April 2015 | Bike Rides Bangalore

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Antharagange - Exploring the Caves 19/04/2015

Places: Antharagange, Keelu Kote, Kolar, Karnataka

Distance: 75 * 2 = 150 kms
Route: Vijaynagar -> Kolar -> Anthargange -> Kolar -> Vijaynagar
Crew:  Abdul, Arun, Kalpesh, Linga and Sagar (Myself)
Type: Trekk (optional) & Sight Seeing, Temple.
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Bikes: Bajaj Discover and Honda Trigger
Budget: 300/Head

Best of the Beast: Sun rise
Brief about the place:
  • Known as Dakshina Kashi  is a series of rocky hills situated in the Shathashrunga mountain range. 
  •  There is a temple named Kashivishweshwara Temple in front of the pond dedicated to Lord Shiva 
  •  The pond gets continuous water stream from Nandi throughout the year. The origin of the water is unknown but believed that the water is falling from head of Lord Shiva.
  • Visitors carry this holy water in bottles because it is also believed that one can get rid of the diseases by drinking this holy water of Antaragange.
  • There are seven villages on this mountain  

Sunday morning: 
We hit the road as early as 4.30 am to avoid intense Sun while trekking as it was summer. Headed towards Kolar on National Highway 4. I had never been on this route before, the silky smooth road and low traffic made the ride exiting. Sun started wiping the darkness away turning sky red. Reached kolar at 7 am, after entering Kolar city a left turn would lead to Anthargange Caves. Had breakfast at nearby hotel and we were set to visit Anthargange.

Stopped on the way to see Sunrise
NH4: Silky Smooth Road

Anthargange: Parked vehicle at the base and started walking towards the temple, there are 350 stairs which would lead to temple, path is surrounded by trees on both the sides. We saw hundreds of butterflies flying around. Thats when we got to know Anthargange is home for hundreds of species of butterflies (Sadly no blogs have mentioned about this).
As soon as we entered temple premises lot of monkeys welcomed us. There is a Pond at the Temple which is filled by an underground spring the origins of which are unknown. The holy water is believe to cure deseases, visiters get water filled in bottle.

0 kms to Anthargange
Kashi of south: Arch at the entrance
350 stairs leading to the temple
Path is covered by trees on both the sides
"OM" painted on the surrounding rocks
Butterflies: Anthargange is home for hundreds of species of Butterflies
You could see them at morning
Busy bee finding the perfect flower to prepare honey we eat

Very well maintained path till the temple
Monkeys welcoming us
Sri Kashivereshwar swami temple
Other view of the temple
Water coming from Basava, source of the water is unknown
The holy water is believed to cure deseased
Another view of Pushkarani
The Trek: After the temple visit, we hit the trekking trail which starts just behind the temple. The 2 kms trekking trail is well defined with boulders on both sides. As you climb up the scenery is spectacular with all shapes and sizes of boulders enveloping you.

Starting path leading to the hill top
Carved stairs at some places
but most of the route is rough but clear

After half an hour of trek we met local kids who offered to guide through Caves but we decided to explore the place by ourself as we had a lot of time (and that was a bad decision). We asked the direction from them and headed to the caves. The caves were really thrilling but we didn't go deep into the caves as we had no idea to come back if struck. Caves weren't much exiting for us, we moved on. We were falling short of water and everyone was getting dehydrated. Someone said there is water source available at the top which gave us some relief. Finally we reached a flat area with good road facility. There are 7 villages on the hill top. There was a mosque where we got drinking water. We cooled down for half an hour and started trekking again.

Exploring the caves
Exploring the caves
Flat gound on the hill top
housing seven villages

There is good road transportation till the hill top
Mosque at the top
Relaxing for some time before we finally reach the top
We took the route behind the mosque, it was harldy 15 mins trek to reach the peak. Unlike other hills which are pointed on the peak this one is horizontal on the peak.

Its hot, isn't it?
Few more steps till the top
View on left
View on right

Chalo ek group photo lete hai
View from the top
You can see NH4 road
You can relaz under this caves on the top.
Seems like some people were playing games here

Trekking down

The shop near mosque opened at 11 am we had cold drinks and fruits to fill our tummy. We started the down trekking. We filled up water near the temple again and headed back to Bangalore. Reached bangalore back by 2 pm.

Important Notes: 
  • Antaragange is over populated by wild monkeys. Do not carry food or eatables in front of Monkeys because it grabs anything from the visitors.
  • If you want to see the butterflies then the best time is morning before 8am after which all butterflies disappers.
  • Do take guide from local kids, I know we all like to explore the places by ourself but guide is a must at this place.
Don't forget to +1 or Like and leave a comment below. 

Update: Watch the below vilog of the Antargange which was shot on March 2017


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bilikal Rangaswami betta and Mekedatu - Dar ke age jeet hai 12/04/2015

Places: Bilikal Rangaswami betta, Chunchi Falls, Sangama, Mekedatu

Distance: 250 kms overall
Route: Vijaynagar -> Kanakpur -> Rangaswami Betta -> Kanakpur -> Chunchi Falls -> Sangam -> Mekedatu -> Kanakpur -> Vijaynagar
Type: Trekking (optional) & Sight Seeing, Waterbody.
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Bikes: Bajaj Discover and Honda Trigger
Budget: 400/Head

Abdul was exited to go on a ride as he got his new Nikon P600 Camera last weekend. I had Rangaswami Betta in my wishlist it was time to move it to donelist. Initial planning was just to visit Rangaswami Betta but it got stretched and we visited Chunchi falls, Sangama and Mekedatu.

