Night Trek at AntaraGange
AntaraGange is situated in the Kolar district of Karnataka in the Shathashrunga range, about 70 km from Bangalore. The mountains at an altitude of 1712 meters from sea level with rocky boulders, small caves and dense plantations are one of the best getaways for trekking, rock climbing and cave exploration enthusiasts.The Anthargange Night Trek is a pretty famous (and a common) trek for people in Bangalore; it is exciting because the trek majorly involves “cave exploration”. Well in all honestly you won’t be truly “exploring” since a guide will show you the path. Having said that , it is a good thing since you don’t want to get lost in the caves with no way out.
Me and friend , Umesh planned this impromptu since we had nothing to do on a Monday which was a holiday due to the festival of Ganesh Chathurthi. I booked the tickets on a Saturday for the trek starting on Sunday Night and was lucky enough to get the tickets. Packing the basic necessities , we were all ready on Sunday evening. The operator picked us up from the designated point at 10.30 p.m and it took about 1.5 hours to reach the base camp with a stop in between for a late dinner. The last 20 minutes to the base camp is hilly terrain and it is located near a small village (although the village itself was not visible in the night).
We were given a sleeping bag and a walking stick as we exited the bus at the start of the trek. The initial part involved a small uphill climb for 15 mins; it had rained that night and so we ended up getting our shoes wet. The trek took us through some difficult rocky terrain involving steep drops a few feet away.
The guides were helpful to get some of us across the difficult parts of the trek.The group was huge and so a lot of time was spent on getting all the members safely across the difficult regions.
We reached the point from where the cave exploration was to start; the walking sticks and backpacks were unloaded here since the cave explorations involve passing through many narrow passageways and lesser the load, better it is. The cave exploration took us through some narrow crevices and cracks between the giant rocks and it was lot of fun.
After the cave exploration and trek, we hiked up the hillock and the twenty of us around a camp fire ; the camp fire made from the hiking sticks. It was pretty cold especially with the strong winds atop the hillock and so it was time to curl into the sleeping bags. It was pretty cloudy on that night; so no stars were visible. The half moon did not help either. So night photography was out of the question. So most of the individuals simply curled into the sleeping bags post warming up near the campfire and a few stayed up chit chatting around the camp fire.
We woke by 5.30 a.m to get a shot of the sunrise but as luck would have it , it was cloudy and cold in the morning as well. There was only a faint red glow of the sunrise.
We started our journey back to Bangalore at 6.30 a.m. It took us about an hour to reach the Kamat Hotel on hoskote road. The breakfast buffet was part of tour package. We were dropped back at Bangalore at 9.30 a.m.