A Trek which literally broke me – Kumar Parvata

Well, those of you who haven’t heard of Kumar Parvata, it is one of the highest peaks in Karnataka and hosts the route of the longest and the most difficult trek in the state. I shall not indulge further into KP details, since that is freely available on google.

I shall use this space to divulge my experience with the trekking group Abhiyana. The group was introduced to me by a friend giving reference as cost-effective and super-fun. I had gone on treks earlier with several other trekking groups, and was keen to try a new one for a change!

The journey started on Friday evening and as always happens, I was apprehensive about the crowd in the group since I travel alone and get introduced to new people on-board every time 🙂 Luckily for me, it was one of the most super-fun, helpful and enthusiast group of people I have had the pleasure of traveling with so far! The trek began at this very base

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Everyone started on an extremely high note – being extremely innocent about the fact that we are going to carry bagpack plus sleeping bag plus sleeping mat plus tent for the next 7 kms ( Read: highly-ambitious-and-stupid Ankita! 😛 ). Well, as they say, slow-death is the worst death – I got to experience the trailer this time.

Staircases made of tree branches and trunks, each step 1 feet apart, we climbed and climbed and when I stopped to ask Sagar – our lead if we had almost completed 2 kms, the look on his face and the evil grin made me cringe and die a little inside.. his exact words being – “If it makes you happy, 2 kms it is” 😥  “Stairway to Heaven” seemed really real here!!!

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My back was pulling me back and every step I took made me realize how extremely stupid decision it was to think that I would be able to make it to the peak very easily. Well, my confidence came from conquering peaks like Mullyanagiri, Tadiyandamol, Chembra, Skandagiri and many more hikes which I was able to do without a break! God finally decided to test my patience and stamina here.

All the prayers I knew and all the energy I had was slowly being sucked out of my soul when I couldn’t see the end to that stupid forest trail ever!Taking a look at my very desperate and sad face, Venkatesh and Kumar decided to off-load my luggage and would not let me stop at all. Kumar went on to offer electrol as well, I really felt like an ICU patient then 😛

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Come-on Ankita, don’t stop here…..

Well, somehow after a few more kms, we finished the forest trail and landed at a very scenic stop, post-which I would just not budge! ~~5 more mins please ~~ Then my prayers were answered when we had to wait for Pavan and party to arrive for water.

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Yea,well – KILL ME NOW!

On we continued, to the grace of God landing at an extremely scenic location where Pavan’s idea of selfies materialized like anything! Posing for good clicks is something which would pump loads of energy in me – people tried to bribe me with pics later to make me move! 😀

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Aren’t we all super-happy to see the fifty shades of green above and the lovely scenery behind. But Pavan was the party pooper to announce “Guys! Let’s start, we are half-way done!” WHAT! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME! My head started spinning and I would have really punched him there had I been the only one crying about it! 😛

Well, we started again, and by this time I had given up the idea of going to the peak after reaching Bhattaramane. To which, Pavan bribes me with Snickers. Snickers?? Really?? When the back and legs are paining like hell and you feel like dying, a massage would have been a better offer.. 😥

The idea of clicking also seemed destitute at this point. I just wanted to reach the stop and lie and die and whatever. Someone shorten this freaking damn journey for me! Never have I ever experienced a pain this kind, that I actually had to lie down and sleep for 15 mins on the way before we could reach the stop.

All said and done, we reach the stop and grab lunch. This is when I get to know that the rest of the group had left for the peak. I don’t know what happened to me, but I was soo pissed and angry and sad that I decided to try for the peak as well. So, Pavan, Manu, Veena and I start post-lunch to reach KP or the nearest we can to KP.

This is when the mighty sun decides to punish me for even thinking about moving more and comes out in the full bloom. I couldn’t take the heat and the burn on the skin and suddenly the discomfort you get on doing some physical activity post-food started. It’s like the universe didn’t want me to take any step further. At this point, I was almost in tears begging Pavan to go back. But these people wouldn’t stop and kept bribing me about reaching the first mile-stone “Mantapa” – that place never seemed to come to sight however much I walked and hiked. Many pit-stops ahead and almost killing myself in the process, I could finally reach Mantapa.

And that’s when the universe decided to reward us for all the hard-work and toil with the most brilliant weather ever. With the first step of descent, the clouds starting engulfing the mountains. Pavan pointed us ahead to the mountain range being showered on by heavy rains – a sight none of us can ever forget. The clouds were making a dash to the mountain we were on and we were dashing to our place of stay to avoid rains. Suddenly, clouds came all over us, but didn’t pour over.. we just stood there, taking in the breeze and the green, the feeling cannot be described in words, just felt..

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On arriving at our stop, the brave-hearted team of 9 people in our group was welcomed with cheers and claps – the guys completed 23 kms in 5 damn hours! God help them 😛 !

For me, the most exciting part of the trek started after that when we pitched in our tents for the night. The place was at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by lush-green mountain ranges, clouds and mist. On top of that, the incredibly stupid and funny antakshari hosted by Krishna kept the night alive 🙂

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The next morning served us with the most serene views we could ever hope to lay our eyes on. See for yourself

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Well, it is at this point, when I forgot all about my backache and muscle cramps and was all smiles to take in the nature all for myself

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The descent began after a not-so-filling breakfast, Bhattaru really needs to see more cooking shows on his cable! It’s funny how the excruciatingly painful four-hour ascent to the base became an easy two hour descent 🙂

Well, 23 kms of hike, trek, and climb later, I couldn’t wait to get a shower and be done with the muck, soil, sweat and dirt. But hail the enthusiasm of my fellow riders, who would now go for play in the river 😛

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Well, lucky for me; not going to the river was a blessing in disguise to get the darshana at Subramanya temple in 10 minutes without standing in queue, which has another interesting story to itself 🙂

The journey back to Bangalore could not have been funnier and awesomer with the never ending Mafia and pass the message around games; not to forget the circuit damage between Veena and Kumar and between Deepak and Arun! Games followed by antakshari, followed by singing random songs, even bhakti ones thanks to Sravan, Krishna and Pavan – Why God why!

All the ups and downs, tears and laughter aside, the trek was a memory to be cherished. Kudos to Sagar and Pavan for making sure that over-confident trekkers ( read Ankita ) are brought down to earth 🙂 – jokes aside, you guys rock!

The message I have for my fellow trekkers which I learnt from this trek would be “Think before you climb”! 😀

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