Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Tourism      Monuments      Rock - cut Caves      Andhra Pradesh     Visakhapatnam    

Borra Caves

Place : Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh.
Significance : One of the largest in India
Best Season : November- December
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The million year-old limestone Borra Caves, is situated in Ananthagiri hills, about 90kms north of Visakhapatnam district on the way to Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh State. The Caves, one of the largest in the country, are also known as 'Borra Guhalu' in Telugu language, which means bored caves.

Inside of this caves, one can see a series of magnificent spaces enlivened with jagged salactites and stalagmites. The caves turned into a hotspot for tourists since they were illuminated by electric lights in 1993. Over 5 lakh tourists visits Borra Caves every year.

The caves, at a height of 1400 mts above sea level and occupying an area of 2 square kilometers is filled with fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations of calcium deposits. The Gosthani river flows through the caves between the formations.

This natural caves were discovered in1807 by William King George of the Geological Survey of India, are situated in limesone cliff's overlooking the Gosthani River. Indian Anthropologists have found stone tools of middle Paleolithic Age dating back to 30000 to 50000 years indicating human habitation in the caves. Many stories that are associated with these caves, are believed by the tribal communities like Valmaki, Jatapu, Nookadora, etc who inhabit the villages around the caves.

One of the popular legend is that, once a cow was grazing at the top of these caves dropped through a hole through the roof and fell through 60 m. When the cowherd came searching for his cow, found a Lingam in the caves. This Lingam was then taken as a sign of Lord Shiva who was believed to have protected the cow.

One have to take about 440 steps walk to enjoy these natural rock formations. Before entering into the cave one can see Gostani River which is treated as very Holy River among the local tribals.

Several smaller stalagmites are worshipped as lingas, with Nandis places in front.

There is a natural 'Shivalingam' and an idol of a cow (Kamadhenu) which has given a religious significance to it can be seen by climbing a number of narrow steps inside the cave.

Most tourists go up to Borra by Visakhaptnam-Kirandul passenger train and later proceed to Araku Valley, considered Andhra’s Ooty. The Train journey from Vizag to the caves(5-6 hrs) through the thick vegetation of the Eastern ghats is splendid.

The best time to visit the caves is November- December.

The caves are open to public from 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Entry Fee : Rs.30 for adult and Rs.20 for children. Tickets can get from the Central Reservation Office of AP Tourism at RTC Complex or its counters at railway station.