Gandikota, a small village on the right bank of the river Pennar (Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh) famously known as “The Grand Canyon of India” because of the beautiful gorge formed by the hills and Pennar river. Our driving holiday started with our car headlights on at around 04:00 AM. Our route plan was to drive through Devanahalli – Chikkaballapur – Gorantla – Kadri – Pullivendula – Jammalamadugu – Gandikota, passing many small villages.
The road was good, excellent at some stretches, got a bit narrower whenever we had to pass through smaller towns but still pretty good. The towering hills along the way looked even more taller with the giant windmills on top. We accidentally diverted from our route cause of GPS not working for some stretch and wandered onto a wild road that led us to the Mylavaram dam and reservoir and some great fun along the way (it is always good to wander on the roads less travelled).
After all of that candid commotion, the Gandikota APTDC Resort was a sigh of relief on that hot day for us. We stopped for a short while for some fillers and then drove drove to the fort. You can park your cars just outside the gate and start walking into the fort to an open area. A whole village exists inside the fort complex – houses, shops and even primary school. The village road ends at Jamia Masjid and we later got to know that people drive up to Jamia Masjid straight crossing the village.
The fort is majorly ruins but you will be able to make out the temples & the masjid. There is vast land to roam around and venture in the ruins. We wanted to see the sky taking many colors at sunset from the gorge, so without much ado we made our way to it (which is not easy by any means on a hot day, keep plenty of water with you). The Pennar river seemed very stagnant and harmless from the top of the fort, but the walls of the gorge were equally magnificent. We could make out different colors of rocks, and the lines cut through the rocks. We found a flat, shady place amidst the giant boulders around to sit and soak in all the beauty and quiet before heading back. On our way back we climbed onto the Temple for a few shots.
We chose the destination because it was an easy to do one day trip. But we missed to take the weather into account on the day of our travel. Do make sure to check the weather forecast cause this place has the potential of getting really freaking hot as the fort is majorly vast land all around with broken walls here and there.
From deep valley, wild forests, massive boulders of red granite to the fort ruins and remains, the village around, the drive to the place everything about this place is worth a visit.