Turn into a cave explorer at Belum Caves, that’s a short drive from Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district. Perfect for a day trip or, even, a weekend trip, the Belum Caves are a natural wonder made up of chambers and unique formations.
Have You Been To South India’s Largest, Underground Musical Caves? It's Just 5 Hours Away
History and adventure come together at Belum Caves. A lesser known destination, Belum Caves is around five hours from this lovely city of ours. So, if you are embarking on a quick, one-day dash to check out the historical site, we recommend an early start.
Discovered all the way back in 1884, the maze of caves are made from black limestone. And because Nature shaped them, you can explore the caves’ passages and chambers for interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations. While the caves are spread over a large area, only around 1.5 km is open to the public. You can find plenty of placards with directions and basic information while touring the lit-up caves, but if you like you can hire a guide at the entrance for a detailed exploration.
Once inside, keep your eyes glued to the walls of the caves. Look out for the breathtaking formations – one of which looks like the head of a lion. Another looks like a massive banyan tree with its rocky roots spread all over and yet another looks like a thousand, hooded cobras. There’s also the Kotilingalu Chamber that is studded by numerous stalactite formations. Many of these resemble Shiv Lingams.
Do also visit the Saptasvarala Guha, a spacious chamber where the formations let out musical notes when tapped. Nearby, there’s also the Meditation Hall where you can find a stone recliner crafted by Nature. Legend has it that Buddhist monks used to use this space to meditate.
Cave In History
Belum Caves are of historical importance. And excavations continue till date. In the past, archaeologists have found Buddhist relics here. These are now housed at the museum in nearby Anantpur. And you can easily stop by the museum on your way back. On your trip, do carry your own food and water since resources are scarce here.
A thorough discovery of Belum Caves will take you about two hours. And if you find yourself with time to kill, do drive down to Gandikota. An hour away from Belum Caves, Gandikota is home to a gorgeous river gorge that is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. Its landscape is also studded by historical forts and temples.