Gandikota is not yet another weekend getaway from Bangalore .This place is one of a kind.We don't get to see gorge formations in India very often.Do we ? It is called the Indian Version of Grand Canyon or Desi Grand Canyon. But I am going to refrain myself from comparing Indian tourist places to the foreign counter parts. So lets just call it Gandikota canyon or Gandikota gorge formation.
This place is 280 kms from Bengaluru located in kadappa district of Andra Pradesh.
I will be honest with you , the drive is not a very pleasant one . Its hot and dry . But just like oasis in a desert we get to see sunflower fields on the way that will lighten up your drive a little bit. It was a really picturesque area .I am not sure about the location name exactly because there was no network.
Its better to fill up on breakfast when you leave Bangalore because there are no proper restaurants or even small hotels on the way. Carrying enough water bottles and snacks is very much essential for this drive. You will probably be famished by the time you reach Gandikota and thats when APTDC's hotel comes to your rescue . Its a basic hotel .You get decent meals there with limited options which will be good enough.After lunch its best to chill here for a while because it isn't advisable to visit the canyon in afternoon sun.
Canyon is 15- 20 minutes drive from the APTDC guest house. First you can see the Gandikota fort , and you can actually drive through the fort(how cool huh ?!) to reach the canyon. Now to get a good view of the gorge formation start climbing the boulders to reach the point where you can see the grandeur of pennar river flowing and the gorge. The place looks so grand ! Both sides of the canyon look damn beautiful . The view is absolutely gorge'ous!( see what I did there ,he he )
After clicking pictures , I sat down for few minutes just to absorb the view completely. The view of sun going down between the gorge with windmills in the background. To the left I saw a temple and a mosque co-existing .Overall what a peaceful sight it was . Thats when I realized this place was worth the long drive , worth climbing all the boulders and worth tolerating the scorching heat.
Now where do you stay at Gandikota ? That is the not so good part of this place . APTDC Haritha Guest house rooms get booked well in advance(at least 4-5 months before). And there are no other hotels available in Gandikota.Absolutely none. We stayed at a hotel in place called Tadipatri that is two hours away from Gandikota. Tadipatri doesnt have much options for food as well . Dinner was from a local bar and breakfast next day was from a tiny place en route belum caves . But no complaints as food was really good.
Other option would be camping . you can pitch your tents in Gandikota, bring sleeping bags and stay there for the night to witness sunrise next day from the gorge . I have heard its quite beautiful.
We left from Tadipatri next day to visit Belum caves . Belum caves is located in Kurnool District of AP. Apparently this one of largest natural cave formations in India which was formed by constant flow of water underground. . APTDC is doing a god job maintaining this place well . The entrance looks like a deep pit . Cave is well lit.But cannot avoid the sweating and suffocation after a while .Nevertheless if you are into history or geology you will find this place very interesting.
And that was the end of one good trip to Gandikota and Belum caves . Any other details you need to know about the place or the trip ,drop a mail .I can help you out.