Gandikota and Belum caves

Gandikota-gorge
Gorge

It was being described as “Grand Canyon of India”. I never seen Grand Canyon apart from the pictures circulating the internet. With great expectation out of Gandikota we started heading to Gandikota from Chennai via bus. It was about 12 hours ride from Chennai and we reached a place called as Jammalagodu which lies nearby to Gandikotta. From there it was a 15 minutes ride by bus and it was around 5.30 AM when we reached our place of accomodation. We had about two tents booked for us and it was right where we wanted by the “Gorge”. The view is just spectacular and the place is intensely windy.

We were accomodated by Haritha resorts to freshen up yourselves for the day. We dumped all our baggage in the tents and set to explore the area. There were only about two hotels nearby and didn’t have much option to quench our appetite. With energy restored we decided to venture in to the Gandikota fort.

GANDIKOTA FORT BIRDS EYE VIEW:

Gandikota-fort
Fort entrance

This fort is undoubtedly rich in history and we can experience how it is to step back in time. This Fort is fairly intact for something that is built during 13th Century AD. This fort still hosts a small village with people living inside it. We have seen structures that has stood through the test of times and still going strong even after centuries . This fort is built on the banks of Pennar river a perfect place to make an establishment and can be well defended.

Gandikota-fort-walls
Fort walls

The most beautiful thing you will find inside the fort is a Temple and Masjid located close to each other. The Masjid and the temple were both constructed with great care giving attention to every little details and i loved the fact it lies next to each other.

SPOTS TO LOOK FOR:

Gandikota-prison
Temple view from Prison

The fort and its ruins will definitely push you to take a stroll. It holds a Granary which was once used to store food for the dwelling inside the fort. A well built small prison did give an impression of how they took crime seriously back then. The Mosque I mentioned previously is massive and built with great aesthetics. You cannot miss this one. The Raghunatha Swamy temple located pretty close to the mosque has some pillars and stones carved with intricate details and great craftsmanship.

Gandikota-fort
Just striking a pose

We had a great time going around the fort and developing hypothesis on how the people would have set their life inside the fort. The sun sets in , tiredness kicked in as we set down to get some sleep. The next day morning we have planned to witness Sun’s grand show by the gorge

GORGE AND THE SUNRISE:

Gandikota-gorge-viewpoint
Right time at the Gorge

It’s 4’o clock in the morning and the alarm waked the hell out of us. But it didn’t annoy as it is used to every other day. We got ready as soon as possible and set our path to the Gorge. It was not a hard climb not easy either but it does pose some challenge since its dawn. But we so want to witness the sunrise by the Gorge. We helped each other up and finally reached the edge of the gorge.

Gandikota-goreg-viewpoint-sunrise
Gandikota Gorge

It was terribly windy and it certainly sent a stir through our stomach. We sat down to ensure our safety in the gorge and got ready to witness the grandeur of Sun to set upon the gorge. To our disappointment cloud started moving across the east and covered the Sun rise right at the moment. We were bit disappointed but we don’t wanna move the Gorge indeed is scenic enough for us to soak in its beauty. We started talking about all sorta stories in the world, totally random typical within my friends. I don’t even remember what we talked about.

After a while cloud did shown some mercy over us and the ball of fire ( not technically correct though ) peeked out. I had that moment forever registered in my mind. It’s way beautiful than what I pictured in my mind. If only we would have witnessed the moment of Sun rise. Sighs! but we were grateful that we get to witness the scene right before our own eyes, We went crazy taking pictures against the Gorge and did Push ups over the gorge ( always wanted to do something like this in such a scenic place )

GORGE TO CAVES:

After some astounding views in the Gorge we headed back to our camp to prepare for our next destination in our itenary – “Belum Caves”. Belum caves is kinda mandatory visit for everyone who visits Gandikota. It was about two and half hours from Gandikota and it felt like one long ride. The place is pretty easy to spot even from a far distance. Our first impression – the place is very well maintained with shops, toilets and fair facilitation inside.

Belum-caves-entrance
Striking another pose
Belum-caves
Belum Caves

To gain access to the cave you have a take a stair which will lead to the entrance of the cave. You will get an impression that you have fell into a pit from here. Stepping into the cave was quite an experience and I was thrilled to have experienced this.

Belum-caves
Inside Belum caves

Caves are artificially lit and ventilated at places. But I must say they have overdid the lighting to a point where it spoiled the flavor of cave. In my opinion the caves should be lit in an optimum level only with warm yellow lights. There are Red and Blue lights which made the cave look bit comical.

Belum-caves
Bad Lighting

Apart from these Belum cave is a good visit and quite an experience for our group and pay a visit when you are around Gandikota.

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  1. Gandikota can get extremely hot in summer so plan your visit accordingly
  2. Accommodation and amenities are very limited in Gandikota since it’s a village and very few resorts nearby. Figure out your accommodation before visiting.
  3.  This place is extremely windy so if you are planning to set up your own camp by the gorge set it up in a way it can withstand winds.

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