Experts say these caves were originally discovered in 1884 by British inspector Robert Bruce Foote. The German speleologist team headed by H Daniel Gebauer did a full examination of the caves. Though, the local government of Andhra Pradesh declared the caves protected in 1988. Later APTDC managed the caves and developed it as tourist attraction spot in February 2002. Presently this cave is 3.5 km long but only 1.5 km is open for visitors.
Location of Caves: Belum Caves is situated at Belum Village which comes in Kolimigundla Mandal of Kurnool District. Kolimigundla is just 3 km away from Belum Caves so visitors have to reach Mandal to reach Belum Caves.
A big Buddha's statue near Belum Caves is also a valuable place for visitors.
Today these caves are properly managed by APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation). APTDC has created the pathways in 2 km area of the caves. The fresh-air-shafts in the caves created by the authority allow the tourist to take easy breath inside the caves. Visitors will get a canteen, toilet and washroom facilities close to the entry point.
The giant Buddha Statue near a small hill near the Belum Caves is also important place for tourist. This area is known as "Meditation hall" as it was used by Buddhist Monks in ancient time.
Important areas of Belum Caves:
Simhadwaram: the word means lion’s gate. The stalactites natural arch shaped in lion’s head is special at this spot.
Kotilingalu Chamber: This area is having stalactite formations of Shivling (Lord Shiva Linga). The thousands of stalactite at this area increase the beauty of this place. The huge pillar created due to stalactite and stalagmite is one more special to watch.
Patalganga: the small permanent stream that evaporates into the deepness of the earth is also special. The flow of this stream is from the southeast to northwest.
Musical Chamber or Saptasvarala Guha: this means chamber of 7 notes which reproduces musical sounds. Visitors can use wooden stick or knuckles to create music.
Banyan Tree formation: Cave is having attractive look of Banyan Tree formation inside the cave. Visitors can look the creation and learn few things about the tree.
Meditation Hall or Dhyan Mandir: This area or spot is close to the entrance. The view of the hall is like a bed with pillow to lounge, though it was used for meditation by the Buddhist.
Thousand Hoods: Amazing stalactite formations in shape of Cobra is different experience.
Visitors have to pay the charge of Rs.30.00 enter in the cave. However, foreigners have to pay Rs.300.00 for entry.
Some major cities near the Belum are Kurnool which is 106 km away and Ananthapur which is just 85 km away. The accommodation and food services are best in these two cities so visitors can prepare to stay in any of these cities for better hospitality.
Travel distance from major cities/towns to Belum Caves:
- Bangalore just 320 km
- Hyderabad just 320 km
- Chennai just 420 km
- Kurnool just 106 km
- Ananthapur just 85 km
- Tadpatri just 30 km
- Nandyal just 60 km
- Banganapalle just 20 km
- Koil Kuntla just 34 km
- Jammalamadugu just 44 km