I, along with three of my friends, planned to visit Antaragange after a few positive reviews and suggestions from our colleagues.
On 7 Aug 2016, we boarded a bus to Kolar around 10 am from Kempegowda Bus Station (Terminal 3). Kolar is approximately 60 kms away from Bengaluru. It was a normal boring journey until we entered the Kolar district. Kolar invited us with beautiful hillocks which looked more like pebbles glued together, unlike regular range of mountains. We were looking at them awe-struck and hoping how adventurous would it be if we could climb or trek on one of them, completely unaware that the rest of our day was on one of these beautiful hills!
We reached Kolar around 12 noon and took an auto to Antaragange, which was a short 5 min journey. Once we get down at the entrance, we climbed a few hundred stairs (approx. 10 min walk) to the temple at the top. Though the pathway was steep, we never realised it, thanks to the lush greenery and with beautiful butterflies distracting us. There are few benches and rocks where we could rest.
At the top, we were warmly welcomed by a large troop of monkeys. People around there had spoiled the monkeys by offering snacks. So, they had started mugging from everyone who doesn’t offer them any. Particularly, if you happen to wear a bag or have something in your hands, be prepared for an attack! The older monkeys hardly move. But, the area has an alarmingly large number of young monkeys, which most often, play among themselves but occasionally tries to jump on us when they get bored!
The temple looked quite small but with a powerful deity, Lord Siva.
There was a poorly maintained temple tank/pond and near that was the main attraction of the temple, a perennial water flow in between two ‘Nandi’ (Bull) statues. The water is pure and drinkable. We loaded our bottles with the water and prepared for the awesome trek!
The entrance of the trekking path was guarded by trees and we started our journey with nature by walking beneath the low branches.
With a few steps and a climb over a rock, we arrived at an open space. From there, the path was completely filled with rocks. We had to carefully climb on the rocks to move forward. There were few stone steps now and then, but only near the mouth of the mountain. The path was also filled with thorny bushes everywhere. So, better take necessary first aids! It is impossible to trek at one stretch. There are many big boulders near which we can rest and have our snacks. Good thing was, there were no monkeys in the entire trekking path. The mountain was very steep and careful steps are required to avoid accidental slips and leg sprains. Though it is required to concentrate on moving forward, it is also equally important to look back and get stunned by the awesome city view. The scattered hills, literally, look like floating islands. There are many such view points and picturesque spots which are worth the tiresome trekking.
It took around 45 minutes to reach the main attraction of the trek – Caves! There are two caves which could be explored ONLY with the help of a local guide. A guide offered to help explore the caves for Rs.200. For the first cave, there were two entrances. One, was a two-way journey – we enter and exit through the same path and the other was a one-way journey which would bring us out to the place we started through a different path. We took the latter. When I say caves, never assume it as a dark open walk-able area! These caves are a formation by huge boulders stacked upon one another.
Every step needs ourselves to be squeezed and stretched. Sometimes, we have to climb few rocks and sometimes we have to slide across them. The most important part was to know where to place our legs and where to push ourselves into as there were only small spaces. Luckily, our guide helped us with clear instructions. Every step through the cave was challenging and adventurous! It grows dark once we get deeper into the cave. We could only see the silhouettes of the rocks with the very limited sun lights gushing through some holes in the cave. So, a flashlight is a must! After squeezing ourselves through the rocks, we finally reached the centre of the cave – a relatively bigger place to stand! From there we again climbed through the rocks and came out of the cave and it was great to see the scenic view again after long periods of darkness! It took almost 1 hour to complete our journey through the first cave, mostly due to the fact that we were four members.
Then we made our journey to the second cave which was near to the first one.
This cave is very small and narrow. Only three people at a time can go inside. People who had already explored the cave warned us that once inside, it is either do or die and there won’t be any place for second thoughts. We took their words as a challenge and entered into the cave, thirsty for a new challenging adventure! We had to squeeze ourselves even more than the first cave. There was only one place where we were able to stand and after that all we could do was either bending or crawling. It becomes pitch dark within moments we enter into the cave. Without flashlight there is no way to move forward as even the rocks disappear in the darkness. With few crawls and climbs, we were able to get to the main attraction of that cave – a small water body. This is actually the water that flows to the Nandi (Bull) statues in the temple. It is difficult even for two people to sit near that water flow. The silent pitch darkness with only the sound of the water flowing, gave us an inexplicable experience! The water was refreshing and even more tastier than the one at the temple.
After spending few minutes enjoying the moment, we had to squeeze ourselves back to the mouth of the cave. We completed the second cave in less than 20 minutes.
We started trekking downhill and as the hill is quite steep, we need to have a control over our pace. We reached the mouth of the mountain in 25 minutes and successfully completed our adventurous trek!
We took an auto back to the Kolar bus stand and boarded a bus to Bengaluru.
Points to remember:
- Try starting early in the morning and finish the trek before afternoon to avoid a sunny trek. It takes approximately 4 hours for the trek & cave experiences. So, plan your trip accordingly.
- Don’t carry too many luggage
- Carry water bottles and snacks
- Have your caps and sunscreens
- Carry a first aid kit, though may not be necessary all the time.
- Wear shoes
- A flash light is a must
- Not many shops are available near Antaragange. So, bring your own food or get a parcel at the Kolar bus station.
- Come in groups, especially someone strong should be there to help pulling others up the boulders inside the cave. If you are a group of girls, it is always better to bring few guy friends to feel safe.
- Most important! – Never forget to enjoy the views and take snaps! 🙂
Antaragange trekking is a must see and I’m always going to suggest it to others.
Please post in your comments and let me know if you have any queries or experiences to share.
Happy Trekking! 🙂