Gandikota - Grand Canyon of India.
After reading a lot of blogs and planning what to do and how to go, we finally left our homes for Gandikota, a small yet beautiful village of Andhra Pradesh. It's also known as the Grand Canyon of India.
A small brief about the place :
Gandikota is a tiny village in the Kadapa district of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. About 15kms from Jammalamadugu there is a historic fort called Gandikota Fort. The fort has a gorge which is very similar to the grand canyon of Arizona in the United States. Situated on the banks of the Penna river, this has history since the 12th century. The gorge is formed by the Pennar river cutting through the Erramala Hills and is sure to leave you in awe. No travel story ever ends without the amazing views of orange color spilling itself all over the sky. Sunrise and sunset are some of the top things you should look out for during your trip to Gandikota.
After imagining 1000 times about how and when I will get a chance to do a backpacking trip, I was finally going to have one. There were 6 of us and had completely no idea about the place we were going. We just knew the names of the places we wanted to visit. No plans on how would we reach that destination. I read some blogs about the place hence I knew which railway station to get down at.
Finally our journey started and we got down at Tadipatri Railway station. Getting out of the station we found many autorickshaws standing there. We asked one of the to drop us at the bus stop. Near the bus stop there were many street food stalls. We went to one of them and had amazing breakfast at just 240 rupees.
Also Read : Kutch Diaries
Here are the places we visited during our stay in Andhra Pradesh.
Belum Caves :
These are the largest and longest caves in the Indian Subcontinent. These are known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. These caves are formed over thousands of years with the continuous flow of underground water of the river Chitravathi which has now disappeared. The caves can go as deep as 151ft below sea level which is called Paataalganga. The length of the cave is around 10,593ft making it the second largest cave system in the India after Krem Liat Prah in Meghalaya.
Madhavaraya Temple :
This temple is located in the complex of Gandikota fort and is the must visit temple in Gandikota. One strange fact about this place is that this temple doesn’t have any idol inside. I guess it’s the only temple without any idol in India. The reason was that the idol was shifted to Mydukuru after Nizams attacked the fort. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is supposed to be built in the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Though there is no idol inside but the temple is still intact with beautiful carvings.
Jamia Masjid :
This is also located in the fort complex and is around 500m from Gandikota Bus stop. Situated in the same complex and beside the hindu temple is a perfect example of unity in diversity. The structure of this grand mosque is in such a way that it resembles the char minar of Hyderabad. It still attracts visitors with its Islamic architecture. One can visit the pond Kattula Koneru which is just opposite the masjid and you can also visit the granary adjacent to the masjid which is used to store grains.
Gandikota Fort :
This grand canyon of India is similar to the grand canyon of Arizona. One does not have to go all the way to America now. This place is still not known to many and hence one can enjoy a peaceful stay here. Camping is also an amazing option while on the fort. You have make booking well in advance as there is only one hotel which is under andhra pradesh government. You also have many homestay options.
Also Read : Gokarna!