Chasing the clouds

Location: Bangalore

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kumaraparvatha by Newbies..

The planning was fun..we bikers normally pick whatever nearby and dump into cramster and start..but this time we need to discuss/buy & all..funda is its trekking and we know least about it.
Friday 10th Nov 10PM in KSRTC bus stand..could see many of backbags & mat rolls around.. :D
Found our group..a big laughter by seeing the new gear on us. The Team is of Vicky,SriNidhi,Pradeep,Gavrav and myself Arun. The "Raja immsa" took us towards stopping on every road side hotel enroute and making sure the passengers are properly irritated.

Subrahmanya came by a biker, couldnt understand why it should take 9hrs??..early breakfast after a logical brushing..validated the first info we gathered from blogs..subrahmanya toilets are indeed clean!! All set by 8, a brisk walk through some nice looking houses with vegitation..Vicky stops couple of worker women walking back and asked them(in his usual
route enquiring style in bike trips) "Kumaraparvatha eshttu thoora"(KP how long?)..answer came promptly from women.."svalppa mundhugada vogi..ashtte"(just little ahead..thats it!!) :D
..there was a board which pointed the Kumaraparvatha(KP) direction..which eventually landed in a gate of a farm house with a dog barking inside. The old lady, re-directed we newbies to a visibly nonexisting cycle gap path which goes up in approx 60degree angle and asked us to proceed.

The group takes the potta session near the board and starts to climb. First half an hour, there is no sounds except "thuss busss issh" :D Pradeep declares the first break and i gulp a half ltr of water. There onwards, it goes as a tragedy..keep the head down and go up up & up..take a turn..another 60degree angle..every incline, Srinidhi starts abusing the world/life with
all the bad words he knows . We realise, we are carrying too much of a load..but nothing to do..cant throw it down..cant eat also..we are proceeding slowly and gradually..after some 2 hrs we are able to see little grass on the sides..till then, we were walking through a dense forest.The sight of the grass logically gave the impression that the grass land is nearby which
means we can walk in plains with both hands swinging & all..but damn, the grass is just a grass but not the grass took us another hour to reach the actual grassland.. i could take out my camera. Life is relatively back!!

Few stone made structures, few odd plants than the forest ones..and you know you are around bhatt's house. The chill water and food looked not so far..Bhat's place indeed looks nice..he grows all types of plants..few huts inside the vegitation..a nice person to mingle with. When asked for food, he said "take a sleep for an hour..will be ready!!".. oops, did we reach too early? he says.."yep..its not even 12"..we gave him few MTR stuffs and asked him to cook...that should not take time.. after a light lunch and a mini rest, we proceed further. The latest news we gathered at bhat's house is that the forest department lately discovered that the trekkers are looting golds & diamonds from the forest and hence they decided not to allow anybody to camp inside forest! a slight confusion on what to do..5 member Team produces 5 different ideas..i appreciate the productivity there!!..ok fine, lets start walking first..

The checkpost came with couple of friednly smiling guards. Little soap for them, and they mobiled(??) the officer whom i guess was snoring in the nearby woods. Officer soaping didnt really help..vicky had to shell out some of his corporate level Marketing/HR skills..and the officer agrees to give formal permission after lotsa conditions like "dont tell anyone/dont post in internet/dont tell bhatt".. :D guess he is in deep confusion..he should try "ooosa" sometime. Guards checks all our bags for liquors/weapons and returns empty handed. Here on the internet, let me give a clue to those time try smelling the Tropicana 500ml cans also!! :D
The team enters the open land.Its all green..small small nice looking football grounds..and bathches of thick woods..its all fun except that the distant view of mandapa(aka mandapp by blogs).That distant view and the hot sun was tiring..actually the earlier converstaion with the guards was little encouraging ( me:how much time to reach mandapa? guard: 45 mins.. me:
??!!!! really?? how much time for us then? guard: may be 1hr..mmmm..may be 1:15 hrs..(as if he is a superman with wings) me: ahha..its pretty close then!!) But here the sun is baking us..very slow progress..few clicks..few cigs..and lotsa sips of glucose mixed water.

