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Kumara Parvatha Trek in One Day

Updated: Mar 7

By now, I have lost the number of times I have been to the top of Kumara Parvatha, aka KP. I started off as a young trekker with Bababudangiri as my first, I was just 14 years and just fell in love with the experience.

Kumara Parvatha is situated in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. At the foothills lies an ancient and famous temple called Kukke Subrahmanya. The temple is filled with history and holds a lot of importance among all Indians.

Right behind the Kukke Subrahmanya temple, standing tall is Shesha Parvatha, with its thick blanket of lush green forest of the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kumara Parvatha or Pushpagiri is the name of the peak which is hidden most of the time and is visible only after crossing Shesha Parvatha, but the entire trail is popularly known as the Kumara Parvatha trek.

The Kumara Parvatha trek covers a distance of 28 kilometres and is usually done over 2 days. Climbing up to slightly more than 1,700 metres (approx. 5,600 feet), Kumara Parvatha is the most challenging trek in Karnataka. And it lives up to its name.

If you are a beginner and would like to consider this as your first trek, recommend you to follow a fitness routine, improve your cardiovascular endurance, strengthen your muscles and do a couple of easy treks such as Nandi Hills trail, Skandagiri and Savandurga, before attempting Kumara Parvatha.

A two-day trek from Kukke, you will stay in camp for a night at the forest check post. This cuts the sleeping bag, tent requirement, you will carry only essential items like raincoat, a pair of clothes, and lunch in a small backpack. 

Kumara Parvatha - One Day Challenge is for the adrenaline seekers and audacious trekkers. No prizes for guessing, I choose the 12 hr challenge this time around. A double peak is still on cards.

Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary comprises numerous terrains: dense forest, thick foliage, lush expanse of meadows, rocks from the volcano, and canopy that gives you respite from the heat. For those who feel and think the descends are easier than the ascends, you will be surprised. The insanely steep sections challenge you, while other non-steeper ones give you moments of breath, look back only to enjoy the landscape and introspection. You’ll be exposed to the majestic mountains, the valleys painted with amazing shades of green, little brooks, and some surprises that nature has to offer en route.

Six of us, with similar mindset and fitness, took on the 12 hour challenge. We would ascend and descend KP from the Kukke side.

Kumara Parvatha in one day
The Super Six

Breaking the trek into three parts.

Part 1 - Kukke to Forest Check post/Bhattara Mane

A small gate and board act as indicators to the trekking trail. From the base of the trek, the trail is very well marked. Follow the trail which takes you deeper into the dense forest.This is dense forest, the thick foliage and canopy and humid.

Enroute to Kumara Parvatha
Enjoying the stream along the way

The deposit paid for plastic packaging is refunded only if you bring back all the plastic that was counted before you carried them to the peak with you. So, make sure you do not litter on the trail and get all the plastic back to the Forest Office with you.

In an hour, you will reach Bheemana Bande or Bheema Rock that serves 2.5km. A small deviation to a gushing stream. Not a long break, just to wash your face & fill your bottle. Post monsoons, there will be leeches on the trail. A few leeches sucking a few drops of blood won't do any harm! While they are there from the beginning of the forest section itself, you will start to notice them while you rest at Bheema rock. At the 7km point, you reach Bhattramane and the check post. Here you pay the entry fee, get your bags checked, freshen up and have an early lunch too. The trail entry fee is Rs 350 per head. This includes trekking fee, trail maintenance fee.

Kumara Parvatha Trek Route map
Trek Route

Part 2 - Bhatramane/Forest Check post to KP -Summit

An hour from this point, you want to stop at Kallumantapa, the climb is hard and the sun is out by then. I personally love this pit stop - it's my chikki point! Enroute is to drink the delicious stream water that flows just below it. Sheshaparvatha is just 45 mins to 1 hour away. The toughest part of the trek is done.

This part of the journey is simply mesmerising and personally I love this to the summit itself. The beauty of the western ghats is the best experience here. Once you reach Sheshaparvatha you’ll witness the majestic Kumara Parvatha in all its glory. With the trail descending for a couple of hundred metres, you’ll soon be at the mercy of the mountain and will have to cross a stream and climb a waterfall to reach your goal! The Summit!

Be extremely careful when placing your foot on slippery rock as you will have very little grip on a wet surface that is topped with slim algae.

Spent my time generously at the peak, taking in the scenery, as you will get a 360° view of the Western Ghats here.

At all summits, I usually lie down, close my eyes for a while and reflect on my journey to the top with gratitude to my body and mind. Noticing the silence and the sounds around.

Kumara Parvatha Trek route
Steep Acsent and equally challenging descent

Part 3 - Descend from KP to Kukke

Stretch a bit, relax overworked ankles for a gruelling descent. We took the same route back. Need extra caution on the tricky sections and move slowly and steadily. A slip may cause you to fall and injure yourself. Well, I did slip and tumble, hurting my right side - areas around my eye, arm, rib and knee.

A stop to refill water at the check post and into the dense forest. It's a must to carry a head lamp and it gets dark by 5:30 pm during winters.

Climb to the top
Kumar Parvatha Summit

I have heard many times, people say - I conquered the mountain. Can you really conquer?The mountain humbles you, mountains are intimidating. They make us realise the enormity of the world. But once I scale the height, I never feel proud but filled with gratitude for allowing me to climb and bring me back safely.

Useful Tips for first time or repeat trekkers

  1. Be Physically and Mentally ready: I think this is the most important tip. As long as you are ready to face challenges, it all becomes a bit easier. Build your strength and endurance, a combination of strength training and weekly runs of 5-10 Km helps.

  2. Gear up like a trekker: Gear up like a trekker, shoes, cap, shades, hydra-pack. You can trek in any shoes but the ones with good ankle support are good. Bandana, trek pants and a dri-fit T shirt and a light rain jacket is a must. Headlamp over the light in your mobile phone is better for the descent.

  3. Carry enough food and quick energy: Dates, chikki (peanut & jaggery), sandwiches, chapati rolls with peanut butter, oranges are my go to. I avoid packaged products.

  4. Keep hydrating: It’s really important to keep drinking water through the trek to avoid fatigue and dehydration. There are many streams along the way, so a 1lt hydrapak or bottle is good enough

  5. Trek lite: Lighter your bag is, easier to walk.

  6. Keep your toenails short: You will thank me for this tip on the descent..

  7. Run-walk-crawl but keep moving: Long breaks at forest check post, Mantapa or Shesha parvatha will mean more effort to restart. So just keep moving, crawl if needed but dont dont stop. Your goal is not to be the first to summit and have energy to descend too while enjoying the beauty.

  8. Respect nature: The forest guards take effort to check bags, count bags but still it breaks my heart to see pieces of plastic bags and bottles. Enjoy the trails, enjoy the silence, soak into nature and refrain from playing music.

Keep trekking and keep the trails clean for the next trekker.


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