I have been to Amaravathi last week with my husband and in-laws and it was one beautiful journey. On our way, we found these breath-taking scenaries and the rock caves, which first seemed to be nothing more than an abandoned fort stinking of bats. The moment we entered, it seemed more than what it looked like at the first glance.That gave a good start to our journey.
These caves are a few kilometres from Vijayawada, sorry for not paying attention to the distance as these caves totally took us by surprise when we stumbled upon them while we were passing by.These caves look like a 3-storied fort which is at a height from the road level.
Locals ( Indians ) would be charged an amount of 5 rupees per person for the entry while any foreigner would be charged 100 rupees and 25 rupees more for taking videos both for locals and foreigners. This video fees though was not charged by the lone caretaker there. Part of the sad state of affairs of our tourism and archaeology departments.
As we entered the caves, there was nothing in the ground floor and we found few idols of goddesses in the first floor, which at first glance didnt look like goddesses as the rock carvings were kind of faded. We couldn't make out that this cave belonged to Lord Vishnu until we entered the second floor. There was this huge rock carved idol of Lord Vishnu, lying, as he is usually pictured.
There was this statue of a Swamy ( priest ) next to the Lord. There were beautiful carvings of Gods and Goddesses on the walls of the caves. There is lawn in fornt of the caves but what caught my attention was the view from the top of the caves. Only one thing was going on in my mind when I was in the caves and the panorama, " Lara Croft - The Tomb Raider ". The carvings of lion and elephant statues reminded me of the caves in the movie.
It is a must see tourist spot. I would advise going there in winter and also in the mornings at 8 or so. It is better if you go by a car or a private vehicle, since you can stop by whenever and whereever you want as there are many fields in between and you can buy fruits and vegetables directly form the farmers there. We saw a bus, numbered 301, which commutes between Vijayawada and Amaravathi but it didnt stop at the caves. There is this person, Yadayya, who takes care of the caves and he shall give you a guided tour of the caves.
Also we were told that there was a 9km long tunnel from these caves to Mangalagiri which was closed by the government for security reasons.So much for the jet start.