A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore.

Tripoto
26th Aug 2016

Our Trip to Belum caves and Gandikota was quite unexpected but we planned it well the last minute. We were a group of 7 and had taken the XUV for rent for two days. We had chalked down the routes and had the hotel rooms booked in Kadapa city. Booking rooms in Kadapa were the best option as both Belum caves and the Gandikota are in remote locations and there are no hotels nearby. There is an AP tourism board (APTDC) guesthouse, but it is unavailable for accommodation some of the times.

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. 1/1 by Panchami Bekal
Day 1

We started our journey at 7 AM from Madiwala. The road to Andhra Pradesh was really wonderful and we could easily drive up to 130 KM/H. This drive was a therapy for people suffering from Bangalore traffic :D haha :D It was 5 hours drive from Bangalore and the journey till Andhra Pradesh was a breeze.

The Highway

Photo of Madiwala, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Panchami Bekal

Kadapa- the place known after the kadapa stones available there

Photo of Madiwala, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Panchami Bekal

We had our lunch on the way in one of the local restaurants near the highway and went to our first destination, Belum caves.

About Belum Caves:

Belum cave is the second longest cave system in India and is situated in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It has a length of 3229M. The deepest point, 120M from the entrance is situated at the Patalaganga. The caves are known for their unique formations such as stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM

Entrance fees: INR 50 for Indians and INR 300 for foreign nationals.

It is impossible to reach the caves without the GPS. There were times when we were not sure whether or not to trust the GPS, as there were mud roads and herds of goats grazing ( typical village surroundings) But we followed it anyway and were greeted by the sign “Belum Caves” inscribed on the hill.

Photo of Belum Caves, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

Once we obtained the tickets at the counter, we went along with the local guide to explore the caves. The caves were humid and very hot inside. We realized that the air was pumped into the caves to keep up the oxygen level. We were enthralled by the length and dimensions of the caves. It is a two layered structure and has stairs to reach the lower level. The Patalaganga is an underwater waterfall and water source within the cave system. We spent around 3 hours in the cave and got back, drenched in sweat !!

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal
Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

The cave view, artificially lit

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal
Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

The view at the entrance to the cave

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal
Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

limestone formations

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

In front of Patalaganga

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

There were Buddha statue and a park in the vicinity. We stopped for few snaps and then left to Kadapa to check- into our hotel. (The state highway was in the pathetic condition in several places!).

Excuse my pathetic editing !!

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

On the way to Kadapa :)

Photo of Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

It was already 7 PM by then. After freshening up, we had Andhra style dinner at a local Hotel in Kadapa.The food was totally spicy and yummy. At around 10 PM, we called it a day and left to our rooms.

Day 2

Our destination for the next day was Gandikota

About Gandikota:

Gandikota is a small village in Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh. This place is famous for the Pennu Gorge as the gorge is caused by the river Penna, cutting through the hills. Gandikota is also known as the Grand canyon of India. You will know why, once you see it.

The place has well-connected roads and was easily accessible by car.

We reached Gandikota at around 12:30 PM and straight away went on to visit the places there.

* Jamia masjid of Gandikota fort.

It is a mosque with simple architecture that looks similar to Charminar in Hyderabad. We saw several campers camping in the vicinity. There was also a tree in which there were several parrot nests.

Jamia masjid entrance

Photo of Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

The masjid

Photo of Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

view of the temple from the masjid

Photo of Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

Us and the tree with the parrot nests

Photo of Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Panchami Bekal

*The granery : There is a huge granery that had the purpose of storing food for the fort dwellers (soldiers etc).

View of the granery

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

*The ruins of the Gandikota fort: One can walk along the ruins of the Gandikota fort.

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

*The Temple: The temples are in ruins and so we did not visit it. It looked grand and had great architecture from the outside.

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

Ruins of the temple

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

*Pennu Gorge: The gorgeous Gorge of Gandikota.This is the perfect photo stop. We took several snaps here. The view from this point is spectacular.

on the way to view the Gorge

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

Penna Gorge

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal
Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

It was extremely hot in Gandikota that day. We were tired and hungry. We headed to APTDC guesthouse for lunch. There weren’t many options, but we had Thali meals and relaxed in the park for a while

random shot at the APTDC garden.

Photo of A visit to Gandikota,the Grand canyons of India – A weekend getaway from Bangalore. by Panchami Bekal

Later we headed towards Bangalore at around 2 PM and reached at around 8 PM. That was the end of an astounding and unforgettable weekend getaway.

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