Endearingly known as the ‘Grand Canyon of India’, Gandikota is a small and quaint village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Flanked by River Pennar on the right side, the village is famous for the spectacular gorges formed by the river cutting through Erramala Hills. The narrow valleys with streams running between them and the steep rocky walls are reminiscent of the renowned Grand Canyon in Arizona. It requires a walk of almost a kilometre from the main gate to reach the boulder from where you can observe the mesmerising view from the viewpoint near the fort.
Located 1.5 hours away from Belum Caves, the highlight of the village of Gandikota is the ruins of Gandikota Fort, which was built in the 13th Century. The sturdy fort is flanked by the Pennar gorges on both sides and is protected by a majestic 5-mile wall. Built-in red sandstone, the fort boasts beautiful, intricate carvings in the interior. It also offers sweeping views of the hills and valleys below. In addition to a granary, jail and ruins of some temples, there are several structures within the fort that you can visit.
1. The campsites are the most popular accomodation options at Gandikota.
2. Some resorts, such as Haritha Resort which is quite popular, are also near Gandikota Fort.
3. More lodges and smaller hotels are available in nearby Jammalamadagu and Tadipatri.
4. Bookings for your stay should be done well in advance, as they can get filled quickly.
5. Light, comfortable clothes and good hiking shoes are advisable when visiting Gandikota, as a lot of walking and hiking would be needed.
6. Gandikota is best experienced with your own means of private transport if possible.
7. It is advisable to carry cash as ATMs are scarce and mostly available in nearby Jammalamadagu and Tadipatri.
8. Jammalamadagu and Tadipatri also house medical and convenience stores.
9. Rickshaws can be availed within and to and from Gandikota. Be ready to bargain with them.
10. Enough water bottles, first aid kits, insect repellants and umbrellas and sunglasses to protect you from the sun should be carried.