Amazing Gandikota

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Trip date: Dec 2018
Gandikota, a small village in Kadapa district of Andra Pradesh and home to its iconic canyon formed by the river Penna. The spectacular view of the river Penna, flowing through this massive red stone gorge is breathtaking and you’ll realise why it is called the ‘Grand Canyon of India’
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What makes Gandikota unique place in its kind is the spectacular red canyon carved by the river Penna that cuts through Erramala hills for hundreds of years. The other spot to explore here is the 13th century architectural wonder, Gandikota fort. Gnadikota derives its name from two telug words ‘Gandi’ meaning gorge and ‘kota’ meaning fort.
Gnadikota is located 300 kilometer from Bangalore. The roads are very good and half of the distance is through the sri nagar kanyakumari highway (NH 44). The drive to Gandikota is a rich experience and you can see variety of farm fields on both sides of the road. Tractors, herds, farmers drying harvested paddy on roads, the route is a window to rural Indian village lives.
Jammalamadugu is the nearest town to Gandikota and located 15 kilometer away from the fort. We may feel like going six or seven centuries back as we cross the huge tall iron gate to enter the massive fort. Gandikota is uncommercialised and less exploited spot and so here we could not see any security guards or someone collecting entry fee. Also you can park your vehicles inside the fort. Tall structures inside the fort, two temples, one jamia masjid and one big granary are visible from far outside. Gandikota has centuries old hidden stories of dynasties, telug culture and heritage. it has witnessed rise and fall of powerful empires. Would be an awesome place for history lovers to explore. It’s a red  sandstone structure protected by 8 kilometer long powerful wall built with large stones. Also the natural protection provided by the grand forge, river Penna and erramala hills is what makes it unique. The canyon view point is on the north side of the fort.
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Jamiya masjid
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Rnganaatha swami temple
 
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Granary
The view of penna river peacefully flowing through this red granite stone canyon, cut and layered in the most peculiar way as if they were arranged by hand, is really amazing. This is a kind of massive place where we feel how tiny we are on the universe. View of Penna river slowly flowing through the canyon is very charming and sometimes it looks like the water is static.
How to get there ?
It’s located 300 KM (7 hours drive) from Bangalore. Route is Bangalore ⇒ Nandi hills ⇒ Kadiri ⇒ Jammalamadugu ⇒ Gandikota
Nearest railway station: Jammalamadugu (17 KMs)
Nearest Airport: Bangalore (255 KMs)
Where to stay ?
Gandikota is a remote village and  less commercialised. The only resort available here is Haritha resort run by Andhra tourism board. There are around 12 cottages here and the resort is well maintained and spacious one. You can book through AP tourism website http://aptdc.gov.in
What if you won’t get room ? There is a camping site operated by local guides near Penna river located around one kilometer from Haritha. You can use all the facilities of Haritha though staying in camp site. We stayed  here in tents and experienced next day sunrise, it was a wonderful experience. Here is the contact to book tent in advance 7382162681 – Nageshwara Babu (use code UNAISKA DOSTH 🙂 )

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