Borra Caves are a series of natural limestone caves located in the Ananthagiri Hills of the Araku Valley in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. These caves were formed over millions of years due to the action of flowing water on limestone rocks, and are believed to be about 150 million years old.
The Borra Caves are famous for their unique rock formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and speleothems, which have been formed by the deposition of minerals over time. The caves are also home to several species of bats and other creatures.
The name “Borra” is said to have been derived from a Telugu word that means “hole”. The caves were discovered by British geologist William King in 1807, and were later developed as a popular tourist attraction.
Visitors can explore the caves by taking a guided tour, which takes them through various chambers and passages. The caves are also illuminated with lights to enhance their beauty and provide a better view of the formations. The area around the Borra Caves is also popular for its natural beauty, with lush green forests, waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints.
History of Borra Caves
The history of Borra Caves dates back millions of years, to a time when the area was covered by the sea. Over time, the movement of tectonic plates and the erosion caused by water led to the formation of the caves.
The caves were discovered by a British geologist named William King George in 1807. He noticed a small opening in the ground and upon investigation, he discovered the caves. However, it was only in the late 19th century that the caves gained popularity among tourists.
During the early 20th century, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department took over the management of the caves and started promoting them as a tourist attraction. In 1960, a railway line was laid up to Borra Caves, making it easier for tourists to visit.
In recent years, Borra Caves have become a popular destination for adventure sports like trekking and rock climbing. The caves are also an important archaeological site, and several prehistoric human artifacts have been found here, including stone tools and carvings.
Overall, Borra Caves have a rich geological and cultural history, and they continue to attract visitors from all over the world.
Facts of Borra Caves
Here are some interesting facts about The Caves:
- The Borra Caves are one of the largest caves in India, with a length of about 200 meters and a depth of about 80 meters.
- The caves are located at an altitude of about 705 meters above sea level and are surrounded by the lush green forests of the Ananthagiri Hills.
- The caves were formed due to the action of the Gosthani River, which flows through the area. The river eroded the limestone rocks over millions of years, forming the caves and the unique rock formations inside.
- The caves are believed to be about 150 million years old, making them one of the oldest geological formations in India.
- The caves are home to several species of bats, including the Indian false vampire bat and the greater horseshoe bat. Visitors can see these bats hanging from the cave ceilings during the daytime.
- The caves are illuminated with lights of different colors, which highlight the unique rock formations and create a mesmerizing effect.
- The Caves have religious significance as well, as they are believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva by the locals. A small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located near the entrance of the caves.
- The area around the Borra Caves is also popular for its scenic beauty, with several waterfalls, viewpoints, and trekking trails. The Ananthagiri Hills are known for their coffee plantations, and visitors can also take a tour of these plantations.
- The Borra Caves attract thousands of tourists every year, who come to marvel at the natural beauty and unique rock formations of the caves. The caves are open to visitors from 10 AM to 5 PM every day.
- In 2021, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department announced plans to develop the Borra Caves into a world-class tourist destination, with improved infrastructure, facilities, and amenities. This is expected to boost tourism and create more employment opportunities in the region.
Things to do
Here are some of the things you can do when you visit The Caves:
- Take a guided tour: The best way to explore the Borra Caves is to take a guided tour. The guides will take you through the various chambers and passages of the caves, and explain the history and significance of the rock formations.
- Marvel at the unique rock formations: The Borra Caves are known for their unique rock formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, and speleothems. Take your time to marvel at these formations and take some amazing photographs.
- Watch the bats: The caves are home to several species of bats, and you can see them hanging from the cave ceilings during the daytime. It’s a unique experience to watch these nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat.
- Visit the Shiva temple: There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva near the entrance of the caves. You can visit the temple and offer your prayers.
- Enjoy the scenic beauty: The Ananthagiri Hills surrounding the Borra Caves are known for their scenic beauty, with lush green forests, waterfalls, and trekking trails. Take some time to explore the area and enjoy the natural beauty.
