Antargange – A world full of caves

The name sounded fancy – Antargange… Raj and I discussed and decided to do this trek. We also decided to post it on FB and invite interested friends to join us. A few did and with bit of co-ordination, we were on the 6:30AM Lalbagh Express to Bangarpet on Republic Day. On reaching, we quickly boarded a bus to Kolar, had some really good Masala Dosas for breakfast and boarded an auto to the base of Antargange.

The climb begins here

The climb begins here

Antargange is a simple hike. Around 600 steps apparently, bit of rough surface climb and you will be done. What makes this destination special are the boulders. Thousands of them everywhere you look. And they have formed, what we refer to as caves. This means exploration – which means lots of uncertainity – which means, a whole lot of fun 🙂

Reminded me of Hampi

Reminded me of Hampi

The first cave we entered had a lot of sunlight. Raj had done Antargange before and kept saying how it is so different in the night as there is absolutely no light and it is so easy to get lost. I hate jumps. From a height to a not so flat surface with rocks on either side is not a pleasant sight for me. Fellow trekkers’ motivation is actually pressure. Coz, they want you to get done, so they can do it and we can all move ahead 🙂 My neck starts to stiffen when I have to jump 5 feet below but the thing about such activities is you have to face your fear and take that leap. Raj has started teaching me how to jump and climb and I love the experience.

Narrow Creeks

Narrow Creeks

At every point, you have a choice – A choice to go ahead with the next exploration knowing it will be difficult or just sit in a cool cave and wait for your friends to come back. You can always choose the easy way out and here’s a confession, I am tempted to do so. But I chose to go every time and till now I have not regretted it. Every experience turns out to be so good. So exhilarating. So fulfilling. When you are amidst crazily huge boulders and every next step of yours is not headed out but only further into the ground, you feel the rush. When you see fellow trekkers feeling the same emotions, you are further charged to do more, to take larger leaps, climb harder rocks, go looking for more adventure.

Raj - Our champ

Raj – Our champ

While we were figuring out how to come back to the point where we left our bags, we heard voices. 2 guys were lost in the cave below us and had tried to come out for over 20 minutes in vain. The thing is, when you look up, you will see rocks and some sunlight. But you don’t know which one is the way out. We helped them find our place and with some co-ordination, helped them out. Nagesh, our fellow trekker had a fall and was bruised. I felt guilty for not having carried a first aid kit. Becoming a part of my trek kit going forward. We all got hurt at some point of this exploration but we moved ahead. Pain is good 🙂

Inside the caves

Inside the caves

Lunch was in a beautiful location amidst boulders. Conversations revolved around personal experiences of various hikes, animals and reptiles spotted on various jungle treks, movies like 127 hours and Into the Wild, plans for Must Visit locations.

Exploration

Exploration

We were done with 2 caves around 2:00 PM. We headed towards Paparayanahalli as Raj knew about a fort on top of a hill in that village. After walking through the village and Avarekai (kind of beans used in Karnataka) fields, we reached the base of Durga. We all rested for a bit. Power naps give you much-needed rest and energy to do more. Apparently the boulders behind this fort are even more exciting. So plans were getting made for our next visit 🙂

Heading towards Durga

Heading towards Durga

We walked down to the bus stand and every villager we asked said the bus is to Kolar is at 5:00 PM. After waiting till 5:15 PM when no bus was at sight, we hitch hiked a drive in a Maruti Omni. The bus journey from Kolar to Bangalore felt very long with all the traffic at KR Puram.

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All in all, I love Antargange. It lived up to its fanciness and I wish to go there again.

Trek Details:

Trek Details:
Date: Jan 26, 2013
Place: Antargange, Kolar – 70 kms from Bangalore
Organizer: Formed our own group
Camera Used: Canon Powershot SX 230HS
Mode of Transport: Train, Bus and Auto
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