Kumara Parvatha trek is one of the toughest treks in the Western Ghats, South India located in Pushpagiri reserve forest near Kukke Subramanya town. Please find the complete Guide for the Kumara Parvatha below:
[su_note]Note: As mentioned earlier camping at peak is banned. But it is allowed almost anywhere between Bhattrumane and the forest dept. Campfire is NOT allowed anywhere except in the case when camping is done next to forest dept. One can trek till the camping location and start trekking till peak next day even as early as 3 – 3:30 AM. The forest department at the Kumara Parvatha has also warned of lightening strike at the Kumara Parvatha peak. [/su_note]
Kumara Parvatha Trek Guide:
Kumara Parvatha trekking routes:
There are two trekking routes to Kumara Parvatha trek:
- From Somwarpet
- From Kukke Subramanya
From Somwarpet side, it is one day of hiking. There are more waterfalls en route and deep forests as well. Total hiking distance from Somwarpet side is around 6 to 7 Kms one side.
From Subramanya side, it is a longer trek. Total hiking distance from Subramanya to Kumara Parvatha peak is around 16 Kms. There are meadows, greenery, and the view of the Western Ghats. Also, the Pushpagiri reserve forest lies on the way which is famous for flowers after monsoon.
How to reach Subramanya, Kumara Parvatha Trek starting point?
One can reach Subramanya from Bangalore by bus or train. There are direct buses from Bangalore to Subramanya which can be booked online at KSRTC websites. There are also direct trains from Bangalore to Subramanya. However, Subramanya bus stand is nearer to the Subramanya town from where the Kumara Parvatha trek begins. If you go by train, Subramanya railway station is around 20 Kms from Subramanya town. So you will have to take a jeep from the railway station to Subramanya town.
Try to arrive at the railway station or the bus stand in the morning so that you can start the trek early. There are toilets in the main street of Subramanya temple where you can get fresh in the morning. There are also shops which open in the morning. You can have breakfast there in the morning and also pack some food before starting for the Kumara Parvatha trek.
Kumara Parvatha trekking route:
Below is the map of Kumara Parvatha trekking route. Here is a link to Kumara Parvatha Hiking Trail Map. You can easily download this map and use GPS to guide yourself while climbing the trek. For more details refer the map below.
Kumara Parvatha Camping sites:
Earlier people used to camp at the Kumara Parvatha peak but now it has been banned by the forest department of Girigadde or Pushpagiri. Now you can camp only nearer to the Mantapa or nearer to the forest department office. You are not allowed to camp at the Kumara Parvatha Peak.
However, forest department allows you to go to the peak but you will have leave behind your tent and camping gears at the forest department office. You will have to return by evening and pitch your camp there.
Kumara Parvatha contact information:
Bhatru mane (have advance booking) +91-9448647947, +91-9480230191, +91-8151036344
Forest camp, Girigadde, Kumara Parvatha contact number: Jayaraju: +91-9449475506, +91-9141226784
Bhatru Mane, Kumara Parvatha (Fooding & Lodging):
Bhatru mane is the mid-point of the Kumara Parvatha trek. It comes just before the forest department office. You can get food at the Bhatru Mane but you will have book your food in advance. Each meal costs around 100 per plate. In the section above, their number is shared. You need to call them before the trek about the number of people coming to have lunch or dinner or both and on what date. They understand mostly Kannada. Do not expect them to speak English or Hindi if they might have learned over the years then that’s a different thing.
Kumara Parvatha local guide:
You can get a local guide at this number 8105103634. They arrange and organize Kumara Parvatha trek from Subramanya, the base of the Kumara Parvatha trek. They have the pickup facility from the railway station at 5 AM as well. I think they charge around 1200 rupees per person. But better you should call and confirm with them.
Kumara Parvatha trek Plan:
If you are going on your own. Below is the plan I would like to recommend for you:
- Get down at subramanya and get fresh at the public toilets on the main street of Subramanya temple
- Have early breakfast from the shops in the same street and also pack some lunch if you do not want to pay at Bhatru mane.
- Reach forest department office, pay the forest entry charges and leave behind your camping gears to Kumara Parvatha trek (remember camping is not allowed at the peak).
- Enjoy at the peak and return and pitch camp near forest department or at Mantapa.
Kumara Parvatha trekking tips:
Here are some tips about how to avoid leeches, Kind of trekking shoe and Tent Guide
Go on next page for my Kumara Parvatha trekking experience.
And the journey begins @ 5 am:
Use Snuff powder in socks and shoes to avoid them. Keep on looking for them in shoes/socks time and then. Sleepy small town, cold and windy. Luckily they have public toilets for temple there, get freshen up. Let local shops open. Eat, get packed heavily for lunch. Take some spare food too. Ask local for the route to Kumara parvatha. After an half kilometer walk, you will see a board to Kumara Parvataha.
Old & dark woods; smell it; feel it; walk as much as you can before sun becomes too hot.
Cover as much of distance as possible before sun says a warm “hi”. Sun shows its face now. Rays filtering through woods dripping, scattering over the trail. It is a mirage and an eye-candy. Heat & sweat. Wipe them.
