AntharaGange | May 2016
You can find success before work only in fairy tales and dictionaries!
In actual life – it invariably arrives after hard work and imaginative toil
There is always a battle to be fought before it is won
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth
Two incidents to share before we start on the trekking expedition: First I recollect my meeting in March 2016 with my school friend Siddharth Kapoor! He said a sentence – Raghu I visited Himalayas, but sadly there were no Indians in the expeditions. That is when he started his adventure sports startup named Dare2Venture to educate, enlighten, inspire and provide reliable trekking services into Himalayas/Mt Everest & on Norh east India circuit.
Secondly, I remember my phone call to my parents when I told them about the night trek to Antara Gange. They were anxious and concerned for me just said – please take care and be safe! Do not try funny (read adventurous) things. They asked me if I would be entering into any water bodies. These concerns were in the right place. Reason – There had been alarming number of incidents of trekkers entering forests and water bodies without experienced guides resulting in tragic incidents and accidents. I did explain to them that this night trek was a relatively simpler one and being conducted by regular and well experienced operator for a group of 60 -70 enthusiasts.
About The Anthargange trek : This trek is one of the most sought after trek around Bangalore. It’s the combination of trekking and cave exploration that drives the excitement factor. Anthargange hill is completely surrounded by boulders. Located around 65km from Bangalore near Kolar, this hill is at an altitude of 1712m above sea level. Anthargange night trip is perfect for trekking and night cave exploration. Around 3km trek is pretty moderate as the journey begins by making your way through broken rocks and tricky path in the boulders to finally reaching the cave site to probe. This amazing experience of making your way through the formation and crawling at times because of the cave’s volcanic rock formation is a tale worth sharing.
The experience at Anthargange cave takes you back to the primeval times. And you finally get to be a “Cave Man”.
About Antara Gange – Antara Gange is a mountain situated in the Shathashrunga mountain range in the southeastern portion of the Indian state of Karnataka. Antara Gange literally means “Ganges from deep” in Kannada. It is about two miles from the town of Kolar and seventy kilometers from Bangalore. Antara Gange is famous for the temple situated on the mountain.
In the temple is a pond which gets a continuous flow of underground water from the mouth of a Basava (stone bull). There is a steep, narrow path to the top of the mountain. There are seven villages on this mountain, including Therhalli. The mountain consists of granite rocks and lot of caves around.
The trekking program does not cover this temple visit.
1, 2, 3 and Off to Antargange
2230 hrs – The promised pickup arrived in the form of a 50-55 seater bus and I was only happy to start this new experience by hopping into it. I was happy that my school friend Kanchan was in this big group of trekkers. We made new friends Vaman, Ankit, Ashish!
Friends are like amazing places! Some friends and places are known to us since school / childhood days and some very new places are like the very new friends you make when you visit new places!
The bus driver went full throttle and zipped zapped through and out of Bangalore after Tin factory / KR puram. After entering Kolar, the bus driver had to engage the vehicle on first gear and negotiate several wicked hairpins before reaching Antargange base Kolar).
0100 hrs – We reached the base and were greeted with large rocks and boulders that looked menacing and ready to roll on to us! All the participants were eager to start off the trek. We were given big sticks and sleeping bags to carry. I asked my friends if the stick was being given as a form of defense against possible wild animal encounters.
Trek commenced immediately when our guide coordinator Mr. Baba ( am going to call him baba jaan as he had our jaan (life) with him ) told all participants to take a right and start walking through a field (instead of the road).
The caves have several and difficult gaps through which enthusiasts need to slide out. In certain places, the gap between clefts/rocks are just wide enough for a medium sized person! In certain other places were helped by babajan who held our hand and gave us a pulling move to take us to a higher rock!We crossed through difficult, rocky and challenging terrain dotted by cactus and thorny plants before reaching the mysterious caves (or clefts) formed by numerous volcanic rocks.
We completed the cave explorations and emerged into the open ground surruounded by the same rock mountains.
We could now enjoy the view of starry skies and the millions of lights below in Kolar .
Bonfire was lit by Babajaan and his assistant Junior baba. Several of the enthusaisats danced to popular Punjabi and hindi songs! My friends climbed on to rocks to enjoy the beautiful views! I was feeling sleepy and opened the sleeping bag. I slept comfortably for next 3 hours
0600 hrs I was woken up by the howling and cold winds. I wore my jacket and climbed higher rocks with Ashish and Ankit to witness the amazing sunrise!
0700 hrs – my friends called me and told me that Babajaan had given instructions to move back to the base where our bus was parked. We bid bye to Antarganga and I wished more of our friends could join this trek and witness this natural wonder!
We had breakfast at Kamath hotel((Kolar) by 0800hrs and were served hot & crispy dosa, kara pongal and idlis. This part of the program was very quick as all enthusiasts were having voracious appetite! The late comers were welcomed by sight of empty vessels that once held sweet pongal, kara pongal, soft idlis and crispy dosas. They had to be content with simple cut papaya & the fast finishing coffee!
0900 hrs – We crossed Tin factory – KR Puram by 0900 hrs. I said bye to my friends and hopped off the bus. I caught the first available bus to MG road& got down at Trinity to collect my bike from office! As I got off the bus, I heard the evergreen and popular song from blockbuster movie Roja being played in a car by AR Rahman sir’s fan
Chinna Chinna Aasai Siragadikum Aasai
Muthu Muthu Aasai Mudinthuvaitha Aasai
Vennilavu Thottu Muthamida Aasai
Ennai Intha Bhoomi Sutrivara Aasai
The translation is,
I like to do small things, I like to fly like a bird
My dreams are like small pearls, I like my dreams to come true soon
I have a liking to touch the moon and give a kiss
I want to travel around the world!
I reached home before 10:00hrs. Now you can guess what happened … I slept like a log!
Antara ganga is a must visit and perfect night trek spot that need to be visited in a large group and with proper preparation guidance from a well experienced operator like Escape2Explore http://www.escape2explore.com/
I hope that this travelogue will serve as an insightful article for all my readers and friends who want to kick start their trekking programs! Bye for now and do take care! Wishing you happy times ahead…
Also check photos on Anthargange Photos on Instagram
Blog by: Raghunandan Ramachandran
Posted by: Escape2Explore.Com