Thursday, January 3, 2013

Primitive Adventure-Kumaraparvatha/Pushpagiri

  Type "KUMARAPARVATHA TREK" in Google and you will get to see at least 100 blogs indicating how famous this peak is among trekkers be it professional or amateurs. 
Kumaraparvatha also known as Pushpagiri from Coorg is the third highest peak in Karnataka standing at 1712 m on the border of Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts. This peak is accessible from Kukke Subramanya as well as from Beedhalli(A village near Somwarpet, Coorg).

A VIEW FROM THE PEAK

We choose to trek from Somwarpet since its located nearby to my hometown Madikeri. We planned to trek during the Christmas holidays and that being yearend most of our group members decided to miss the trip due to prior commitments.  So only four of us i.e. me and my wife Roshni, Deepak and his sister Divya decided to go ahead with our plans. Of course at one point of time even the women wanted to miss the trip but then finally agreed to join us.
This time we wanted to stay at the peak overnight pitching tents. I have trekked a lot before but never stayed overnight on any peak. The only luggage we used to carry while trekking was beer bottles, some more beer bottles and some more beer bottles. That used to be a very important life saving drug for us. However this time we decided to carry tents and give alcohol a miss. At least that's what I thought but Deepak had his own plans.
Our schedule was to stay at my place in Madikeri, leave early morning to visit Malahalli falls en route to Beedhahalli, then come back to Somwarpet and Roshni's uncle would drop us near the peak and would keep our car with him.
We make lot of plans before every trip but we hardly keep up with the scheduled timings and this trip was no different. We planned to leave Bangalore by 3:30 PM but left around 6:30 in the evening. By the time we reached my home in Madikeri it was 12:30 mid night. Then we laid down all of our stuff at my home to decide who would carry what. So in front of me lay 2 tents, 4 sleeping bags, 5 tetra packs of Tropicana juice, 15 small packs of Amul buttermilk, a packet of chocolates, a full plum cake, 3 packets of dates, 4 packets of cashew nuts, 2 torch, 2 battery light lamps, 3 packets of biscuits, camera's, sweaters, jackets, wet tissues and many more stuff I don't really remember.(We were yet to buy water) It was like we had drawn our PF's and had decided to stay at the peak and never come back. We had no time now to decide what to carry and what not to carry. So we finished our packing trying to keep the girl's backpack as light as possible, but with so much of stuff they also ended up being quite heavy. By the time we were done with packing it was almost 2:30 AM. So we decided to skip visiting the falls, have a good sleep and leave for the peak as early as possible. The good sleep extended till 8 o clock in the morning and by the time we left Madikeri it was almost 10:00 am. Somwarpet is about 38 kms from Madikeri and Beedhalli is 28 kms from Somwarpet.  In most of the blog people have mentioned that post November all the streams dry up and one must carry enough water to the peak.
We had our breakfast in Somwarpet and bought 8 water bottles of 1 liter each. So each one of us had to carry 2 water bottles. My wife's uncle's neighbor dropped us near the temple and we started our trek from there. 

THE TEMPLE BEFORE THE FOREST OFFICE

It was half a kilometer from the temple to the APC forest office. It is a jeep road and has no trees along the way with the afternoon sun dancing over our heads. We were tired by the time we reached the forest office.

THE JEEP TRACK

 One has to pay 200rs per head as entry fee and fill up their details in a form with the guards there. You can always bargain with them. Upon knowing that we were from Coorg we got a discount without even asking for it. Once we got down from the forest office, we reached a stream with water still flowing in it. But we had sufficient water with us and so it wasn't of much use to us.


The trek is pretty easy till 2 kms amidst the thick jungles with elephant dung everywhere. The forest department has put of sign boards all along the path with the distance as well and there is no question of getting lost anywhere. 


The peak is 7 kms from the forest office.After about 2 .5 kms the gradient changes and the climb becomes steep. We took short breaks in between eating orange, glucose, buttermilk and chocolates. We drank less water trying to save as much as possible. The trek started to get tougher and our backpacks were become heavier with each step. The girls were very tired and rightly so. After some time Divya became very tired and Deepak along with his bag started to carry her bag as well. Roshni was still going strong. 