- Visit the Coffee plantations: The Ananthagiri Hills are also known for their coffee plantations. You can take a tour of these plantations, learn about the coffee-making process, and taste some of the best coffee in the region.
- Shop for souvenirs: There are several shops near the Borra Caves selling souvenirs such as handicrafts, coffee, and local produce. You can buy some souvenirs to take back home.
- Try the local cuisine: The Ananthagiri Hills are known for their delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes such as bamboo chicken, biryani, and spicy curries. Try some of the local dishes at the nearby restaurants.
Overall, The Caves is a great place to experience the natural beauty, history, and culture of the region.
How to reach
The Caves are located in the Ananthagiri Hills of the Araku Valley in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Here are the different ways to reach Borra Caves:
- By air: The nearest airport to Borra Caves is the Visakhapatnam Airport, which is located about 90 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Borra Caves.
- By train: The nearest railway station to Borra Caves is the Borra Guhalu railway station, which is located about 3 km away. This railway station is on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul line, and several trains run from Visakhapatnam to Borra Guhalu. From the railway station, you can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi to reach the caves.
- By road: Borra Caves are well-connected by road, and there are several buses and taxis that run from Visakhapatnam and other nearby towns to Borra Caves. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs regular buses from Visakhapatnam to Borra Caves.
- By car: You can also hire a car or taxi from Visakhapatnam or other nearby towns to reach Borra Caves. The roads are well-maintained, and the drive is scenic and enjoyable.
Overall, Borra Caves are easily accessible by different modes of transportation, and the journey is pleasant and enjoyable.
Where to Stay
There are several accommodation options available near The Caves. Here are some of the popular ones:
- Haritha Mayuri Resort: This resort is run by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department and is located near the Borra Caves. The resort offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and other amenities.
- Ananthagiri Hill Resort: This resort is located in the Ananthagiri Hills, a few kilometers away from Borra Caves. The resort offers cottages and tents, a restaurant, and other facilities.
- Araku Valley Resort: This resort is located in the Araku Valley, about 30 km away from Borra Caves. The resort offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and other amenities.
- Tyda Jungle Bells: This is a unique eco-tourism resort located in the Tyda village, about 25 km away from Borra Caves. The resort offers tented accommodation, nature trails, and other activities.
- Hotel Green Valley: This hotel is located in Araku Valley, about 30 km away from Borra Caves. The hotel offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and other facilities.
- Hotel Supreme: This hotel is located in Visakhapatnam, about 90 km away from Borra Caves. The hotel offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and other amenities.
Overall, there are several accommodation options available near Borra Caves, ranging from budget to luxury. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist season.
Here are some frequently asked questions about The Caves:
- What are The Caves?
Borra Caves are a series of limestone caves located in the Ananthagiri Hills of the Araku Valley in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
- How old are The Caves?
The exact age of the caves is not known, but they are believed to be millions of years old.
- What are the unique features of The Caves?
The Caves are known for their unique rock formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, and speleothems. They are also home to several species of bats.
- Is there an entry fee for Borra Caves?
Yes, there is an entry fee for The Caves. The fee varies depending on whether you are an Indian citizen or a foreign national.
- What is the best time to visit Borra Caves?
The best time to visit The Caves is between October and March when the weather is pleasant.
- Are there any accommodation options near The Caves?
Yes, there are several accommodation options available near The Caves, ranging from budget to luxury.
- Is photography allowed inside the caves?
Yes, photography is allowed inside the caves, but you need to pay an additional fee for it.
- How long does it take to explore The Caves?
It takes around 1-2 hours to explore The Caves, depending on the size of your group and the time you spend admiring the rock formations.
- Is it safe to visit Borra Caves?
Yes, it is safe to visit The Caves, but it’s advisable to take a guided tour and follow the instructions of the guides.
- Are there any restaurants near Borra Caves?
Yes, there are several restaurants and food stalls near The Caves that offer local cuisine and snacks.