Borra Caves

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Borra Caves


The Borra Caves are situated 29kms from the Araku Valley, near Vishakhapatnam, at a height of 1450 feet above sea level, and are acknowledged for their highly beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. In 1807, William King George of the Geological Survey of India discovered the Borra Caves and assumed them to be a million years old. The Borra Caves, one of the deepest caves in India, noticeably exhibit a variety of impressive stalactites and stalagmites, in different irregular shapes.

Apart from historical value, the caves have religious significance also. The local people swarm to this place to worship the Shivalinga and the idol of the holy cow ‘Kamadhenu’, which is placed deep in the caves. According to a legend associated with the Borra Caves, once there was a cow grazing atop the caves and it suddenly slipped through a hole in the roof. The cowherd went inside the cave in search of his cow and found a stone that looked similar to a lingam. He inferred it as Lord Shiva who protected the cow. Owing to this story, the tribal who inhabited the villages around the caves built a temple of Lord Shiva outside the caves and people come to this place for worship and to get a glimpse of the lingam.

The origin of the Borra Caves is believed to be the River Gosthani, which flows through these naturally formed caves. The caves were formed due to the perennial river flow over the limestone area over the course of time. The humic acid in the water undergoes reaction with calcium carbonate in the limestone and dissolves the minerals steadily creating cracks in the rock. The dissolved limestone seeps in drop by drop forming the different shapes in the cave.

The stalagmites and stalactites are formed due to water seeping in from the top containing limestone and other minerals. These in a period of time have formed different formations and because of their different shapes the local people have given names to them. One can see varied shapes and formations of the stalactites and stalagmites some of which are the Shiv-Paravathi, Mother and Child, Human Brain, Crocodile, Tiger and the most prominent resemblance – Cow’s sthani (udder), which gives it the name Gosthani. The caves are colourfully illuminated from the inside, with bright lamps making it a beautiful sight. The Borra Caves also have deposits of mica as there are many mines close by, which have the possibility of mining precious stones and valuable gems!

Best time to visit

The Borra Caves can be visited throughout the year; November and December are considered the best time though, as the Araku Valley is pretty hot during summers.


Legend has it that the name ‘Borra’ came about as the word means ‘brain’ in Telugu and one of the formations is in the shape of a human brain!


The Borra Caves remains open to the tourists daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

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