Choose from several mind-boggling cave adventures in Meghalaya that thrill and stay etched forever in your memory….
Meghalaya meaning ‘cloud dwelling’ is a beautiful region in India’s North East region with hills, valleys, and mountains. The topography presents endless opportunities for the adventure-seeking traveller and provides a unique experience with every visit to its specialty – caves, and treks
In the Northeastern state of Meghalaya, nature seems to lend itself to adventure. With its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, pristine rivers and mysterious caves, the state has emerged as a hotspot for adventure seekers and tourists of every kind.
Meghalaya possesses some gorgeous trekking trails that a trekker only dreams about; the remarkable caves, which are as unpredictable and fascinating as ever, are a super surprise, while the marvellous and unusual treks captivate both adventure lovers and visitors with their breath-taking sights and discoveries.
The three hills of Meghalaya – Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo, contain some of the best caves that the state has to offer. In the Khasi hills, the numerous caves are scattered in the areas of Cherrapunjee, Shella, Pynursla, Nongjri, Mawsynram, and Langrin.
It is the natural combination of large limestone deposits in this region which when combined with the high rainfall received through the year that has led to extensive cave development in Meghalaya.
These caves are an adventure seekers’ dream as they have all the real props of the unknown in their dark secret crevices, a labyrinth of underground passages, glistening dank interiors with calcite formations, and even green pools of cold water.
Cherrapunjee’s Krem Dam and Mawsmai Cave
If you are visiting Cherrapunjee don’t miss a trip to Krem Dam- a famous old limestone cave that is hidden from the normal trekking routes. Located at Awsynram village, this 1297 m long cave is also recognised as the largest sandstone cave in the country.
The cave is at the foot of a large blind valley and has a 30m wide impressive entrance. As any explorer would wish for, there is a large stream that runs down the valley and enters the cave. When you explore, you will find a fascinating and complex labyrinth of side passages and oxbows to the side of the main passage.
The next good cave hunt is the Mawsmai Cave. Find your way to the village of Mawsmai near the border with Bangladesh and reach the remarkable Mawsmai Cave – one of the oldest and better-known caves of Meghalaya. You can trek through grasslands and forests and find a clearing from where a path winds its way through thick trees to the main cave. The cave has large passages and chambers and is fully lit, which allows you to see more of its limestone and rock formation and dark shale-like surface.
The well-lit, rough limestone cave, is a wonderful discovery, but be careful during heavy rains as the water often fills up.
Krem Mawkhyrdop or Krem Mawmluh for the hard core explorer
Now, here is a cave for the brave-hearted explorer on account of its rough terrain. The hard-core adventurer will seek out this fourth largest cave in the Indian subcontinent.
Krem Mawkhyrdop or Krem Mawmluh is a complete world in itself and is worth every minute of the difficult terrain to reach here. Getting past slippery surfaces, with tight, narrow openings, and sharp rock edges, you enter a vast cave with diamond-like shining rocks, amazing calcite formations, and deep green-grey pools of cold water.
Trek your way to the village of Nongjri and ask the locals. They will guide you for one kilometer to the Krem Lymput cave which totally hidden in heavy dense shrubbery that is a brilliant green.
Once you locate the cave, you will be surprised at the big bold boulders that define it. There is a long one-kilometer passage from the small entrance hole that leads through inclined walls and rounded ceilings to a difficult climb.
From here is a rough and slippery staircase that takes you to an inside passage of the cave. The staircase reads, “Way to Heaven” and surely builds up surprise and anticipation. You are led through a series of spacious galleries that contain rich calcite formations. The cave opens up to a 25 m wide and 25 m high calcite gallery named as ‘Mughal Room’. The cave has a length of 6641 m.
The main entrance of this famous cave is located at the bottom of the western flank of Lum Lawbah. The entrance is easily found by following the river behind the cement works of the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Limited, downstream for about 200m, to a point where the river disappears underground.
The best option to enter the cave is not from the main entrance to the sink which requires wading through water, but to take the way through a high-level bypass entrance that runs parallel to the main passage.
This cave is actually a part of a sinking river with the main passage leading to a 25 m diameter big chamber. There are a number of water streams that come into being from the bottom level of the cave and then take on the contours of a big river stream which is 10 m wide right inside the cave.
Krem Liat Prah
It is the longest natural cave in India. Liat Prah is one of approximately 150 known caves in the Shnongrim Ridge of the Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya.
Explored and surveyed as part of the ongoing Abode of the Clouds Expedition project, its current length of about 25km is likely to increase as nearby caves continue to be connected. Liat Prah’s dominant feature is its enormous trunk passage, the Aircraft Hangar.
Just 132 km from Tura, Siju is famous for Dobakkol, or the bat cave, with magnificent limestone formations – stalagmites and stalactites.
One of the longest caves in India with river passages, the 7-km cave often echoes with the sound of gushing water. It has a floor of various depths so wading is to be expected most of the time. One of the most stunning sights is a waterfall in the middle of the cave.
Some of the interior chambers can be home to thousands of bats which generally are not disturbed as these chambers are located in the deeper sections.
Now here is a cave that will warm the heart of any adventure seeker- with an entrance reminiscent of the iconic Phantom Cave. Located dramatically at the foot of a 30 m high waterfall in Sutnga / Sakhain region, the 687 m long Krem Lubon resurgence cave is hidden behind the waterfall.
Its entrance is rectangular with a large passage leading inward towards a tunnel that goes smaller in size till it becomes so small that you have to crawl through its wetness to chambers which have boulders that look unstable and give a feeling that they can crumble.
When visiting the caves or taking a trek, make sure you take the services of a guide. It is absolutely worth it.
Take water bottles
Take a Hat or head cover of some kind
Wear Gumboots or waterproof shoes for water in caves and treks. To prevent leeches while wading through pools and heavy shrubbery, make sure you wear comfortable full jeans/pants.
Take a good head torch
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