Located in the Shathashrunga mountain range, Antara Gange, meaning “Ganges from deep” in Kannada, is one of the most fascinating trekking spots in Karnataka, India. Just about 70 kilometers from Bangalore and 3 kilometers from the historical town of Kolar, Antara Gange is a haven for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and spiritual pilgrims alike.
Antara Gange is famous for its hill, which is home to the revered Kashi Vishweshwara Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a perennial spring, which is the source of the name Antara Gange, as water flows from the mouth of a Basava (bull) in the form of a small stream throughout the year. This water source, despite the climatic conditions, remains a mystery, adding to the overall allure of the place.
But it’s not just the temple that draws people in. Antara Gange’s reputation as a trekker’s paradise is well-deserved, thanks to its unique geographical features. The hill, which stands at a height of approximately 1000 meters, offers an adventurous and moderately challenging trek. The trail is a mix of rocky terrains, dense plantations, and caves that demand exploration.
The ascent to the top of Antara Gange hill offers a captivating experience. The initial part of the trail involves a walk through a steep staircase of around 460 steps leading to the temple. From there, the actual trek begins, characterized by a dense canopy of trees and large boulders. The trek becomes more thrilling as you navigate through caves and rocky terrains, each providing its unique challenge.
One of the highlights of the Antara Gange trek is cave exploration. The volcanic rocks in the area have given rise to numerous caves, some of which run deep and complex. Adventure seekers will relish the opportunity to explore these caves, though a guide is recommended for safety.
Upon reaching the top, trekkers are rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding settlements, the Shathashrunga range, and a serene freshwater pond. The spot is perfect for a peaceful break, some meditation, and even camping under the stars if you’re up for an overnight trek.
Things to keep in mind while planning your trek to Antara Gange:
1. Best Time to Visit: Antara Gange is accessible all year round. However, the post-monsoon season from October to March is the best time to visit for a more comfortable trekking experience.
2. Difficulty Level: The trek to Antara Gange is of moderate difficulty, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers.
3. Trek Duration: The total trekking distance is around 2-3 kilometers, and it usually takes about 3-4 hours to complete the round trip, depending on your pace and time spent exploring the caves.
4. Essentials to Carry: Make sure to carry water, snacks, a first-aid kit, a torch (for cave exploration), and wear sturdy trekking shoes.
5. Safety: It’s recommended to hire a local guide, especially if you plan on exploring the caves, as they can be complex and dangerous without proper knowledge.
6. Preserve the Environment: As with any natural site, ensure you leave no trace behind. Keep the area clean and don’t damage the local flora and fauna.
The Antara Gange trek offers an engaging blend of nature, adventure, and spirituality. With its intriguing caves, captivating views, and the mysterious temple spring, Antara Gange promises a unique experience that leaves every visitor with long-lasting memories.