Gandikota is a village and historical fort on the right bank of the Penna river, 15 km from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, India.The fort was the center of power for various dynasties, such as the Kalyani Chalukyas, Delhi Sultante, Pemmasani Nayaks, and the Golconda Sultanate. Gandikota was the capital of Pemmasani Nayaks, who were vassals of the Vijayanagara Empire, for almost 300 years. Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayudu constructed the huge fort at Gandikota with 101 towers replacing the previous sand fort constructed by Kapa Raja, Vassals of Kalyani Chalukya rulers. Various additions of Islamic architecture were made during subsequent Muslim rule [1][2][3][4][5]

Historical site
Montage of Gandikota clockwise from top to bottom: Gandikota Fort Main Entrance, Grand Penna River Canyon, AP Tourism Resort, Jumma Masjid
Montage of Gandikota clockwise from top to bottom: Gandikota Fort Main Entrance, Grand Penna River Canyon, AP Tourism Resort, Jumma Masjid
Gandikota is located in Andhra Pradesh
Location in Andhra Pradesh, India
Gandikota is located in India
Gandikota (India)
Coordinates: 14°48′48″N 78°17′05″E / 14.813433°N 78.284757°E / 14.813433; 78.284757Coordinates: 14°48′48″N 78°17′05″E / 14.813433°N 78.284757°E / 14.813433; 78.284757
Country India
StateAndhra Pradesh
Established12th Century A. D.
Founded byKaka Raja, subordinate of Kalyani Chalukya dynasty (small sand fort)
Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayudu, Kamma Nayaka Vassal of Vijayanagara Empire (101 towers huge rock fort)
 • OfficialTelugu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code08560
Vehicle registrationAP04


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 (look for the river image in the montage/main image).


Early historyEdit

Gandikota is a village on the right bank of the river penna, 15km from jammalamudugu in kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh ,India Gandikota area was first identified and made Sand fort in 1123 by Kapa Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, Kalyani Chalukya ruler. It was under the rule of Kaka Raja descendants from 1123 A.D to 1239 A.D. Later it came under the rule of Kayastha dynasty, subordinate of Kakatiya rulers from 1239 A.D to 1304 A.D. It is captured by Tughlaq dynasty and was under their rule till 1343 A.D. In the decisive war of Kalubharija between Phrouda deva raya and Ahmed Shah, Deva raya gained the fort and changed the name from Mulikinadu to Gandikota. It also became the capital of Pemmasani Nayaks who ruled the fort and Gandikota region for more than 300 years after then. In 1652 A.D With the attack of Mir Jumla, military general of Qutb shahi dynasty it came under the power of Golconda sultanate. After the short ruling of Abdul Nawab Khan, ruler of kadapa it became the part of British India[citation needed]

The village transformed into major fort after the emergence of the Pemmasani Nayaks.[6][7][8][9]

Recently, Obul Reddy, a Mydukur-based historian, discovered a copper plate inscription on the history of Gandikonda Fort. The inscription dates back to 16th century.[10]

Vemana, the Telugu poet, native of Kadapa district and believed to have lived in Gandikota area for a short period. Jean Baptiste Tavernier visited the fort during his travel to Golconda sultanate.[citation needed]

Efforts are being put forth to give Gandikota a world heritage status.[11]

Major structuresEdit

In the fort are two ancient temples, dedicated to Madhava and Ranganatha. They 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 watchman's quarters. The Jamia Masjid has two adjacent minarets. A heritage festival is held every year in the fort area.[12]

The other structures in 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 lying in the fort. There is 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 a garden called 'Parebagh' with a waterfall at the foot of the hills, on the bank of the Penneru.

There are multiple camping areas outside the Fort and on the banks of the Pennar river.

Access and transportationEdit

Panoramic view of Penna river near Gandikota

The nearest railway stations are Muddanuru which is 26 km (railway code: MOO) and Jammalamadugu (JMDG) in Kadapa District. There are number of trains from Gooty Junction. Recently the town of Jammalamadugu which is closest to Gandikota fort [13] also got railway connectivity due to the completion of Nandyal–Yerraguntla section railway line. However frequency of trains on this line is very low.

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. It is 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).

There is a Haritha hotel run by Andhra Pradesh Tourism department which has lodging facilities. However the facilities are limited during the weekdays as the visitors during weekdays are low


In November 2015, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh,Nara Chandrababu Naidu cited a plan to develop Gandikota as next major tourist hub of Andhra Pradesh.[14] Minister for Marketing and Animal husbandry C Adinarayana Reddy laid the foundation stone and performed bhumipooja for the rope way project proposed at Gandikota.


  1. ^ Reporter, Staff. "Stone from Gandikota fort to be used". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gandikota, by Tavva Obul Reddy, 2016, Telugu Samajam publishment
  6. ^ Sewell, Robert. "A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar): A contribution to the History of India".
  7. ^ "K. A. Nilakanta sastry: Further Sources of Vijayanagar History". 1946.
  8. ^ Stein, Burton (1989). Vijayanagara. Cambridge University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0-521-26693-9.
  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.
  10. ^ "Copper plate inscription about Gandikonda Fort found".
  11. ^ "Heritage status for Gandikota fort sought". The Hindu. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Gandikota Heritage festival from October 26". The Hindu. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  13. ^
  14. ^

Further readingEdit

  • Article about this visiting Gandikota: Grand Canyon at Gandikota, Deccan Chronicle newspaper (Hyderabad edition), 6 April 2012, Wanderlust Page: 21

External linksEdit