Vicky and Gavrav moving on a nice phase..Pradeep keeps the center ..myself & Srinidhi lagging behind..all had some 100mtrs gap between. Mandapa comes soon..a stream before with a chill water was just fantastic..i almost had a logical bath there. Mandapa looks hilarious on a green slope, with strong and magestic pillars with the yellow/red KA flag flying on the top with full josh. Team takes a nice little break there. vicky is in full spirit and wants to go up & up..
It is just 4pm and with nothing better to do, team decides to move(again a typical biker decision..never stop before its well into dark!!) Now the wind has a mild chill effect..though the incline was still maintaining that stubborn 60degree angle, it was fun to walk. I just enjoyed. Vicky too confirms he enjoys the trek so far. couple of sexy looking peaks and we are on Sheshavparvatha(SP) top. A peak where many a people decides to go back.
It is around 5:45pm and we are all in a high mood..its chill and the sun is like a red hot tomato..the team feels like the first peak is conqured and jumps here & there in joy to celebrate it. It is a nice moment. I take lotsa sunset pictures. Reassuring the KP peak identification with other trekking group we proceed..The next water source and the camping spot is right between KP and SP inside the deep woods. By loooking at my watch which reads well after 6, i am in full josh to enter the forest in dark.

The narrow path goes down through the woods..torches on, and we move slowly..picking the dry logs on the way. The place is dense and pin-drop silence..after 15mins, we manage to find a little flat surface where we can pitch the tent. Srinidhi and Gavrav arranges the stones & logs to make fire. Myself, Vicky and Pradeep picksup the torch and go through the woods to find water. At places, we stop standstill without any sound to listen the water sound..but no use..the forest is dead calm except the occational scary leaf falls. After 20mins, we decide to return and practically found that we lost our way!! Thank god..a trekking without a "path loosing" is half down!!
Shouting & screamming in monkey/ape style to communicate with base use..manage to crawl back some distance.. and little more communication efforts..and the response comes from a totally diffent direction from where we are crawling towards..errr.. turnback..communication media was developed with sounds and torch lights..aahha we are back! Srinidhi says "thoo nan makkala..neer illuva??" means "thoo(spitting).. my sons..coulnt find water??" I sat down and took a breath (read smoke)..after 10 mins i pick the pradeep companies me..we are walking on a different scary direction..10 mins gone..there are only confusing sounds..15mins gone, yep its the sound of water stream..Jumped into the nearby bush and discovered the little water flowing..its cool and clean indeed..fillingup all our cans and walking back to the base camp with the joy of victory.

Now the real fun starts as we get into cooking act. Newbies trying all their software blowing the air from mouth..blowing with a paper...Srinidhi tries to throw petrol on fire and endsup in a suicidal act..his hand catches up fire and he was burning alive to death..he manages himself to stop the "fire in the hand" without any wounds and started abusing the fire/petrol/world/life.. :D We somehow manage to keep the poor little bowl & water warm. Soon the MTR packs and Cup noodles are ready. Gulped them one by one. Mean time, pradeep and Gaurav manages to bring both of the tents to some 'ok' looking shape. I actually tried this 'tenting' thing previous day on my terrace but a failed attempt that was. :D The whole drama ends by 10pm and the team settles down inside the sleeping bags. Myself, being a late nighter,couldnt settle down. Sitting half-in/half-out of the tent in that dark and chian smoking is just thrill..I keep talking to the other closed tent and making sure that they are not going to sleep so easily. The forest was indeed scary but fun. Had a small walk around and by 11pm, i enter the tent. There are 2 small stones under the tent which eventually positioned right under my head..with nothing better to do with that, i go to sleep.
There were 2 funny events happened when i was in dream land.
1. I was snoring in a totally different rhythm which made Vicky & Srinidhi awake for a good amount of that night.
2. Earlier I had placed my white towel on a tree branch..later, at late night, Pradeep comes out for piss and gets shit scared by the white ghost hanging on the tree!! :D

