A Story of a Gorge and Fort – Gandikota: The Grand Canyon of India

Read Gandikota travel experience shared by Dattu.

Hello guys! This is Dattu.

So in this Travelogue, I am here to share my experience of my trip to Gandikota Fort. First, let me tell you about the place I visited. Gandikota is a small village that is actually located in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. It is 38 km away from my place. Gandikota is also called the Grand Canyon of India, as it looks like that. This canyon has been created by the waters of the famous Pennar River and it is also famous for housing the spectacular fort. Not only those two but there are also so many attractions in this village. So, it was the first time I visited that place and I was excited at that time. So let me share my experience of how my trip went.

Gandikota Fort

Gandikota FortWe started early in the morning and we reached there by 9’O clock. There is only a single resort in that place and if you have to stay, you have to book in advance. Of course, there is also camping near the fort, i.e. they provide us with tents. And it costs 500/- per head only for a tent and 800/- per head which also includes dinner, a campfire, and everything. So we took that 800/- package and started to the fort. Now, let me tell you about the fort. As you get into history, it is said that it is constructed by Ramalinga Nayaka with 101 towers, and also Pemmasani Nayakas ruled over this village for nearly 300 years. But the fort fell into the laps of Qutubshahis of Golconda in 1650 CE. Here, you can see the ruins of this fort. These are spread over a vast area of land. There is nothing inside the fort but if you walk a little bit, you can find some interesting stuff, like a watch tower, a jail, a granary, etc. The place also holds the Madhavaraya Swamy and Ranganatha Swamy temples and Jamia Masjid, but all of which are in ruins. Even though, you can enjoy the hill-top climate there. In my view, it is a scenic beauty and I enjoyed nature a lot. It had me spellbound with its visual beauty.

Temples and Masjid

Then, we visited the Madhavaraya temple. I’m sure that you will adore the rich architecture inside the temple. It is dedicated to Hindu lord Vishnu but you know what; the sanctum sanctorum of this temple is empty. It’s because, during the reign of Nizams, they shifted this idol to some other place. Even though it is empty, you can witness the art display that showcases life and culture. Then we visited Ranganatha Swamy temple. It is a place whose simple exteriors belied the beauty within. And after this temple, we went to Jamia Masjid. It has been constructed inside a Hindu temple and showcases great diversity. I loved that simplistic architecture. And the grand size of this Masjid makes it resemble the structure of Charminar in Hyderabad.

Gandi (Gorge)

Gandikota Canyon travel guide

Later, we went to see the Gorge. Can I say you something interesting…? Ok, this place got its name from two Telugu words i.e. Gandi in Telugu means gorge, and Kota means fort. So, as this place holds both, it is named Gandikota. Now let me tell you about the gorge we visited. The gorge is formed out of the result of erosion of rocks over a long period of time because of the flowing Pennar River. Watching it take turns and form smooth curves is one of the most beloved sites to witness. Similar to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, this canyon also has the same structure. I was baffled after seeing the assembly of rocks that sit with sharp cuts on top of each other. But viewing and climbing on them is just a different thing. It was a strange experience for me and I felt glad to be there.

ALSO READ: Travelogue | Banaras Immersed in Colours of Devotion!


After that, we came to our camping place. It’s time for sunset and the stunning orange color that bounces over the rock is beyond perfect to experience. Camping at the banks of Pennar River made me enjoy the quirks of nature at its best. The highlight of this entire trip is the viewpoint of Pennar River. This serene beauty of the river amid the rugged rocks creates a type of mystical aura. That night, we enjoyed the bonfire and ate our dinner in a hotel. Listening to the sound of the flowing Pennar River in adjacent and sleeping, on a hilltop, under the lit sky with stars is one of the best experiences I ever had. The next day we woke up at sunrise and you know, two eyes are not enough to watch that scenic beauty and it’s really amazing. Later, we had our breakfast in a nearby hotel.

Adventure Activities

Gandikota kakaying camping travelogue

You know there are so many adventurous activities in Gandikota like rock climbing, rappelling (descending a rock face), trekking, and kakaying (boat riding). As I have some fear, I just tried kakaying. But for adventure freakouts, it is a very good place to do adventures. After all these activities, we went back home and seriously those two days were really fantastic and I had a lot of experiences there. I just wanted to stay there and didn’t want to return home.

So I recommend you guys visit this place. Maybe, between September and February, I believe it’s the best time to visit this place as the winter is not so cool and harsh here so sleeping outdoors will not be an issue. So, add this place also to your bucket list and visit it to get a little more closer to the stunning art and nature.

ALSO READ: Sky Diving – An Amazing Experience