Anthargange, stairway to heaven

Anthargange, stairway to heaven

For a quick weekend escape, try Anthargange near Kolar


If you have one day during the weekend and need a break from the hustle and bustle of Bengaluru, the ideal place to visit is Anthargange, nestled in the rocky mountain range near Kolar town. It combines weekend spiritualism, wilderness for nature lovers and adventure in the form of hiking, trekking and cave exploration. It is also a good place to watch the antics of monkeys. Take care of your belongings, particularly food, and enjoy their acrobatics.

The name on the entrance arch in Kannada says that it is ‘Dakshin Kashi’ or ‘Kashi of the South’. To reach the top, you have to climb about 300 stone steps, but it is a gradual gradient and not ladder-like steepness. A deviation from the steps leads you to a viewpoint. It is like a gazebo where you can sit and enjoy nature’s bounty. The joy is in ascending step by step and enjoying the wilderness around you and not in reaching the summit, where the shrine is. Don’t be in a hurry to reach the destination at the top. Pause every now and then to appreciate the wilderness. You can sit and meditate on one of the giant rocks. Before you reach the main temple, there are also some minor shrines for you to ponder on their antiquity.

The steps stop at Kasi Vishweshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a main lingam and a couple of other lingams. The temple has a pond which receives water from the perennial spring ‘Anthargange.’ The spring emerges from a small crevice in the rock and comes out from the mouth of a basava, a bull carved in stone. Perhaps geological science can explain the source of the water. Beyond the temple, there is a trekking route for the more adventurous. The steep and narrow path is an hour’s walk from the temple. Nature has placed the huge boulders in such a way that they form caves of various sizes and depths. You can test your skills in cave exploration. Once you have reached the top, you can get an eagle’s eye-view of Kolar town. For photography enthusiasts, there are some rocks which nature has sculpted in various aesthetically pleasing forms. With a little imagination, you can take great pictures.

Night trekkers would need a torch and warm clothes. If trekkers can bear the elements of nature, they can camp on the hilltop at night. You can take the help of amateur local guides.