Kumara Parvatha- The Holy Grail of South Indian Trekking
Coorg harbours some of the most exciting trekking trails in South India; namely Tadiyandamol, Kopatty, Nishani Motte and of course, Kumara Parvatha (also referred as Pushpagiri). Yet, Kumara Parvatha surpasses them on all counts. You might wonder, Why? The reasons are aplenty.
Unlike most trails in South India, Kumara Parvatha is an endurance test. The undulating trail with exhilarating inclines will never cease to amaze you throughout the 22 km stretch. There is hardly any respite during the strenuous climb; but it comes with massive rewards. The trail climbs quickly, unraveling hair-raising views of hillocks raising atop a rural landscape. In terms of difficulty and subsequent reward, it is easy to understand why it is hailed as the holy grail of South Indian trekking.
The trek comprises of two peaks, the smaller Shesh Parvatha, and the higher one, Kumara Parvatha at 5,600 ft. Legend has it that Shesh Parvatha protects the temple of Kukke Subramanya at the base.
The trail is beautiful, winding through thick deciduous forests and vast meadows. Steep ascents in some parts make it slightly difficult. Trekkers need to watch out for leeches, especially right after monsoon. The jungle is also known to be home to several species of cobras, including the King Cobra, and suitable care must be taken while walking.
Owing to its unrelenting slopes and hilly grasslands, this trail is not for the faint hearted. You can either start from Bidalli from Somwarpet, Coorg or from Kukke Subramanya Temple, South Kanara side with the latter being more difficult.
Kumara Parvatha is on the border between Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu district. So the lights of Somwarpet town in Kodagu can be seen from the peak.
Trek documented by Ajay Nagaraju, Gautam Singh, Hariharasudan, Ishani Kundu, Manisha Hegde, Roshan Padhi, Saurabh Sawant, Venkat Ganesh & Vishnu Benne.
A note to trekkers
Indiahikes does not run the Kumara Parvatha any time during the year. However, it is a wonderful Do-It-Yourself trek
Indiahikes only runs treks in the Himalayas. You can choose a Himalayan trek that you wish to based on your experience, season and difficulty here
Mobile users: Click on ‘Complete trek guide’ at the bottom of the page to access the rest of the Kumara Parvatha Trek Guide.
Itinerary in Brief:
There are five possible itineraries for the Kumara Parvatha trek:
1. One day loop trek from Kukke Subramanya temple
Start from Kukke Subramanya temple at daybreak and reach the base back by 6 pm.
2. Two day loop trek from Kukke Subramanya temple
Start from Kukke Subramanya temple around 1 pm.
Camp for the day.
Start at day break on day 2 and reach the base around 2 pm.
3. Two day crossover trek from Kukke Subramanya to Beedahalli
Start from Kukke Subramanya temple around 1 pm.
Camp for the day.
Start at day break on day 2 and reach the Beedahalli around noon.
4. One day loop trek from Beedahalli
Start from Beedahalli at daybreak and reach the base back by 6 pm.
5. Two day crossover trek from Beedahalli
Start from Beedahalli at day break.
Reach the peak and start descending along with Kukke trail.
Camp for the day at forest office.
Start descending on day 2 after a hearty breakfast. Reach Kukke subramanya by 2 pm.
Plan Your Travel
Mangalore International Airport, Mangalore
Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru
Nearest Railway Station
The nearest railway station is the Subramanya Road (SBHR) Station
Reaching Kumara Parvatha by road
Kukke Subramanya is approximately a six-hour drive to the west of Bengaluru. You can take a private vehicle, or travel by public buses, which ply regularly to and from Kukke Subramanya. Private vehicles can be parked at a parking lot by the temple, with no fee.
Buses ply from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanya, the base of Kumara Parvatha. These busses are not too frequent, there is only one bus every hour. A bus ticket to Kukke Subramanya should cost you between Rs. 300 to 750 per ticket depending on the class and the season.
We recommend pre-booking your busses to avoid any hassle. You can book your bus here –
If you are planning to do the trek in one day from Kukke Subramanya, book a bus around 9 pm from the KSRTC Bus Stand – Terminal 2A. Time taken is between 7-8 hours and it’ll reach Kukke Subramanya around 5 am, just in time to wolf down a quick breakfast at one of the restaurants before starting the trek.
