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Enigmatic India

This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trip to Kurnool (Belum Caves, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary and Orvakallu), AP

Lord Buddha
Gautam Buddha
After deliberations through many years and been in Hyderabad for more than 11 years we decided it was time to move away from visiting only nature and explore a bit more of Andhra Pradesh. So, we decided to make a trip to Kurnool district i.e. 200 Kms from Hyderabad and supposed to have a lot of touring sites nearby i.e. Mantralayam, Mahanandi, Yganti temple, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Belum Caves etc. Thanks to the AP Tourism, there is good accommodation at Kurnool and we managed to book a room the previous day.

We started off from Hyderabad on NH7 that leads to Bangalore and further on to Kanyakumari. The 4 laning work was in progress and the drive was smooth - we crossed the Krishna and the Tungabhadra rivers before reaching Kurnool town. We checked into the APTDC hotel and quickly had our lunch. The Asst Manager, Mr. Rajeshekhar cautioned us that if we do not start quickly, we will miss our entry to the Belum Caves.

Belum Caves probably one of the most beautiful cave structures I have seen after the Borra Caves near Vishakhapatnam, AP India. The trip was 110 kms from Kurnool, going on NH-18 and taking a right after Kalvabugga, crossing Betamcherla village. Betamcherla has zillions of stone quarries and being closer to Kadapa (you must have heard about Kadapa/Cuddapah stones) stone mining industry was was a pity to see the destruction of nature at the hands of mankind. As we were running out of time, could not click the photos to show how destructive this looks! Having crossed Betamcherla we moved towards Banganpalle...till such time the roads were good and the last stretch of 25+ kms was horrible with virtually no roads. The complete drive took us 3 hrs and we finally reached Belum Caves just in time to make the entry... It was awe-inspiring looking at this million year old water carved cave structure and my daughter Shreya enjoyed the 1+ hrs walk inside thoroughly. We started back and reached Kurnool late in the night and crashed into the bed.

Indian Crouser
Blackbuck(Males locking horns)
The next day we decided to visit the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary known for the Great Indian Bustard  and the Indian Crouser. This is a place, close to a village Nandikotkur which is around 50+ kms from Kurnool...One has to take the highway to Srisailam and in Nandikotkur...ask for directions... the road was good and the progress fast except that we kept stopping to view the plantations of Jowar, Green Chillies, acres of Sunflower, Green Channa, Corn etc.. We reached the AP Forest Department building in Rollapadu and were greeted by the lone person Adi - a daily wage was around 11:00 a.m. and he said it was bad time as birding or viewing the Indian Wolf was done in the early morning. We however did manage to see the beautiful Blackbuck and 20+ varieties of bird including the short-toed eagle (a magnificent bird) and the Indian Crouser a beautiful bird. We didn't see the GIB as our car the Esteem couldn't make the journey to some inaccessible areas...Hoping to see the GIB soon.

Rock formation - Orvakallu
The next stop was at the Miniature Grand Canyon i.e. Oravakallu a beautiful natural stone structure just 20 Kms from Kurnool...APTDC runs a restaurant. It is said that it resembles the Grand Canyon, USA(though we have not seen it personally) and we did appreciate this splendid gift of nature. There are short pathways to explore around, however the timing of the day was too hot and we managed a to walk around for a  few minutes. Some of the rock formations resemble human faces and if you look intently you may correlate to other animal forms etc. Post that we had a sumptuous lunch at the restaurant run by AP Tourism and started our drive back to Hyderabad....

Overall a very good trip, however we missed out on visiting some of the famous temples. Hoping to do it soon.

(Contributed by Enigmatic India team)


  1. Hi there

    Awesome blog..kept me hooked up for quite a time. Kurnnol and its Belum Caves seem interesting..will surely give them a visit anytime soon..thanks for the good read

  2. Nice description of trip to Kurnool. Kurnool is basically known as the Gateway to Rayalaseema. It is a famous tourist destination and there are many places to visit in Kurnool and around it.It is a must visit destination.

  3. Can we take our vehicles in rollapadu sanctuary?


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