Belum Caves

Karim S A
Belum Caves, with the initiative of the APTDC, has developed into a full tourist centre attracting a number of visitors all year through. In fact, APTDC has won the prestigious “National Tourism Award” from the Government of India during the year 2003 for its upkeep and promotion of Belum Caves.The various sections inside the Caves are called Pillidwaram, Kotilingala, Patalaganga, Saptaswarala Guha and Dhyan Mandir.It sweats a lot inside, and if you still are the curious sort for detail, you can stay at each section to know about the various aspects of these limestone caves, and why each section is named differently.I always wonder why the sages always sought caves for their penance. May be because, it offers them privacy, and helps them indulge in their penance without any worldly distractions. Cave is the womb of the mother Nature.Pillidwaram: Which, in Telugu means, Cat’s Entrance. It is a natural arch of Stalactites.Kotilingala Chambers: The formations inside this section are thousands of formations in the shape of shiva lingas, hence the name Kotilingala.Patalaganga: There is a stream which flows from the southwest and disappears into the earth. Hence the name, Patalaganga.Saptaswarala Guha: In this chamber, the stalactite formations reproduce musical notes when struck with a wooden stick.Dhyan Mandir: In fact, the formations inside are in the shape of a bed with a pillow to recline upon. It is believed that many Buddhist Monks lived here many years ago to do their penance.Thousand Hoods: The formations inside this section are in the shape of thousand of hoods of a cobra.A quote of Joseph Campbell, “The Cave you fear to Enter, Always holds the Treasure you Seek”Cover Picture Credits: