Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Ganges from the deep. . . nests among mountains of a 100 peaks !

AntraGange. Perennial spring on hilltop. water all through the year. ck. AntraGange. Temple Pond. Mantap on the left top people collect medicinal water. Below the mantap, people have their medicinal baths ck.‘Antragange’ (meaning Ganges from the deep) lies 2 kms from Kolar town, travelling 67 kms from Bangalore passing Krishnarajpuram, Hoskote, Narasapur on NH4 (Bangalore – Chennai toll paying highway – called Old Madras Road) one reaches Kolar.
Here mid way climb of the Antragange hill nests a modest old Shiva temple, after a climb of 300- 350 steps. Adjacent to the temple one finds a perennial spring. Water gushes all year around from a bull (Nandi – Lord Shiva’s transport) filling up the temple pond of Kashi Vishwanatha (Lord Shiva). This water seems to have medicinal value gushing through hills of volcanic history carrying minerals & brushing through herbs & plants of medicinal value. I found a local person, who says he makes two trips each week to carry this springs water for his family’s consumption and proudly adds that his family doesn’t even get a cold or cough! He is doing it for years!
Mythologically it is belived that Lord Parshurama took his famous vow on this hill to vanquish all the Kshtriyas of the world. Antragange also gets a mention in one of the great epics of India – Mahabharata, it is said Kunti was chased by a lion when carrying the mighty Bhima as a child, she dropped him and the fall created ripples which led to the formation of the 100 peak hill range here. This 100 peak mountain range is called ‘Shatha Shrunga Parvata’ even to this day.
Further climbing up the hill after the eternal spring – another two kilometers through rocky terrain of boulders, caves, shrubs & thick vegetations lands you on to a flat hilltop land. It’s fertile and one is surprised to notice agricultural activities. This 4012 feet high hilltop welcomes you to 7 villages. Antragange is home to a lot species of butterflies.
Antragange hill trek comes in as one of top 5 trekking routes of South India. The best season to visit this place is between September & November. If one does not wish to walk or trek up, you can take a motorable 7 kms road up from the by-pass off the highway entering Kolar town.
Take a turn off to the left at Hotel Sagar. This road takes you the hilltop of 7 villages. But, for Antragange temple hill, one needs to enter Kolar town and take the road adjacent to the bus depot. It’s a short road. A decent motorable road exists for cars, bikes & cycles. There is a designated parking place for parking at the foothill.
There are no hotels or eating joints, one has to confine to small eating joints in Kolar town or highway dhabas & restaurants. Carrying eatables invite the wrath of the boisterous monkeys on the temple hill. They can be dangerous. Antragange hill is famous for wild flora & fauna. Few wild animals are sighted. Camping & night treks are discouraged. It can be also dangerous at nights with petty thieves & local ruffians. Hiring local people acting as guides are safe, good for your safety & protection. Sunrises are beautiful here. The entire Kolar town, the National Highway can be viewed from here – it’s a beautiful sight! The serpentine uphill & downhill are great riding roads for bikers. A fantastic place for cyclists, trekkers & photographers!
Adima, an art & cultural promoting center exists on the hill. This organization was started in 1980 by a group of 25 like minded people saving ‘one rupee a day’. This organization is totally built with locally available materials and exists on help & donations. They periodically conduct suitable camps & workshops on art & culture activities for all age groups.  Workshops for children during school holidays are a main attraction. It’s a modest area with lot of art, structures, sculptures & statues. A Roman theatre & a stage is present for all their activities. Their Full Moon festival is a major attraction. Worth a visit to this friendly non-commercial organization.
Weekend sees this Bangalore – Kolar NH4 with a lot of superbikes in herds. One can reach Kolar by various ways. Its well connected by trains, buses or one can take one’s own bikes or cars. A few enthusiastic cyclists can be sighted too.
It’s worth a day trip with your family & friends. Local transportation like buses & autos are available from Kolar town to foothills for the climb at Antragange.

Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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