About Belum Caves
The Belum Caves is the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent, known for its speleothems, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations. The Belum Caves have long passages, galleries, spacious caverns with fresh water and siphons. This cave system was formed over the course of tens of thousands of years by the constant flow of underground water from the now-disappeared river Chitravathi.
The cave system reaches its deepest point from entrance level at the point known as Pataalaganga. In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves have a length of 3,229 m, making them the second largest caves on the Indian Subcontinent after the Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya. It is one of the centrally protected Monuments of National Importance.
Belum came to scientific attention in 1884 by a British surveyor, Robert Bruce Foote and from 1982 to 1984, a team of German speleologists headed by H. Daniel Gebauer conducted a detailed exploration of the caves. Thereafter in 1988, the state government declared the site protected, and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation developed the caves as a tourist attraction in February 2002. Today, 3.5 km of the caves have been successfully explored, though only 1.5 km is accessible to visitors. There are 16 different pathways, including the main entrance and there are deposits of quartz in the caves. The caves consist of black limestone.
The Belum Caves are located near Belum Village in Kolimigundla Mandal of Kurnool District in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Kolimigundla has situated 3 km from Belum Caves. The caves are an 8 km drive from Petnikota village.
Belum is part of a larger complex of caves carved out of the limestone deposits in the Erramalai region. Other caves include the Billasurgam caves, Sanyasula caves, Yaganti caves, Yerrajari caves, and the Muchchatla Chintamanu caves. the first records of site come from the expedition report of British geologist and archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote, in 1884.
Thereafter, the Belum Caves remained unnoticed for almost a century until a German team headed by Herbert Daniel Gebauer conducted detailed exploration of the caves in 1982 and 1983. Belum Caves are geologically and historically important caves. There are indications that Jains and Buddhists monks occupied these caves centuries ago. Many Buddhists relics were found inside the caves. These relics are now housed in Museum at Ananthapur.
Archaeological survey of India (ASI) also found remnants of vessels of the pre-Buddhist era and dated the remnants of these objects to 4500 years BCE.
Timings to visit
10:00 AM – 04:30 PM
Duration and Entry Fee to visit Belum Caves
Indians – 65 INR
Foreigners – 300 INR
How to Reach
By Air: Bangalore Airport – 270 km,
By Train: Tadipatri Railway Station – 30 km, Anantapur Railway Station – 85 km,
By Bus: Anantapur – 86.1 km, Tadipatri 29 km,
Belum Caves, 1/1, Opposite Indian Oil Petrol Pump, Kolimigundla, Andhra Pradesh, Kurnool District, 518123, India.
AP Tourism dept. Official Site for Belum Caves
Also Read Place To Visit In And Around Kurnool District