We started our Road trip in the morning 7.00AM from Hebbal along with Independence day Bike Parade. The road was good, excellent in some stretches. We did follow the NH 7 till Gorantla, from where we took a right turn and followed the road to Kadri. We also saw the diversion to Puttaparthi ( and thought maybe some other time). The roads got a bit narrower whenever we had to pass through smaller towns and we had to clamber across the sharp bumps sometimes. We also had some difficulty cruising amidst the many pilgrims who had congregated in front of the Narasimhaswamy Temple in Kadri. Later we came to know it was Vaikunta Ekadashi, an auspicious day to visit the temple. We thought of visiting Gandikota because of The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft (see the river images below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources.
While driving on the village roads a lot of things can happen. You are sometimes stuck between goats with big floppy ears passing by or you are marveled by the sight of the white egrets waiting on the paddy fields to pull out worms and looking more like guarding a cricket patch, complete with all the positions starting from first slip, second slip and so on, or you are slowed down as the road has been encroached upon by a smart farmer who thought he could use it to dry hay or his red chilly produce of the day.A whole village existed inside the complex – houses, shops and even a primary school.
The village road ended at the Jamia Masjid. We found a few tourist cabs parked adjacent to the mosque’s wall. You do not realise that there is something in store for you till you reach the very end of the chasm. If you’ve ever been here, you will know the feeling… your heart skips a few beats and you find yourself breathless as you approach the edge. A massive chasm, very wide and very deep, standing between you and the other side.
The beauty of the gorge, the different colored rocks, the huge boulders placed precariously over one another as if they were dropped from the sky and the vast expanse of the place…… it’s amazing how nature works. There were several higher rock formations standing separate from where we were standing. We were lost in a world of magical shapes that rose from the ground and which gave a surreal touch to the landscape.
We tried climbing up some of the boulders. It was a treacherous climb at some places, considering the fact that we did not know whether the stones were loose. The rocks were still warm from the scorching sun. If in January, when we visited, it was this hot, one could imagine how hot it would be in the summers.
This is another place in Andhra just 325 kms from Bangalore with good roads to reach, almost. Club this with Belum Caves (10 million year old) which is 60 kms away with a stay in APTDC Harita resort at Gandikota. You won't regret!
The drive was awesome through rugged terrains and every view was like a landscape.Ensure you book the Ap Tourism resort which is near the fort or at the nearest place which is Jammalamadugu.
There is a fort from Vijayanagara times which is worth a visit. The jail, temple ruin, huge rice store house etc., but the highlight is surely the gorge on the banks of Pennar river. Early morning visit by 6:00AM offers breathtaking views, nothing less than the Grand Canyon in the US. It is a massive gorge and easy to reach the tip with adventurous (not dangerous though) boulder crossing! Take a peep at the fishing coracle in the water below which looks like a tiny dot or the 40-50 feet fort wall which look like line drawn using a pencil, to get an idea of how vast the gorge is (Otherwise you may think, it is a normal gorge). There are no safety railings and a fall may guarantee at least 500 feet free fall.
The fort was gearing up for the festival scheduled to begin in the first week of October.The fort is in good condition and looks beautiful.The fort is the main entrance to the village and as we go through the fort we can see a jail,temple and few houses.We realised that the sunset was actually behind us, on the opposite side of the gorge. As dusk was catching up and we didn’t want to stumble over the rocks in the dark, we thought we would climb up the nearby Ranganatha Swamy Temple and enjoy the setting sun from there.
The maintenance of the monuments is not upto the mark and since there was no guide facility we couldn't know much about the importance and history of the place except from what we had read in the internet.
An amazing and yet lesser known marvel,the view from the fort is a opportunity to see some picturesque sites.
I would suggest people to visit this place for the stunning beauty of temple and natural hills.