Thursday 7 February 2013

Trekking to Antaragange

The Ganga
river is one of the most holy rivers in the world. It is more than 1,500 kilometres from Bangalore. Of course, you have flights and trains to Varanasi or Kashi and Allahabad where the Ganga flows, but it does not lessen the distance. But did you know that there is a hill near Bangalore
which is believed to have a stream of Ganga water pouring down. If Kashi has a Vishwanatha temple, this hill too has a similar temple. The difference is that while the Vishwanatha temple is located on the banks of the Ganga
, the holy river flows as a small stream from the mouth of a Bull or Nandi. This is Antargange, a small hill in Kolar district of Karnataka. The Antargange Hills are just 70 kilometres from Bangalore
and a  mere four kms from the bus stand in Kolar.Antargange is a paradise for a nature lover and also a pilgrim. It is also a trekker’s paradise, what with the rocky hill which makes climbing an adventure. It consists of granites, peninsular gneiss, basic dykes and laterites and rises to 1235 feet.
The first thing that greets you when you near the Antargange Hill is the numerous monkeys. These monkeys forage for food in the hills and when they see tourists with bags and food packets, they turn aggressive.
Some of the monkeys come near you and try to snatch the food packets and eatables from your hand. So beware of them and keep a stick handy to scare them away. However, take care not to hurt them. The best thing is to keep a safe distance from them.
The climb to the top of the hill is by a flight of steps. The hill top not only gives you an excellent view of the surroundings but also has a small village called Therahalli. There is a Shiva temple here. It is better known as temple
of Kashi Vishwantha.This is also called the temple of rocks. Apart from the Vishwanatha, there are several smaller lingas around the temple.
The Nandi or Bull standing just outside the temple is a beautiful sight. Water comes out of its mouth continuously and this is believed to be the holy Ganga
. The priest will tell you that the holy Ganga is the source of  the stream. There is also a small Kalyani nearby.Antara in Kannada means deep and the word Antargange means Ganga
from the deep. This place is also known as Dakshina Kashi. The hills are a nature lover’s delight. There are several natural caves which are worth exploring. Several clubs and Non-government organisations (NGOs) offer caving and trekking packages to Antargange from Bangalore
and even Kolar.  Getting to Antargange from Bangalore
is not a problem at all. Kolar is well-connected by road and rail network. It is just two hours drive from Bangalore. From Kolar to Antargange, you can take a private bus or even hire an autorickshaw. If you like walking, do so. If you have time, check out Kotilingeshwara which is nearby. It has several lakh lingas with one huge Linga.
Kotilingeshwara is the presiding deity of the temple by the same name. It is in Kammasandra village. It is about five kilometers from KGF and six kms from  Alada Mara (Bharat Nagar) bus stop.

The huge Linga measures 108 ft (33 metres) in height and in front of it is  a 35 ft (11 metres) tall Basava. They are surrounded by lakhs of small shivalingas spread over 15 acres. So far, 90 lakh lingas have been installed.
There are eleven smaller temples within the Kotilingeshwara
Temple.The best time to leave Bangalore
is early morning so that you can leave the maddening traffic behind. Moreover, an early trek is always a refreshing experience. The rocks of  Kolar can get pretty hot when the sun comes out.    


  1. I remember going here on a college trek years ago... Thank you for putting up the details of the place...

  2. Thanks for the respponse. Yes, the school and college days are the best time of our youth.They hold so many memories.

  3. and if you visit kotilingeshwara you can also visit the beautiful bangaru tirupathi where lord is very beautiful and is to be seen in kindi. There is another hill named avani hills which has many caves and seetha matha temple where goddess grants child to childless couples.

    1. Avani is really a beautiful spot and though it is so near Bangalore, it is still relatively calm. Kolar and surroundings have a lot to offer for pilgrims and tourists alike such as Bangaru Tirupati.