Madhavaraya temple at Gandikota
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Gandikota was founded in 1123 by Kapa Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. 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.
The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft (see the river image below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources.
Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills AND with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort. The exploits of Pemmasani Nayaks, Gothram : Musunulla, Rulers of Gandikota and Commanders in Vijayanagar army to protect the honour of Telugu land are well known.
Efforts are being put to give Gandikota a world heritage status.
Within the fort are two ancient temples, dedicated to Madhava and Raghunatha, both are in ruins and the fort area is full of the debris of ages and many ancient structures in varying stages of decay. The large granary, with a vaulted roof, is now used as the traveller's bungalow. The Jamia Masjid has two adjacent minarets. A heritage festival is held every year in fort area.
The other structures within the fort, include another large granary, a magazine, a graceful 'pigeon tower' with fretted windows and an extensive palace built by bricks with some plastered decorations and some wells. There is an old cannon still lying in the fort. There is also the 'Rayalacheruvu' with its perennial springs irrigating some lime and plantain gardens. It is said that this 'Cheruvu' was connected to a fountain in Jamia Masjid by pipes, traces of which can still be seen.
There were other gardens and springs. There is an undated inscription on a boulder, near the 'Nagajhari' outside the fort, recording the gift of two gardens at the place to the temple. There was also a garden called 'Parebagh' with a waterfall at the foot of the hills, on the bank of the Penneru.
Access and Transportation
Nearest Railway station is 26 km away at Muddanuru(Railway code: MOO) in Cuddapa Dist. There are number of trains from Gooty Jn. Nearest Town is Jammalamadugu. There are buses available from Jammalamadugu Old Bus Stand (Gandhi Statue Junction) 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).
Places to Visit
- Madhavaraya Temple
- Jama Masjid
- Ranganatha Swamy Temple
- Gandikota Fort View Point
- Fort Entrance
- Gandikota Gorge View Point
- Rayala Cheruvu
Raghunatha swamy temple ruins, Gandikota, ASI monument
- W. Francis, Gazetteer of South India, Vol. 2; Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 1988, p. 394
- Sewell, Robert. "A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar): A contribution to the History of India".
- "K. A. Nilakanta sastry: Further Sources of Vijayanagar History". 1946.
- Stein, Burton (1989). Vijayanagara. Cambridge University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0-521-26693-9.
- "Tidings of the king: a translation and ethnohistorical analysis of the Rayavachakamu by Phillip B. Wagoner". Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 1993. pp. 138–139. ISBN 0-8248-1495-9.
- "Heritage status for Gandikota fort sought". The Hindu. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Gandikota Heritage festival from October 26". The Hindu. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Article about this visiting Gandikota: Grand Canyon at Gandikota, Deccan Chronicle newspaper (Hyderabad edition), 6 April 2012, Wanderlust Page: 21
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gandikota.|
- Imperial Gazetteer of India: About Gandikota
- Water color paintings by Thomas Fraser and Sir Thomas Anburey-- in 1799 & 1802
- French Traveller Tavernier's experience about Gandikota Fort & about Nawab of Gandikota while he was in India