The Grand Canyon in the US is one spectacle of nature to behold; massive canyons carved out by the Colorado river for millions of years. While making a trip to this World renowned heritage site may not be up on everyone's fortune, fortunately India has its very own canyon gorge formation which can parallel any other such majestic wonders of nature.
The canyons at Gandikota, right next to the Gandikota fort complex is one such jewel hiding in plain hindsight. With the river Pennar flowing seamlessly through it Gandikota and Belum caves offers not only some smashing vistas but also throws light on the intricate work in the gorge formations and carvings inside the cave. Gandikota lies in the Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh, while the Belum caves are situated in the Kurnool district, and is truly a gem that most are still unaware of. Owing to its close proximity to both Hyderabad & Bengaluru, Gandikota and Belum caves makes for a quick yet much rewarding weekend visit, with its breath-taking canyon views and underground caves.
I had Gandikota and Belum caves on my "to-visit-list" for the last 2 years or so but it just didn't materialize for one reason or the other. To my luck I had the fortune of coming across Muddie Trails on Meetup with whom I finally signed up for this trip. Finally, I may tick it off my list, maybe!
Travelling yet again from Mysuru I caught up with the rest of the members of the group at Hebbal. From here Gandikota is roughly around 6 hours of ride. Tried to snuggle in for some needed sleep, but the roads won't let me though. (Un)Fortunately though Gandikota witnesses scanty footfall due to very few even knowing about such a place existing in our country, so don't be surprised if you are the only one here on a bright sunny day. If you are planning a visit here then congratulations, you are one of those few lucky people who will be a witness to this maverick!
Reached Gandikota at around 7 am, at Haritha resort managed by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism. You can consider this resort as an oasis in the middle of a desert as there is no other staying option that I could notice around the vast stretch of barren land. Windy, dry, barren land suddenly is the norm. The resort is very well maintained; clean public washrooms, courteous staff, and even better food. Our stay (camping) and food was already managed by the group leader at the resort. Some much need re-freshening and post breakfast we would head out to Gandikota fort, before the canyon.