It’s one of my passions as a blogger to visit old cemeteries and dig out history from each of the tomb and epitaphs. For me, each of these tells a story which needs to be told, forgotten with time I hope to bring back some of the interesting characters that once had a legacy which needs to be reminded. I had traveled to Gooty as a part of a tourist circle covering Belum Caves – Gandikota Gorge – Gandikota Fort – Gooty Fort. It was at Gooty that we have this famous hilltop fort which I have already blogged about and at the foot of the hill is this European Cemetery.
After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, the forces of East India Company looked to consolidate all the southern principalities and Gooty was one of them. The strategic position of Gooty fort at a hilltop resulted in a fierce battle and commanding that was Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Bowser (1749-1833). Gooty Fort was captured by Lt. Col. Bowser’s detachment in August 1799, this battle resulted in some casualties and it was these dead soldiers and officers that were first buried at this European Cemetery.
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In this region of Andhra Pradesh, the popular tourist destinations are Belum Caves and Gandikota. Gandikota is more famous for its Grand Canyon-like gorge than the fort which people visit as a side show. Unless you are travelling to these two places as a weekend getaway in your car you would need to stay somewhere and this is exactly where our next tourist destination comes. The name of the place is Gooty or I think I should call it Gutty as this is what the locals refer to this place as.
My trip to Gooty was part of a tour to Belum Caves – Gandikota Gorge – Gandikota Fort. Gooty is a small town and the railway station is one of the diesel loco shed in the line between Chennai and Mumbai thus there is a sizeable population of railway employees who reside in quarters all along the railways station. The main Gooty town is however around 4 – 5 kilometres from the station.
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Gandikota which is most famous for its Grand Canyon-like gorge has also another important tourist attraction which is the Gandikota Fort. The ruins of the fort and its structures lie right next to the gorge, in fact, the fort was purposely built in this location so that the gorge acts as a natural defense on one side. The different remaining structures inside the fort complex is spread out and if you want to see them properly then can take nearly half a day thus prepare and plan accordingly. Gandikota fort forms a part of the tourist circle which comprises of Belum Caves – Gandikota Gorge – Gandikota Fort – Gooty Fort.
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For those of you who cannot see the possibility of visiting the Grand Canyon (Arizona) in the near future do not be saddened as the solution to your problem is right here in India. The solution is Gandikota, a small village located in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Let me warn you from the very beginning that this is not an easy place to reach as this place has very limited connectivity from rest of the India except for places like Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad from where you can simply drive off over a weekend. The best part, however, is that a trip to this place will let you cover two other interesting places which include Belum Caves – Gandikota Fort – Gooty Fort.
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I have traveled across the oceans, trekked in the mountains even drove around the deserts but what I have not seen is a real cave. This unfulfilled dream of mine came true when I had the opportunity to visit Belum Caves. Located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in India. This trip forms a part of the tourist circle which comprises of Belum Caves – Gandikota Gorge – Gandikota Fort – Gooty Fort.
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Marco Polo said these about the riches of Golconda when he visited Queen Rudrama Devi of Warangal in 1292 AD “the flower of the diamonds and other large gems, as well as the largest pearls, are all carried to the great Kaan and other kings and princes of those regions. In truth they possess all the treasures of the world.”*
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