Formed millions of years ago due to the erosion of limestone deposits in the area by Chitravati River, Belum Caves are the second largest natural caves in India. This cave is located at Belum Village in Kolimigundla Mandal of Kurnool District and is about 3kms away from the village. The name Belum is derived from the Sanskrit word Bilum , which means cave .
The entrance to these caves is like that of a Pit. Even from a distance of about 50 meters from the entrance you cannot see the entrance to this cave. There are two pits side by side and third pit a little further away. You need to enter the pit-like opening and after descending around 20 meters by the stairs from the entrance, the caves become horizontal.
The first section you enter is called Gebauer Hall, named after Speleologist Mr H. Daniel Gebauer, who had explored and mapped the caves in 1982-1983. The path to Gebauer Hall leads below the second opening, which lies next to the main entrance.
These caves are nearly 3km long of which only 1.5km is open to public and reach its depth point known as Patalaganga that is of 120 feet from the entrance level. The caves have a number of spacious chambers, passages, fresh water galleries and siphons. These caves are located on a flat agricultural field with three cavities in them, the central of which is used as the main entrance to the caves. The beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formation of the limestone cave adds to the spectacular view.
Some of the natural formations inside the caves are:
Simhadwaram - An arch-like formation whose stalactites appear like the head of a lion hence the name.
Kotilingam - Another point in the cave is called as Kotilingam (Koti- crore, Lingam- manifestation of Lord Siva) because of the formation of the lakhs of Stalagmite and Stalactite that appear in the form of Lingas.
Patalaganga - There is a perennial stream called as Patalaganga, which flows from southeast to northwest. It is believed to merge in a well at Belum village, which is nearly 2kms away.
Musical Chambers - Musical Chambers are another landmark as these stalactites formation produce different metallic sounds. Also called as Saptasvarala Guha, it is a narrow passage to enter only on crawling.
Thousand Hoods - Thousand Hoods is a section in the caves where you can see the formation like that of a cobra with thousand hoods.
Dhyan Mandir or Meditation Hall - It is a place where Buddhist monks were believed to have lived here. This place has a fantastic formation of Stalactite that looks like a bed with a pillow. The caves are beautifully illuminated to add to the existing beauty.