Gandikota Fort (Grand Canyon of India) Timings, History, Camping, Activities

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Gandikota Fort is a hidden gem in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for its stunning gorge, which is often called the Grand Canyon of India. The fort was built in the 13th century by the Kamma kings and later captured by various dynasties, including the Qutub Shahis, the Mughals, and the British. The fort has many historical and architectural attractions, such as the Madhavaraya Temple, the Jama Masjid, the Granary, and the Jail. Gandikota Fort is also a popular destination for camping, kayaking, and other adventure activities.

Unique Places to Visit in Bangalore - Gandikota Fort
Gandikota Fort

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Gandikota Fort, such as its timings, entry fees, history, camping, and how to reach it.

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Gandikota Fort Timings, Entry Fees, and Prices

If you are planning to visit this amazing destination, here are some useful information about the Gandikota Fort timings and entry fees:

  • The Gandikota Fort is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, daily. There is no entry fee for visiting the Fort or the gorge.
  • The best time to visit Gandikota Fort is between September and February when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. Avoid visiting during the summer months, as the temperature can soar up to 45°C.
  • There are several accommodation options available near the Fort, such as hotels, resorts, and campsites. You can also book a Swiss tent near the gorge, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a bonfire. The cost of a Swiss tent is around Rs. 2000 per person.
  • You can also enjoy some adventure activities at Gandikota Fort, such as kayaking, boating, rappelling, and rock climbing. These activities are subject to availability and weather conditions. The charges for these activities range from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 per person.
  • To reach Gandikota Fort, you can take a bus, train, or car from Kadapa, which is the nearest city. The distance between Kadapa and Gandikota Fort is about 85 km. You can also hire a jeep or an autorickshaw from Jammalamadugu, which is 15 km away from the Fort.

Gandikota Fort is a must-visit place for anyone who loves history, nature, and adventure. It is a hidden gem that offers a stunning view of the Penna Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of India.

Consider reading: Best Places to Visit for One Day Trip from Bangalore within 50, 100 and 200 KMs

Camping and Activities at Gandikota

There are several options for camping at Gandikota, depending on your budget and preferences. You can choose from the following:

  • Tent Camping: This is the most affordable and basic option, where you can stay in a non-AC tent with a sleeping bag, and use the public washrooms. You will also get breakfast, dinner (veg and non-veg), and a campfire. The price is Rs. 1799 per person for two people, and Rs. 1599 per person for three or more people.
  • AC Tent Camping: This is a more comfortable and luxurious option, where you can stay in an AC tent with an attached washroom. You will also get breakfast, lunch, snacks, tea, and dinner (veg and non-veg), and a campfire. The price is Rs. 2799 per person for two people, and Rs. 2599 per person for three or more people.
  • AC Room: This is the most convenient and cozy option, where you can stay in an AC room with an attached washroom. You will also get breakfast, dinner (veg and non-veg), and a campfire. The price is Rs. 2299 per person for two people, and Rs. 1899 per person for three or more people.

Apart from camping, you can also indulge in some exciting activities at Gandikota, such as:

  • Trekking: You can trek along the gorge and the fort, and enjoy the panoramic views of the landscape. You can also visit the nearby waterfall, which is a hidden gem of Gandikota.
  • Rappelling: You can rappel down the cliffs of the gorge, and experience the thrill of adventure. You will be guided by professional instructors, and provided with all the safety equipment.
  • Kayaking: You can kayak on the calm waters of the Penna River, and admire the beauty of nature. You can also spot some birds and wildlife along the way.
  • Rock Climbing: You can climb the rocky walls of the gorge, and test your strength and stamina. You will be assisted by expert trainers, and given all the necessary gear.
  • Cycling: You can cycle around the village and the fort, and explore the rural and cultural life of Gandikota. You can also visit some nearby attractions, such as the Jammalamadugu Dam and the Rayalacheruvu Lake.

Gandikota Fort Camping is a must-try experience for anyone who loves nature, history, and adventure. It is a great way to escape the monotony of urban life and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.

