Gandikota – Grand Canyon of India
Gandikota is a small village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. The village is majorly known for housing the spectacular gorge which is famously known as the Grand Canyon of India. The stunning gorge has been created by the waters of the river Pennar that streams from the Erramala hills.
How many days are required for Gandikota?
Gandikota is approximately 280 km from Bangalore and it takes a driving time of 6 to 7 hrs. The roads are good except for few stretches in between. 2 days is comfortably good for Gandikota trip.
Stay places in Gandikota
There are very few options when it comes to staying in Gandikota near the Gorge view. There is one Haritha Hotel which is run by Andhra Pradesh tourism. This is one decent place to stay and close to the George. But one should make sure you book early before going there.
There are also camp options but the camps are more expensive than hotel rooms. At Haritha Resorts, you will pay Rs 2000 for an AC room on weekends. While in these camps, you will pay Rs 3,500 per head! That’s Rs 7,000 for 2 people.
We did see people pitching their own tents near the George. If you can get your own tents, you can find a nice spot near the George and pitch your tent.
We stayed in a place called Royal Fort, decent place. Though I was worried to take 5 women to such a small town and if the place is not good was wondering what to do, but it turned out to be a decent place. They do have a Dorm with 2 king size bed, where we 6 of us stayed and was comfortable.
Best time to visit Gandikota?
In summer, it would be too hot. So, winters should be a good season. Monsoon would be good fun, but the rocks might be slippery if it rains, so don’t get too adventurous. We went in the month of August it was good but I feel winter should be really good time to go.
Which is good time to visit Gorge view – Sunrise or Sunset?
We did both the time Sunrise and Sunset, we enjoyed both the views. I would suggest Sunrise and Sunset both are good. Sunset was my favorite, but need to get down the rocks before it gets dark. It is risky climbing down the rocks after Sunset.
What are the other places to visit near Gandikota?
You can go to Belum Caves which is located at a distance of 61 KM from Gandikota. There is also a water falls near Gandikota which you can explore.
Are there good place to eat?
There are hardly 2 to 3 places to eat there, Shivalingam Hotel has a restaurant, a basic place and Hotel Royal Fort and has a small place to eat. We tried in both places, basic food but fine.
It was August 15th long weekend, checked with my friends if they are free to travel and there were 5 who raised their hands. All 5 arrived to Bangalore.
We had 2 days in hand and I was checking for places around Bangalore with 5 to 6 hrs of driving distance. I got few places like Chikamangalur, Shimoga, Gaganchuki and Barchuki etc. Spent 2 days calling all the Home stays and Hotels, every other place was booked. People even warned saying don’t even think of coming to these areas, the whole area is booked. I understood it is a confirmed national holiday and of course after Covid, so everyone wants to travel so all the places were booked 3 to 4 months prior.
I stay in Hebbal and the Hyderabad road which is a direct exit from Hebbal, struck my mind. I don’t have to cross the city to take a high way, so was looking for places in Hyderabad road, which reminded me of Gandikota and Belum caves.
I did some research to stay and checked the road conditions etc. It looked like there were very basic places to stay. Since we are all 6 women, I wanted a safe place to stay. I called a place called Haritha run by AP Tourism, they were completely booked. Then spoke to few other places, and got a contact of Royal Fort Hotel. They said they have a dormitory which can accommodate all 6 of us. I booked with him for one dormitory. I did have a doubt of how the place is going to be. We decided to take few bed spreads and pillows from home.
So this is the team of 6 of us, we left at 7 am in the morning. Gandikota was 280 km from Bangalore. The road was quiet good for 100 km in Hyderabad road and after which we had to take a deviation and it becomes a state high way. It was decent road with nice scenic view and not much traffic.
We stopped for lunch in a nice spot and had the packed food. We reached Royal Fort Hotel, Gandikota by 2 pm. I was contacting a person called Amarnath, and he responded well. I saw the dormitory room and it was a decent enough. We had spread our fresh sheets over the bed and used our pillows and felt good and clean.
Rested for an hour and we left to the George to be there during sunset.
After 10 mins of walk, this is the entrance to the fort. Once we entered I was surprised to see a village inside the fort. We need to cross the village and walk for 10 mins and we come to this Gorge view point.
From here another 15 mins of climb on the rocks will lead to a nice view point of the whole gorge with the Pennar river.
One need to be little careful on climbing the rocks. Its not that easy climb.
This is the view of Gorge with Pennar river. The sunset was beautiful from this place.
We were there till the sunset and walked back and went to Sivalingam restaurant for dinner. It was a nice feeling just six of us relaxing and chit chatting and walking in the small village where there is literally nothing to do after sun set.
This is a small restaurant. Not many can sit inside. We pulled few chairs and sat outside in the road and enjoyed our dinner peacefully chit chatting. Royal Fort Hotel was just 100m from here, we walked back and rested for the day.
Next day morning, we went to the gorge for Sunrise. There are 2 spots to see the gorge, one is inside the fort and the other one is outside the fort which is an easy access. This is the gorge view from the spot outside the fort. Here people pitch their own tents and also there are adventure companies which rent out their tents.
There is also a tank inside the fort, where we can climb down and sit peacefully. This is the pic inside the tank.
Next day we decided to go to Belum caves which is 60 km from Gandikota. The Belum Caves located in Andhra Pradesh is the second largest cave system on the Indian subcontinent, known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations.
This cave system was formed over the course of tens of thousands of years by the constant flow of underground water from the now-disappeared river Chitravathi. The cave has a length of more than 3 km.
This is the entrance to the Belum caves. We entered into this cave in such a small entry and it opens up to a 3 km huge place inside with stalactite and stalagmite formations, water falls, etc.
The whole cave is lit with different colors of lights. It is very sweaty inside, though they have put few fans inside better to dress appropriately for this place.
I was surprised to see a waterfall inside this cave. I had a lot of question in my head, like from where the water is coming, where does it go, every day so much of water what happens to it, etc, etc?
These are few sections inside the Belum caves.
Finally we left Belum caves around 3 pm and Bangalore is 300 km from Belum caves, we reached Bangalore around 9 30 pm.
Finally this was an unplanned trip, like since we dint get a place to stay anywhere else in Karnataka, tried this place and it turned out to be the best of all the trip that we did. All my friends were very happy that we visited this place. I would strongly recommend these two places for everyone to visit.