Belum belonged to the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen. In the mid-16th c. the inhabitants adopted Lutheranism. During the Leaguist occupation under Tilly (1628-1630), they suffered from attempts of reCatholicisation. In 1648 the Prince-Archbishopric was transformed into the Duchy of Bremen, which was first ruled in personal union by the Swedish and from 1715 on by the Hanoverian Crown. In 1807 the ephemeric Kingdom of Westphalia annexed the duchy, before France annexed it in 1810. In 1813 the duchy was restored to the Electorate of Hanover, which – after its upgrade to the Kingdom of Hanover in 1814 – incorporated the duchy in a real union and the ducal territory, including Belum, became part of the Stade Region, established in 1823.
Belum Caves is the second largest cave in Indian subcontinent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The caves reach its deepest point (120 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Pataalaganga. Belum Caves derives its name from “Bilum” Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 meters, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. Originally discovered in 1884 by a British surveyor Robert Bruce Foote, later in 1982-84, a team of German speleologists headed by H Daniel Gebauer conducted a detailed exploration of the caves. Thereafter in 1988, the state government declared them protected, and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) developed the caves as a tourist attraction in February 2002. Today, 3.5 km of the cave has been successfully explored, though only 1.5 km is open to tourists.
To discover the unexplored treasures of the Belum Caves, the archeology and museum department along with the European Cave researchers, have carried out extensive exploration works in the place. Proofs of ancient civilization are found in these natural Caves that have eventually helped in making the place one of the prime spots of historical importance and tourist attraction.
From scholars to travelers, hundreds of thousands of people today visit the Belum Caves of Andhra Pradesh which is situated at a distance of 106 km from the nearest railway station of Kurnool.
A thrilling experience indeed, the tourist while visiting the out-of-the-world Belum Caves, can cherish the splendid beauty of the surrounding ambience which is accompanied by an air of serenity.
The caves are now managed by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has developed the pathways in around 2 km of the length of the caves, provided soft illumination and has created fresh-air-shafts in the caves. At many places inside the cave, APTDC has installed bridges, staircase, etc. for easy movement inside tha cave. It has also created a canteen, washroom and toilet facilities near the entry point. There is a giant Buddha Statue near a hillock near the Belum Caves. The area of cave known as “Meditation hall” was used by Buddhist Monks. The relics of Buddhist period were found here. These relics are now housed in museum at Ananthapur.
The closest airport is near Tirupati Airport, which is just 25kms. There are daily flights from Hyderabad,Delhi,Bangalore
Kurnool railway station is the nearest railway station which is well connected with Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.