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The Borra Caves - Formed Millions of Years Ago

Borra village, Ananthagiri hills, southeast corner of Srungavarapukota Taluk. 43km from Srungavarapukota, 90-95 km From Vishakhapatnam The Borra Caves are located in the Anatagiri Hills of Eastern Ghats. Borra Caves, which attained historical and religious importance and they are situated at 1,400m above sea level, they spread over the Eastern Ghats and occupy an area of 2-sq-km. The caves open with 100 meter on horizontal plane and aobut 75 meters on vertical plane. They are famous for millions of years old stalactite and stalagmite formations.

They were discovered by William King George, the British geologist in the year 1807. Breath taking hilly terrain, beautiful landscape, semi-evergreen moist deciduous forests, and wild fauna of the area are a visual feast.

Tribals for whom the place has enormous religious significance inhabit the entire region surrounding Borra caves. Deep in the caves there is a 'Shivalingam' over which there is an idol of a cow ('Kamadhenu') and the river Gosthani takes its origin from the udder of this cow. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation illuminates the caves with sixty-three lamps of mercury, sodium vapor and halogen lamps, which make the interior of the caves colorful and spectacular.

They are in the Borra village and panchayat in Ananthagiri Mandal of Visakhapatnam district, Lakshya Greenwoods also in the same mandal.  They are about a 4-hour long journey from Visakhapatnam and the route is a steep, winding, ghat road. Borra Guhalu (Guhalu means caves in Telugu) railway station is in the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line in East Coast Railway, Indian Railways. River Gosthani which originates above the lime stone foundations is given the legendary name Gosthani (go means cow and sthani means udder) as it resembles the udder of a Cow while flowing out of the caves.

The caves get their name from a formation inside the caves that looks like the human brain, which in the local language, Telugu, is known as borra. The river Gosthani flows right beside the caves. The caves extend into the ground so much so, that the river can be heard flowing above from inside the caves. The landscape around the cave is wild and mountainous. The geology is complicated and the limestone where the cave is located is surrounded by mica. Several mines in this mica are prospected for precious stones like rubies. The legend of the discovery of the caves is quite

popular. According to this legend, a cow, grazing on the top of the caves, fell down 60 metres, through a hole in the roof and the cowherd came across the caves while searching for the cow. There is also a stalagmite inside the cave that resembles a Lingam, and many people flock to the cave to get a glimpse of it.

The humic acid in the water reacts with calcium carbonate in the limestone and dissolves the minerals breaking the rock gradually. The perennial water flow over a period of time results in the formation of caves. Stalagmites are formed due water percolating from the roof containing calcium bi carbonate and other minerals from mounds. Same way stalactites are also formed and because of their different shapes tourist and locals have given different names to them. One can see different formations of the stalactites and stalagmites as Shiv-Paravathi, Mother-Child, Rushi's Beard, Human Brain, Crocodile, Tiger and Cows udder.

Along with the calcium deposits, there are traces of yellow-coloured sulphur deposits on the ground. Flowing between the solidified stalagmites and stalactites is the Gosthani river, which heads towards Orissa , once out of the caves.