Friday, May 05, 2006

To Heaven and Back

Kumara Parvata, Veeramangala, Karinja Temple

The Team:
Bharat – Member SJCC currently pursuing PhD at NTU, Singapore.
Dr. Sathyanarayana Bhat (Joint Director, Karnataka Biodiversity Board) –
Dr. Girish – ardent student of Dr. S Bhat
Yours Truly
Day 1
Saturday, 29th April
0335 – Left home on my Thunderbird headed on NH-48
0615 – First butt break at Suvarna Sagar, Hassan for 15 mins
0830 – Kukke Subramanya. Quick breakfast of Idli, vada and Buns.
0930 – started the climb to KP
1200 – Bhatas place
1400 – left Bhatas place for the top
1600 – Mantapa
1845 – Top of Kumara Parvata
1900 – Sleep, on-the-rocks!!
Day 2
Sunday, 30th April
0545 – Wake up to the twilight
0600 – temple on top of KP - Sunrise

0615 – start to descend
0900 – back to Bhata’s place in less than half the time taken for the climb
0910 – resume descent
1045 – back to Kukke Subramanya
1130 – Bath in the Kumara Dhara, followed by sumptuous lunch at Subramanya Mutt.
1330 – 45km ride to Veeramangala village near Puttur, Mangalore
1800 – Bath in Kumara Dhara

Day 3
Monday, 1st May
0900 – Left Veeramangala towards Karinja via Puttur and BC Road
1030 – Went to meet the Kambala Buffaloes near Puttur
1130 – At the foot of the Karinja Shiva and Parvati Temple

1215 – On top of the Karinjeeshwara Temple
1330 – Left Karinja to Bangalore
1515 – Discovered break failure on the Sakleshpur Ghat, nut gone loose
1545 – Repaired the break at Sakleshpur, took my only break of the 330kms ride
1915 – Non-stop 230kms ride back to Home Sweet Home.
Links for futher reading:
Kumara Parvata ;)

Kukke Subramanya


Kambula/Kambala – Buffalo Race




Bowing down to public (who?) demand, I have decided to append this blog with some patchy details.
The early morning ride to Hassan.
Total distance of 180kms, made it non-stop in 2 hours 40mins, that is an average of close to 70kmph. There is this strategy called Tail-light strategy. What it says is, in the event of foggy, obscure, hazy conditions, where it the road ahead is unclear and the going gets tough, it suggests that companies can survive if they follow a market leader’s moves. The risk here is in identification of the leader. I am a good follower and not much of a leader and I followed this strat to the letter.
The high beam of my bullet was dysfunctional and the visor with some scratches make things worse. As luck would have it, a Tata Sumo taxi zoomed past somewhere near Nelamangala. From there all I that had to do was to follow the tail light. Mast technique this one, if it were not this one, it would have delayed the trek by a couple of hours.
The KP trek – First half Uphill
Within 10mins of the steep forest climb, we started to feel the exhaustion. Our first break was after a mere 20mins of trek and the next one after 10 more mins. This was the only time during the trek when had doubts if we could make it. Dr. Bhat was not even speaking, may be in an attempt to conserve all the energy he could. But we quickly adopted to it. Later we felt it could have been the dense air in the forest that could have made breathing difficult. But then, we actually made good time. 2.5 hours to Bhatas place is very good. Bhata himself makes it in 1.5 hours. I got some education in Botany on the way up. Tasted a wild fruit of the PentaGyna family. I remembered it because of the ‘gyna’ link ;)
The KP trek – Second half Uphill
Rashmi Bansal once said “Life is like an onion”, you peel off one layer of expectation, only to find another layer of expectations to peel. When I was in school they told me, I had to be a topper, done. That branded me as an intelligent guy in the family, then the next set of wannables – seat in a good engineering college, then, a good MNC job, then, something more, like an MBA from a premier institute, then a still better job, a fatter pay… those never ending layers.
The reason I brought this up is because the trek was so much like the layers. You get to the top of one peak only to find a teasing path around this leading to a higher peak. I acting as the guide, had to constantly remind the team that this wasn’t it, there is a lot aof trek left to the peak.
The sight was something no camera in the world can possibly capture. As I close my eyes now and recollect the view. Wish I could freeze it right there – mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, with all hues of green that you can conceive, and the green fading into the blue horizon, a small patch of barren land, a shiny patch of some lake/river somewhere, an eagle hovering high above. Wow, I wanted to jump off the hills and fly.
I want to go back there again, stay there for like… forever.
And guess what, for all those endless mountains, there was only *one* KP. Get the drift??
Amidst many oohs and aahs, we reached Mantapa at 4, 2 hours after we left Bhatas place. We crossed the Shesha parvata (see the fotos to know why it is called so, one side of the mountain looks like a five-headed serpent with its hood opened. This we noticed thanks to Dr. Bhat).
There is a stream (trickle, actually) close to the top of KP. I can never forget this and the scene from my trek to KP (in 1998). My close pal, Salil had filled up one bottle full of this water (which, the rest of us were contemplating, would be potable after boiling it three times or so). He lifted this bottle, complete with the dew formation outside, held it up, and without so much as a blink, downed half its contents in one go.
This time around, thanks to the last experience, I filled up all our empty bottles. There was little to rejoice when we eventually reached the top at 6:45. Like Dr. Bhat had hoped, KP entirely belonged to us on that night of 29th April. (if you are one of those sexy gals reading this, I missed you so much up there J , serious)
There was a thick dark cloud, threatening rain. We couldn’t see more than a few feet. BK and I went scouting for some place to crash. We didn’t find the temple formation on top. We just settled for some somewhat flat rocks for bed. The thin bedsheets that we carried were no match for the cloud and the steady chilling breeze. Dr. Bhat, now deputed to the forest department taught us some good treketiquette – no littering, no camp fires. That we managed to catch some sleep, was an achievement in itself.

The KP trek – the toe-crushing descent
Uncle wanted to get back to Kukke in a big hurry. On borrowed time, BK and I explored the top just as we were preparing to trek down. And what we found was to become the high point of the trek. A sea of clouds and the sunrise.
The climb downhill was about twice as fast as the climb up. We met loads of people crawling their way up (some 50 atleast) in various stages of physical degradation. “how longer is the top” “is there water on top” were the FAQs. We reached Bhatas place non-stop in about 2.5 hours. Dr. Bhat had a bath there and within 10mins we were on our toes again, watching out for loose rock and taking care not to injure a knee or an ankle.
BK fell about four times and I slipped thrice, but none so serious.
We reached Kukke at 1100 and headed to Kumara Dhare to wash off the fatigue.

BK and family had a threading ceremony to attend at Kukke. In what would go down as one the heaviest meals, I consumed 3 vobattus, 2 laddus, payasam apart from two helpings each of sambar and rasam rice. Can’t say I didn’t earn this one!!


praks said...

Wow! Nice :)

Naveen said...

Sounds like an exciting trip, and hey, the pictures are real awesome. Live up ur life, just the way u r doing.

raghu said...

man I remember my KP trek and the sunrise as I see is as divine as it was ...

raghu said...

your high beam is on a low for a long time .. repair it man ...