Belum Caves are the second largest caves in the Indian subcontinent and the longest (3229 mts) caves in the plains of India. Formed in black limestone, the caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The constant flow of underground water helped forming caves that have their deepest point at 150 feet. Engulfed in mystery, there are 16 different pathways, including the main entrance. Moreover, there are deposits of quartz in the caves. The nearest rail-head to reach Belum Caves is Tadipatri, which is 30 kms away. There are daily trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore and Goa, which halt at Tadipatri railway station. From Tadipatri, one can catch a bus to Belum Caves. If you feel somewhat like Indiana Jones, this one must be explored.
Here are some useful tips if you are visiting the Belum caves:
- The nearest rail-head to reach Belum Caves is Tadipatri, which is 30 kms away.
- There is no accommodation, except a small APTDC run dormitory, near the caves. You need to book in advance or stay at nearby Anantapur, Kurnool or Nandyal.
- Andhra Pradesh can be really hot in summer, so the best time to visit would be in the winter. However, if you are planning to visit the caves in summer. Remember to carry ample drinking water and a towel to wipe off sweat.
- The caves can leave you exhausted because there is a lot of walking, crawling and bending to do on rough terrain. So make sure you have the right kind of clothes and shoes on.
- One can club a visit to these caves with the nearby Yaganti cave temples (44 km away), the gorgeous Gandikota canyons (60 km away) and the spiritually poignant Mantralayam (186 km away) on the banks of River Tungabhadra.