Consider reading: Nandi Hills: Timings, Entry Fee, Trekking, Height and How to Reach From Bangalore Via Train

History of Gandikota Fort

The Origins of Gandikota Fort

  • The Gandikota Fort has a fascinating history that dates back to the 13th century.
  • It was constructed during the reign of the Pemmasani Nayaks, who were local chieftains of the region.
  • The fort was strategically built on the banks of the Pennar River, allowing for easy access to water and protection from enemies.

Construction of Gandikota Fort

  • The construction of Gandikota Fort took place over several centuries, with different rulers adding their architectural elements.
  • The fort is known for its impressive stone architecture, with formidable walls and intricately carved gateways.
  • It was designed to withstand attacks and has several defensive structures, including ramparts and bastions.

The construction of Gandikota Fort was a testament to the engineering skills and vision of its builders. Its strategic location and stunning architecture make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike.

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Architecture of Gandikota Fort

The architectural features of Gandikota Fort are truly impressive and showcase the engineering skills and vision of its builders. Let’s explore some of the key structures that make this fort a remarkable sight to behold:

The Main Gate

The main gate of Gandikota Fort serves as the entrance to this historical marvel. It is constructed with intricate carvings and a grand design that reflects the architectural brilliance of the time. The gate not only provided a protective barrier but also served as a statement of the fort’s grandeur.

Ranganatha Swamy Temple

Within the fortress walls, the Ranganatha Swamy Temple stands as a testament to the religious and cultural significance of the region. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu. It features a well-preserved Vimana (tower) that showcases stunning Dravidian architecture. The temple complex also includes a beautifully carved mandapa (hall) and exquisite sculptures.

Granary and Storage Structures

Gandikota Fort had well-planned storage structures to ensure the availability of food and provisions during times of siege or scarcity. The granary, also known as the “Kottalagullu,” is an enormous round-shaped structure made of stone. This unique design helped in preserving grains and other perishable items in large quantities.

Also, other storage structures like “Gunpowder Room” and “Oil Well” were strategically built to store ammunition and essential oils, respectively. These structures are a testament to the foresight and planning of the fort’s architects.

The Gandikota Fort’s architecture is a blend of strength, aesthetics, and innovation. It stands as a living testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.

Attractions in and around Gandikota Fort

Ranganatha Swamy Temple

The Ranganatha Swamy Temple is one of the must-visit attractions in and around Gandikota Fort. This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, is known for its exquisite architecture and religious significance. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The temple dates back to the 16th century and showcases Dravidian style of architecture.
  • It is located within the premises of Gandikota Fort and stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.
  • The temple features intricate carvings and sculptures, depicting various mythological stories and scenes.
  • Inside the temple, you’ll find the presiding deity, Lord Ranganatha, in a reclining posture, along with other deities like Lakshmi and Garuda.

Madhavaraya Temple

Another prominent attraction near Gandikota Fort is the Madhavaraya Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is known for its architectural grandeur. Here are some key points about Madhavaraya Temple:

  • The temple was built during the 16th century by the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • It follows the Dravidian style of architecture and showcases intricate carvings and sculptures.
  • The main highlight of the temple is the impressive gopuram (tower) at the entrance, adorned with intricate details and carvings.
  • Inside the temple, you’ll find a beautifully sculpted idol of Lord Vishnu, along with other deities.

Jama Masjid

For those interested in Islamic architecture and history, a visit to Jama Masjid near Gandikota Fort is highly recommended. Here’s what you should know about this Islamic place of worship:

  • The Jama Masjid was built during the 17th century and stands as a symbol of religious harmony in the region.
  • It features elegant domes, minarets, and arched entrances, showcasing the architectural brilliance of the Mughal era.
  • The prayer hall inside the mosque can accommodate a large number of worshippers and is adorned with beautiful calligraphy and Islamic motifs.
  • Visitors can also appreciate the serene atmosphere and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the mosque.

Gandikota Gorge

No trip to Gandikota Fort would be complete without visiting the stunning Gandikota Gorge.

Here’s what makes this natural wonder a must-see attraction:

  • The Gandikota Gorge is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of India” due to its similarity in appearance to the iconic Grand Canyon in the United States.
  • The gorge is formed by the erosion of the Pennar River over millions of years and offers breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Visitors can hike along the trails, enjoy picnics by the river, or simply soak in the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to capture some awe-inspiring photographs of the gorge during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset.

