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Old 22nd August 2014, 03:54   #16
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Thanks for taking us to one of the least known tourist destinations in A.P. I have heard of the place, but never knew that the place has so much history. Hope to make a trip in the future to this place.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 08:25   #17
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Nice going @mpk.

This was the exact plan (I really mean when I say exact) that I and my friend wanted to do some 2-3 years back and it just went into suspended state a day before the drive! Since then I have been waiting to see a good rainfall so that the gorge fills up. But sadly it has never happened.

River Pennar actually starts from the hills of Chikballapur and goes all the way! In fact then when I called up the APTDC guys, he was actually surprised that someone wanted to book that place before coming!

The photo in wikipedia is what had set me off to do this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandikota
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Old 22nd August 2014, 09:00   #18
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

MPK .... here is something interesting not related to cars but for the wildlife enthusiasts amongst us petrolheads

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poecilotheria_metallica

The fort you mentioned and the Gooty fort seem to be uncharted territory waiting to be explored. Thanks for sharing the info once again.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 18:27   #19
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
With your brute, you should no longer be talking about bad roads
Thanks.
Driving through bad roads is easier now, however something I am not that keen on as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sansvk View Post
Great! never heard of these places until I read this post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoseVijay View Post
Hope to make a trip in the future to this place.
Thanks. Yes, both the locations are not marketed properly I feel. KL or KA would have milked similar locations to the max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
This was the exact plan (I really mean when I say exact) that I and my friend wanted to do some 2-3 years back and it just went into suspended state a day before the drive! Since then I have been waiting to see a good rainfall so that the gorge fills up.

River Pennar actually starts from the hills of Chikballapur and goes all the way! In fact then when I called up the APTDC guys, he was actually surprised that someone wanted to book that place before coming!
Thanks Ampere.
In my case also the trip was in suspended state for around a year.

I guess last year saw proper rains in most part of the country, if river did not fill up around that time I guess it may not happen this year for sure. However I feel it may be better to visit when water level is low since gorge may look better then.

Hotel caretaker was saying it is possible to walk and cross the gorge during summer time when the river dries up completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
here is something interesting not related to cars but for the wildlife enthusiasts amongst us petrolheads
Thanks for the info.
Also, saw lots of bird species in Gandikota, it may be a good location for bird watchers.
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Old 9th September 2014, 21:44   #20
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Nice review and pictures Suhas. I visited Gandikota exactly a week later (Aug-15 weekend). Truly loved the last 11KM drive, driving through the entrance of the fort, the granary, Ranganatha swamy temple and the mighty Gorge off course. Would have been more scenic if there was more water in the Penna river.

This place has been absolutely neglected (in addition to Lepakshi) by AP tourism though it has very good potential of attracting many weekend visitors if it develops the area and maintain properly. The facilities at the AP tourism hotel are also not many, obviously due to the fact that there are not many visitors to this place.

Here are some more pictures:

Last 11KM stretch en-route the fort, narrow but newly laid road with almost no traffic:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00666.jpg

Fort entrance:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00669.jpg

Penna Gorge (Grand Canyon of India):
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00697.jpg

Another view of the Gorge:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00705.jpg

View from the Ranganatha Swamy temple:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00728.jpg

Architecture inside the temple:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00730.jpg

The main temple (no deity though):
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00733.jpg

Granary:
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00734.jpg

Granary (Inside view):
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-granary.jpg

A distant view of the Mailavaram reservoir & Dam (about 20KM from Gandikota):
Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled-dsc00745.jpg

As of now, this is the best direct route from BLR. Except for a bad stretch of about 15KM between Gorantla and Kadiri, the rest of the road is very smooth, but you need watch out for unmarked speed breakers.

BLR -> NH7(Devanahalli) -> Bagepalli (Take right after the state border towards Puttaparthi) -> Gorantla -> Kadiri -> Pulivendula -> Gandikota (about 280KM).

Another inspiring experience here.

