A Day Tour to Borra Caves

Location

Borra caves, or locally referred as “Borra Guhalu” are located in Ananthagiri hills of Araku valley in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The distance is approximately 35 km from Araku and 90 km from Vishakhapatnam.

Why is Borra Caves famous?

The caves were discovered by British Geologist, William King in 1807. Believed to be one of the largest and deepest in India, these were naturally formed many million years ago. The distinct, irregular limestone formation of the stones is due to Gosthani River which flows between the solidified structures. The water droplets slowly percolate through the roof to form “Stalacites” and dripping down on the ground, they dissolve with limestone to form “Stalagmites“. The caves also hold deep religious significance for the local tribes.

How to reach

  • By Air – Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) airport is the nearest and from there onward, a private taxi, bus or train journey can be opted.
  • By Train – Train no. 58501 departs from Vishakhapatnam (VSKP) at 06:50 and reaches the nearest rail head to these caves, Borra Guhalu Railway Station (BGHU) at 09:40. Online bookings can be done through IRCTC website.
  • By Bus – State transport buses (through APSRTC) run from Vizag/ Araku for Borra caves daily. From either route, de-board at Borra Junction. From here, an auto would charge Rs 500 (waiting charges included) for 2.5 -3 hours. If the time exceeds, the driver might ask for an additional Rs 100 per hour.
  • By Taxi/ Cab – Private transport will cost around Rs 1500 -2000 for a day tour from Araku to Borra caves.

Best season to visit Borra Caves

Summers are extremely hot followed by months of humidity. It is advisable to visit the caves in the comparatively cooler months from September – February.

Timings

10:00 AM till 05:00 PM (Open all days of the week)

Tickets and Prices

  • Cave entry fee – Rs 60 (Adults), Rs 45 (Children)
  • Mobile entry fee – Rs 25
  • Digital/ Still Camera and Video Camera – Rs 100

NOTE:

  • No luggage is allowed inside the caves. There is a cloak room outside with minimal charges starting Rs 5.
  • Though one might easily follow the natural trail through the caves; there are separate charges for a guided tour, if needed.

Where to stay

There are limited options near Borra caves. It is mostly considered a day outing from the nearest town, Araku which has many stay options. Alternatively, one can stay in Vishakhapatnam and take a weekend excursion to the caves.

Inside the Caves

There is no natural sunlight inside except around the entrance area. The Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department has efficiently installed multiple (26 per statistics) mercury, sodium vapor and halogen electric lamps to lit the caves. These are well maintained and a clear path is visible for tourists to explore the surroundings.

The major inhabitants of these caves are fulvous fruit bat and can be seen hanging from the roof everywhere. Per scientists, another major species found is the Golden gecko.

One of the major attractions inside is a stalagmite formation as a “Lingam”. A small area has been dedicated solely for its worship within a small cave atop makeshift stairs. The various structures resemble Shiv-Parvathi, Mother-Child, Human brain, Cow’s udder (Go-Sthani) and so on. Try your imagination and creative skills to decode the numerous formations. I was able to identify one distinctively as Lord Ganesha.

The information provided is based on firsthand experience. For any further queries, feel free to leave a comment below or email. I will revert at the earliest.

**All images used in the article are courtesy From My Lens

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