Antaragange is located at about 70km from Bangalore, in Kolar district. Antaragange literally means Ganges (or River Ganga) from the deep. You may be wondering why this place is named so, after all there is no River Ganga in South India! Yes, you are right in your thinking (and the fact that River Ganga does not flow in Karnataka). Antaragange is famous for a water spring that emerges out of a stone. The source of the water is not known, but the water never dries up. It is believed that the source of the water is from River Ganga, the water apparently flows underground, and comes out of here. Antaragange is also called “Dakshina Kashi” or Kashi of the south, for the same reason. There is also a temple dedicated to Kashi Vishwanath next to the place where the water comes out.
Water stream “Antaragange”
While Antaragange is visited by millions of pilgrims, it is also visited by many adventurists. The reason for that is the landscape in and around Antaragange. Antaragange is known for its rocky terrain, and numerous caves in this region. Exploring the caves at Antaragange is fun and exciting. Sometimes you can just jump from one rock to the other, without even thinking how are you going to come back J At other places, you need to crawl to get under the rocks to cross over to the other side. Overall, if you have the adventure bug in you, Antargange is the place to visit.
Antaragange is about 5 km from the town of Kolar. You can take an auto-rickshaw from Kolar, or if you own a vehicle, you can drive/ride till the parking lot. At the parking lot, you will be welcomed by many monkeys. Make sure you do not have any eatable items hanging out loosely as it will be grabbed by the monkeys. And yes, monkeys have become more intelligent and are aware of the famous brands (like lays, Britannia, parle, good day and so on), and identify them as eatable items. So you have to be careful about them too 🙂
At the parking lot
From the parking lot, you have to climb up about 175+ steps to reach the temple. All through the steps, you will be distracted by the monkeys around.
Steps to the temple
After you climb around 20-25 steps, you can take a detour to see a watch tower built. From the watch tower, you can see the rocky terrain, which you will be exploring after some time 🙂
View from the watch tower
As you walk along the steps, you will find few temple structures which are closed.
Temples on the way
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
The mantap on the right is where you can see the water spring
After you are done with visiting the temple, you can wear the adventure hat, and proceed towards exploring the rocky terrain and the caves around Antaragange. To get there, you can take the path behind the temple. You need to trek/hike for about half an hour to reach the top.
Beginning of the trek route
The path to the top is easily determined. In the beginning part of the route, steps are either laid or carved out on the rocks. The latter part of the path is a foot trail formed by previous trekkers/hikers. At some places, you will see the foot trail getting forked, but you can take either path as it eventually will lead to the same place. If you get tired of continuous climbing up, there are various places strategically located so that you can get a glimpse of the town of Kolar.
View of Kolar Town
After you reach the top, you can see some flat land. You can also spot the several camp fire locations that the previous visitors have put up. Unfortunately, you can also find some abandoned bottles that few irresponsible visitors have thrown away!
Top of trek route
An abandoned temple at the top
After walking a little further, you can spot a cultivated land where the locals grow Avarekai, which is type of broad beans, and is grown a lot in this part.
Once you reach the top and the cultivation land, you can find several routes that will lead you to cave and rock exploration. Just keep moving towards the rocks and make your own road. Do remember the route you are taking, otherwise, you will get lost. There have been many instances of people getting lost, or being stuck at some caves. While you will enjoy exploring the rocks and caves on your own, it is better if you can find a local guide who can accompany you. (The other option is to contact one of the various tour/adventure organizers who will guide you throughout your trip, but you will be exploring on the way they want).
View of National Highway at a distance
You can go on and on exploring all the rocks and caves formed. However, keep in mind that you have to head back before it is completely dark. So keep an eye on the watch as you move on to the next exploration, and make a note of how much time it takes to get back.
Panoramic view of Antaragange
Where to stay?
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