Gandi kota- The Grand Canyon of India, Andhra Pradesh | Places and Beyond Part 2

Gandi kota- The Grand Canyon of India, Andhra Pradesh | Places and Beyond Part 2

Gandikota is a small village on the right bank of the river Pennar, 15 km from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, India.

History
Gandikota was founded in 1123 by Kapa Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. The town played a significant role during the Kakatiya, Vijayanagara and Qutub Shahi periods. The fort was made more impregnable by Pemmasani Timma Naidu. The fort was under the control of Pemmasani Naidus for over 280 years.
The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the ‘gorge’ (in Telugu it is called ‘gandi’), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft . Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources.
Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills & with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort. The exploits of Pemmasani Naidus, Gothram : Musunulla, Rulers of Gandikota and Commanders in Vijayanagar army to protect the honour of Telugu land are well known.
Vemana, the famous Telugu poet, native of Kadapa district and believed to have lived in Gandikota area for a short period.
Efforts are being put forth to give Gandikota a world heritage status.
Structures:
Within the fort are two ancient temples, dedicated to Madhava and Ranganatha, both are in ruins and the fort area is full of the debris of ages and many ancient structures in varying stages of decay. The large granary, with a vaulted roof, is now used as watchman’s quarters. The Jamia Masjid has two adjacent minarets. A heritage festival is held every year in fort area.
The other structures within the fort, include another large granary, a magazine, a graceful ‘pigeon tower’ with fretted windows and an extensive palace built by bricks with some plastered decorations and some wells. There is an old cannon still lying in the fort. There is also the ‘Rayalacheruvu’ with its perennial springs irrigating some lime and plantain gardens. It is said that this ‘Cheruvu’ was connected to a fountain in Jamia Masjid by pipes, traces of which can still be seen.
There were other gardens and springs. There is an undated inscription on a boulder, near the ‘Nagajhari’ outside the fort, recording the gift of two gardens at the place to the temple. There was also a garden called ‘Parebagh’ with a waterfall at the foot of the hills, on the bank of the Penneru.

Access and Transportation
Nearest Railway station is 26 km away at Muddanuru(Railway code: MOO) in Kadapa Dist. There are number of trains from Gooty Jn. Nearest Town is Jammalamadugu.There are buses available from Jammalamadugu Old Bus Stand (Gandhi Statue Junction) to Gandikota. Inside the fort there is no means of transportation except to walk by foot. Ideal to engage a guide as the fort area is huge. There is a good downhill trek through the canyon that leads to the riverbed. There is a dam upstream (Gandikota Dam) and a dam downstream (Mylavaram Dam).

Source : Wikipedia

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