Gandikota - Camping Adventure at the Grand Canyon of India

Location
Bangalore > Pulivendula > Jammalamadugu > Gandikota
Auto Charge from Jammalamadugu to Gandikota - 180Rs
Bus Timing : Gandikota to Jammalamadugu(10.30 am)


Main attractions
Sunrise at Pennar gorge
Midnight exploration inside ancient structures
Camping with Jackals
Madhavaraya Temple
Jama Masjid
Granary
Ranganatha Swamy Temple
Jail
Rayala Cheruvu

Accomodation   
You can camp wherever you want, but we suggest you to camp inside the compound of Ranganatha Swamy Temple, so that you can keep your tent and other belongings safe from Jackals and Stray dogs. If you do not want to sleep under three billion stars then go for the three starred Haritha Hotel( 073822 37380)

Fee
Nill, but it is advisable to contact Mr Ramdu Gandi (Mb:9010451050) who is a local gaurd of the fort before you start pitching your tent



          As OSHO once said, we should not read manuscripts as it is about those who are already left the real world, we should read our own manuscript to achieve bliss. 

Sunrise at Gandikota(Pennar gorge)
 So yeah, with the hustle we reached, stepped onto the place when the sun almost set and it started getting dark. But when the auto driver told us to set down by pointing towards the entrance of the fort, we were actually confused! Gandikota, that’s it? I asked the driver again and again to confirm it isn’t a wrong place because the place isn’t like got to know at all, two shops on the right side of the entrance road. People are going in and coming out from the entrance and the devotional song was playing in the background, Dafaq! In an awestruck, we sat for a while under the tree. As per our knowledge, Gandikota fort is an abandoned kind of spot, where only a village is existed called as called as Gandikota! We didn’t know almost the entire village is also inside the fort! Anyways, we are here. We entered into the fort through the entrance, it was strange. 


Gandikota Entrance

We couldn’t find any ticket counter outside, but we read a board which mentioned Gandikota fort as second Hampi. We were excited to see what’s in it this much. We couldn’t find anyone or anything that could restrict us from getting in. So we just started walking. We noticed the first few parts of the fort has being used by the villagers. They used some space to build their little houses and some shops are also there inside! We moved ahead, few people looked at us in vain and others ignored as three invisible ghosts. Passed through it.


Camping & Cooking at Gandikota

In the beginning we started roaming aimlessly in the fort in pitch darkness. Later, Google Map directed us near to the view point. We were in search of the view which actually brought us to this place, but due to the darkness it wasn’t visible at all and we had even come to an absurd conclusion that there is no water flowing. We hurried to settle down somewhere with no idea of the place. We started searching for a spot to pitch the tents. As soon as we got one, we were in a hurry to cook for ourselves. The hunger and thirst struck us from the morning. It was kind of hard to put up fire as it was windy. But, due to the efforts and good will we saw FIRE! Now that we know the difficulty involved in putting up fire outdoors, a lesson well learnt. We had to find tinder, gravel and wood to light it up. To be honest, seeing the fire light up and build is pretty satisfying, which it’s nowhere available. 


 Pennar River- Gandikota

Our dinner was delicious, at last we had something. The mind was peaceful, the atmosphere was filled with an addictive feeling. It’s a kind of feeling completely different from the mundane life that we lead, completely free, free from rules and the regulations. Instead of dozing off into sleep as normal, the thirst of something more, pondered us. Yeah, exactly! We started feeling alive. In the spur of the moment, we left our belongings behind and ran off into the darkness, in search of the unknown. 


Madhavaraya Temple- Gandikota


Basically, the knowledge we had about the place just through the internet and as you know it was limited. We felt the moonlight isn’t bright enough today. The torch light was not helpful as it was very little wide and the rest of the view was blurred. The wind in the air was a bit nippy, which carried the leaves around by producing creepy sounds. Sometimes we felt somebody was following us. There are temples inside the fort and we reached in front of one, we realized it when the flashlight of the torch struck on a half closed gate. Fortunately, we entered into it. The construction of it was in such a way that the wind outside the temple was not even entering through anywhere. It was calming and relaxing. 


Ranganatha Swamy Temple - Gandikota

Nobody was inside, we were walking ahead. It was haunting, Haha, the bats flew out above us. It was enough to scare the shit out of us. We spent a little more time and we returned to our camp site, hoping to put a fire and warm ourselves a bit. To our senses, we realized that we’d entered someone else’s territory. Collecting the woods wasn’t the challenge we’d expected. It was amazing to notice that we became so happy when we started the fire when the world is tumbling over bigger yet smaller solvable problems. It is a primal nature when a necessity arrives, we become animals. When we were savoring the moment, we heard a growl just behind us. These occurred in a moment of three seconds. We looked back, the shining eyes staring at us. It started to move towards us, Terrified! It was a leash of Jackals, around six or seven, circling us. It was at that moment, we saw the white blind light. As primal we are, we sought for things to carry in our hands. As one of my fellow traveler was searching for things to carry, pulled out the wood which was kept for burning. The leash ran away, but we didn’t stop throwing things at them. But the fact still remains that the territory is not ours. It belongs to them, the Jackals. 


Ranganatha swamy Temple - The pillars
We had no choice but to pack our stuff and run to the temple. We locked ourselves in, no Jackals can catch us now, Can they? The walls of the temple were built very high and that gave us a good feeling. We pitched our tent and slept, hoping that we’ll wake up in one piece. Gandikota


Gandikota- The Village

It was 5.30 AM in the morning. We woke up simultaneously, give or take a minute. There was nothing to worry about. We didn’t have to iron our clothes, we didn’t really have to brush, we didn’t have to clutch to our books and hurriedly put them in our bags. It was quite settling, we were on our own. This was settling, and away from the satire life. 


Jama Masjid- Gandikota

We could see the stars, vaguely, as we waited for the sun to rise. As the light shone on the shadowy figures, turned out to be rock boulders, and historical monuments. We approached the view point, gazing into the horizon. Nature is cunning, beautiful and admirable, that’s what makes it mysterious. It always has something to offer. The views, the slight breeze, the stairway to imaginations. Nature is nature within itself. It is perfect! The reflection of the ravines on the still water, are we dreaming? The sun rose, fully bright and majestic. We stood there in the moment, waiting for the time to reverse and go through the feelings, the emotions, all over again. The pleasure never ends, it never does!