Gandikota is a little hamlet and a historic fort that can be found in the Kadapa region of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is situated around 15 kilometres from the town of Jammalamadugu. The fort served as the centre of administration for many dynasties, including the Golconda Sultanate, the Pemmasani Nayakas, and the Kalyani Chalukyas. For more over three hundred years, the Pemmasani Nayakas made Gandikota their capital and seat of authority. Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayudu constructed the massive fort at Gandikota, which is comprised of 101 towers, in place of the older sand fort that had been constructed there by Kaka Raja, a subordinate of the Kalyani Chalukya monarchs. During the subsequent period of Muslim dominance, numerous architectural adaptations to the Islamic tradition were constructed.
Pemmasani Nayaks, who belonged to the illustrious Kamma Caste and were intimately related with the renowned Vijayanagara Empire, fought on its behalf in various wars against Muslim invaders and were tasked with defending it from further harm. The wonderful accomplishments of these kamma warriors have been described in great detail by a number of historians of the period, both Indian and foreign, in the writings that they have authored.
According to Firishta, a Persian historian writing in the 16th century, construction on the fort began around 1589. As the successor of the Qutab Shahis, Mir Jumla reigned in the 17th century. It was Jumla who constructed the walls surrounding the Juma Masjid. In the end, Hyder Ali and the Nawab of Kadapa were successful in seizing control of the stronghold. The Nizam Treaty, signed in 1800 CE, gave the British sovereignty of the fort.
First impressions of the fort are dominated by the Charmiar, a tower that has undergone substantial repair. It has three distinct tiers. There is a large stone prison with three entrances to the left of where you are standing. Continuing on this path will bring you to the Madhavaraya Swamy Temple not far away. No matter how impressive the appearance of the other monuments in Gandikota may be, no one can deny that the view of the Penna Gorge from the edge of the fort is unrivalled compared to any other place within the fort. If you climb to the top of the rock pile hidden behind the Ranganatha Swamy Temple and turn around to face the shrine, you will likely have the greatest view in the entire vicinity.
However, the previous governments in the united AP did not do a great job of promoting such a long history in the previous decades. Following the state’s 2014 split into two, the Andhra Pradesh government, then headed by TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, made substantial steps to rebuild the fort, make it into a tourist destination, and promote the location to draw tourists. As part of this initiative, the CBN government’s AP Tourism department recorded lively songs with then-famous film stars.
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