The Kadapa district is home to Gandikota, one of the most stunning geological formations in India. Situated on the banks of the Penner river, Gandikota derives its name from two Telugu words, 'Gandi' meaning a gorge. 'Kota' meaning a fort.
Far too many enthusiastic travellers have compared Gandikota (literally "gorge fort") to the Grand Canyon in Colorado. While the sobriquet of 'Indian Grand Canyon' is rather hyperbolic - the ravine stretches for a paltry few kilometers compared to the 441 km long Aamerican marvel - Gandikota is magnificent in its own right.
The first structure one will come across inside the fort is Charmiar, a three-storeyed tower that has been overzealously renovated. To the left is a Prison, a colossal stone structure with three gateways. A little ahead, one will find the Madhavaraya Swamy Temple. Despite the brilliance of all these monuments, the highlight of Gandikota is undoubtedly the view of the Penna Gorge from the edge of the fort. Climb over the mass of boulders beyond the Ranganatha Swamy Temple for the best vintage point.
An ancient grant suggests that Kapa, the king of the neighboring village of Bomanapalli, built a fortress in Gandikota. Harihara, the first emperor of the Vijayanagara dynasty, is believed to have constructed a temple here. However, the 16th-century Persian historian Firishta claimed that the fort was built in 1589. It was captured by the Qutab Shahis and presided over by Mir Jumla in the 17th century. Jumla built the Juma Masjid and enlarged the fortifications. The citadel later passed into the hands of Nawab of Kadapa and then, Hyder Ali. In 1800CE, following the treaty with the Nizam, the British gained control over the fort.
The nearest airport is the Tirupati airport, which is at a distance of 225 km from Gandikota.
The nearest railway station is 18km from Gandikota.
There are a number of buses operated by APSRTC from Jammalamadugu Bus stand.
Belum Caves-The caves in Belum are one of the longest caves in India.
Tadipatri- This industrial town is famous for its marvellous Vijayanagara-Era temples.
Mylavaram Dam-It is built on the Penna River just downstream from Gandikota.