You can take your own transport and drive along the Bangalore- Mangalore highway. The route till Kukke is an adventure! It is almost 200 kms of four lane expressway till Hassan. After Hassan, the Ghats start. The beauty of Sakleshpur till Gundya via the famous Shiradi Ghat is an experience of its own.
Gundya is a small village around 40 kms from Sakleshpur main town. Make sure that you take the road turning left from Gundya. Kukke is another 22 kms of splendid drive on a forest filled curvy roads. The sound of streams adds to the whole experience.
Reaching Kumara Parvatha by Train
Kukke can be reached via train very easily. This is probably the most scenic train journey you can embark in Karnataka. Any train to Kukke passes through a series of tunnels in Sakleshpur.
You can find the Kannur and Karwa express which leaves Bangalore and reaches Kukke junction at 5: 30 am the next day.
One can find jeeps from the railway station to the main Kukke town. It is around 11 kms by road.
Kumara Parvatha Map (Kukke Subramanya trail)
Frequently Asked Questions about Kumara Parvatha
Is the Kumara Parvatha Trek banned?
No. Only camping on the trek beyond the forest office is banned but the trail is open.
What is the height of the trek?
The Kumara Parvatha top is 5,600 ft/1,707 m above Mean Sea Level (MSL).
Can I do the trek from Somwarpet side?
Yes, you can do the Kumara Parvatha trek from Somwarpeth. This trail to the top is called Beedahalli route and it’s shorter and easier than Kukke Subramanya trail.
How far is Bhattarmane from Kukke Subramanya?
Bhattarmane is at a distance of exactly 6 km from Kukke Subramanya temple. The forest in this stretch, where you climb over 2,000 ft is one of the highlights of the trek.
When is the best time to do the Kumara Parvatha trek?
The best time to do this trek is post-monsoon and winters. However, if you aren’t bothered by leeches, a trek during monsoon provides an experience that’s hard to rival.
How long is the trek?
The distance between Kumara Parvatha top and Kukke Subramany is 11 km. Therefore, a loop trek starting and ending at Kukke Subramanya would cover 22 km.
If you are attempting it from Beedahalli, it’s 9 km one way.
Is this trek suitable for children below 12 years?
Yes, physically active 12 year old kids can do the Kumara Parvatha over two days. However, setting the expectations right and mentally preparing them to exert beyond their comfort levels is a very important factor in how they look at the trek.
Do I need any Forest/Government permissions to do this trek?
Yes, you need to get trekking permit from the forest office near Bhattara Mane. It costs 350 rs per head and you’ll need to produce a Government approved photo ID card to proceed.
Where is the Kumara Parvatha trek?
What is the base village of the trek? Kukke Subramanya/Beedahalli
What is the easiest way to reach the base village? Private vehicle would be preferable but the town has very good public transport connectivity too
What is the nearest railhead and roadhead? Kukke Subramanya railway station and bus stand. (I’ll add google map links)
Can I drive to Kumara Parvatha from Bangalore? Yes, it’s a 270 km drive from Bangalore
Where can I camp on the trek? Camping permission is granted at the Forest office near Bhattara Mane, 6 km into the trek. You cannot camp higher than this.
Where can I stay overnight in the village? You can arrange for accommodation at the base village, Kukke Subramanya as well as at the house of Bhatts, near Bhattara Mane.
How much food should I carry on the trek?
Are there any route markers on the trek? Yes, you will arrows painted on the rock intermittently. Except at a couple of points, the trail is very prominent.
Is it safe to camp at night on the mountain? Yes, you can camp next to the forest office. We wouldn’t recommendrecomment camping at any other place.
Do I need permission to camp on the trek? Yes, it’ll be granted by the forest office for no additional charge.
Nearest police station: Subrahmanya Police Station
Contact number: 082572 81250
Location link: Google maps link
ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112.
How to get fit for Kumara Parvatha trek
The Kumara Parvatha trek is classified as an Moderate-Difficult grade trek. From Kukke Subramanya temple at 414 feet, you will gain approximately 5,200 feet in altitude. The altitude gain is tremendous, especially when completed in a single day.
