It was a late evening party with cousins and then we made a plan to ride from Mysore to Gandikota via Lepakshi & Penukonda. Passing through KIA plant, has thousands of acres. Gandikota is a small village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh that is known for its spectacular canyon formed by river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala hills. This handsome piece of Nature’s architecture has come to be known as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by travelers who visit it and get bewitched by its beauty.
here are several other attractions in and near the village that allure visitors, the most special being the ancient, magnificent Gandikota fort that sits majestically on top of the canyon. Apart from the unmatched beauty of the canyon, the mystical charm of this fort makes a visit to this village all the more exciting for history lovers and adventure seekers.
Places to visit
• Stroll around Ruins of Fort.
Spread over miles, the massive Gandikota fort was built in the 13th century. The fort, made in red sandstone, comprises of gorgeous palaces with intricate carvings, perennial springs to irrigate the nearby vegetation, and a 5 mile perimeter wall guarding the fort. Located adjacent to each other, the remains of a temple built in the same century and a mosque added years later set a great example of unity in diversity. One can take a leisurely walk along the fort’s perimeter wall, stop by to watch the serene river, or even watch the fort transform into a play of colours at dusk. A trip to Gandikota is absolutely worth it if you wish to indulge in Gandikota fort’s history narrating the tale of an entirely different civilization that existed centuries ago!
• Swallow in spectacular views of the canyon and the Pennar river
Watch the Pennar river peacefully flow through this brilliant stone canyon that’s an artwork in itself, and you’ll realise why it is called the Grand Canyon of India. Just like the Grand Canyon in Arizona, this massive canyon is a stunning assemblage of rocks, cut and layered in the most peculiar way as if they were arranged by hand! Climbing up those treacherous rocks can be a task in itself, but the amazing views you’ll get once you’re up there, is totally worth it. Sit on top of the rocks and merely watch groups of pelicans fly over the velvety green river every now and then while the sun sets in the backdrop, and your trip to Gandikota will be nothing short of heavenly!
• Stare in amazement at the mesmerizing interiors of Belum Caves
Pictures of the Antelope Canyons in Arizona must always have fascinated you. What if I say you can get that same experience in India? You heard that right! Apart from an Indian version of Grand Canyon, we also have an Indian version of the Antelope Canyons called the Belum Caves. Belum Caves is the second largest cave system in the Indian subcontinent and has great significance in terms of its geology, archaeology, architecture (according to geologists who recently studied the area). In fact, geologists have also found surplus deposits of Quartz in the stalactite and stalagmite formations of the cave.
• Find amity at the architecturally rich temples of Gandikota
One shall find remnants of two spectacular temples near the village on their tour – the Madhavaraya temple and Raghunathaswamy temple. The Raghunathaswamy temple, made of red granite, is a complex system of pillars, hallways, and corridors with an air of mystery about them, since the temple has not a single idol of Gods and Goddesses. The Madhavaraya temple on the other hand, is a fascinating play of architecture with many sculptures of Hindu Gods and everyday rituals of common people carved on the pillars and walls of the temple. It is an excellent display of art that has the life and culture of the lost kingdom preserved in its granite walls.
• Indulge in adventure activities at the canyon.
Gandikota has everything for everyone, even for the adventure hungry. As Gandikota is slowly stepping out and coming under the tourism spotlight, various travel ventures are starting to take hold in the village. One can get down to the canyon and engage in a number of adventure activities like rock climbing, kayaking, rappelling, trekking on their trip to Gandikota.