After sometime we reached the view point and Roshni tried to reach out to a particular bottle of water but Deepak was quick enough to stop her. Even Divya asked Deepak to let Roshni drink water but Deepak didn't allow her to. Even I was a bit surprised but then thought maybe he was trying to save water. 


Mid way we met a group of trekkers who were getting down. They said that the trek would get tougher and tougher and warned us to carry enough water. We reached a place where there was a mountain of rock at an inclination of 40 to 50 degrees. It was pretty steep and a bit slippery as well. Divya was very scared and kept asking Deepak to hold her. This poor guy Deepak had to carry 2 backpacks and also hold her hand and help her out. Mid way Deepak left Divya to get his back and Divya started to shiver with her hands trembling like anything. I was confused if she was really trembling or if the earth was shaking. She looked like Michael Jackson performing to song "THRILLER". 


Finally we finished the rock climbing and took some rest. Our energies were almost drained out. Deepak was sweating profusely and was extremely tired. After 10 minutes of trekking again we came across another rock mountain and this seemed pretty worse. Divya again started her Michael Jackson performance and this time I helped both the girls to climb it. Deepak stopped mid way unable to carry the luggage anymore. Roshni helped him to carry one of the backpack till we crossed the rock mountain.


Deepak, took off his backpack and told Divya that "Even a donkey carrying so much luggage would have died by now". Rest of the trek Deepak kept teasing Divya that she betrayed him. Finally we reached the peak around 4:30 in the evening. The peak is not as beautiful or clean as we had imagined and rightly so since so many trekkers camp here every weekend. There is a small temple built out of stone at the peak. One can find so many burnt out camp fires there. We immediately fixed our tents before it got dark. By the time we finished hooking up the tents a group of 6 guys reached the peak. I overheard them talking that they were screwed since they reached the peak at the wrong time. They could not attempt to get down since it was getting dark and they didn't have necessary gear to spend the night there. Within 5 minutes another group of at least 10 Malayalee guys reached the peak. They kept talking like a group of crows. The presence of so many people unnerved me a bit. We had planned to stay at the peak on a Sunday night hoping there won't be any trekkers but I was wrong. It was getting dark and we decided not to have any camp fire. We played cards, had some food and finally Deepak opened his water bottle revealing it was "white rum". Me and Deepak had couple of sips to help us keep warm and finally decided to go to bed early. We all were very tired and I expected to enjoy a very good sleep in that cozy tent but nature had other plans for me.
Both me and my wife kept tossing and turning for about 2 hours trying to sleep but to no avail. The ground where we had pitched the tent was uneven and that added to our woes.


It was 11:30 now and all of a sudden heavy winds started to blow. The group of guys who were sleeping near our tent got up due to the unbearable cold and started boozing and talking. The winds got stronger and every time it blew I felt the tent would fly away. I could hear the Malayalee guys screaming on the other side. Every time the wind would blow my wife would clench my hands and my heart would pound faster.
I watch crime patrol on Sony channel a lot and the Delhi gang rape case was fresh in my mind. Thoughts were flowing in my mind if I did the right getting my wife here??? Should I have left her at home and just came here with my male friends??? What if the tent flies away??? What if the other group attacks us???


And then I tried convincing myself that there was no way the tent could fly since i had tied it to huge rocks. And the other group was conversing about other trekking experiences and they didn't sound aggressive at all.
But still that didn't decrease my heart beat rate. We were just 2 guys and we are no super heroes. I kept praying to God that if we are alive by morning I would never take my wife once again to stay on a peak.(This is exactly what I pray when I have a bad hangover. I pray to god that if he relives me out of this hangover, I promise I will never drink again. As soon as I am fine I back to what I was doing earlier).
I was wondering if Deepak was sleeping peacefully or if he was awake just like me. Roshni somehow fell asleep while I stayed awake all night. I was just waiting for morning so that this wind would slow down. I heard Deepak coming out of his tent to wake me up and realized it was morning. He was surprised when I responded to his call immediately. Staying awake all night had made so thirsty, that I immediately snatched the bottle from Deepak and took a large sip. EEWWWW.. It was not water. It was rum.. I immediately spit it out and Deepak stood there laughing loudly. Its not that I don't like rum but I wasn't prepared for such a surprise in the morning.
I asked Deepak how was the night and he had exactly the same things to tell me. The only extra thought to which he feared was elephants attacking our tents.


