The second largest cave in India and her neighbor the 'Grand Canyon' of India - Gandikota are the best and thrilling under the radar ultimate weekend getaway destinations.
Finally we visited the elusive Belum caves. These magnificent natural caves were thrown open to the public only in 2003. Such wonderful destinations are perfect justification to the tag 'Incredible India.' It was such an amazing and thrilling experience to explore the massive caves and go gaga over the natural stalactite formations. Kudos to ASI and the government the caves are maintained very well and is almost spotless. The massive passages are well lit and the well laid pathway led us deep into the caves throwing open several beautiful natural rock formations and other attractions.
The best part about being in the cave was having no clue about our bearings. If not for the directions marked by ASI we would never be able to walk out. This is the point when we realized how challenging and thrilling it would have been for the team that explored and mapped this wonderful cave. They would have not had the luxury of man made ventilator shafts that circulate fresh air, continuous electricity supply that keeps running the lights and of-course the well laid paths and staircases. All of this luxury is provided to us at a very nominal cost of Rs.50 per person.
Be sure to stay in the demarcated pathway and do not wonder off, as inviting as it may seem remember you are on a highway to hell. It is very easy to get lost in here and reliable help for sure would be a distant dream. Guides are available at the entrance however, we chose to explore the caves on our own. Park aside couple of hours to do justice to this wonderful work of Nature.
Either from Bangalore or Hyderabad, Whichever be the origin of the drive or ride, the ideal plan would be to visit the caves in Belum and head to Gandikota and stay overnight at the Harita Nivas Resorts run by APTDC. The NH7 is a road trippers delight and the State highways that run between Belum and Gandikota are in excellent shape too for most parts. Just watch out for the unmarked and well camouflaged speed breakers.