While driving to Kolar from Bengaluru you will see a range of hill on your left side. It is called as Shathasrunga mountain range. Antaragange is situated in this range. There is a temple with a pond in the mountain. The pond gets its water from an underground source which is channeled through the mouth of Basava statue.
I felt that this place would be a nice spot to trek with my family. They prefer short day hikes and Antaragange looked perfect.
We started our journey early in the day to escape Bengaluru traffic and also to complete the trek before lunch. The journey was uneventful and we had our breakfast in a hotel outskirts of Bengaluru. It was 9:30AM when we reached the base of Antaragange which is about 3km from Kolar town. Parking was not an issue as there was ample space at the entrance.
From the entrance, it was an easy climb of 10-15 minutes to the temple. Steps were neatly laid out till the temple. As we entered the temple, a troop of monkeys welcomed us. They are nuisance in the area and one need to be careful with their food stuff.
|Steps leading to the temple|
The temple has a small pond which had turned dirty. People went to the statue of the basava and took water. A devotional song was being played in a loud speaker confirming the religious significance of the place. The place was beautiful and we spent some time there.
|Antaragange temple and pond|
Most people return back as they mainly come for the temple. To see the caves which is the second attraction of Antaragange, we need to climb further. The path starts behind the temple and goes up continuously. It is rough as there are no properly laid steps but there was no difficulty in following the route. As we climbed up, the scenery got better. Kolar town could be clearly seen from the path. The route was mainly rocky intercepted by some bushes and short trees.
As we neared the top of the hill there was a flat area. People who come in the night pitch tents there. The path further continues to the village at the top of the mountain but we took a detour to the caves.
|Rocky path after temple|
It is required to have a guide to explore the caves as it is difficult to navigate inside the cave. Village kids act as guides here charging around 100-200 rupees. A village kid, Purushottam had approached us at the temple asking to take him as a guide and we had agreed. Now as we stood in front of the cave, it was clear that I would be the only person entering the cave along with Purushottam. Chaya who had just recovered from hand fracture felt that she cannot manage with the support of only one hand and Tanu who do does like cave took this as an opportunity to back off.
|Tanu preferring to sit and relax than exploring the cave|
The cave was indeed difficult to navigate. Without guide, it was easy to get lost in the labyrinth of rocks. At many times, I felt that my body may not get into the narrow path!! At many places it was pitch dark and Purushottam helped to proceed further. It was a great experience!!
It was a long time since we had trekked together. Antaragange was a good place for family.
|Chaya and Tanu posing for camera|
It takes about an hour to the cave from the parking lot. Take enough water as the only source of water on the route is at the temple. Do take help of guides to explore the cave. One can also visit the village on the top of the mountain. There are several place to explore on the top. Also, a road connects Kolar to these villages.
This place is also home to many species of butterflies.