River Colarado cuts through the state of Arizona in the U.S. to form the world renowned Grand Canyon. Half a globe away in the Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh, Pennar river cuts through Kadappa district to form the Indian Grand Canyon, better known as Gandikota gorge.
After traversing through the barren brown hills and a few sunflower fields of Rayalseema, we reached Jammalamadugu, a small town in Kadappa. From there a narrow but well asphalted road took us further higher onto the hills of Erramala. The landscape though being devoid of greenery was expansive and a sight to behold. After a fifteen kilometer drive through the beautiful landscape we reached Gandikota fort. The fort was under rennovation. All that we wanted to see was the canyon and headed there. It is small walk from the fort to the canyon. The gorge forms the background for the fort and also gets its name from the same. The fort also houses a Masjid, Madhavaraya temple, Raghunatha temple and a granary.
As we walked towards the gorge all that we could see were the vast plains and the big red boulders. The gorge was nowhere to be seen till we reached very close to it. Then from nowhere the 300 feet deep gorge appeared leaving us wonderstruck. Though it cannot come anywhere close in size and beauty to the Grand canyon of Arizona, it definitely can be named the Indian grand canyon. We were disappointed as there was hardly any water and the hot summers of the region had made the river into a green slush of weeds and grass. Post the monsoons it would definitely resemble the Grand canyon and would leave all visitors gaping at its natural formation. However, the huge red boulders made for a magnificent background and the landscape looked majestic. Even without water, the gorge did leave us spellbound for quite a while with its gargantuan vistas.
The place still remains unexplored with very few visitors other than the locals. Make sure to visit the gorge after the monsoons to enjoy this scenic natural wonder.
Signing Note- Indeed our own Grand Canyon...!!
Route- Bangalore- Chikaballarpur- Gorantla- Kadiri- Pulivendula- Jammalamadugu- Gandikota
(Once you cross Andhra border ask for Gorantla deviation)
Distance- 290 Kms