Once upon a time Pennar River entered Gandikota, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, and never left its way. It fought so hard with all the stones and the boulders that it left mark on every inch of the walls but never gave up. Today, we see billions of years stacked up and cut through offering such a gargantuan mesmerizing outlook. This made me ponder for a while that may be all the struggles are worth it at the end.
While I am very glad that I have many a times peacefully escaped the peer pressure of celebrating New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want to miss the chance of first long weekend of 2016. Just in the spur of the moment, we decided the place, booked the bike, packed the bags and were all set for the journey.
And journey is what matters the most to me. The drive to the destination is half my inspiration to reach the destination itself.
Gandikota is 283 kms and 6 hours away from Bangalore. Once we left the filth of the city behind, we could already notice the change in the landscape around us. The background was forever changing from a sunflower bed to cotton fields, jowar, sugarcane and rice plantations. Countryside can always surprise you.
We also crossed passed the different rock formations along the way. The structure demanded a halt and to stay for a while in the moment.
There is only one government guest house where you can stay. It’s a pretty decent one. Below are few details which will help you book the room –
Ramanjaneya Reddy – 9959659353 / 9704751400 – Manik basha / Reception – 7382237380.
Alternatively, one can pitch the tent inside the fort. This will give you an experience of a lifetime where the sun will itself welcome you to an altogether a different wonder.
Gandikota was founded in 1123 by Kapa Raja but was under the control of Pemmasani Nayaks for over 300 years. Had to be. The fort is 3 way protected by 4km long and 700 m deep gorge with strong boulders and river flowing below. The location and the innate security it offered attracted most of the enemy kings for conquering it. But, the kings of Gandikota were known to be equally famous and fiercely powerful.
I also urge you to go through Google Maps Panorama view of the place. Just adds up a pinch of inspiration to visit the palce at least once in a lifetime – https://goo.gl/maps/wPnRLRYC6j22
The best time to visit Gandikota is from November to early February or only during rains. Or else, the scorching sun will drain all the energy possible and a perfect recipe for a spoiled trip. Although, it might just be a sort of exploration for some who can bear the heat but definitely not for me.
It’s a sin to visit Gandikota and not witness the Sunrise. Imagine the first rays of sun striking the massive boulders of red granite passing through the Erramala range of hills & finally flowing off with the river Pennar. This waterway flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides which behaves like the strong natural defense to the occupants of the Fort. Such is the Gorge-ous Gandikota, situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests.
There is also a trek through the canyon that leads to the riverbed. We followed a water pipe and reached the base of the stream in an hour’s time. The view from here was completely different but equally fascinating.
It is also said that the locals still use a hidden ways in the fort which exits from caves in different areas. While you are near the gorge, do not miss to hear the echo early mornings. This definitely does not mean to start creating noise pollution and ruin the experience.
Not only the gorge, but the monument outside are also equally contemplative. Otherwise, where in India would you find two temple and a masjid in one fort.
There are various places you can see in Gandikota. These monuments are all located near to each other:
Ranganatha Swamy Temple
At last, we make an exit from the fort. You might come across people selling a local make known as Reguvada made from jujube (ber).
However, the curiosity about the WindMills prevails and we go up to the hills to check those out. We were lucky to get to the Suzlon fields and check out the mills closely and see them in making also.
As the sun sets, wind-powered turbines set up by Suzlon Energy were standing tall casting up the shadow hills and fields. This was the perfect sight to stir your soul and at the same time set you in peace.
We return to our rooms with such an amazing experience but still excited about Belum Caves.
… to be continued.