Rayalaseema - A Deadly Terrain, The Great Indian Canyon of Gandikota, Belum Cave & Windy Horsely Hills!
This time we decided to visit Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh. Our plan was to visit Lepakshi Temple -> Gandikota -> Belum Cave -> Horsely Hills. It is one of a complete road trip as we visited an archeological site Lepakshi temple, Great Indian Canyon at Gandikota, deadly Belum Cave and Windy Hill Station - Horsely Hills. Hence, we visited a variety of places on this trip. On top of that, Spices of Andhra Food, Heat of Rayalaseema region and Canyon & Cave experiences has made this trip an adventurous One!
We started early morning and reached to Lepakshi in no time. The best part of the road trip is the local food we used to get in small Dhaba especially breakfasts and in this trip also We got amazing food. After having breakfast we reached to Lepakshi. Luckily there was just one group other than us in the temple so It was enjoyable as well as peaceful. This temple is famous for its Hanging pillar. This temple was built in the time of Vijayanagara Kings in 13th -16th Centaury. During that time Vijayanagara was the 2nd most rich empire of India. Carvings done on the pillar and on the celling were simply incredible. Well, we spent an hour and a half at the temple.
Now after visiting an archaeological site, we were moving towards the Grand Canyon at Gandikota. Well, I have been to few parts of the Himalayas as well as the Western Ghats from Pune to Kerala but I never saw the terrain which I was seeing on the way to Gandikota. It was completely different and unique. On the both sides of the roads we saw small hills in a row and then came miles of flat land and at the horizon, we could see A wall which was again hills. We crossed it and again saw miles of flat land. Hills in this region were small and mostly Monolithic. On entire 200kms from Lepakshi to Gandikota, we never came across any river except river Penna at Gandikota. So, it was kind of scary and deadly terrain. It was damn too much windy and because of flat terrain without any tree on either side of the road, The wind was hitting directly on my bike and hence it was shaking a lot and with the temperature at the higher side, it was one of the most difficult and tiring but adventurous rides.
Well, after tiring 4 hours ride we reached to Gandikota and decided to take rest in nearby town Jammalamadugu. Luckily, we found an AC lodge. After resting for a while we went to visit the Great Indian Canyon at Gandikota “The show stopper attraction of the Trip”. Inside Gandikota fort, there were Temple, Masjid, and other attractions. At the end, there was the Canyon. It looked amazing at the first glance and trust me, till now I didn’t even saw the river Panne view. My excitement was increasing with each step towards the Canyon.
Finally, I saw the Canyon and the River Panne passing through it. I was speechless. The view was breathtaking. It was evening, the Cold breeze with such an insane view from the top of Canyon had made entire day’s struggle a worthy one! We took hell lot of picture and selfies there. Sat there for rest of the evening. Well, it was completely dark hence, we decided to leave the place but it had already made me fall in love with that place. For adventure lovers, you can camp there if you want. Though it is illegal, it's worth to break the law. There was AP tourism’s hotel Harita near the Canyon where you can camp and its completely legal.
Wow, what a day it was. The amazing ancient art of Lepakshi, crazy ride in scary terrain till Gandikota and nostalgic Canyon view of the river Panne at Gandikota. The day couldn't be more exciting than this.
Next day’s schedule was to explore Belum Cave, which was 1.5km long and ride to Horsely Hills which is a Hill station of AP and literally unexplored by even travelers of Bangalore. Opening Timing of Belum cave was 10:30 and we wanted to reach there by 10:30 so that we can explore the cave with a least possible crowd and we will get enough time to ride back to Horsley Hills.
When I entered in the Cave, it was very wide and I assumed entire cave would be similar. Even if it would be, I would be more than happy because I had never been to such cave. But while going inside the Cave, we came across very narrow passes where you can’t simply walk, you needed to adjust a bit, at some places you had to sit and pass by. Lights inside the cave were so amazingly placed that, It made the cave look even more beautiful. The landscapes of the walls of the cave were so beautiful and it was varying throughout the Cave.
Begining of The Belum Cave. Don't you feel the lightings of the cave is amazing?
There was a water stream flowing inside the cave called “Patal Ganga”. It was very hot inside the cave and as it was a long cave after an hour or so I was full of sweat. As soon as I saw Patal Ganga, I started pouring water on my face and clothes. It reminded me the advertisement of Dermicool powder - “Thanda Thanda Cool Cool”. I heard the cave was naturally built by flowing water beneath the land. Isn’t it amazing? Anyways the cave was so huge that if directions weren’t written on the wall, we would be lost inside the cave. After the mind-blowing cave experience, We came out and I realized I lost my wallet and with that, I lost all money, ATM cards and DL, Damn it! I am still feeling the pain of losing my DL. The procedure to get all the documents back is making me crazy.
Anyways after the Belum cave, we went back to our Lodge, checked out from there and started riding towards our final Destination of the trip – "Ooty of Andhra, Horsely Hills". As none of us has heard much about it, we were excited but without any expectations. Horsely-hills had ghat roads for around 8km which was the most scenic part of the entire road trip. On the both sides of the road, we saw trees with flowers of yellow, purple and orange colors. Horsely Hill is a decent Hill station with a couple of incredible view points. Let me tell you what else all you can do at Horsley Hill. Visit a Zoo, try your hands on rifle shooting or go for adventure activity like Rope Climbing.
We reached in the evening and then went for a walk around the Hill station. While walking, we started hearing the noise of the wind. Just in few meters, we saw a breathtaking view. It was Whisper Winds viewpoint. The place was rightly named, as it was wildy windy one. We could see never ending mountain range of green and small Monolithic hills which were the specialty of this terrain. We sat there for the rest of the evening and enjoyed the sunset. At the time of sun set, we saw various shades of colors in the sky which was damn beautiful and heaven for the photographers.
We left the place once it became dark and went to one Andhra restaurant, took food and went to Sun set point. lights of houses and roads around the valley of tiny dark hills with the sky full of stars were making place nothing less than some 5* Hill top restaurant. On top of that “OM Namah Sivay!!” chant on Bluetooth speaker with natural sound of wind had created an incredible and unforgettable atmosphere. We sat there and enjoyed dinner until we ate Andhra chilly. It was fucking spicy! I lost all my senses and started shouting and drank whatever I got. Trust me I would have drunk liquid poison if someone had given me at that time. How the hell you can eat such a spice?? Well, nothing helped no liquid. Ha Ha! It is correctly said that Time heals everything and yes, After a while effect of spice reduced and I became normal.
Thank you #NIKOND3300!
That was again an eventful day with tiring, suffocating, hot but amazing Belum Cave, I losing my wallet and surprisingly beautiful and Windy Horsely Hill with spicy Andhra food.
Next morning, we thought of waking up early and go for a run, but we couldn’t because the morning was so chilly there and we didn’t feel like coming out of bed. After a while, we woke up and went to same places we visited yesterday. Took a Walk around the entire Horsely-hills which was by the way very small. After having Dosa with a lot of chatni, we went back to Sun set point where we sat for an hour. We enjoyed the breeze and the view before deciding to leave for Namma Bengaluru, our Home!