Hidden Grand Canyon of India - Gandikota #offbeatgetaway

Tripoto
25th Jan 2019
Photo of Hidden Grand Canyon of India - Gandikota #offbeatgetaway by Siva Ilankumaran

How many times have we gaped our mouth wide seeing the pictures of Arizona Grand Crayon in facebook, instagram, tumblr, flicker,and so on and so forth. We have seen our friends, relatives post picture in the great background of grand canyon national park but hardly few recognized something of similar kind hidden in south India all along.

Gandikota, located in Kadapa district of Andra Pradesh has a majestic canyon or gorge very much alike Arizona Grand Canyon, USA.

Brother captured this stunning shot of Grand cany0n of India

Location

It is located closely with three major cities of South India : Bangalore, Chennai & Hyderabad, making it a weekend getaway in recent times. Reaching via road is highly recommended, other option is train. Gandikota attracts bike riders clubs.

Bangalore - Gandikota - 278 Kms

Chennai - Gandikota - 341 Kms

Hyderabad - Gandikota - 388 Kms

Time to Visit

September to February is the best time to visit Gandikota. Do not plan in summers as summers are really harsh.

Places to See and Things to do

Walk deep into the earth opening

It is India's largest and longest cave open to public and as such second largest cave in India behind Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya. Age of the cave clock back to 4500 BC. The indications are that Budhhist and Jain monks lived in caves for centuries ago. The cave lengths 3.2 Km and 151 ft deed. It has number of recesses to give adventurous experience.

Entrance of Belum Caves

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Walk in to the earth opening

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Buddha bless at very entrance

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Name carved in the hill

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Swings for the tired kids

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Gives some nice pics

Photo of Belum Caves, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Camp under the wide open sky

Gandikota is not developed in terms of tourism yet where there is only one APTDC restaurant & lodge but this really a blessing in disguise. You could camp on your the place where your eye set sight or get a camp booked through the local agents. Camping has become popular lately and one thing is for sure there is only few better places in India to camp.

Gandi - Gorge + Kota - Hills

Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Swim or boat a kayak in the gorge

Gandikota got its name after the gorge running between the hills. Penna river runs at the foot of hill make a perfect place for trekking, swimming and kayaking. The local tour agents plan a complete stay includes food, camp stays, kayak. So it better to contact number of agents in Gandikota (you could find contacts online effortlessly).

Water as placid as sky above

Photo of Penna River, Andhra Pradesh by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Penna River, Andhra Pradesh by Siva Ilankumaran

Indulge in the architectural remains of Gandikota

Kamma Kings made a fort bordering the village has quite a few temples and mosques of different times.

Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Siva Ilankumaran

Fish with locals in Gandikota Reservoir

Photo of Gandikota Reservoir, Andhra Pradesh by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Reservoir, Andhra Pradesh by Siva Ilankumaran
Photo of Gandikota Reservoir, Andhra Pradesh by Siva Ilankumaran

Where to Stay

As mentioned there is only one lodge APDTC-Hotel Haritha but now the government and other private people organizing camps and tents near the entrance of fort with common buffet in Hotel Haritha and near camping spot. The package may vary from 2000 to 2500 rupees, which includes Stay, food & water activity (Kayak).

What to Eat

There are few tea stalls with packed drinks, snacks and bread omelette near the camping site or fort entrance but a full fledged restaurant is not yet established. So need to rely mainly on the trip agent for foods.

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