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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Trip to Belum Caves

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju
Belum caves located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh is considered as the India's second largest caves. This is one of the best places to visit in AP. There are many caves in India, but visiting belum caves will be a unique experience. We should thanks AP Tourism for developing and maintaining these caves.

History:
This is a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water. 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 metres, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. 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. 

Location:
It is located at a distance of 30 km from Tadipathri on the banaganapalli route. It is just 3 km from Kolimigundla(nearest village). Also this around 65km from Gooty, 35km from banaganapalli. Belum caves comes under Kurnool District. 

How to reach????

Bus:
Nearest bus stand is Tadipathri(30 km). There are regular buses to Tadipathri from Hyderabad(350km) and Bangalore (250km). 

Train:
There are many train from Hyderabad to Tadipathri. May be you can get down in Gooty also. 

From tadipathri, you have to catch a bus/auto that goes to Banaganapalli. Don't forgot to get down at belum caves. If you don't find any bus/auto going to banaganapalli, then catch an auto that goes to Kolimigundla, from there you can get an auto to belum caves.

Where to stay???
Tadipathri (30km from belum caves), is the best place to stay near belum caves. Don't expect any luxury hotels in Tadipathri. Also AP Tourism is running a resort near belum caves. But I wont recommend that for families, it is just like a dormitory.

Where to eat??
APTDC haritha hotel, which is located inside the belum caves premises is best place to have some food. They have very limited menu. Apart from this hotel, there are no good restaurants near belum caves. There are many decent restaurants in Tadipathri. Also there is one shop which sells snacks near the ticket counter. Please carry enough water bottles, you will definitely need them. 

Guide??
You can hire a guide before visiting the Belum caves. And good thing is there is no fixed rate for the guides. If you want to enjoy belum caves fully, then guide is a must. Ticket for entering the belum caves is 50rs per person.

Places to visit in Belum caves:
  • Paatalaganga.
  • Banyan tree.
  • Kotilingalu.
  • Meditation hall.
  • Saint's bed.
  • Thousand hoods.
  • Watch out for the pit holes on the ceiling and beautiful lines along the cave walls

Nearby places??

My Trip:

I reached belum caves @around 12.30PM and reached the ticket counter which is about 0.4km from the entrance. After buying the ticket, I was searching for the entrance of the cave. The entrance of the cave is located just a few steps away from the ticket counter. I hired a guide and entered the cave. I really liked the cave entrance and the hall which is situated at the entrance. Before entering the belum caves, I was in an impression that belum caves will be similar to borra caves and I don't have any expectation on this cave. But I was shocked to see the formations inside the cave. Guide was so helpful and explained me all about the caves.

There is a formation inside the cave which is similar to the banyan tree. This point is the lowest point in the cave(150ft). The formations were really awesome. We should appreciate AP tourism for providing the air vents even at the lowest point. 

Paatalaganga is one of the must visit place inside the cave. We have to reach this place through the small round shaped ladder. The specialty of this point is, no one knows where water comes from and where this water goes. This water flows through out the year. After paatalaganga, I visited a place where there was huge cracks on the ceiling of the cave and APtourism installed lights in that cracks. So when i took the photograph of that cracks, it looks like the sunlight passing into the cave through that cracks. It is one of the best photographs I took till date.

While we are heading towards the stating point, my guide asked me whether I'm adventurous or not. I don't understand why he suddenly asked me that question. My answer was of-course yes. Then he asked whether I want to the go inside a small cave which is unexplored. So he showed me the starting point of that cave and we started towards that cave. Cave is so small and we have to bend our whole body to enter the cave. I never done cave exploration till now and It was really a great adventure experience for me.

After visiting the belum caves, I went to the big buddist statue located in the belum caves premises. This statue and the hill is visible from 3km from the Belum Caves. Some people believe that buddist monks used to do meditation here longback. Finally my trip came to an end after visiting this statue. It was a great experience visiting Belum caves.

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju / Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

6 comments:

  1. This is one extra ordinary place.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/09/masinagudi-amidst-wilderness.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Niranjan Das I really love ur adventures and i admire all your photos. Please also include is it allowed to public or we need some special permission to visit those place :) Love it

    ReplyDelete
  3. Photos are nice & thanks for the informations.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing the post and beautiful pictures of the Belum caves. Kurnool is basically known as the Gateway to Rayalaseema. It is a famous tourist destination and there are many places to visit in Kurnool and around it.Caves are the must visit place to explore nature.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a teacher and would like to take my class 4 for excursion to these caves .. what do you think about children of 8 and 9 years visiting this place. thanks

    ReplyDelete

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