The Antaragange trek is a unique blend of adventure, spirituality, and natural splendor tucked in the Shathashrunga mountain range of Karnataka, India. Often referred to as the “Dakshina Kashi” or the “Varanasi of the South,” Antaragange is renowned for its perennial spring, mystical caves, and the thrill of a night trek that draws both local and foreign trekkers alike.
Your Starting Point: The Town of Kolar
The journey to Antaragange typically begins from the town of Kolar. Easily accessible from Bangalore and other major cities in Karnataka, Kolar serves as a convenient launching pad for trekkers heading towards Antaragange.
Reaching Antaragange Temple: The Base of Your Trek
Located at the foothills, the Antaragange Temple marks the beginning of your trek. The temple houses a sacred pond filled by a perennial spring, a source of the river Dakshina Pinakini. The water is believed to be emerging from the mouth of a stone bull (Basava), lending the place its name – ‘Antaragange’ means ‘Ganges from deep’ in the local language.
The Trek: Into the Volcanic Terrain
From the Antaragange temple, a steep flight of approximately 500 steps leads trekkers to the top of the hill. The path is well-defined and winds through seven villages en route to the summit. The real adventure begins once you reach the top. From there, trekkers usually engage in exploring the volcanic rock formations and network of caves that Antaragange is known for. The terrain can be tricky, requiring careful navigation and sometimes crawling through narrow passages.
Night Trek and Cave Exploration
The Antaragange night trek is a unique experience and offers the thrill of navigating through the caves under the moonlight. Armed with torchlights and guided by the starry night sky, trekkers can explore the rocky terrain and camp overnight, making it an unforgettable experience.
Things to Remember
- Antaragange is a religious site, and the temple attracts a fair number of devotees. Trekkers are advised to respect local customs and beliefs.
- As the trail includes traversing through rocky terrain and dark caves, carrying torches, wearing appropriate footwear, and packing light are advisable.
- Trekkers should ensure to carry enough water, snacks, and first aid, as there are no shops along the trekking trail.
Embarking on the Antaragange trek provides an exceptional experience of adventure, exploration, and cultural immersion. With its blend of thrilling cave exploration, challenging terrain, and spiritual aura, the Antaragange trek stands as a unique offering among South India’s trekking destinations.