'Gandikota' is an ancient fort surmounting the Penna gorge in Jammalamadugu taluk of Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh. The river Penna flows through the Erramalai hill range, forming a gorge at Gandikota. The steep rocky walls of the gorge run for a length of about 1.5km and rise above 90m height on either sides. Gandikota village was founded by a king named Kapa, hailing from the nearby village of Bommanapalle in the 11th century and the fort at Gandikota is believed to have been built by him. This gorge, popularly known as 'India's Grand Canyon' is very popular among travelers and proves a prefect weekend gateway for tourists from Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The AP tourism department has provision for accommodation with basic amenities for tourists wanting to stay overnight. We hadn't booked any as we were unsure about the time required to explore this place. But, on reaching the fort, we realized we may need more time to explore and hence decided to book a room here. Though the accommodation was full for that evening, luckily a group that was supposed to be there that night canceled their reservation giving us an opportunity for overnight stay. We quickly latched upon this opportunity as the manager later informed us about the rareness of such non availability owing to a very unusual case of full booking by a biker community.
It was around 3pm by the time we settled down and the temperature was too high to step out and start our exploration. At 4pm, we decided not to waste any more time and drove our vehicle towards the fort, found a comfortable place to park and started our exploration by foot. The fort built over the right bank
of river Penna covers a wide expanse of land and houses many ancient structures. The lofty tower (Gopuram) of Madhavaswami temple was quite inviting, so we decided to visit this temple at once. The temple at the outset gave us the feeling of Vijayanagar architecture. The story of the temple dates back to the 13th century. Once, Lord Madhavaswami appeared in the dreams of King Harihara Bukkaraya and instructed him to construct a temple in the forest where he was hunting. Thus, this majestic temple was built to honor the lord. Though the temple is partly ruined, the remaining structure is well maintained.
|Gopuram of Madhavaswami Temple|
|Rear View Of Madhavaswami Temple|
|Unity in Diversity|
|Inscriptions Found inside Ranganatha Temple|
|Lord Ranganatha Temple|