reached Kallu Mantapa and it was already 6.30am and bright. We had our energy bars and dates here as breakfast and continued. Sun had already risen on the opposite side hidden behind the mountains hence we were not getting hit by the rays directly yet.
Next it was ridge walk for 15mins and then the steep ascent started on the muddy + loose gravel trail. It was also windy that day which also added to the task. We climbed continously soaking in the views nearby – it resembled the Himalayan treks as we could see so many peaks nearby at this height. We took brief 30s-1min breaks stopping in between and not sitting as it spoils momentum and will take body more time to adjust back on track.
After about 1.5kms we get “Shesha Parvatha” which is another rest point + View point. We had some oranges here and proceeded towards the peak which is just 1km from here. After this there is descent and beautiful forest walk but also be careful as there are 2 trails as the forest ends – one is full of rocks and steep path and the other one on the left is you have to climb a huge boulder carefully and traverse through a small forest trail and bushes to reach the same rocky path till the top. We took the easier forest trail path since we followed another group.
Climb these rocks and you will reach another easy boulder walk which takes you to the peak. There is a small “Linga” or the Shiva temple on top. We reached the peak at 9am and were really happy with the pace and also this was our long awaited trek from 3 years! We had some more energy bars, rested for sometime and started descending at 9.45am – reached forest office back at 1.30pm. Immediately packed our tent and bags and went to Bhattaramane for lunch. It was 2.30pm by the time we again started down.
We had to reach Mangalore the same day and we knew the last bus was at 5.30pm so had to reach bus stand by that time. Already tired, but still we descended as fast as we could and by 5pm we were down at the starting point. On the way we met almost 300+ trekkers climbing and 100+ crowd was already present at the base-camp when we had started to come down. This was because it was Dec 31st. We had predicted this crowd and went a day before i.e Dec 30-31 when there was very little crowd. The crowd at the peak makes it difficult because of – limited washrooms, limited resources like water and food + the trail get’s overly crowded and we cannot walk at our own pace.
Thanks to the shop owner at the starting point of the trek who dropped us till the bus stop – & after much difficulty we managed to get back our baggage from cloak room and run to catch the last bus to Mangalore.
This concludes our trek story to the mighty Kumaraparvatha. Do leave a comment if you have any questions, suggestions, feedback on the blog which will help me improve too 🙂