Travelsandclicks | Blog

Tripoto
20th Dec 2018

Gorges of Gandikota

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta
Day 1

Gandikota is a small village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.

Jammalamadugu (14 km) has the nearest railway station and APSRTC bus stop. It is popular as weekend destination and for adventure sports. Small but beautiful surroundings of Gandikota has a lot to offer with respect to history of South Indian Kings and natural beauty of the Gorge.

The rising sun giving a golden bath to Gandikota fort.

Photo of Gandikota Fort, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Ramit Sengupta

Preferred time and month to visit

In Andhra there are mainly two seasons, Summer and Extreme summer. So November to January are the best months to visit. In December afternoon, I witnessed temperature rising up to 31 degree Celcius. So early morning and evenings are the most preferred timings for the visit.

Location and how to reach

Gandikota a small village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Jammalamadugu (14 km) has the nearest railway station and APSRTC bus stop. Since not may trains are plying to Jammalamadugu I reached via Vijayawada-Nandyal- Allagadda-Jammalamadugu route. The alternate route starts from Kurnool. APSRTC live tracking app helped me immensely to know about bus timings and frequency. If someone want to hire a car he/she must do it from Nandyal or Kurnool. Nearest airport is Bangalore. One can also access the place from Tirupati, Vijayawda or Hyderabad.

Point of Interests and Places to see

The place is a complete package offering natural beauty of river, gorge, hills, wind mills as well as historical monuments. One night and two days is suggested by most. The best part I liked was trekking down the Erramala hills (around 300 mtrs) to reach the banks of alluring Pennar. Each bent of the trek offers a different view of the gorge. Dense forest and numerous birds accompanied me all the way. Just need to follow the white line drawn by the locals to understand the trekking route.

Following the white line to reach the banks of Pennar

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Kayaking (hand-driven small boats) is the best way to have a look around the gorge from the river. They will start bargain from Rs 500/-. It depends on how much you can negotiate. If you can directly reach the spot without any middleman you will get a better rate. Don’t forget to carry your towel and bathing costumes. The dark green water of Pennar is too much to resist for a dip or two. It took me 30 mins to climb down, 45 mins to climb back, 20 mins for kayaking, 20 mins for the dip. The difficulty level is moderate but certainly not for weak hearts. So I did not find many people here. Morning is the best time for this adventure.

Pennar Bank, Kayaking boats waiting for its passenger

Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Ramit Sengupta

Pennar Bank

Photo of Gandikota Penna River View, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh, India by Ramit Sengupta

Jaw dropping view of the gorge from Gandikota drags numerous tourists every year. It has two views, front and back. The front side opens in the wide angle view of Pennar and the Erramala hills. The back side view offers ruins of the fort and the serpentine walls of the fort deep inside the gorge. The enormity of the fort-walls are likely to bring flavours similar to the Great wall of China.

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

View of the gorge on my way to river banks

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Parrots on the cliffs

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Once done with this, I wandered around the Fort to visualize the wonderful architecture of Madhavaraya Swamy Temple, Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Granary, Jail, Mini Charminar, swimming pool and the Jumma masjid. Also climbed up the fort-walls to see its serpentine course. The history of the fort goes back to 13th Century and represents the glorious days of Kapa and Kamma Kings of Vijayanagaram dynasty. The fort also experienced Muslim invasion by Mir Jumla the general of Abdul Qutub shah in secret connivance with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

The Jail

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Ranganathaswamy Temple

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

view Madhavaraya Swamy Temple from Ranganathaswamy Temple

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Madhavaraya Swamy

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

Jumma Masjid

Photo of Travelsandclicks | Blog by Ramit Sengupta

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).

Photography Tips

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.

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