Best of the Beast: Sunset time

Sunday Morning: We hit the road at 6 am sharp, headed towards Kanakpur.  After Kanakpur there is left diversion to Rangaswami Betta, while the google maps helped a lot the localites were friendly to show the directions.

Sun rise on the way

The Leopard story: Since there was nothing available on the hill we stopped at a shop to buy water. The shopkeeper told that a leopard has fell in well on the way to hills. There were many villagers assembled near the well, there was a man with big camera who seemed like a photographer introduced himself as some forest official of the area. "Why are you here?" he asked, "We are on the way to Temple on Rangaswami betta" I replied. He said "Why have you come so far? Isn't there is any temple in Bangalore? The hill is in reserved forest, you would be breaching into the forest". I knew that many people visit this hill and there is no restricition as such, we just nodded our heads avoiding any arguement. We diverted the topic to Rescuing of the Leopard.
Leopard hinding on the edge

A closer look

We continied our journery, but all the exitment had turned into fear as the man scared us. We reached this village Mavathoor from where the uphill starts.
From here you have two choices:
1. Park the Vehicle and trek for 6 kms.
2. Take bike/car/van/bus/truck till the  top (Yes!! The road is really wide).

Scary Ride: We weren't prepared for the trekking so we choose the second option. Road turned from Tar road to soil road with Zig Zag path. There were warning signs "Beware of Elephants" which did scare us. After some time we saw Elephant dung indicating the presence of Elephants in the area, as we were moving up we saw more and more elephant dung but no people around. Arun sitting on back seat insisted to return back but there is no turning back. Finally we saw two people trekking which gave us relief. We saw one more group of 8-10 people trekking.

Sri mahaedshwara swami temple at base

Sri mahaedshwara swami temple at base

Wide soil road to the hill top

Sign board - Beware of elephant
Elephant dung on the road

Road goes through forest shrub

Rangaswami Betta - On the peak:  Parked bikes under the shades of the mighty rock.  Had a great view of the surrounding places. After couple of minutes the two men whom we encounted on the way met us. We enquired about the trek on this route, forest breaching and elephants, the old man who is coming here since 19 years said its perfectly safe and open to the public. He told that Elephants weren't comman until some years back. Since it was our first time we were scared for no reasons. We spent some time on the top and started downhill. Abdul and Kalpesh suggested that we will visit Chunchi falls and Mekedatu.

The rock which houses the Ranganatha Swamy temple

View from the top

Pushkarani at the edge of the hill

Chunchi Falls: We were back on wheels heading towards Chunchi falls. It was already 12 in the afternoon, the sun was over the head and sun rays were intense. There were warning signages at the parking lot, a guy said that the water is dirty one can neither drink nor bath. We all agreed to stay off from the water and enjoy from distance.

Warning sign at the parking

Warning sign at the parking

There is a watch tower from which we had a good view of the surroundings. There was a small stream flowing on the left and falls on the right. We decided to go down near the falls. Trek down took hardly 10 mins, as we came closer to the falls we saw beautiful milky white falls was actually carring dirty water. The falls isn't big one like one at Shivana Samudra. We were thirsty and hungry, Kalpesh said there are hotels at Sangama.

Watch tower

Trying to capture 360 degree view

Small water stream on the left

Chunchi Falls

Sangama: The road goes through forest, there is a checkpost beyond which no liquor is allowed. The sunday rush was at the peak at Sangama, endless line of cars and bikes were parked. Had food at hotel on the left, food was worst than we imagined even the fish wasn't cooked well. Many people including group of friends and families were playing in water. The water level was low, so it was safer to get into water. We got tempted to swim and relax for some time but that would leave us tired and would be very difficult to ride back, if we were on car definitely we would have jumped into water :(  I had misconception that we had to walk for 4kms from here to reach Mekedatu so we simply sat on the river bank seeing people playing in water. When I asked local police about Mekedatu he said there are vehicles from the other side of the river which does round trip every 30 mins. It was already 4.30 pm we rushed to the other side of the river, we had to cross the river. There was a private bus on the other side, charged 40Rs/head for round trip. The four km ride to the Mekedatu goes through uneven path, no own vehicle could come here. There were sign boards with warning not to trek on this route.
Sangama - People playing in water

Sign boards again to remind of danger at the place
Played in water for a while

Mekedatu: 30 minutes was assigned to have look at the place. The first view of the place was awesome, the rocks everywhere more beautiful than one in Chunchi falls. I had always heard of accidents at Mekedatu so we were more causious at this place, since it was summer the level of water was less but still it gave an incredible view, before we could enjoy the place it started raining heavily. Rain continued for the next one hour. We came back to the Sangam after rain slowed down.


The Ride Back - Mixed emotions: Many things started bothering us, apart from the wet road it was getting darker. The road has become slippery which could increase chances of skidding. From my previos experience I knew that the road is dangerous, rain had turned it deadly. We rode slow to avoid any chance accidents. The brigher side of the rain was the the climate had turned from intense hot to incredibly beautiful climate. We actually started enjoying the ride. Saw three accidents in row which reminded me of my previous ride on this road. Reached the home safely by 10 pm.

1. The Kanakpur road is dangerous so ride safely and wear helmate. I will soon upload my previous trip to mekedatu where we met with minor accident.
2. Bilikal Rangaswami Betta offers a thrilling trekking experience, you can plan to trek as its safer.

Don't forget to +1 or Like and leave a comment below.