Explore the Mysterious Borra Caves or Borra Guhalu in Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam (2021)
Are you planning a trip to Andhra Pradesh? If your answer is yes, then get ready because you are in for complete entertainment. For those travellers who wish to spice up their vacation by adding a tinge of thrill, natural beauty and a bit of adventure, then we have got just the right spot for you out of the many tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. Located on the eastern coast of India in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley in the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, Borra Caves are believed to be one of the largest caves of the country and are blessed with breath taking scenery. With hilly terrains, beautiful landscape, semi–evergreen moist deciduous forests and a huge collection of wild fauna, Borra Caves are surely a treat for the eyes and the heart.
Borra caves also known as Borra Guhalu are believed to be over one million years old and hence attracts the attention of a number of travellers from all over the world. Hence, it is not surprising to say that Borra Caves are considered as one of the most scenic tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. Perched at a whooping elevation of 705 metres, the charm as well as the views around the Borra caves are just magical. The natural serenity and peaceful atmosphere of the place are enough to make you forget about all of your worries. Do you want to know more about Borra caves? If yes, then you have arrived at just the right place.
Formation of the Borra Caves:
Borra Caves are purely a marvellous creation of nature. They were formed when the river water flowed through a limestone area and the calcium carbonate turned into calcium bicarbonate which got easily washed out by the running water. If explained in a bit simpler terms, then you can say that Borra Caves were formed as a result of the waters of the Gosthani river flowing on the limestone deposits. The entire process of the Borra Caves formation is quite intriguing. One of the most striking features of cave which catches the attention of many people is its exquisite variety of speleothems ranging in size. Boasting of being the largest caves in the entire country, Borra Caves are basically karstic limestone structures extending to a depth of about 80 metres which again makes them the deepest cave in the entire country as well. The Borra caves are also known for its completely breath – taking stalactite and stalagmite formations such as Rishi’s beard, crocodile, tiger, Shiva – Parvathi, mother – child, cows udder and human brain.
Attractions at the Borra Caves:
If by the name of Borra Caves you are imagining some ruined and isolated structures with worms crawling around, then you are picturing it entirely wrong. It is actually the opposite; the sight is immensely beautiful. The natural skylights in the caves make way for the colourful imagery that further imparts them a unique enigma of their own. The perfect combination of sunlight along with the darkness work together and conjure amazing dancing shapes in the depths of the Borra Caves which is an exceptional sight in itself. Moreover, if you are an animal lover or a wildlife enthusiast, then you would also be pleased to know that you can even find here bats as well as the golden geckos hiding somewhere in the shadows of the niches. Other than this, even the journey up to the primary destination in itself is a thrilling ride. The picturesque surroundings all around further make the whole hike experience a memorable one. By visiting this destination, you not only get to see the mysterious Borra caves but also get the chance of exploring the unique beauty of the stunning Araku Valley in all its glory.
Legend of the Borra Caves:
There are a number of legends associated to the discover of the Borra Caves. The legend of these caves is rich with narrations from the numerous tribal communities who have inhabited the villages nearby in the region such as Jatapu, Nookadora, Valmiki, Porja and Kondadora.
One of the legends related around the discovery of Borra Caves is that once a cow dropped through a hole in the caves while was grazing in the nearby fields. Soon enough, when the cowherd and other people came looking for it, they discovered a stone in the caves which resembled the structure of a Shiva Lingam. The cow returned completely safe and sound and the well being of the animal was attributed to the Lingam. Hence, to express their gratitude to Lord Shiva who according to them saved the cow, the people soon built a small temple around the caves and many people from the neighbouring areas of the region flocked here to seek blessings of the Lord. Another popular belief that goes around the local people is also a somewhat similar version of the previous one. They legend says that the Shiva Lingam which was found here has a stone formation of a cow above it and the udder of this cow is believed to be the origin of the Gosthani river that flows through the city.
History of the Borra Caves:
You may be surprised to know but the history of Borra Caves is perhaps as old as the history of the Araku Valley itself. These caves are believed to have been formed as a result of the perennial water flows over millions of years. The British geologist, William King discovered the caves in the year 1807. The total length of the Borra Caves is estimated to be about 200 metres and the Dandakaranya – Bolangir – Kibur train tracks also pass over the caves. All the history buffs and curious souls would love to know that the anthropologists have even found here stone tools belonging to middle Paleolothic Age which dates back to approximately 30,000 to 50,000 years. This discovery also indicates to the fact that once upon a time there was human inhabitation in the Borra Caves.
Things To Do Near The Borra Caves:
There are a couple of interesting activities waiting for you near the Borra Caves. Some of the activities you can indulge into are:
- Trekking: The picturesque surroundings and the adventurous terrain of Borra Caves provide an ideal location for pursuing a thrilling trekking adventure. The waters of mesmerising Katika Waterfalls cascading nearby and lush greenery all around adds on to the scenic beauty which are the perfect reward for the hard efforts of a hike.
- Time required: The whole journey up to the caves can take about 3 to 4 hours.
- Difficulty level of trek: it ranges between easy to medium.
- The Tribal Museum: A visit to tribal museum of Araku village is a wonderful idea, especially if you are interested to look closely into the culture and lifestyle of the tribal communities that inhabit the nearby villages of the region.
- Explore Natural Beauty: For all the nature lovers, Padampura Gardens and Katika waterfalls are the ideal attractions in close vicinity of Bora Caves. There are lush plantations nearby as well.
Borra Caves are one of the exceptional tourist places in Andhra Pradesh that you must not miss visiting during your vacation.