Gandikota Fort

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Gandikota

Gandikota is a small village in Jammalamadugu taluk of Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh. The village lies on the banks of the river Pennar. Gandikota is well-known for its fort that is also called as Gandikota.

Gandikota acquired its name from the picturesque gorge (called Gandi in Telugu) formed between the Erramalai hills, which are also called the Gandikota hills. A deep valley and impassable hills with massive boulders of red granite, reminding one of the Grand Canyon, surround the fort, situated amid wild forests. The gorge formation is such that the Pennar river flows about 90 metres below on the western and northern sides and is said to have offered strong natural defense to the Kakatiya, Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi kings who ruled from the fort.

From the top of the fort, you can have a breathtakingly panoramic view of the surrounding forests and valleys. Nearby, is the picturesque Mylavaram Dam which is a popular picnic spot because of the sparkling waters, lush trees and cool breeze, which make you want to stretch out and relax.

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What to see

Among the entire fort, these are some important places one should not miss out at this fort: Gandikota Gorge View Point, Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Granary, Jama Masjid, Madhavaraya Temple, Jail and there is a pond called as the Kathula Koneru also known as Pond of Swords. Legend has it, that the pond was used by the Gandikota kings to wash their swords after the war. The fort complex also has beautiful gardens. Most adventure junkies camp along the banks of the River Pennar.

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History

Gandikota was founded in 1123 by Kapa Raja of Bommanapalle village. The town played a significant role during the Kakatiya, Vijayanagara and Qutub Shahi periods. The fort was made more impregnable by Pemmasani Thimma Nayudu. The fort was under the control of Pemmasani Nayaks for over 300 years.

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In the year 1350 A.D. the Mikkilineni King Rama Naidu, who did not have sons, got his only daughter married to Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu. Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu was the son of Rama Naidu’s brother-in-law and was the king of Bellamkonda in Guntur District. Rama Naidu then made Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu as the ruler of Gandikota. Since then Gandikota was ruled by the Pemmasani rulers, from the ancient Mikkilineni royal family.
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Raja Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu was the first king of Pemmasani clan and during his period, few developmental activities took place. The original fort was strengthened and the new forts at Jammala Madugu, Vajrakarur, Kamalapuram, Tadipatri etc were also built. The forts built by Pemmasani Kumara Thimma Naidu were more lavish and striking that he was said to be contemporary form of the Vijayanagar king Bukkaraya. (I.e. around 1350 A.D.). Another member from the Naidu family, Dharma Naidu was the General of Proudha Deva Raya (or Devaraya II), the son of Vijaya Bukkaraya. Another Thimma Naidu defeated the Bahamani sultan Ahmed Shah in the battle of Kalubarige in 1420 A.D. There was yet another Thimma Naidu, during the times of Sri Krishna Deva Raya, who was a great warrior. He was well-versed in capturing the forts of Udayagiri, Addanki, Kondapalli, Rajahmundry and Cuttak.
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How to reach

Nearest Railway station is 26 km away at Muddanuru in Cuddapa Dist. There are number of trains from Gooty Jn. Nearest Town Jammalamadugu is about 10 kilometers. There are buses available from Jammalamadugu Old Bus Stand 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).

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Where to stay

AP Tourism’s Haritha resorts, they are economical, well maintained, the food is good, safe and ensure a comfortable stay. The resort is located less than a kilometer from the fort, it is far off from civilisation and very pleasant. The resort has been designed like the fort. Other options for stay is Nearest town to Gandikota Fort is Jammalamadugu which is about 10 Kilometers, where one can find a moderate lodges for stay.
One can obtain bookings to this resort at:
http://www.harithahotel.com/Gandikota/

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