Training yourself for a low-altitude, Moderate-Difficult grade trek
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek in 4 weeks.
In case you’re just starting with a fitness routine, start slow and increase your pace everyday in the following manner –
- Target completing a brisk walk of 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin
- Gradually increase your pace by walking 5 km, 4 times a week.
- As you become more comfortable, introduce jogging in your routine.
- Progressively increase the distance you jog in a workout until you can complete 5 km in 35 mins.
If you prefer cycling over running, target covering 15 km in 60 minutes when you begin.
- Progressively increase your pace to cover 20 km in one hour.
This is an important area you need to work on.
Strength training is equally important to trek comfortably. Work on your glutes, calves and knees. Additionally, work on strengthening your core.
You must strengthen your core muscles. For strengthening your core muscles, holding a plank and it’s variations (elbow, side planks) are the best exercises to go about doing it.
Also try these exercises for strength-
Target 5 sets of squats with 20 in each set
– Squats (Mix it up with sumo squats)
– Lunges (Forward, backward and lateral lunges)
– 2 minute Plank
Flexibility determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
It is an aspect that will help you trek comfortably. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and lower back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to pack for Kumara Parvatha trek
When attempting it as a day trek in Summer & Winter-
- Basic First Aid kit*
- Identity Card
- Trail/ region map
- Cap/ Scarf/ Bandana & Sunglasses
- Water (Minimum two litres)
- Lemon and salt OR Electrolyte Powder/Drink (Electral/Gatorade/Glucon D, etc.)
- High-calorie snacks (Nuts & dry fruits, home-baked cake, etc.)
- Insect repellent (Odomos, etc.)
- Spare newspaper
- Multi-Tool/ Swiss Army Knife
- Torch/ Headlamp with spare batteries.
- Safety Pins, Rubber bands & Whistle (Useful in emergencies.)
- Optional: Rope, Camera.
*First aid kit:
- Band aids (Regular & Waterproof)
- Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini, etc.)
- Antiseptic Liquid (Savlon, Dettol etc.)
- Antiseptic powder (Povidone-Iodine based powders like Cipladine, Savlon, etc.)
- Cotton roll & Bandage
- Crepe Bandage
- 1 inch wide medical tape (paper or cloth.)
- Micropore tape
- Tablet for motion sickness (Avomine), Acidity (Gelusil, Digene, etc.).
- Mild pain relief tablet (Crocin)
- Quick Dry T-shirts are preferable over cotton tees.
- Additional set of clothes, socks, etc.
- Plastic sheet to wrap electronic devices.
If you are attempting Kumara Parvatha as a two-day trek, you should carry-
- Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
- Rehydration pouch/ bladder
- Tent & Sleeping Bag/ Mat
- Trekking pole
- A spare set of clothes & footwear (Floaters, sandals, etc.)
- Water filter/ Thin cotton cloth & water purification tablet.
- Antiperspirant powder (Candid, etc.)
- Magnesium Flint/ Match boxes
- Basic Toiletries: Toothbrush & Toothpaste/Mouthwash.
1. Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine.
2. You are not allowed to carry any camping equipment beyond the forest office towards the peak.
You’ll get mobile network for almost all major operators like Airtel, Vodafone & Jio throughout the trek.
Kukke Subramanya is a very famous pilgrim town and you’ll find multiple ATMs at the base itself
Nearby Places To Visit
- Biladwara Caves
You will soon realize upon entering the city of Kukke Subramanya, that it is steeped in mythology, and religious beliefs and practices.
Taking off from here, the Biladwara Cave too, is one such mythological attraction. It is believed that the serpent king Vasuki went on a pencance in this cave to save himself from Garuda.
2. Mandalpatti Peak
The Mandalpatti Peak is a high viewpoint in the Madikeri region of Coog. You can either take a jeep to the peak, or can trek to the peak. Some peaks you can spot from the view point are Doddabeta, Uppangala Betta, Katthipaare, and the Hammiyala Betta.
- Kotte Abbe Falls or the Abbey Falls
Abbey Falls is a waterfall that is near the upper reaches of the Kaveri river. It is a popular tourist destination. The waterfall is nestled between plantation, coffee estates, and the forests of the Western Ghats.