The most refreshing thing for a man is the connection he finds with mother nature, away from all the hustle and all the commotion. A little while away from all of it to know how extravagant our planet is one thing everyone should have.
The Borra Caves in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, India are a major tourist attraction in the state. Andhra pradesh that is rich in its culture and traditions. Its know for many of the tourist attractions across the state. Tirupati, Hyderabad, Vijaywada are a few to mention. Visakhapatnam is know for its beautiful weather and beaches. Visakhapatnam is the only city that has a natural harbour on the east coast. It is also the Headquarters for Eastern Naval Command of India.
These cave are on the East Coast of India in the Ananthagiri Hills at the Araku Valley. They are the deepest caves in the country. The caves are famous for its numerous stalactites, spleleothems and stalagmites. The caves are 80 meters deep making them the deepest in the country. These caves are also one of the largest in the country. These caves were discovered by William King George of the Geological Survey of India in the year 1807.
There are many legends that speak of these caves. The tribals aroud this place narrate the stories. They say that, when a cow was grazing on the top of the hill, it fell into a hole and dropped for over 60 meters. The cowherd went to search for the cow, in his search he came across a stone that resembled the Shiva Lingam ( Lord Shiva ). He found the cow and was alright. He believed that it was Lord Shiva who saved the cow. The villagers who heard this belived him and have worshipped this place ever since. Many people visit this place to get a glipse of the lingam in the caves. The river Gosthani originates from here, flows through Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam district before falling into the Bay of Bengal at Bheemunipatnam.
These caves are cleared by Gosthani river that flows through this place. The Gosthani river is the main source of Water Supply to Visakhpatnam. The extensive formation of Stalactites and Stalagmites are a treat to the eyes. The tourism department of Andhra Pradesh has provided excellent lighting and illumination using mercury, halogen and sodium vcapor lamps to make the various formations clearly visible to tourists. The average temperature in this place is about 25 degrees centigrade.
The place houses quite a few varieties of flora and fauna. The fulvous fruit bat is the most sighted in this cave. These bat are known to be found in large caves, old buildings, dungeons and the areas of forts which are very dark. Another regular sighting is that of the Golden Gecko that resides in these caves. The forest in this area are Deciduous, Semi- Evergreeen type. The bats feed on guava, cotton, mango and jamun which are available in these parts. The majority of the species found in these caves are endangered. Hence, mining operations are not allowed as it would be a violation of the Environmental Protection Act.
These caves are at about 90 kilometeres away from the famous beach city of Visakhapatnam. The roads to this place from the city are mostly through a hilly area, hence takes about 3 hours to reach the caves. Visakhaptnam also has an airport that is well connected to other major cities of the country. There also runs a train from Vizag ( Visakhapatnam ) to the caves. The name of the station in BorraGuhalu which means Borra Caves. The route is beautiful. The railway line on which this operates is the Kothavasala Kirandul line which comes uner the East Coast Railways, Indian Railways. The journey is of about a 100 kilometeres and includes about 30 tunnels in its route which takes about 3 hours to complete. The train journey is a treat. The best place to visit these caves in during November and December. The temperatures are the best during this time of the year. The Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department provides an Araku- Borra Cave Rail cum road package which includes everything you need to experience the beauty of this wonderful place. The caves are open to public from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. A ice stroll around these caves provides a brilliant view of the scenery and also gives you a chance to see the rich flora and fauna that constitutes these caves.
The Andhra Pradesh State tourism has many guided tours to these caves from Visakhapatnam. The famous Hill Station, Araku Valley is situated at about 30 kilometers from the caves which is another famous tourist attraction in Visakhapatnam. Araku Valley is one of the few places in South India that has not been spoilt. It is know for its coffee, The Araku Emerald.
There are good hotels available near these caves. At a distance of a couple of kilometers from the caves is a place called sagarnagar which is filled with hotels. some of the good hotels are Senora Beach Resort and Bay Leaf – Ayurveda Spa & Resort. One other good place to stay is the Palm Beach Hotel & Resort which is two and a half kilometers away from the caves and is situated on the Beach Road. This place provides a feel of the endless waters and the magnificence of the caves simultaneously. Andhra Pradesh is known for its spicy dishes and traditional Andhra Cuisine is something one must definitely try within the State’s boundary. The rich pickles and the Dolphin’s Nose Hill is one beautiful attraction in Visakhapatnam. Borra Caves is a famous place that attracts large number of tourists over the year. To experience the natural wonder’s beauty, do visit!