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Anthargange cave exploration

Anthargange is one of the heritage locations in Kolar district. The meaning of Anthargange is “An inner stream”. This place has series of many rock formations which admits many tourists for the adventure and spiritualism and the rocky mountains has many natural caves surrounded by a dense forest comprising of some wildlife in it.
The plan was to meet near Shantala Silk House near majestic at 6.45. This being my first trek with BTC, I was surprised to see everyone on time, the instructions about being on time was also pretty straightforward. The TT was waiting for us near the decided place. After the TT was filled with a bunch of enthusiastic people, we left to Antargange at 7.15AM. 
On the way, Vikram told us about BTC since there were a few first timers. And we started a game. Instead of a normal introduction, we had to enact our name and others had to guess our name. It was pretty good and all of us got together nicely. All the names were enacted by the time we reached breakfast place.
We stopped for breakfast in Kamat restaurant near Kolar where hot Idli vada’s, Masala Dosa’s and Puri’s were waiting. We quickly finished breakfast and headed towards the caves which were only a few kms from there. The plan was to parcel some rice items for lunch in kamat, but since the only rice item available there was Pongal, we decided to stop again on the way for the lunch parcel. We stopped at a small place which seemed to be quite clean and got parcel for lunch. Now it was straight to Antarganage.
We reached Antaragange at 9.30AM. As soon as we got down we could see another bunch of enthusiastic creatures waiting to welcome us to the caves. Monkeys, monkeys and monkeys all around. Even though we belong to the same specie, some of the girls were afraid and so were some guys.  Somehow we gathered courage and decided to walk in a big team to avoid attacks from our fellow species. 
In about 15 mins we reached a temple where we halted for a while and we were asked to visit the temple if interested. In the meantime we met someone interesting there. A young chap, asking us if we need a guide, told us that he would take us to the cave and the fort which is 1 km from that place and for which he would accept any amount offered. Since I knew Kannada, I asked him a few questions and for every question about the distance, the answer that came was 1KM. His name was Siddesh and not Siddesha. When we called him Siddesha, he replies- “Please don’t call me Siddesha, I am Siddesh”.

We told him that we would go up and explore but destiny had other plans. We started from the temple, just a few minutes later, we heard a voice “Anna eekade” (brother this side). We were about to get lost but Siddesh had come to our rescue. He showed us the right way and without our knowing we had another new member in our team. He led us to the cave nearby. The cave seemed easy at first. Siddesh was the first to enter the cave and I went with him to see if the other team members could enter. 

Then the other team members joined us one by one. The cave was cool inside without any light in some places.  It was tough to enter at times, but was worth it. We spent some time making a lot of noise and taking pictures. Then we reached a spot where we could see light. I wanted to explore that place and to make sure it is safe, I went up. It was safe and the view was awesome. So I called the other members who were hesitant at first, but soon the view drew everyone towards it. We took more pictures there and some guys explored other nearby rocks and took more pictures. 
It was time now to bid goodbye to the cave and march towards the fort. Everyone was tired and hungry. Again Siddesh told us that the fort is 1KM  we reached the fort at 12.45 and as soon as we reached there, no one was in a mood to talk. We could see a beautiful lake and the view was beautiful. Soon all boxes and snacks were opened. Lemon rice, chutney, Kurkure, Bhujia and chukli were on the menu (Unfortunately we did not get Bhangi bath). After lunch Vikram told us about the surprise that he had for us. Everyone was excited.
He planned to take us to Koti linga temple which is 30 kms from Antaraganage. So we had little time to pack our bags and rush towards the bus. We stated descending after a small photo session. We reached the temple at 3PM and it was time to say goodbye to one of the team members, Mr. Siddesh. He shared his dad’s number to help us in case we go there next time. Another 15 mins we would be in the TT. But again there were monkeys to say goodbye. A few even attacked some team members but thankfully nothing happened and nothing lost.
We left Antaragange at 3.30PM. It was an hour’s journey to Koti linga. The organizer as always was very energetic and introduced us to a very unique game- “Food Antyakshari”. We were playing this game until we reached Koti linga. And then it was some spiritual time. We were amazed to see the number of linga’s in the place totaling to 90lakhs. It would be a crore very soon. But have to add here that many of us felt that the temple was commercialized a bit. In the sense that, there are many temples inside and we were being forced to enter each temple and also pour water which was supposed to be brought from Kashi. But otherwise the temple was peaceful and the feeling was wonderful.
It was time to end the journey with some feedback about the trek. Though none of us had camera’s the two iPhone’s came in handy. It was an overall very well organized trek, thanks to Vikram and Padma. 
The Pro’s of the trek:
A bunch of enthusiastic people
Breathtaking caves
Well organized
Time flew very fast

When I signed up for the Anthargange cave exploration event on Nov 8, 2015 I had no idea that this would add to one of best days of my life  . This was my first trek with BTC.So I was really excited. Twenty of us left from Shantala Silk house bus stop around 7.15 in a tempo traveler (TT). Keep in mind guys if you come late you will be left out .It did happen to one guy, so better be punctual. The introduction session started in TT itself. We were asked to enact our names and fellow trekkers would guess that, this made us connect better because it was fun. Well my name was enacted by our organizer Vikram as Manuvidhya is a little difficult to enact and it went on and on :D Finally it turned out that nobody would forget my name ever, he he he .So we reached Kolar after a while and packed lunch from a small hotel in our tiffin boxes. We reached the base camp where Vikram and Padma gave us some instructions and we began from there. We stopped at that Dakshinakasi temple for few minutes and then we started climbing. The terrain was not much difficult to climb. 
We were trekking towards the cave .Oh! Did I mention about our cute little guide? We hired a local guy named Siddhesh as our guide .The kid guided us to the cave .After 15-20 minutes we reached the cave entrance .It was a little slippery and narrow but our guys helped us out a lot So we didn’t find it difficult at all. And then of course there was a photography session inside the caves  After coming out of the caves we started trekking toward  a small fort. We passed through our guide’s village and ragi fields. The terrain here also wasn’t much difficult to climb. Only thing most of the people were starving by this time .After 45 minutes of trek we  reached the top .Immediately unpacked our lunch boxes  and had the tastiest chitranna ever (or we were really famished)  After the half an hour lunch break we started descending down faster ,guess why ?!The organisers had a pleasant surprise for us !!  If we descend down on time they were planning us to take to the Koti Lingeswara temple which was 30 Kms away .We climbed down relatively faster and reached base camp around 3.30pm and started towards Koti Lingeswara temple in the TT. It was a half an hour drive so we played a crazy game .Each team was supposed to tell a food name with the other team’s last letter .You can’t even guess the food names people came up with :D Around 4 we reached the temple and took entry tickets. It was a beautiful temple with 90 lakh lingas and one main shivlinga .Took a few pics in the temple, hopped into TT and started towards Bangalore .Again we played truth or dare where no one was speaking the truth at all .There was a feedback session too.
The best part of the trek was the cave exploration and the climate was really kind to us .It was neither sunny nor rainy .The climate was just perfect. So we didn’t get much tired. We reached the silk house bus stop around 7.45 where the wonderful trip came to an end .Our special thanks to the organisers Vikram and Padma and the photographers Ram and dinesh for capturing the moments  Am sure we are all looking forward the next trek with BTC. Cheers ! 

Written By      : Ramakrishna Nagaraja & Manu Vidhya
Organized By  : Padma & Vikram
Date of event : 10th October, 2015
Place               : Anthargange, Kolar
Pictures          : BTC FB Page
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