Karnataka has a variety of trekking destinations to suit the enthusiast. Among the top five treks in Karnataka is the Antaragange trek. The volcanic rocks and caves along this trek offer exploration opportunities for the enthusiast.
Getting To Antaragange
Antaragange is at a distance of 65 km from Bangalore. Antaragange is at a distance of 2 km from Kolar, which is the base for the trek. State transport and private buses ply at regular intervals to Kolar.
What To See At Antaragange
Antaragange forms part of the Shathashrunga mountain range and means ‘Ganges from the depths’. This place is called the Kashi of the South and has an ancient Kashi Vishwanatha temple on a hillock. There is a perennial flow of water from the mouth of a stone bull into a pond in the temple premises.
Trekking In Antaragange
There is a flight of 500 + broken stone steps to reach the temple. An alternate 7-km route is through volcanic rocks, thick undergrowth, and cave formations covering the hillock. It is difficult to avoid the thorny bushes on the hill and the trekker is sure to come back with numerous scratches on his limbs.
The best time for trekking in Antaragange is August to February. It is advisable to start trekking early morning and be back by early afternoon. The climate is hot, and hence, sunscreen and caps are a must for the trek. The trek is a moderately difficult one and ideal for a day excursion. Food is available at Kolar town, but the trekker is advised to carry plenty of water and ready-to-eat food packets.
Night treks on this route can also be arranged with the help of local guides. One is likely to encounter snakes and sloth bears along the route. The rocks grow cold at night; hence, it is advisable to carry a fleece jacket and a bright torch on the trek. The night trek takes about 6 hours allowing for short rest stops on the way. Trekkers often camp out in tents on the peak. On a clear day, one can see the lights of Kolar town from the peak.
- Antaragange is besieged by monkeys, which are a total menace. Incidents where monkeys in search of food have attacked trekkers and carried away bags are common. The trekker is advised to carry a stout stick and hide any food packets from view.
- The huge boulders near this hillock have formed narrow cave structures. It is not advisable to attempt climbing these structures without a local guide or prior knowledge of basic bouldering techniques.
- There are plenty of honey combs in the cave structures and tourists should avoid disturbing the bees.
Places Around Antaragange
Kolar is a mid-sized town with moderately priced restaurants. The town houses the Kolaramma and Someshwara temples. The Someshwara temple is built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture and is estimated to be at least 500 years old. The 800-year-old Kolaramma temple houses two shrines, and it is built in the Dravidian style of architecture.
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