Spelunking Antargange in a full moon night

12/15/2009 12:16:00 PM

May 9th 2009...


"Not long before, That I knew that Karnataka has got almost everything a nature lover would look for. from waterfalls to dense forest, from beaches to mountain peaks, and all ancient structures loathed inside its geography, I think its one of the states of India to explore and Now when I am back in Bangalore, how can I  make the same mistake again sitting home not listening to the calls of mother nature. so here I go this time to a place in Kolar, Karnataka, just 60Km away from Bangalore, on NH-12, where I experience a rather more extensive caving than the one I could in Mullayangiri last month, and what could have brought me the best out of this adventure than a cool, moon lit Saturday night, in this season of heat".



Antaragange hill,  also known as 'Dakshin Kashi', is one of the famous pilgrim destinations located just 4 kms from Kolar town and ~60 Kms from Bangalore. Antaragange literally means "Ganges from deep" in Kannada language. Though so much of water streaming out from the mouth of a stone bull (Basava), nobody knows the source of water or the place from where it originates. Water is seen streaming out throughout the year.Anthargange hilllock is an ideal location for light trek, rock climbing and camping.  various sizes of boulders have heaped to form cave like formations offering exhilarating network of cave exploration or spelunking activity.



Caving is recently come to known as one of the extreme sports, which requires climbing and crawling to a large extent, and it can leave you physically exhausted as well depending on the intensity of the the activity also might require training. skills and equipment. all-in-all, spelunking slowly is gaining popularity in India. YHAI has recently started working on cave exploration expedition and that I hope, shall encourage youth in india to take up this thrilling adventure actively.


Me, Vani and her friend Saritha, did this night trip with BMC, with another 30+ people in a cool summer full moon night, This was our third night trek after Ramanagaram and Makalidurga this year. We started a little later from symphony theater, near MG Road, and it got even more detailed juggling with the traffic in in-skirts of Bangalore. We must have reached Kolar by 12:30 PM.  we got down from the bus near stairs which lead you to the temple. there is a mosque as well on the right, but difficult to figure out in the night. 



we collected our sleeping bags and after a small briefing from Raghu and Ram (the coordinators), we started climbing stairs. well, I couldn't count the number of stairs but was a good pack, though not that tiring as the temple isn't up on the hill as I thought it would have been. the tall trees, leading to jungles on both the side ways, cool breeze, and the moonlit night, made the impending climb quite easy and soon we reached to the temple. A few minutes near the pond, and we started our trek ahead, the path was rocky, through carved stairs and was a little slippery as well, but not so difficult. few kilometers high and we could get a great view of sleepy Kolar town. I remember I wasnt' much in good mood prior that evening, and had just accompanied Vani, and came thinking this short trek might change my mood a bit, but till now I dint really enjoy it. A little later we crossed the edge once, crawling on a another rock and some hearts skipped a beat then. and I thought  if that was really the start?

we had few families with us too, few kids 12-14 years old, some oversized friends of ours as well, and this I would just mention because soon we got down beneath a certain arrangement of rock formation, going ahead of which we found ourself trapped between two huge walls standing long and tall a few feet away from each other. some of us could get in, but few had to step back   . from this point it was simply a different ball game. we were playing sherlock homes in the night, throwing bags a distance away , slowly navigating through dark paths, and natural crevices. every time we find a little hole up in the sky and moon  peeping in, we used to think, that might be our way out, and Raghu used to take us in different direction all together. 



Jabbing around the snuggled rocks surely would have been difficult  alone, but with such a huge team, snatching, dragging and pushing folks one after the other, was sure fun. when for the final time we came out and climbed two mammoth, and saw the sky and the landscape, we thought it was all over, but soon we realized there was no way getting down the hill and we had to suck up between two horizontally laid rocks and scuttle slowly to reach the toher end and  well jump outside was even more fun, specially to know, we had the easier way out from the other end, and also to find the entrance of the cave a quarter of a kilometer away from the exit. 


we stayed up for few hours until sunrise and then trekked back to the temple, to find monkeys welcoming us at the temple arena. after few shots there, we went to shanti sagar for breakfast and then   back to Bangalore. 


Well, For a start, Antargange is pretty exciting, enjoyable and a different sort of experience. The trek to the top is easier, and if you don't want to trek, there is a road to the top as well. however you might want to take a guide or experienced person with you incase you plan to do cave exploration for the first time. The trek can be done most of the time of the year, but avoid days in summer. 

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2 comments

  1. Hostels are probably the very cheapest place you can stay during your travels.

    Hostels in San Juan Argentina

    ReplyDelete
  2. do we need a spl permission to do night trek there ??/

    ReplyDelete

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