Morning wakeup call comes from the other tent.." the tent..its full mist" I open the was indeed a nice view..all the thickgreen trees with white smoke filled..fantastic morning that was. I walk alone through the woods towards the stream..little scary but full of josh..later, team joins and manages to have a practical brushing. Srinidhi invents himself so fresh after 2 days and decides that hereafter he will do 'face wash' only once in 2 days..sounds logically good idea. Team now walks in full josh towards KP and reaches the base of the peak. The view of top was mist covered and mindblowing. We climb this rocky surface with 4 portion of the peak is covered with bushes..couldnt find a proper way..finally decides to crawl through the bush and here we are..Kumaraparvatha top!!! the mother/grandmother of all the treks around. couldnt believe we newbies did it. Lotsa potta sessions..bread gulping sessions..and some serious discussion on which side is bisle ghat and which side is thadiandamol.. Another group joins and says they took the pictures of our tents by standing nearby as if they had put it.. :D

Team starts descending by 10:30..reach the base camp and pack the tents. Lotsa garbage left now..vicky comes to act..he tries to put the fire with the remaining petrol..what a magic..the fire catches up and burns without and disturbance..dont know why it was so adamant yesterday night. Anyways, we are burning all our garbage..making sure no half burnt plastic remains. The return back is pretty fast..though i stop at many a places to click. Reached bhattru mane in no time and we find lotsa rice and sambhar ready to be gulped..and ofc we gulp..i guess, i went for 4 rounds summing up to aprox 1.5kgs of rice. A nice break on a 'all side open' AC hut..the return leg was expected to be a cake walk..pradeep,gavrov,srinidhi starts early. Myself & Vicky sits down for a chatting session with bhat and few other trekkers. Another trekker who wants look like a trekker, had that trekking cap..Vicky feels he is the one who fully desrve to wear that cap!

After 4pm, we realise we dont have much time left(no headlights u see).. we still need to cover lotsa distance to reach subhramanya. Few potta sessions with bhat..packed up drinking water with glucose mixed in it. Vicky litterally running back down in his usual "point to point" rip back style in bike trip returns. I am seeing lotsa shortcut paths to cut the distance which are little more steep than the normal..took all the shortcuts..the forest is just burning hot..i take few breaks here & there..walking through these thick woods alone is interesting. Overtaking few of other trekkers and i see pradeep..and some more time, finds the rest of the team. Already the legs are literally hanging from the thighs as if about to cutoff and fall down..after that 2 hrs climb down, walking was in a pathetic style like one leg going east and another going west. Only opion i have is to jog down which logically looks like a nice idea. Time for redbull!! ..the can i preserved for the entire trek for some challenging moments.. ;-) gulped it and got the wings we are on the base!! Myself and pradeep just sat down around the nearby stream and started chatting..little later it turned out to be a loud laughter session till the nearby farm house pserson shouted on us. Mean time, Srinidhi calls up and says they managed to book the last room left unbooked in the whole subrahmanya lodges..and we limp through the crowded subrahmanya and enter our lodge.

There are lotsa pictures hanging on the lodge about the VIPs stayed there..Rakshita,Sachin,Hemamalini,Juhi chwla,SriDevi and many more unidentified faces.. Team takes bath in 10 mins turn and rushes towards the temple before it closes(8 pm). should i say, the temple was just divine..looked like festive time..all lighten up! Team tries their best to keep the concentration towards the god and away from the nice looking local gujilees around..adding to
that, the team was forced to be half naked and left in a hilarious state..but i must say, it was a very nice experiece to worship Subrahmanya..Muruga..infact, his dad Shiva sitting all alone in the KP top with only occational trekkers visting him.. direct dharishana to dad..but for son, we need to go through a long was a nice experience to spend the day with nature and god!!
ofc, "Raja immsa" takes us back towards logically civilized place stopping on all possible bus stands enroute with no passengers gets in or out..god knows for what they stop!!

So,.. to conclude the story...its a big satisfaction to expereince Kumaraparvatha's top which indeed was a long term wish!! Thanks for the supportive and enthusiastic Team!