Today I’m featuring an interesting photograph of the Belum Caves Buddha Statue taken by Indrani Ghose from the I Share Blog.
Indrani is an avid traveller with a penchant for photography and road trips.
Photo Story: Belum Caves Buddha Statue
We set out to see the Belum Caves of Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, India, but on arriving at the destination we find this huge statue of Buddha.
Belum Caves are the largest and longest cave system in the Indian subcontinent. The caves have huge stalactite and stalagmite formations inside.
For a few seconds, we wondered whether we were at the right place at all. The giant statue of Buddha gave us the feeling we were at some monastery.
The place charmed me from the moment I stepped in. There was something peaceful about it. The statue gleamed like a pearl reflecting morning rays.
My kids were stunned by the sheer size of Buddha, may be the first of its kind in India. We were excited by the contrast of the serene mountain backdrop.
We kept exploring the place for the caves. But it was plain land all around. At a distance from this statue, we spotted a small building.
Only on nearing the place we discovered the steps leading downwards into some underground caves.
Even after a good one hour of exploring the caves the ‘how and why’ of the existence of Buddha statue kept nagging me.
On exiting from the cave the first thing I did was to ask some locals there. Their stories and info in google turned out very interesting.
Two thousand years ago these caves were used by Buddhist and Jain monks. A museum in Anantpur houses all unique relics that were found in the caves.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) built this 40ft tall statue of seated Buddha on a 20ft high lotus-shaped pedestal to symbolize that era.
This statue came up in 2005, ever since it has increased the footfalls at Belum Caves. There is a play area for children, accommodation and a restaurant.
The Belum Caves is the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent, known for its speleothems, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations.
The Belum Caves have long passages, galleries, spacious caverns with fresh water and siphons.
This natural cave system was formed over the course of tens of thousands of years by the constant flow of underground water.
The cave system reaches its deepest point ( 46 m from entrance level) at the point known as Pataalaganga.
In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves have a length of 3,229 m, making them the second largest natural caves on the Indian Subcontinent after the Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya.
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