Having already done the Anthargange trek, in an overnight climb and camp, I didn’t expect to see anything new this time around. Didn’t even bother carrying my camera or anything. Boy was I wrong. Some of the pics are by Bipin Chinnappa, including the one below.
Anthargange is located about 60kms from Bangalore city, very close to Kolar. It’s just off the highway, and quite easily accessible. This also means it gets quite crowded during weekends. Crowded enough, that now there are cops that prohibit you from climbing or trekking up the hill. They are worse than the monkeys at the base, pecking at your for food. You will need to find your way around this, or be lucky there’s no cop during your ascent. The monkeys are easier to get around.
The trek itself is quite on the easy level. There’s a long set of steps to reach the temple, post which, is about an hour’s climb to the plateau on the top. 30 minutes if you’re fit and not stopping for too many photos. From there, one can take multiple routes to different “peaks” located all around. On the way to the top, we saw and heard a lot of exotic birds like Thoti, Koel, Peacock and one jailbird of a cop.
The Anthargange trek region has a lot of caves, and to explore them, a guide is highly recommended. One can catch the local kids/villagers as a guide. Costs can vary between 200-700 depending on group size and bargain. Make sure you get someone whose patient while you take your pics. Expect to spend a couple of hours minimum, getting in and out of the rocks.
It can get pitch dark, narrow, and one can get trapped for hours if no guide is present. Torches/head-mount torches are recommended, as a phone may slip out of your hand. There is also a “water” cave which takes about 5-10 mins to explore with a small stream flowing through it. Only do it if you’re on the thinner and nimble side, as you will get scraped on your knees and elbows. Expect your shoes to get wet. Don’t expect to navigate it carrying a bag on your back. Please don’t do it when it’s raining. I don’t know the source of the stream, and there’s a high chance the passage can get flooded in the rain.
We also met another group on the plateau at the start, made friends, and explored the caves along with them. They’re starting off a new outdoor venture called ABC (Around Bangalore City), which I think is really cool, and you should go check them out. Having explored the caves with them, we had a lot of stories to share over the beautiful view of Kolar. Lunch was had at a local Dhaba called Sher-E-Punjab on the way back, thanks to their recommendation.
Things to carry
- Some light snacks
- Shades, sunscreen and a cap/hat for the trek. Not needed for the caves.
- Shoes with good grip. Running shoes usually don’t have much grip/are worn out.
- Track pants and shoes. Legs will get scraped with the thorny bushes while climbing, and rocks while exploring.
- Money for buttermilk and the guide. Cop doesn’t take money.
I’m currently looking out for new and less known routes/treks to explore. We literally faced Bangalore traffic while exploring the caves, stuck for ages behind people etc. Do comment on locations/suggestions you have, and if they’re secret ones, message me in private.