Trip – 13 : Antarganga
Antargange Hill is located in Kolar, at just 4 kms from Kolar town. ( 65 Km from Bangalore) Antar-Gange literally means Ganga from Within/Ganga of the deep in Kannada.
It is a huge field of boulders and rocks. Located at an altitude of 1712 m above the sea level, the boulders are amassed one on top of the other to appear like a cave. This network of cave formations makes this place famous for cave exploration and easy trekking.
This is a nice trek up a rocky hill till you reach a set of caves which you can explore on all fours. Its challenging but its fun – and when you are told that in the recent past this trek was done at night , then the day trip seemed like a cakewalk.
On a bright pleasant Wednesday in November we set out at 7.30 AM , traffic on Old Madras road was bad and we reached our Breakfast point Nandi Grand at 9 AM. This is almost 55 km from Koramangla , we covered the 1st 12 kms in 1 hr and the last 43 kms in 30 minutes. Nandi Grand is a convenient breakfast joint – fast and efficient with decent restrooms.
We left at 9.20 AM and the distance from here to Antarganga is about 10 Kms , but the last stretch of 5 Km is thru village roads. Google Maps gets you there – but do not enter Antarganga Trek Point – that takes you to a different place.
Antargange has a long staircase that chaperones to a temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Kashi Vishweshwara. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is often called Kashi of South or Dakshin Kashi. The bull, which is considered the vehicle of Lord Shiva has water flowing out of its mouth. Many people have tried to draw out the source of the water, but have failed. The source of the water still remains untraced. This is how Antargange attained its name.
The trek can be split into 3 parts
A 20 minute trek thru well laid steps to the Shiva Temple (Called Dakshin Kashi) supposedly very ancient – This temple is dedicated to Lord Kashi Vishweshwara. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is often called Kashi of South or Dakshin Kashi. The bull, which is considered the vehicle of Lord Shiva has water flowing out of its mouth. Many people have tried to draw out the source of the water, but have failed. The source of the water still remains untraced. This is how Antargange attained its name.
From here it takes another 25 – 30 min to get the hill top – some parts are tricky but if you have decent shoes and are careful its not a challenge.
Once you reach the top there is a lot to see – you can spend the full day exploring many caves here and even trekking to a small village. We had to be back in our cars by 12.15 – so we were able to explore only one of the cave complexes.
Getting into the caves is tricky – the gaps are very narrow and you have to stretch and pivot yourself with limited foothold across smooth rocky surfaces . Its dark in many places – but its safe. A well frequented place there are no snakes or animals.
Carry a torch as some parts are pitch dark and you are guiding yourself thru some very narrow crevices , sometimes almost lying flat and sliding past.
In one of my earlier trips I had visited a second cave complex that is the source of the Water Body – that cave is pitch dark and its a struggle to even sit , but you can reach the water body and taste the cool sweet water.
We did have our Panick moments – but the team was Brave , Adventurous and Fit – and when you are a group everyone helps each other out.
The views from the top are great and we had the perfect day to ourselves. We left the hilltop at 11.30 and were down in the car by 12.10.
These treks are impossible with a guide – you cannot venture into the caves on your own. Guides are normally available in plenty during the weekends – when the place can get busy. But we had requested our guide from our earlier trip a week back to be around. Our guide was a nimble and efficient nine year old Bhupathi. A local kid born and brought up in the hills.
The return journey was quick – we left at 12.10 and reached Indranagar for lunch at 1.30 – ahead of schedule. And were back home by 2.30.
Between Breakfast and Lunch there are no restrooms available during the trek. Do carry some snacks / water. Earlier there were many monkeys on this route but now there are only a few near the temple.
Avoid summers as this place can get very very hot – best time is Nov – Feb.
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