Ever since he had studied about caves in his higher secondary, Roshan had his interest in caves fanned. Now studying in a college in Hyderabad, he convinced four of his friends to join him on an exploration of caves in Andhra Pradesh during their vacation. Andhra Pradesh is geographically inclined towards caves. Formed over centuries, these natural formations are spread all over AP.
The five friends first visited Yaganti Caves in Kurnool district. This natural cave encompasses several other caves like Sanka Cave, Rokalla Cave, Veera Brahman Cave and Venkateshwara Cave. The famous Kalagnanam by Potuluri Veera Brahmam was written in the Yaganti Caves. With so many deities present, the Yaganti Caves has become a popular pilgrimage site. The surrounding scenery and lovely landscape adds to the divine feeling.
Close by in the same Kurnool district, was the famous Belum Caves, so that figured next on their list. Belum caves holds the number one position for the largest and longest cave in India. The roomy chambers, lengthy passages and fresh water pockets in the caves make it a popular tourist destination.
Next cave on their check-listwas Undavalli Caves in Guntur district. These monolithic caves are rock-cut and belong to the 4th century. The caves house four stories. A wonder of the cave is the magnificent reclining statue of Lord Vishnu sculpted from a single granite block. The other shrines to be seen in Undavalli Caves are of Trimurti, Shiva and Brahma. The friends enjoyed the views of the Krishna River and the vast expanse of picturesque landscape around the caves.
Their next headed to nearby Vijayawada for the Mogalarajapuram Caves. It is popular for three cave temples dating back to the 5th century. The friends discovered that only one of the three temples inside the cave was in fairly good condition. The deities found here were of Nataraja and Vinayaka. They were impressed by the architecture of the temples.
The five friends had reserved the best cave for the last visit. Located around 90 kilometres from the port city of Vishakapatnam, the Borra Caves stretch over the Eastern Ghats. These caves are the second largest natural caves in India and occupy about two square kilometres. They are located high up at a height of 1400 feet. What the friends liked best about the Borra Caves was that they were naturally formed limestone caves out of deposits of the Gosthani River. This river when flowing through the solidified stalagmites and stalactites in the caves caused many structures of shapes which resemble idols, things or any other subject. The friends had an amusing time interpreting the shapes as temple, church, Shiva, Parvathi, human brain, crocodile and whatever their wild imaginations let them.
Having completed their ‘cave trip’ satisfactorily the five friends returned to their respective homes to spend what was left of their vacations.
Read our blog post on Caves of Maharashtra