At the heart of Rayalaseema, is a little known but once a fort of glory, the Gandikota Fort. With a history of 900 years and some natural scenic beauty to go with it, Gandikota should be on your must visit places. So it was for us for quite sometime now and it was the final and most awaited destination of this trip.
The fortress resort
We are huge fans of the AP Tourism’s Haritha resorts, they are economical, well maintained, the food is good, safe and ensure a comfortable stay. When we got to know that Gandikota had a Haritha Resort, we planned our itinerary to include a stay at the resort. We had such a good time that we wanted to dedicate a post for it.
The resort is located less than a kilometer from the fort, it was past 9 PM when we reached the resort, we didn’t have much time to do anything except have dinner and a little barbecue late in the night. There is a caretaker here who manages the resort and the logistics.
Gandikota is fast becoming a popular place for adventure trekking, while we were there, a group of visitors was getting ready to pack dinner and spend the night at the fort ! Gandikota Fort does not have timings and is open for you to explore as long as you stay safe. There are only 1-2 guards but there is no guarantee they would be around for help, the caretaker of the resort told us lot of people did such adventures and it was safe, except for snakes once in a while ! On a full moon night, it would be awesome to stay at the fort, we made a note to try it out the next time.
Each room looks like the houses in a village belonging to the medieval times, complete with a platform where you can sit and chat. They even have a terrace, some in our group slept on the terrace in their sleeping bags !
We woke up before sunrise and went up to the terrace to catch some fresh air but we had our breaths taken away by a view of the Gandikota Fort stretching before us and the gopuram of the Madhavaraya temple. We had no idea that the resort had this kind of view and boy, it caught us totally unaware and we almost jumped in surprise !
On the other side, there are vegetable fields and the hills beyond. An ancient mandapa stands in the middle of one of the fields. It was totally relaxing and rejuvenating to sit on the terrace in the cool breeze with all these views around.
We spent close to an hour discussing philosophy and spirituality and it was time for breakfast, we need some food for more thoughts !
The dining area at the resort opens out to a nice garden, the ambiance is lovely.
There is also a play area for kids.
The restaurant does not have too many options on the menu. The food is prepared based on the number of people visiting that day. The caretaker is hospitable and goes out of his way to give you a happy meal. For breakfast, we had pooris and we relished the curry that went with it, hot and spicy, it gave us a taste of Rayalaseema !
You could take a walk around the resort, relax under the trees, chat up on the terraces of the rooms or have a campfire outside.
There is an information booklet on Gandikota at the resort, if you want to know about the place and what to see. The caretaker told us the fort stretches for miles across the hills and the gorge and of late several adventure groups have been exploring it by trekking, rock climbing and hiking. There are no guides but if you want the resort could arrange for some locals to accompany you.
Go to any corner of the resort, you can see this view of the fort.
We couldn’t wait to go there.
– If you plan a trip to Gandikota, make sure you stay at the Haritha Resort. The resort has 10 rooms, 5 AC and 5 Non-AC. The tariff varies from Rs.800/- to Rs.1200/-
– The route to the resort is slightly isolated, there may be a few bus services, advisable to have your own vehicle. Most people visit the resort on weekends. On weekdays, you may be the only people staying here !
– Since the floating crowd is not much, food is made to order. You may not have too many options but the food is good. They even pack the food for you if you want to take it along with you to the fort.
– You can book accommodation online through AP Tourism, the place has not yet been listed on the online booking website, you could call the helpline or Gandi Resort at Kadapa and ask for details of Haritha Resort at Gandikota Fort.
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