Where to stay
If you are looking for a comfortable stay, check in to nearby Haritha resort of AP Tourism. The only one available in the vicinity. The fort is only 300-400 mtrs away from Haritha. So walk your way any number of times. The localites were very helpful to me as they offered lift on their bike every time I moved. Room rate ranges from Rs 1500 in week days (Mon-Thu) to Rs 2000 on weekend (Fri-Sun). For online booking and more information log on to www.aptdc.gov.in. In case you cannot find a booking the nearest descent place to stay is Nandyal (NOT Jammalamadugu or Tadipatri as suggested by many) around 100 Km/ 3 hrs journey by car from Gandikota.
The tent packages are around Rs 2000/- which includes food and Kayaking. The food as of now is provided from Haritha resorts only. There are many options available online (freakouts.com, gandikotatourism.com) or else you can book it at the spot to get a better deal. Sharing few local contacts which I could gather Shiva (9985444233), Muni (6281763966), Vinod (7901009904), Mahesh (9964408503), Srinivas (9912794501), Anand (7989462193), Gurunath (9515297874).
Dusk is more appropriate than dawn as the dawn tends to be foggy. Erramala hills is home for wide variety of birds so don’t forget to carry your zoom in lenses. The 300 mtrs trekking to the river bed gives the best possible varieties.
For mobile shooters Since most of the time you will take pictures in bright sunshine select white balance as ‘Cloud’ or 6500K in professional mode. This will give the desired warmth in your picture. Keep the ISO minimum (100 or 200) While capturing the temples focus on inside walls of the temple with spot/centre metering mode. This will capture the details of the inside of the temple walls rather making it dark. Don’t take portrait (picture with people) in bright sunlight. Find a place with shadow. The fort and temples are tall enough to give you such places.
Banks of river is the best place to capture flying birds with the gorge or forest in the background.