Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu,after touring Rayalaseema, announced a grand plan to develop Gandikota, a fort on the banks of river Penna, in Kadapa district, in to a world-class tourist attraction. Naidu, two days back toured in Kunool and Kadapa districts. He attended a program in Muddanur, a small railway-station town, near Gandikota. The result is the grand plan. While reviewing the tourism sector on Thursday evening the CM instructed the officials to prepare plans for the development of Gandikota, the last port of call of Vijayanagar empire, into an international tourist destination. He not only asked the officials to commence the work immediately and set a six-month deadline for the first phase of the project to be visible on the ground.
The CM said Gandikota was a vital part of the state history and culture and wanted the officials to take measures for preserving and promoting cultural heritage and history of fort by making it an international tourist destination.
“Gandikota is not just an ancient fort, but also has a picturesque view of deep gorge made by the meandering River Penna. Let the geological survey of India conduct a study of river, rocks and caves at that place,” he asked the officials. He also instructed the officials to build a glass platform on the hill top to provide a view into the gorge (gandi in Telugu), which is called Grand Canyon of India. He wanted the place to be made adventure tourists’ paradise by providing facilities for rock climbing, rope way and boating.
As per his plan the place will also have an amusement park, a shopping area, resorts and other facilities that attract tourists. The approach road to Gandikota will taken up at a cost of Rs 17 crore and another road from Mylavaram to Ropeway point will also be taken up at the cost of 1 crore.
In fact, state government had planned a massive developmental program at Gandikota at a cost of Rs 400 crore. A DPR had also been prepared. But the project had got stalled following the death of the then chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. His successors didn’t show any interest in the project due to financial and political reasons.