Proddatur's Blog

November 13, 2009

places to visit

Filed under: Uncategorized — proddatur @ 1:54 pm

Gandikota was founded in 1123 A.D. by Kakaraja, a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. The town played a significant role during the Kakatiya, Vijayanagara and Qutub Shahi periods.

Gandikota is a small village (Lat. 14° 49’5″ N and Long. 78° 16’58 E) on the right bank of the river Pennar, 15 Km from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh in India. 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 (see the river image below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources. Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills, with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort. The exploits of Pemmasani Nayaks, rulers of Gandikota and commanders in Vijayanagar army to protect the honour of Telugu land are well known.

Vemana, the famous Telugu  poet, native of Kadapa district and believed to have lived in Gandikota area.

 Major features

The area within is full of the debris of ages and many ancient structures in varying stages of decay. The fort has a Masjid, a large granary and a temple. The Jamia Masjid has two adjacent minarets. The large granary, with a vaulted roof, is now used as the traveller’s bungalow. Within the fort are two ancient temples, dedicated to Madhava and Raghunatha.

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

References: wiki,Robert Sewell: A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar): A contribution to the History of India, http://historion.net/r.sewell-vijayanagar-history-india

Belum Caves is the second largest cave in Indian sub-continent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent. Belum Caves derives its name from “Bilum” Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 meters, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The caves reach its deepest point (120 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Patalganaga

Discovery

Even though the Belum Caves were known to the locals, the first records of Caves were mentioned in expedition report of Robert Bruce Foote, in 1884. Thereafter, Belum Caves remained unnoticed for almost a century till a German team headed by Herbert Daniel Gebauer conducted detailed exploration of the caves in 1982 and 1983. The German expedition was assisted by the locals Mr B. Chalapathi Reddy, Mr Ramaswami Reddy, Mr Boyu Madduleti, Mr K. Padmanabhaiah, Mr K. Chinnaiah and Mr A. Sunkanna.

Buddha’s statue near Belum Caves

  • 4500 BC Remnants of vessels of that age were found in the caves.
  • ???? occupied by Jains and Buddhists.
  • 1884 existence of the caves recorded by Mr Robert Bruce Foote.
  • 1982 explored by the German Herbert Daniel Gebauer.
  • 1983 explored by the German Herbert Daniel Gebauer.
  • 1988 declared protected by the Andhra Pradesh Government.
  • 1999 development of the cave by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation started.
  • FEB-2002 cave opened to the public.
  • JUL-2002 Musical chamber discovered.

Pushpagiri Temple complex is situated on the banks of the Pennar River in Cuddapah District. The temple complex is 16 km northwest of Cuddapah town. Located on hill, there are eight temples collectively known as Pushpagiri Temple.

The temple complex is renowned for its detailed sculptures and was built by the Cholas to prevent evil omens affecting his kingdom. The temples are those of Kasi Viswanatha, Rangaswami, Vaidhyanatha, Trikoteswara, Bhimeswara, Indranateswara, Kamalasambhaveswara, Shiva and Kesavaswami. The temples of Pushpagiri have sculptures from the episodes of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata, besides some interesting episodes relating to Shaivite mythology.

Sivaratri and Vaikunda Ekadasi are the festivals celebrated here.

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