Ride de Gandikota, Belum Caves and Yaganti

Gandikota & Belum Caves have become one of the most popular places to ride in South India owing to the beautiful landscapes and deliciously spicy Andhra cuisine. Although the roads are boring straights, the stunning vistas of Gandikota, Yaganti and Belum Caves made up for the journey.

Motorcycle ride to Gandikota on a KTM Duke 390, Yamaha R15 and a Hero Karizma

View worthy of 300 kms ride @ Gandikota

Motorcycles:

  • Hero Karizma
  • Yamaha R15 v2
  • KTM Duke 390
Breakfast in Anantpur with Pongal at Sri Mukambika Tiffin Centre, Anantpur

Must Eat – Delicious Pongal for breakfast at Sri Mukambika Tiffin Centre, Anantpur

Yaganti:

Surrounded by beautiful rocks and natural water springs, Yaganti is nothing short of a nature-lover’s delight and a mythology buff’s imagination that teleport you to different universe.

Yaganti consists of the main Uma Maheswara Temple, a Pushkarini and 3 Caves (Agastya Cave, Veera Brahmam Cave & Venkateshwara Cave).

Sri Uma Maheswari Temple at Yaganti

The Majestic Sri Uma Maheswari Temple at Yaganti

Interesting Facts of Yaganti:

  • The Nandi idol facing Shiva has been growing in its size over the years. Archaeological Survey of India has confirmed that the rock grows at the rate of 1 inch per 20 years (10 mm per 8 years) due to special composition of the rock used to build the Nandi idol.
  • There is a burning lamp called Akasha Deepam (meaning sky lamp) on the top of the hill behind the main Uma Maheswara temple. It is lit up every day and it glows from dusk to dawn.

Useful Information on Yaganti:

  • Best time to visit & click pictures: 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 6 pm (It gets hot afterwards)
  • Best month to visit: December & January
  • Do not carry riding gear into the temple (unless you love juggling between your gear, phone and SLR camera :p), instead request the guys at any of the shops at the temple entrance to keep them till you return (be kind enough to return the favor by buying some refreshments!!)
  • Watch out for the monkeys, they love everything they see 😀
  • Entrance Fee to be paid/person (no additional fees for camera or recording gear)
  • DO NOT miss to stop for the majestic views of Owk Reservoir & its submerged villages, en-route to Belum Caves from Yaganti
  • Where to eat:
    • Bangalore to Yaganti – Pongal & Masala Dosa at Sri Mukambika Tiffen Centre, Anantpur (near Hotel Masineni Grand)
    • Outside Yaganti Temple – Uggani Bajji & Lime Soda
Lime Soda & Uggani Bajji at the shops outside Yaganti Temple

Lime Soda & Uggani Bajji – must try at Yaganti !!

Motorcycle ride to Owk Reservoir - Enroute to Belum Caves from Yaganti

Owk Reservoir – En-route to Belum Caves from Yaganti

Belum Caves:

Belum Caves is the second largest cave in India. It is a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water. The caves reach its deepest point (150 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Pataalaganga.

The caves were explored and mapped by Mr H. Daniel Gebauer, a German Speleologist in 1982-1983.

Inside Belum Caves near Kurnool from Bangalore

Inside Belum Caves – gateway to a different universe!!

Useful Information on Belum Caves:

  • Best time to visit & click pictures: I recommend visiting on weekdays, weekends are nothing short of chaos
  • Best month to visit: throughout the year
  • AVOID AT ALL COST carrying riding gear into the cave (it gets hot and plus certain sections of the cave is very tight to get through with the riding gear), instead request the guys at refreshment shops to keep them till you return (be kind enough to return the favour by buying some refreshments!!)
  • Carry a spare tee-shirt, navigating the caves is nothing short of burning 400 calories 😛
  • Entrance Fee to be paid/person (no additional fees for camera or recording gear)
View from Gebauer Hall in Belum Caves

View from Gebauer Hall in Belum Caves – Apt to stash a Bat Mobile 😛

Gandikota:

Gandikota, popularly known as the ‘Grand Canyon of India’ consists of a fort built on top of the gorge formed by the Penna river with the Erramala hills . “Gandi” in Telugu means “a gorge,” and “kota” means “a fort.”

KTM Duke 390 with an Arai Quantum 2 helmet at Gandikota Fort

Inside Gandikota Fort – Such a Poser 😀

Places to Visit within Gandikota Fort:

  • Madhavaraya Temple
  • Jama Masjid
  • Granary
  • Ranganatha Swamy Temple
  • View Points (Gandikota Fort & Gorge)
  • Fort Entrance through which one can ride out in his/her motorcycle
  • Jail
Andhra Snacks, munchies at Gandikota Fort

Must Eat – Munchies at Gandikota Fort 😀

Useful Information on Gandikota:

  • Best time to visit & click pictures: 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm (It gets hot afterwards)
  • Best month to visit: December & January
  • Do not carry riding gear to the canyon and the fort (unless you want to test your stamina), instead request the guys at Haritha Hotel, Gandikota (by AP Tourism) to keep them till you return (be kind enough to return the favor by buying some refreshments!!)
  • Timings: There is no official Open/Close Time, but a good indicator of the close-time is when the hawkers start to pack-up
  • Carry a cap, sunglasses and water
  • Motorcycles are allowed all the way till the Granary (through the fort-walls)
  • Stay:
    • In order to capture Gandikota in the best-light, book & stay at the Haritha accommodation
    • Camping: Legally not allowed, although it can be done by convincing the ‘On Duty night-guard’ (Being a Heritage site, I highly recommend ‘Against’ camping within the fort)
    • Recommended to stay in Prodattur (35 kms from Gandikota) for various accommodation options (We stayed at Sri Swastik Residency, Prodattur – good accommodation with secure parking for motorcycles)
  • Where to Eat: Delicious Andhra Meals at Thilak Hotel, Mydukur Road in Prodattur
Authentic Veg Andhra Meals at Thilak Hotel Prodattur

Must Eat – Authentic Veg Andhra Meals at Thilak Hotel Prodattur

Route:

Bangalore > Anantpur > Peapully > Yaganti > > Banaganpalli > Owk > Belum Caves > Prodattur > Jammalamadugu > Gandikota > Pulivendula > Kadiri > Gorantla > Kodur Junction > Bagepalli > Bangalore

Road conditions in the above route are good with occasional unpaved roads (due to road expansion work), easy to navigate on a hard-suspension motorcycle like the Duke 390.

Total Distance: 800 kms

Ride to Gandikota, Belum Caves & Yaganti on a KTM Duke 390, Hero Karizma & Yamaha R15 v2

The Trio!! Soaking in the view at Owk Reservoir

Go ahead, get on your motorcycles and ride into the new year!!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Ride de Gandikota, Belum Caves and Yaganti

  1. Nicely done write up! Love the pictures too. Uggani Bajji looks tempting! 😄

    Like

  2. Beautiful write up Ajay, Definitely i’ll plan for this..

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s