Belum Caves is the largest tourist cave in Indian subcontinent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. It is a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water. The caves reach its deepest point (150 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Pataalaganga. In Telugu language, it is called బెల్లము గుహలు Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 metres, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent after Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya.
It was brought to scientific attention in 1884 by a British surveyor Robert Bruce Foote, later in 1982-84, a team of German speleologists headed by H Daniel Gebauer conducted a detailed exploration of the caves. Thereafter in 1988, the state government declared them protected, and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) developed the caves as a tourist attraction in February 2002. Today, 3.5 km of the cave has been successfully explored, though only 1.5 km is open to tourists. There are 16 different pathways, including the main entrance and there are deposits of Quartz in the caves. The caves are formed in Black Limestone.
My Comments: Due to the fact that this place is made too tourist friendly, natural formations of stalactite and stalagmites are missing and does not appear to be living and breathing anymore. Belum caves are often explored in conjunction with trip to Gandikota (check out that blog too). I did not find the place ‘awe inspiring’ or ‘wow inspiring’, but worth a visit given the scale of the caves, and fact that it is almost on the way to Gandikota Canyon