Visit this page from the archives for a picturesque visualization of the fort.
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Old 10th September 2014, 19:19   #21
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

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This place has been absolutely neglected (in addition to Lepakshi) by AP tourism though it has very good potential of attracting many weekend visitors if it develops the area and maintain properly. The facilities at the AP tourism hotel are also not many, obviously due to the fact that there are not many visitors to this place.
Thanks for the pics CNU.
Did you stay at Gandikota or did as a one day trip? If so can you please share the time details.

Yes, Lepakshi and Gandikota are absolutely neglected by AP tourism. Even though it is far from Hyderabad they can develop the place and target tourists from Bangalore.
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Old 11th September 2014, 18:12   #22
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

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Did you stay at Gandikota or did as a one day trip? If so can you please share the time details.
No, I didn't stay at the tourism hotel. I had been to visit someone at the nearby town and hence planned to spend few hours at Gandikota. However, I walked in to the hotel to check the restaurant (on 17-Aug AM) and was told that only lunch would be available post noon.
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Old 16th January 2015, 13:31   #23
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

We are planning to visit Gandikota next weekend. Will be visiting Belum caves and then proceed towards Gandikota. Called up APTDC Harita in Gandikota and was told that the rooms are not available as some political party booked all the rooms for some meeting. Are there any good hotels in Jammamadugu?
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Old 16th January 2015, 13:37   #24
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

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Originally Posted by daisyb View Post
We are planning to visit Gandikota next weekend. Will be visiting Belum caves and then proceed towards Gandikota. Called up APTDC Harita in Gandikota and was told that the rooms are not available as some political party booked all the rooms for some meeting. Are there any good hotels in Jammamadugu?
I doubt on that. You may find some very basic lodges and thats it. Call up APTDC guy and ask him for references to some hotels, if he can suggest.
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Old 20th January 2015, 17:05   #25
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

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Are there any good hotels in Jammamadugu
Guess Ampere already replied to your query. The issue with APTDC at Gandikota is that its reservation system is offline unlike many other APTDC hotels.

Even we had a tough time in getting through the caretaker contact number, also there a bulk booking for a marriage party on the same day. However luckily there were couple of rooms available and we got one.

Since Jammalmadugu is a big town we too was thinking there will be better hotels there, however that is not the case it seems. When driving down we saw couple of small lodges nothing else. Even the caretaker at APTDC was saying that the reason why Gandikota property gets booked easily was since all bulk bookings for functions at nearby towns are done here.

I guess the safest option would be to delay the trip if possible.
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Old 21st January 2015, 09:38   #26
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Suhas, Did the caretaker of Harita Gandikota confirm your booking before you started for your trip, or did you go there and could find a room. Have made other bookings, hence proceeding with the trip. will keep you guys posted.
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Old 21st January 2015, 12:21   #27
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

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Have made other bookings, hence proceeding with the trip. will keep you guys posted.
He did not confirm the booking as such. I had checked about availability on the phone. He had informed it is available and ,however there was no blocking of the room as such.

On reaching the Gandikota I had informed him the discussion on the phone and he said he had made a note, though I am not sure of the same.

My suggestion, try to reach the place bit early. Say before lunch, since most of the groups I saw there was reaching post lunch.
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Old 27th January 2015, 10:20   #28
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Back from the trip day before. We did Belum caves and Gandikota and reached Bangalore by 8.30PM on the same day. We did Belum and Gandikota as part of our trip to other places like Srisailam, Ahobilam etc. We stayed very close to Belum the day before, and hence could complete both Belum and Gandikota on the next day and reach Bangalore. Will be detailing out my complete trip shortly.

Except for APTDC Harita in Gandikota, it did not seem like there is any decent accommodation around. I think one has to go to Proddutur/Tadipatri for accommodation if one doesn't get acco in APTDC Harita. Jammalamadgu looked big, and if explored might have some decent lodges as an emergency accommodation, just in case. We did not see any big hotels though.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 09:06   #29
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

We have covered Srisailam and places between Bangalore and Srisailam. Here are more details of our trip.
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Old 9th March 2015, 11:42   #30
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Gandikota & Belum. The road less travelled

Thank you, mpksuhas for a good write up. It was very informative. Can you cross the gorge to reach the other side?
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