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Engulfed in the beauty of the gorge

Gandikota – A day at the Grand Canyon of India

In the excitement of visiting the Grand Canyon of India we woke up at 5 am on a Saturday morning and started our 290 kms drive from Bangalore to Gandikota. I wouldn’t say that it was an interesting drive, it was rather dry and there weren’t many places on the way to our destination to stop by and relax. We reached Gandikota around 11 am.

Gandikota milestone
There we were at Gandikota around 11am, set to explore the place.

What is at Gandikota?

Gandikota is a small village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh known for its fantabulous gorge (‘gandi‘ in Telugu) formed by the Erramala range of hills and the green and gorgeous Penne river flowing at its foot.

Gandikota Penne River Valley Frontview
Penne River Valley’s front view
Gandikota Penne River Valley backview
Penne River Valley’s back view

How was the Gandikota fort and what is in there to see?

The ‘fort’ (‘kota‘ in Telugu) at Gandikota was calm and I saw people going and coming out of it carrying water on bikes, not inquisitive about the strangers viewing the fort with awe and clicking crazy pictures. There were boards like below which showed what is there to see at the fort but there weren’t any information boards telling us the history of the fort.

The entrance of the Gandikota fort

Next to the space where tents are places if we walk for a km, we will be able to find a small waterfall. We must follow the white line next to the AC tent area to get to the destination.

When I visited Gandikota I was told that boating is stopped but you can try asking the hotels there if they have reopened the services.

Tell me the History of Gandikota

Gandikota area was first identified and made Sand fort in 1123 A.D by Kaka Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, Kalyani Chalukya ruler. Gandikota came under the rule of Kakatiya dynasty from 1239 A.D to 1304 A.D and ruled by their various subordinates. It was then captured by the Tughlaq dynasty and was under their rule till 1343 A.D. Gandikota became the capital of Pemmasani Nayakas who ruled the fort and Gandikota region for more than 300 years. In 1652 A.D Pemmasani Timma Nayaka lost Gandikota battle with the attack of Mir Jumla, military general of Qutab shahi dynasty. Gandikota then came under the power of Golconda sultanate and Timma Nayaka became their feudatory king. After the short ruling of Abdul Nawab Khan, ruler of Kadapa it became the part of British India.[wiki]

Food and Stay at Gandikota

There are several shops near the entrance of the fort that offer food, 3 people tents for rent and restroom facilities. All these 3 come together as if you have bought it as a package. I had gone in a caravan, so we had tents with us in the caravan, so restrooms became an issue for us on the next day morning because we didn’t rent tents in any shop to use their restroom.

Gandikota hotel
We had our food here and used their washrooms.

If you take your own tents, then you might have to pay for using the restrooms built in Gandikota and I can’t guarantee that it will be super clean. You will also be noticing that every tent provider will serve dinner near their tent area, facing the gorge.
Tent cost: 3 person tents ranging Rs.800 – Rs.1000 (with dinner)

There were also AC tents in a gated space next to where the rest of the tents were.
Private AC tents cost: Rs.2,200

What next after Gandikota? Of course, Belum Caves.

The next day morning we refreshed at Paradise Hotel near the fort entrance and had breakfast. Following that we set our drive to the Belum Caves. You can’t resist to stop and click pictures in the sunflower fields that you will be finding on the way to the Belum caves from Gandikota.

Gandikota Belum sunflower fields
Sunflower fields on the way to Belum caves from Gandikota

If you feel like going on a drive from Bangalore and see something magnificent then why not Gandikota? The best time for it would be Nov – Jan.

Gandikota Penne River Valley Frontview
Engulfed in the beauty of the gorge

Experiencing the majestic gorge and soaking into the thoughts of a fascinating river cave system brings more fun.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

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