Destinations - India Road trips from Bangalore

Lepakshi-Belum Caves-Gandikota | A Weekend Travel Guide from Bangalore!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Another Weekend getaway from Bangalore with detailed itinerary! This time we will help you explore Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh..

This is the eighth in the  Weekend getaways from Bangalore series. These are trips to tourist places near Bangalore within 300 KMs. These can also be considered as a 2 day trip near Bangalore.  These trips are excellent weekend getaways for family.

They provide much-needed break from the routine. Bangalore is blessed with numerous options for weekend trips to revitalise oneself.

These weekend getaways from Bangalore cover Saturday and Sunday. They can be comfortably done by car/bike. A detailed itinerary given here will help you plan the trip.

This trip helps you to explore Lepakshi-Belum Caves-Gandikota wherein you will see outstanding temples of Vijayanagar era in Lepakshi, Penukonda and Tadipatri. Explore the mesmerising caves at Belum. It will also take you to the ” Grand Canyon of India” at Gandikota.

So why wait? Plan this trip on one of the weekends.

The Circuit

Bangalore – Lepakshi – Penukonda – Anantpur – Tadipatri – Belum caves – Jammalamadugu – Gandikota – Kadiri – Bangalore

Distance

677 KMs (End to end). Generally good roads. The Bangalore – Hyderabad highway is excellent.

Map

Google map Link of the circuit

The Plan

Day 1 – Bangalore – Lepakshi – Penukonda – Anantpur (Night Stay)
 
Distance – 245 KMs
7 AM – Start from Bangalore. You can have breakfast at Indian Parota Factory after airport or Nandini Upachar or similar restaurant and drive to Lepakshi.
 10 AM – Reach Lepakshi. This is the first stop in this tour of Lepakshi-Belum Caves-Gandikota circuit.
Explore the beautiful temple for an hour – Check this post on Lepakshi in our blog for more details – and proceed to Penukonda.
Lepakshi-Bellum caves-Gandikota

Nagalingeshwara in Lepakshi

12 PM – Arrive in Penukonda. Penukonda has a ruined fort with remains of the palace and other structures from Vijayanagar era. You should spend an hour exploring it. Explore the temples and palaces. Climbing the ruined fort which is distributed over small hill is not worth an effort.
Penukonda Picture courtesy and check out more from the FB page of a friend PK Narayan – https://www.facebook.com/JourneywithPK/

Thimmarasa Jail, Penukonda

Lepakshi-Bellum caves-Gandikota

Gaga Mahal

Kashi Vishwanatha Temple

Ramalayam Temple

1 PM – Have lunch in Penukonda or at any of the many dhabhas on the highway. If you are a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, then you can take a detour to Puttaparthi and visit his memorial and then proceed to Anantpur.
4 PM – Reach Anantpur. Visit the lovely ISKON temple in city in the evening. Retire for the night.
Day 2 – Anantpur – Tadipatri – Belum caves – Gandikota – Bangalore
An interesting day of exploring caves, a lovely temple and the Grand Canyon of India!.
7 AM – Drive to Tadipatri. A nice road from Anantpur along a huge lake will take you to the place.
8 AM – Arrive at Tadipatri which has two beautiful temples of Vijayanagar period. The base of the incomplete main gopuram of Bugga Ramalingeshwara Swamy temple is so big that the acclaimed historian James Fergusson has mentioned that had it been completed then it would have been the tallest gopuram in the country. Spend 30 minutes here. Another lovely temple in the city is Chintala Venkataramanaswamy temple.
Lepakshi-Bellum caves-Gandikota

The base of the incomplete gopuram! Massive!

Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Notice the height of the plinth wall!!

Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Magnificent carvings on the plinth

Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Stone chariot similar to the one in Hampi!

Check out this lovely photo album on Bugga Ramalingeshwara Swamy temple on Flickr by Ventaramanan Gopalan – https://www.flickr.com/photos/vgopalan/albums/72157665446875030
8.30 AM – Have breakfast in city (45 minutes) and drive to spectacular world of Belum caves.
10 AM – Arrive in Belum caves complex. Explore the caves and it will take at least one and half hours to explore the cave.
Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Entrance to the cave

Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Formations inside the cave!

11.30 AM – It is a long cave formation of more than 3 KMs. Visitors are allowed only for one KM. The cave is well lit and ventilated. If someone has a history of feeling claustrophobic, it is better to avoid this place. After enjoying the experience of exploring the sights of Belum caves, drive to Jammalamadugu.
12.30 PM – Arrive at Jammalamadugu. Either you can have lunch here or pack something and eat it in Gandikota as nothing is available in Gandikota.
1.30 PM – Leave for Gandikota if you had lunch in Jammalamadugu. Leave earlier if you have packed it. Half an hour drive will bring you to the fort canyon. A detailed travel guide for Gandikota can be read here.
Gandikota Fort Canyon – A Complete travel guide with pictures – http://traveltwosome.com/gandikota-fort-and-canyon/
If you have packed your lunch, you may eat it inside the fort.
Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Panoramic view of Gandikota Grand Canyon

lepakshi-belum-caves-gandikota

Grand canyon of Gandikota

Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota

Mini Charminar

lepakshi-belum-caves-gandikota

Gopuram of Madhavaraya Temple

3.30 PM – Depart Gandikota after exploring the fort and the canyon.
9 PM – Arrive in Bangalore. You may have dinner on the way in many good restaurants on Bangalore – Hyderabad highway after Chilamathur.
Travel Tips
  1. The timings given here are indicative for travelling in a car or bike. This is an easy drive which covers three lovely places of Lepakshi-Belum caves-Gandikota.
  2. The best time to visit these places is in winter.
  3. It is good to explore the caves early in the morning before the temperatures increase.
  4. Carry water with you. There are not many options to eat either in Belum caves or Gandikota. It would be better to eat in Tadipatri before going to Belum caves or Jammalamadugu before going to Gandikota.
  5. Wear a good hat as the temperatures will be harsh even in winter.
  6. Penukonda, Belum caves and Gandikota requires walking and climbing. It is good to wear a good walking shoe.
  7. There are good options for accommodation in Anantapur. One can also drive to Belum caves straight after Penukonda. However the only option for stay in Belum caves is the state run Haritha Hotel which is average.
  8. If one wants to do some adventurous stuff like canoeing or trekking in Gandikota, can stay in tented accommodation provided by few adventure sports agencies and extend the trip by another day.
  9. We also recommend you to extend the stay by another day if you don’t want to drive back from Gandikota all the way to Bangalore. This will give you some more time to explore Gandikota and drive to Kadiri and stay there for the night. Next day morning you can visit the famous Narasimhaswamy temple at Kadiri and then drive back to Bangalore.
  10. We strongly recommend you to download Routo App and request for a ready map for this road trip from Bangalore to Lepakshi-Belum Caves-Gandikota for the whole itinerary for only Rs 150 – less than the cost of a cup of Coffee in a Coffee Day!! This is an excellent App and we use it everytime we go for road trips for a peaceful drive. Available only in Android phones. This comes with real-time support during the trip like breakdown support, hotel booking etc from legends among road trippers, HV Kumar. Please click the link below.

    RoutO – The Right Route & Travel Support For The Motorist Traveller

  11. We also recommend you to become a member of road trippers forum – HV Kumar Forum  – to get to know the latest updates on road conditions etc.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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