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It was nearing 5 PM and we were worried.It had rained continuously for the past two days in the mountains and now we were in the middle of nowhere. After collecting firewood for our night stay we were climbing the peak from the rocky side away from the regular trail. We knew the two met at the top but the top was still a 25 minutes hike from where we were. Girish had moved ahead and was now out of sight and out of our vocal range.

And then I looked behind the entire valley had disappeared the stone shed.. bhatts house... rangers hut all had disappeared in a thick cover of cloud and it was now moving uphill!! our pace brisk-ed and then we saw Girish a few meters uphill from where we were he assured us that the trail lay-ed near by and we all rushed towards it looking back we saw a great mountain of white rushing towards us keeping pace and then we knew we were screwed! The clouds will bring rains making the entire track muddy and slippery. The nearest shelter was half an hour away. As we watched in awe visibility rapidly dropped to a few meters and we held hands ready to spend the entire night where we were right now.

For those who missed the trek....

Kumar parvata an unfinished odyssey

To escape from pestering devotees the gods sought refuge in various unaccessible places. While his dad sought relief in the himalayan mountains of kailash. Kartik aka Kumarswami found relief in the peak called Kumarparvata a place well guarded by misty mountains, snakes, leeches and sholas.

And so it was to this destination that we sought to escape for the weekend with the enthu. of people like Ganesh(now that Divyesh has gone to the himalayas) we started our plans. As usual our first point of reference was Mr Ravishankar of 'The Wild' who helped us in deciding a trek route which is strenuous as well as free from hassles of getting permissions from the authorities, and so it started with Girish, Ganesh, Me, Arindam, Vikas & Mukul.

As Murphy uncle said things went wrong. The tents were already booked by others, there were no sleeping bags, backpacks were rare to find, arindams friend decided to pay a visit and Vikas came down with flu! And then we found that Moin was having similar problems with his trek group. And so it was that the group was modified to consists of Gans, Girish, Mukul, Moin and Me. Backpacks and sleeping mats were arranged for and at 8PM we met at KempaGowda Bus stand and our journey started.

Reaching Kukesubramanyam at 6 in the morning we found all Choultries to be booked and took some time to find a Choultry where we can finish our early morning chores. After distributing the load and having our breakfast we made our way towards the forest....

The trek starts

To the right of the Temple (This is a temple town) there are a few cassette shops a bank and a way which beckons the trekkers. After walking a Km or so we came across a sign which told us that the way to the Kumar Parvata is to our left on following this path we moved along the fenced border of Pushpagiri Reserve forest our trek took us through the forest the progress was laborious. I kept Lagging behind and finally every one pitted in and lightened my load and we moved on sweating all the way

The route is excellent and the view marvelous and the day people who go for trekking become environmentally conscious the path wont be littered with plastic, ORS packets, Glucose and gutkha sachets, wrappers to all kind of food stuff and medicine,and the occasional bottle of alcohol (Personal Note to Rahul:This is what happens when one says rules are meant to be broken) . Due to the rain in the past few days the route was covered by ants and termites who scurried around rebuilding their nests and so we went huffing and puffing through the jungle. On the way we came across a few guys from Rajaji Nagar who had started their trek from Somwarpeth and were descending from our end. They recommended that we cover our shoes with white lime which acts as an leech repellent and seeing their legs covered by blood we were willing to heed any advice that would save us from the infernal leeches.

Coming out of the woods we started climbing our first peak the woods were sparse now and we could feel the sun. Bhats house was nowhere to be seen. And we were getting eager to see it when we saw a directional note on one of the rock which assured us that our destination was near but since the note was in kannada we were not sure what it said and then on turning the corner we saw a hut! Hooray we had reached our base point! we rushed towards the place only to find it locked :-( but finding a shelter was enough for us and we unflurred our mats removed our shoes and prepared for a noon siesta while Girish spent the last remains of his energy to locate Mr Bhatt he returned to inform us that the place where we were was not bhatts house! It was a Hut being used by the forest department and so with heavy heart and even heavier legs we moved on towards Bhatts house. After resting for a while having a meal of sprouted grams we moved on leaving Mukul and most of our luggage behind.

The track ahead moved up and down some minor hills before we started climbing our first peak the sky was getting darker and the best option was to spend the night in the open so we gathered some dry wood deposited it at the shelter and made our way up the peak. And it was here that we were caught by an upward going avalanche of clouds as we waited suddenly as it had come upon us the clouds went away and we moved on.

What's an hour for a forester is 2 for the city slicker. And so when evening descended upon us and we were no where near our destination we did what tiiers are best at doing we had a meeting ;)with gans insisting we go on and others vetoing him and since we outnumbered him 3 to 1 we made out way back to bhatts house. It was getting dark when we reached there mukul was now joined by some other trekkers who having more wisdom than us had decided to stay back for the night and continue the rest of the trek the following day. Now trekking is not the same as checking emails and unless you take care to remain fit throughout the year a trek can easily exhaust you and having driven ourselves too hard trying to complete the trek in one day I knew I had reached my limit. Declaring that I wont be able to get up the next day and the others can continue without me I fell down on the waiting mat and had no difficulty finding sleep I don't know the time when dinner was ready, but it was, and we woke up to finish it and returned to our slumber.

Early next morning through my sleep I could here others hurrying around as they prepared to continue with the trek that was around 6 am I am told and to know what they did after that I would recommend that you go through girish's excellent version of this trek here(Girish where is your page?).

We all love to be woken up with a good morning kiss and so around 10 am when flies started hovering around us and kissing all over our face Mukul and I arose from our bed to convince them that we were still alive and they better find some other creature to shower their affection. It was still misty outside with visibility no more than a few meters we had a quick brush and tea and we entered the nearby woods where we had a good breakfast of fresh guava. The rest of the afternoon was devoted to exploring the surrounding area. Girish and others came back around 3PM after a successful experience and by the time we had our mid-day meals and prepared to depart nightfall was but only a few hours away. Now when ever you go on a trek you should never forget to bring a flashlight its better to have a nice powerful one I think there should be at least one flashlight per person or one in between two... It so happened the another group of trekkers who had left bhatts house before us were trapped in what cricketers call as bad light and not having the advantage of a 10000 Watt floodlight above them decided to wait for us and as we descended we found them halfway waiting for us so using just 2 flashlights a group of some 11 ppl prepared to descend along the narrow jungle paths in a single file(we will have to wait until some minister decides to go on a trek then we will have a nice 100ft tarred and leveled road on all our trek routes) and so stumbling in darkness we finally completed our trek.

Back in the town after a refreshing bath near the temple.we went to pay our respect to the supreme being, had our meals in a restaurant, Managed to obtain our ticket's and departed to Bangalore

Note: Many other trekkers echoed the same view. So dont plan to complete the trek in a single day. Go half way on the first day(You may or may not choose to enjoy Bhatt's Hospatility) take a rest and finish on the following day.

If you are interested in sharing your trekking experiences/reports or meet other trekkers join the trekking forum