Gandikota Fort | Overview, Camping and Best time to visit

Kadapa District is the residence of Gandikota, one of India’s most spectacular geological formations. Gandikota Fort on the banks of the Penner River derives its name from two Telugu words, ‘Gandi’ meaning gorge. ‘Fortress’ means Fort. Gandikota Fort timings are from 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Gandikota has located 90 km from Kadapa in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. This beautiful landscape is known as “The Hidden Grand Canyon of India”.

It is a village on the right bank of the river Pennar near Jammalamadugu. Amidst the huge Fort, magnificent gorge, lakes, temples, beautiful landscape and vast natural resources of the jungle.

Gandikota Fort camping

Gandikota Fort Overview

Many enthusiastic travellers have reached Gandikota (literally “Gorge Fort”) to the Grand Canyon in Colorado.

While the ‘Indian Grand Canyon’ sobriety is very hyperbolic – the valley extends to a very short distance compared to the 441 km long American wonder – Gandikota is amazing on its own.

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The first structure to have seen inside the Fort was the Charminar, a three-story tower that was enthusiastically rebuilt.

To the left is a prison, a huge stone structure with three gates. Going a little further, one can see the Madhavaraya Swamy Temple.

Despite the intelligence of all these monuments, the highlight of Gandikota is undoubtedly the idea of the Penna gorge from the border of the Fort.

Climb over the rocks beyond the Ranganathaswamy Temple for the best vantage point.


The ancient grant indicates that King Kapa of Bommanapalli, a neighbouring village, built a fort at Gandikota.

It believes that Harihara, the first emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire, built a temple here. However, the 16th-century Persian historian Firista states that they built the Fort in 1589.

It had captured by the Qutb Shahis and presided over by Mir Jumla in the 17th century. Jumla built the Zuma Mosque and expanded the Fort.

The Fort had later handed into the hands of the Nawab of Kadapa and Haider Ali. In 1800CE, following an agreement with the Nizam, the British gained control of the Fort.

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Major structures

The Fort has two antique temples dedicated to Madhava and Ranganath. They are in disrepair, and the fort area had covered with the ruins of the ages, and many ancient structures are in ruins at different stages.

The large granary with the cup is now used as the Watchmen Quarter. There are two minarets next to the Jamia Mosque. A heritage celebration is held every year in the fort area.

Other structures in the Fort include:

  • Another large granary (used to store food and grain late).
  • A magazine.
  • A beautiful ‘pigeon tower’ with torn windows.
  • An elaborate palace built of bricks with some plastered embellishments and some wells.

There is an old cannon fibbing in the Fort. ‘Rayalacheruvu’ irrigates some lime and banana plantations with its perennial springs. Pipes have connected the ‘pond’ to a fountain in the Jamia Mosque, and traces of it can still see.

There are other gardens and springs. An undated inscription on a rock near ‘Nagjhari’ outside the Fort records that two gardens were gifts to the temple.

There was a garden called ‘Parebag’ with a waterfall at the bottom of the hills on the banks of the Penner. Several camping areas are outside the Fort and on the Penna (Pennar) River banks.

Other major attractions at the castle include the House of the Drum (drums used to alert the army during an invasion), the Charminar, the prison (prisoners held hostage) and the Red Corner (also known as the Sword Pond, a large lake in front of the mosque, where warriors wield their swords. Drown in the lake and the water turns blood red after the war).

Gandikota Fort Timings and Entry fee

Here are the timings if the gandikota fort

Fort Entry fees: Free for all

Fort Visiting Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Daily.

Best time to visit

Rainy Season: Aug 2nd week – Sep 2nd week

Summer Season: Jan 2nd week – Jul 2nd week.

Winter Season: Sep 3rd week – Jan 2nd week.

Stay at Gandikota

Room Type Room Charges No.Of persons allowed
Ac (A little far from Fort) Rs.1680 2 Adults + 2 Child
Swiss Tent Rental without Food Rs.1500 3 Adults + 1 Child
Swiss Tent Rental with Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Rs.1500/ person 3 Adults + 1 Child

Adventure Activities at Gandikota Fort

Activity Name Charges
Kayaking Rs.500 (Not available now)
Rappelling Rs.400
Rock Climbing Rs.200

Gandikota Camping

Gandikota Camping, famous for representing the Grand Canyon of India, offers a wide variety of options for nature lovers and is lost amidst the scenic beauty of the hills and rivers.

This Camping Site is located in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh and is a short distance from the city of Chennai.

Make your excursion at Gandikota memorable. The area was surrounded by stunning landscapes, hilly landscapes and balloon caves to explore.

Gandikota camping starts at 4 PM on the first day and ends at 10 AM on the second day. Watch the beautiful sunrise from the top of the hills or sit on the banks of the Penna River.

Explore the famous destination for the wide gorge carved by the Pennar River that runs through the red hills.

Soothe your senses with the scenic beauty of the lush green hills and rivers of such a place called the Grand Canyon of India.

Embrace the beauty of the Penna River by engaging in swimming, cliff jumping, waterfall trekking, fort visiting, rock climbing and many more adventurous activities.

Participate in fun indoor board games or take a relaxing nature walk to explore the surroundings.

Sit around the evening warm bonfire session and enjoy a fun chit-chat session with your loved ones while camping in Gandikota.

Enjoy comfortable accommodation in tents on a twin/triple/quad sharing basis and the usual washroom facility.

Get a delicious meal from breakfast, lunch and dinner that will help you regain your energy in the middle.

Know before you go to Gandikota Camping
  • At least two people are needed to book a camping session.
  • Thrillophilia reserves the right to change the travel order without changing the total number of days and without compromising any service (i.e. weather conditions, political conditions, or others).
  • Any meals or transfers not specified on the trip will be considered an exception to the deal.
  • Follow the guidelines administered by the state government.
  • It would be best if you observed the social distance.
  • Frequent use of hand sanitiser and mask had recommended.
  • Proof of ID is mandatory for every single guest during and after booking.
  • PAN card will not consider as proof of valid address.
  • If any items in the resort are broken or damaged, a charge will have been levied at the facts.
  • The Gandikota camping package does not include any personal expenses or items of an individual nature.
  • On a complimentary basis for children, less than five years is free.
  • Children 5-10 years old will charge extra.

Places to visit in Gandikota Fort

  • Jail
  • Madhavaraya Temple
  • Juma Mosque
  • Kattula Koneru
  • Rayala Cheruvu
  • Gandikota Village
  • Charminar
  • Granary
  • Ranganayakula Temple
  • Penna River Gorge
  • Gandikota Reservoir

How to Reach?

By Air:

The nearest airport is the Tirupati, which is at a distance of 225 km from Gandikota.

By Air:

The nearest railway head is 18 km from Gandikota.

By Road:

APSRTC operates several buses from the Jammalamadugu Bus stand.

Address and Contact

[email protected]

91 6305932042

Gandikota Fort, Road, Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh 516434