These attractions in and around Gandikota Fort offer a perfect blend of historical significance, architectural wonders, and natural beauty.

Consider reading: Chunchi Falls From Bangalore Distance, Entry Fee, Address, Best Time to Visit

How to Reach Gandikota Fort

By Road from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai

To reach Gandikota Fort by road, there are several options available. Here are the different routes you can take:

  • From Bangalore: Gandikota Fort is approximately 350 kilometers away from Bangalore. You can take the following route: Bangalore -> Anantapur -> Tadipatri -> Gandikota Fort
  • From Hyderabad: If you are traveling from Hyderabad, you can follow this route: Hyderabad -> Kurnool -> Jammalamadugu -> Gandikota Fort
  • From Chennai: If you are coming from Chennai, you can take the following route: Chennai -> Tirupati -> Kadapa -> Gandikota Fort

By Train

If you prefer to travel by train, there is no direct train to Gandikota Fort. But, you can reach the nearest railway station and then continue your journey by road. The closest railway stations to Gandikota Fort are:

  • Jammalamadugu Railway Station: Located approximately 18 kilometers away from Gandikota Fort.
  • Tadipatri Railway Station: Situated around 36 kilometers away from Gandikota Fort.

From these railway stations, you can easily hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gandikota Fort.

By Air

The nearest airport to Gandikota Fort is Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore. From the airport, you can either hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gandikota Fort via the road route mentioned earlier.

To conclude, Gandikota Fort can be reached by road, train, or air. The fort’s strategic location makes it easily accessible from major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

Best Time to Visit Gandikota Fort


In the summer months from March to June, Gandikota experiences scorching heat. The temperatures can reach as high as 40°C (104°F) during this time. The hot and dry weather makes it less favorable for outdoor activities and exploration.

But, if you can tolerate the heat, visiting Gandikota during the summer allows you to enjoy the fort and its attractions without large crowds. Just make sure to carry plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the intense sun.


The monsoon season in Gandikota begins in July and lasts until September. During this time, the region receives moderate to heavy rainfall. The rain adds a refreshing touch to the arid world, bringing out the lush greenery and creating a picturesque setting.

The average rainfall in Gandikota is around 500 mm during the monsoon season. It is important to note that heavy rainfall can sometimes lead to temporary closure of the fort due to safety concerns. If you plan to visit Gandikota during the monsoon, it is advisable to check the weather conditions and road conditions before making your way there.


The winter months from October to February are considered the best time to visit Gandikota Fort. The weather during this period is pleasant with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The cool breeze and clear skies create an ideal atmosphere for exploring the fort and its surroundings.

The winter months also offer comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities like trekking and camping in the nearby Gandikota Gorge. This season witnesses a relatively lower number of tourists, making it a great time to visit if you want to avoid crowds.

Final Thoughts on Gandikota Fort

Gandikota Fort is a place where history, nature, and adventure come together. It offers a glimpse into the past glory of the fort and its rulers, as well as the breathtaking views of the gorge and the river. Gandikota Fort is also a great spot for camping, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.

To visit this amazing destination, you need to know its timings, entry fees, history, camping, and how to reach. We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to plan your trip to Gandikota Fort.

Have a wonderful time exploring the Grand Canyon of India!

FAQs on Gandikota Fort

Where is Gandikota Fort located?

Gandikota Fort is located in Andhra Pradesh, India.

What are the architectural features of Gandikota Fort?

Gandikota Fort boasts impressive architectural features, including a grand main gate, the Ranganatha Swamy Temple, a granary, and other storage structures.

What are the attractions in and around Gandikota Fort?

Apart from the fort itself, Gandikota offers attractions such as the Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Madhavaraya Temple, Jama Masjid, and the stunning Gandikota Gorge.

How can I reach Gandikota Fort?

You can reach Gandikota Fort by road, train, or air. Major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai have connectivity to the fort.

When is the best time to visit Gandikota Fort?

The winter months, with pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists, are considered the best time to visit the fort.

What should I consider when visiting Gandikota Fort?

Before visiting, check the local weather forecast and pack essential items for a comfortable trip.

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