They are persistent,
He is all pervasive
They cut through to make their way,
He says, I will show you the path to make.
They giggle with joy in the lap of beauty he created…
I could think of how mighty and wonderful can nature be, the Penner River flowing so peacefully but grande, passing through huge 100 ft tall walls guarding the sacred water. Welcome to the Indian Grand Canyon, Gandikota!!! (I really wonder why do we have to add a western connotation when the place could hold and attract many on its own…)
This amazing place sits beautifully in the lap of Kadapa district in Andhra. Kadapa, a place famous for the Kadapa slabs that it supplies to the whole of India. One thing that I have noticed is that, any of the beautiful picturesque places in India always has some amazing royal history to it and Gandikota is no exception to that. The gorge and the river gives a natural protection to the fort that any kingdom in the past would certainly look out for. The Gandikota fort has a glorious history which is now 893 years old.
The pictures on google really got us excited to head towards this beautiful, majestic place. The pictures reminded me of Hampi (the vijayanagar dynasty)
We reached Gandikota by 10.30 am and I was worried that the Kadappa heat will kill us. Surprise surprise, it was way better than I thought. As I turned the car towards Gandikota, was surprised to see the vastness of open spaces and the lone road leading us towards the fort. The nothingness all around is stunning meandering road in the midst of vast empty lands. In the distance one could see the huge wind turbines.
As we came closer to the fort, we were welcomed by the huge walls of the fort, which tells how well these were fortified and it has stood witness to the history of the past. At first as I parked my car outside hesitantly, that is when the shopkeeper there suggested you could take it inside. Inside!!! Alright… oh boy what a feel as I turned my car inside those huge walls.. could feel the pride an army would take marking in an out of the fort.
As I took the final turn inside, I was stuck in a huge traffic .. Oh boy, not here too was the thought as I smiled end to end. This was a different kind of traffic, there was this simple old shepherd with his flock blocking my passage. This was one traffic I could really wait to clear without honking 🙂
I moved in and parked it next to the Jama Masjid there. A replica of the Charminar at Hyderabad. A magnificent structure which am sure was very much in use in its pristine times. It had a square structure which seems like a fountain structure build by the rulers then. The pipe structures carrying water are still there.
Right next to that is the huge Granary. We had the privilege of meeting up with the man managing the place now. He took us to the top of the granary. After having walked through the narrow steps we were awed by the scenic view around. I do not think my camera could do justice to what the eyes saw. On one side we had the beautiful Gorge made by River Pennar, while the other side were the beautiful mountain ranges with the windmills on it.
Could not hold any longer to see the beautiful gorge and we slowly rushed towards its. Low and behold as it opened up, the beautiful gust of sweet chill breeze rising from the gorge welcomed us. Telling us to hold back the moment and soak oneself in the eternal natural beauty. We seemed to have been fortunate to see a good amount of water flowing through. The rocks looked very artistic and over imposing. But at the same time peaceful. We stood at the rock cliff for a while before we started climbing and shooting our selfies.
After having spent time at the gorge we started walking towards the other end in search of some hidden treasures near Madhavaraya temple. As we walked around the temple, we were welcome by this beautiful uneven road made by the villagers for their daily usage. On one hand we saw the lovely fields while on the other was bushes and small trees. The beauty of the fort boundary wall pulled us, but there was no proper access road. Well when you are out for an adventure why not be one with that. We hopped through boulders and small crackers just to be standing in front of the 40 ft tall rock walls.
Which seemed to have been testimony of time. We climbed up the wall stairs and explored the beautiful length. The sun heat did not deter us and our caps were very handy. After a good photo shoot we headed back to the temple.
After a hot day of walk the Kakatya style temple was a bliss. The entrance of the temple is huge but welcoming. While the inner sanctum is a flat structure with a well laid out carved pillars. The inner walls did not have much carvings but there seemed to be etched art work on them depicting the lords. There seems to have bee significance of Lord Vishu and Seshnag (The snake lord). We removed our shoes, and stretched ourselves out and caught a wink soaking in all the energy. Our flat feets on the cool floor of the temple was like being in a spa.
Finally we started after about 4 hours of roaming and soaking ourselves in the lost beauty of the Pennar river and the magnificent structures of history. This place does have many visitors and the calmness was a treat to the ears and body. There is no major restaurant that we could find. And you would certainly need loads of water there to hydrate and explore. Do not forget to have your exploring shoes on as there is so much to walk around and be surprised.
The rock structure around it looked more like an UFO carved picture. It was truly a Colorado moment. It is not only beautiful but also gratifying.