This trek was long overdue, but I could not make the time for it or didn't find the people to go with. Finally, this came through and how. Thanks to our "no idea where we want to go, but we have to go on a trek" mindset, Guru, Raghu, and Myself decided to meet at Majestic around 9ish and later think about the place we were planning to go.
In Majestic, after a little discussion about where we wanted to go, we started the bus-hunt. It was decided that we would go to Gundia and then decide the place. Due to the Christmas weekend, buses were booked and we finally managed to board a bus (seats in the last row) at around 10.30. Thanks to our driver's unconcern, with the bus bouncing and dancing on the road, with nape pain, we reached Gundia at around 6.30 and from there we decided we would trek KP (Kumara Parvatha).
Once we reached kukke, we had our breakfast and started the arduous trek. Guru, having done this trek many a times, led us to the starting point of the trek. We knew it would be difficult. We took our own sweet time and moved at a snail's pace. On the way, we were greeted by many people, some as old as 60 and some young as 6. The route is pretty laid out, and one would not find any difficulties. It was no surprise that there were way too many people doing this trek.
We kept bumping into many groups and some eventually sharing the campsite with us. We were rusty and moved very slowly and finally reached "Bhattara MAne" at around 1. We decided not to eat as there was a huge number of people waiting to be fed. We reached the Girigadde APC. Here, we spent very little time and headed towards the peak. The ascent was slow and became even slower and slower. We reached "Mantapa," one of water sources. We filled our bottles and headed towards Sheshagiri. Looking at Sheshagiri, Raghu exasperated that at least we can see the peak from here. To his dismay, Guru informed that this was not the Kumara Parvatha peak. In the burning sun, through the grasslands, up we went (though very slow). I took out my umbrella to save myself from the sun.
We reached the Sheshagiri peak by around 5ish. As Guru knew, there was another source of water just before the base of the steep climb to KP. As there were as many people on the peak as there would be in a little village, we decided to camp in the forest below around 10 mins from the water source. Guru left to fill up the bottles for our cooking purposes, I and Raghu collected firewood for the fire. As we were all set to camp, one more group inquired about the peak and decided to halt with us. These were a decent bunch of guys and I told them that we do not have enough wood and sent them to fetch some wood. These guys were cooperative and brought enough wood to keep the fire burning through the night. As the 2 groups were about to settle down, a huge gang of midlife morons, at least some of them, crashed onto the site. They had no food, no intent to help, they leeched us for food.
By this time, Guru came back with the water and I had started the fire by then. This time, Guru had taken the responsibility of the Food Department, and I was the cook (as always). This time around, the menu was "churmuri." As I was preparing, one of the "leech" wanted to taste it and I gave him and he apparently asked for a second serve which I did not notice (informed later by Guru that he was asking). After 2 rounds of "churmuri," it was time for some MTR Ready to eat stuff. I hardly had an appetite and ended up wasting more than half of my food.
During the night, one of the guys from the "Leech Gang," in high spirits, started yelling and singing and what not. I was irritated to the core. What infuriated me more was the fact that they could bring alcohol but not food or water. Some how, I slept from 7.30 to 1.30 (snoring away to glory I was informed). When I woke up at 1.30, the fire had almost died out and it was cold. The other group had started another fire, and I kept both of these burning as I was the only one awake after 2. I rekindled the fire again and kept it burning till 4 when Guru decided to wake up. At around 4.30, Guru and I went to the water hole and cleaned the vessel with which the other group had made Maggi and brought some more water.
We reached our campsite where most of the people from both the groups were awake and warming themselves in the fire. We made a hot cup of coffee and drank as one of the "leeches" managed to get some coffee from us which he drank from one of the brandy bottles.
From there, we packed our bags and left for the Kumara Parvatha peak in hopes to make it before sunrise. After about 30 minutes we were on top of the peak waiting for sunrise (surprisingly after all the treks that I have made, never have I seen a sunrise atop a peak). At around 6.30 am, the sun came out and it was magnificent. After some pictures (Raghu thought it was wise to not bring his camera and we never missed an opportunity to let him know about this. We had to get by with Guru's camera), we were lazing around on the peak.
What pained me most was the amount of filth atop the peak, garbage everywhere. Nevertheless, at around 8, we started the descent and it was smooth though it is an ankle breaker. At around 11, we reached the Girigadde APC. Here, we were welcomed by the shelter that is being built by them. Here, the officer in charge was friendly and allowed us to cook in his kitchen. Guru and Raghu made some Maggi and ate. I did not want to eat Maggi and just ate a cucumber in hopes of eating food at a hotel in Kukke. When Guru was inside cooking, the officer tried on his goggles and wanted to buy it from Guru.
From there, it was a no-nonsense descent. Guru knew that there was a waterfall nearby and asking local kids who were on the descent, we reached the waterfall and spent some time there. By 2ish, we were in the town and booked a room. We knew there would be no buses available as we had inquired earlier. We freshened up and ate. We decided to take the train, but on inquiring again at the KSRTC booking counter, we were informed that there were 2 buses which had no booking, so we decided to try our luck. We went to the temple, but there were way to many people and it was almost 7 p.m and we decided to come back without the "darshan."
We reached the bus stand at around 8.30 and after inquiring for a while, we were guided to the bus by one of the persons who works in the office. The only interesting thing on the return journey was the girl who sat in the adjacent row. Well, sigh, by 4 a.m., we were back in Bangalore.
Cost - ~ 800 Rs.