Antara Gange is situated close to Kolar which is approximately 65 km from Bengaluru. It forms part of the Shastashrunga mountain range. It is a trekkers delight as there are a lot of granite rocks and many caves to explore. Interested in more information, click here.
We reached the base of our trek around 7 a.m. We were meeting some people in the group for the first time. After our introductions, we were ready. We were armed with granola bars (see my earlier post for the recipe), nuts and other snacks. This was the first time for most of us so we did not know what to expect other than what google said. Monkeys welcomed us; learning from experience, we hid our food in our backpacks. As we were going up, we met a group of guys coming down. They were returning from a night trek. It must have been an experience trekking in the dark.
In front of us, we could see a fleet of stairs. We started climbing, around 500 steps; it was not that difficult. Once we reached the top, we saw the temple. This is a Kashi Vishwanath temple. Beyond the temple, was a rocky path. We started our climb. The rocks were slippery so we had to be more careful. We walked for another km or so, when a village boy who said he would take us to the caves met us. We were advised that we should take a guide so that we will not get lost in the cave. This boy was a 9th grade student making some money. He said his name was Darshan, which was apt as Darshan means ‘an opportunity to see’. He took us to a cave, which was an opening in the ground and lots of huge boulders in there. He jumped in easily and asked us to come down. The first step was the scariest. There were no footholds, but Darshan showed us how to get there. Going in a group is great as we all egged each other on; the people who had gone ahead giving the others suggestions and advice. The rocky caves were dark and we had to use flashlights to see. Some of them were slippery and quite perilous. I was hoping I would live to tell the story. We reached a spot where there was an opening and we could see the sunlight and thought we had come to the end of the cave. Our happiness was short lived when our guide informed us that we need to go further. We then had to climb up to get out of the cave. Thanks to helping hands, I climbed out of the cave. It was an exhilarating experience.
Other than enjoying the experience and the thrill of doing a daunting task, we bonded with the group. This is so different from going out for a meal, the connections we make by doing something together and helping each other is very different. We returned home tired and happy.