Day 2 : After Anathagiri and Araku, we decided to hit Borra caves on our way back home. Borra was discovered by William King George in 1807. He was a part of the geological survey team in India back then. The tribals believe that these caves have a divine presence in them. A cow grazing over the cave accidentally fell down a large gaping hole (refer to the picture above, middle one, last row) and fell down 60 m. But surprisingly it wasn’t hurt. It walked down and found a path that led to the river that is named as Gosthani river(Gosthani means a cow’s udder). The cowherd, as he came searching for his cow, saw these caves and upon entering them found a stone that represented a Lingam. Therefore the tribals believe that God dwells in these very caves.
Borra means a hole – named after the hole through which the cow fell. Borra caves is the home to stalagmites and stalactites made naturally from limestone. The stalagmites and stalactites form natural sculptures and pillars when they join together, a process that takes make thousands of years. Some of the naturally formed sculptures were a tiger, dinosaur, Shiva Parvati, Hanuman, Shirdi Sai Baba and many more. As you go deeper down, there is a little stream of water that is yellow in color. The tribal women call it Sita’s turneric and believe that sprinkling this water helps in pregnancy and child birth and hence is very auspicious. Scientifically, the water there is very rich in iron content.
We then had to climb 150 stairs to see the Lingam that was discovered by the cowherd. Bats occupied the dark interiors and the cave stank of bat poop. But curiosity got the better of us making us tread further and further.
Then came the difficult part – climbing up. The numerous stairs exhausted us beyond words. When we came to the mouth of the cave, a tribal family, who at that moment seemed god sent to me, had a little kiosk with soft drinks and mineral water bottles. We bought a bottle of Fanta from him, sat there and relaxed for a bit during which he and a few women were talking about something in their native language I just could not decipher. One of the elderly women still wore the traditional tribal jewelry, nose rings on either sides and in the centre of the nose. She also wore a necklace that looked like layers and layers and layers of metal coiled around her neck.
The walk to the car park was exhausting as well. But the drive back home was blissful. It was surely a very rejuvenating holiday and we were ready to take the week head on.