8 am: Leech forest crossed:
The twin peaks, Marigundi and Shesha Parvatha from a distance inviting you. You will have to cross them to reach Kumara Parvatha. Bhatru mane from this point is just 5-10 minutes away.
9 am: Bhatru mane, Kumara Parvatha
Note: There is a hut here maintained by some people you have to call them and book your lunch here.
Phone number of Bhatru mane: +919448647947 and +919480230191
Now, if you are planning to stay there at Bhatru mane, you can go and explore places like sunset point (near by). Have breakfast next day morning and start again to Kumara Parvatha or Move ahead.
And so we moved on. From Bhatru mane, it takes 5 mins to reach sunset point.
But we reached around 9/10. Still the panoramic view of western ghats are awesome here.
It’s a photographer’s paradise. Sit on the chairs there. Lonely; realize; resound; wonder; enjoy; see a philosopher and nature lover inside. A true place where you can discover outside and within.
Never ending magnificent view of western hills range. Walk little further and you reach at forest check point. Pay the fees to enter Pushpagiri wildlife and move on ahead. Took the entry passes and enter the wildlife. Keep moving ahead soldier. Enjoy the beauty around.
Grasses; trees; flowers; meadow; hills- Life must be so beautiful here.
12 noon: Kallu mantapa, Kumara Parvatha
A four pillars structure. There is a water source here. (fill bottles here). All around is the grassland and flowers. I encountered almost 10-20 types of different varieties of flowers.
And grasses are of around 1-2 feet of height. From here begins the reality check of how hard hiker are you. The gradient of 40-50 degree of steepness. Man! you have to push yourself and others too.
Lean forward. Did your back hurt? Are you trying hard to maintain the center of gravity?
Stop. Look behind for others. Push them. pull them. Watch your steps; don’t let them find a cramp or bent.
2 pm: sitting over Marigundi and Shesha Parvatha
The view at Marigundi and Shesha Parvatha are breathtaking. We wanted to sit there forever and keep on looking at abyssal depth of valley and clouds.
Or just call it our fatigue which had occurred while climbing steep for an hour or so. One side of the mind was telling us to give up and pitch tent there itself. But other side of the mind was telling to continue. Having no regrets in future because we already had scaled 90% of the trek. Though it was tiring but beauty comes after a lot of sweat always.
“Get up guys let’s move on, before it gets too dark, cold and windy”.
Sitting their after lot of calf muscles exercise was most soothing part of the trek.
Put your hands on ground. Push yourself up.
-It was time to move on.
From Shesha Parvatha, one more trek through leech forest but little downhill.
That’s the only relief. Though, final part of the trek requires last uphill trek to reach Kumara Parvatha. we came across a very small stream with little flowing water.
Climb down or almost run for 15-20 minutes and then climb up for 30-45 minutes and you are at the peak. Removed shoe at little running stream. Girls almost fainted 🙂
It was paining and a leech was half stuck inside. Had to pull that out. washed legs in cold water. heavenly pleasure
6 pm: Kumara Parvatha top
A human amidst nature. It was cold; It was foggy; It was windy. Tea? did not help. Maggy soup? lost its warmth easily like we did. Collect dry woods. pitch tent; somebody go and fetch water before its too dark. Cover the bags at one place with tarpaulin.
How I felt there?
A sheep lamb caught at almost 5600 feet. Weather then? cold & windy; dark; misty; clouds had began to wash our face. We covered the bags. why? those had got drenched overnight. Pitching the tent was hardest job then almost equal to pitching frozen woods in frozen weather with hands shivering.
Soups were as tasty as never before. Sleeping bag was never such warm ever. Winds were never such thrilling, cold and hellishly whispering in our ears. I never felt so much conscious before, inside sleeping tent. What if a hyena whiskers me at night and smell the human inside. Slipped inside sleeping bag. When I was asleep never realized.
5 am: Sunrise at Kumara Parvatha peak
Sun was hiding in the clouds at Horizon
Opened eyes. wiped my hands through my hair. It was wait. Ran outside to see bags. One of my shoes was not covered properly and half of it was wet like someone had poured water over it. One of my friends called me. I was standing on the edge.
Down below? Clouds. White like cotton, smooth, perky, soft and light.
Up above? Were the mist and gentle cold wind.
Sun was light orange and so were the clouds. Sun turned orange and so were the clouds.
sun turned little white and clouds turned silvery. Here goes a chunk of clouds leaving its family and getting dissolved in azure sky. another too. Clouds breaking away.
The tiny dark forest down below were visible now. Still clouds were playing hide and seek with them. The orange warmth and I, standing facing the sun. The planet within meeting the sun. The natural magic lasted for half an hour and disappeared before our naked eyes.
Truth remained there. Footsteps were left behind. We were packing our memories.
Nature had already made me fall in love with her. With the last sip of we started trekking down with a vow to Kumara Parvatha that I would come and see you again darling!
And, we returned with last sip of tea under orange sun
Kumara Parvatha Photos:
Shesha Parvatha in the background in December
Sunset in western GhatsMonsoon clouds over Kumara ParvathaDry Kumara parvatha in winterVivid sunset over Kumara ParvathaThe town of Kukke subramanya as pictured from on the way to Kumara Parvatha, almost after 8 kms up the hill