We kept taking photos of sunrise which was so fantastic on the peak. The sun was playing hide and seek amidst the mist and the sky kept changing its colors every 5 minutes. Photos can't do any justice to the wonder of nature we were witnessing neither my words.


Ever since I saw all the gods especially Lord Vishnu sleeping on clouds in Ramayana, I always had a fascination for clouds like as if they are soft cozy bundles of blue cotton. I certainly got to see such clouds here minus the gods.


The girls woke up and joined us and we took as many photographs possible till the battery ran out.


 We enjoyed cakes and Tropicana juice. We had used very little amount of water in order to save and now we were left with so much water that we just drank it in order to lessen our luggage. After the sun was completely out we packed our tent and saw the other groups had already left. Finally it was just four of us on the peak as I had imagined.
Getting down the peak was comparatively easy and we took lot of breaks in between since we didn't have any schedule to keep up with.


Roshni called up her uncle who promptly came near the temple to pick us up.
This was the most difficult trek of my life since I carried lot of unnecessary luggage. Also the night on the peak was the scariest night of my life. But all these things won't deter me from going for treks in future but will plan well and my wife will certainly accompany me.

"Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb." -Greg Child 

THE TEAM-FROM L TO R- Deepak, Divya, Roshni, Ponnappa

33 comments:

  1. eagarly was waiting for ur blog, its well written, i had been to KP last year, i had chosen the route from kukke but reading ur blog i could just finish my trek from somwarpet route. It was fun reading ur blog specially the thoughts that went in ur mind at night hehehehe its time to enrol ur wife to some KUNG FU class or JUDO class, hmmm pics are too good wat else ??? keep trekking keep writing all the best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey.. Thanks Shrikanth.. Yes.. The night was really scary.. Good luck for ur next trek!!

      Delete
  2. interesting !! yet funny at time, nice narration though

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Shiv.. Thank u for visiting my blog..:)

      Delete
  3. Awesome trip narration. Felt that i was alos part of trip and i was along with you guys on the entire trip. Pictures are really awesome.Keep writting. Enjoyed this trip virtually.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice trekking, you guys have enjoyed a lot. Nice explanation on Fear in night stay with pretty scaryness, overall its good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome place... Your narration is as good as the place.. By looking at the pictures only we can say how awesome is that place... I think we(Me, Pramod and Ravi) missed a lot by not coming to this trip...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya dude, u were missed more than ever before. Since I had to carry most of the luggage with 2 girls accompanying us.. U would have been of great help...:-)

      Delete
    2. Yes Shivu.. More than u missing this trip, we missed u guys a lot since u guys could have reduced our luggage..

      Delete
  6. nice place and more than that I liked your narration. A simple thing you explained in a super way. Felt like reading a article in newspaper.
    by nammuruganeshgudi

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ponnappa I've read all your blogs. Reading your blogs makes me feel that I'm experiencing what ever you are reciting. It's really wonderful maga. Kepp posting..eagerly waiting for the next one.....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ponnappa I've read all your blogs. Reading your blogs makes me feel that I'm experiencing what ever you are reciting. It's really wonderful maga. Kepp posting..eagerly waiting for the next one.....

    Cheers,
    Prashanth

    ReplyDelete
  9. beautiful post !!! informative exciting and with some lovely photographs !! very nice !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely pictures and fascinating narrative.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Simple language and lot of information with perfect pics makes this post distinctive ! TFS :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. It felt like we readers are trekking along. Very well described and lovely captures :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I read this whole post like a thriller! I guess this is the result of having seen so many movies where the trekking goes wrong. But really, I loved all the lucid, personal details. I love it when people write about their own feelings. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That night made this trip a memorable one.. So the blog would have been incomplete if I didn't write about that night..

      Delete
  14. interesting.. and lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazing shots....... Nice and interesting description....

    ReplyDelete
  16. alla ra ad ennane sudden aith writer aitye

    ReplyDelete
  17. Within 5 minutes another group of at least 10 $^#3546 guys reached the peak. They kept talking like a group of crows :p lol

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a wonderful post about your travel blogspot.Thank you for sharing it in your blog.Book your tickets in the leading travel operators like SVR Travels if your planning to travel

    ReplyDelete