Andhra Pradesh

Belum Caves being spruced up

Authorities are planning to repair the pathways, tidy the surroundings and also install a museum at the base of the Buddha statue near the caves.

Authorities are planning to repair the pathways, tidy the surroundings and also install a museum at the base of the Buddha statue near the caves.  

Authorities hopeful of applying for UNESCO tag

The picturesque Belum Caves are set to undergo a facelift ahead of the Belum Caves Festival to be held on December 21 and 22.

District authorities are expected to repair the pathways, tidy the surroundings and also install a museum at the base of the Buddha statue near the caves.

Speaking to The Hindu, Joint Collector-II Syed Khaja Mohiuddin said that the budget has been upped to ₹1 crore. “We want to promote the caves as much as possible,” he said.

District Tourism Officer B. Venkateswarlu said that at the base of the statue, a Buddha Museum would also be installed with paintings and sculptures. “Kurnool district has a vibrant Buddhist history. We want to educate the people about the history of Kurnool,” he said.

“The new infrastructure that will be put in place for the festival can be used for a long time,” said Mr. Mohiuddin.

Responding to a query about applying for a UNESCO heritage monument tag, Mr. Mohiuddin said that the authorities are looking into the matter. “We are studying all the necessary criteria to apply for the UNESCO tag. Once we have the required infrastructure in place, we can apply for it,” he said.

The Joint Collector said that a massive food court will be set up with 10 stalls that would serve a range of traditional cuisines. “We are also planning to set up giant wheels. There are also plans to include indoor and outdoor games,” he said.

Eighteen committees have been constituted by the district authorities to oversee each aspect of the festival. A few celebrities are also expected to attend the two-day festival.

The Belum Caves festival is expected to bring much-required publicity to the caves and the number of visitors is expected to go up after the festival. “As the Amaravati Express is being laid near the Belum Caves, the caves are set to become more accessible,” Mr. Mohiuddin said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:28:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/belum-caves-being-spruced-up/article30223603.ece

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