Meghalaya the wettest places on earth has an impressive array of hills, waterfalls and root bridges. What few know that it is one of the best places in Asia for exploring caves? The KremMawmluh, located in East Khasi Hills, Cherrapunji is the fourth longest cave in India with a length of approximately 7 kms. The Jaintia hills have even longer and larger cave systems, one of them in particular is 31 kms long.
Caving in Meghalaya
If you enjoy exploring dark narrow passages, finding your way through waist-deep water, then you are made for caving. Meghalaya will offer you an experience of underground rivers, gorges full of spiders, bats and beetles. You will wonder at the beauty of these hills and the secrets the caves here hold.
Millions of years old
Caves of Meghalaya are millions of years to old, this ‘abode of the clouds’, has some of the deepest caves in India.Nearly 1700 limestone and sandstone caves, which are in India and are here. Stretching to over 300km, most of the caves are located in the East Khasi Hills, South Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills.
What is caving?
This adventure activity is offered by many operators in Meghalaya, along with the necessary gear and guidance. Make sure to go with a professional guide or group. A typical exploration lasts five to 10 days. It involves exploring several caves from an easy to medium grade.The journey will take you through a small hole traversing through uneven terrain. You will come across waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites and formations, flooded passages in most caves.You will also meet creatures such as beetles, bats, crabs and small fish.
Skill and gear needed
You don’t need any formal training for caving. All you need is to be fit, flexible and active. Make sure that your guide provides the right gear including body suits, gloves, helmets, LED headlamps, and gumboots. You should have a backpack, a bottle of water, chocolate bar, a first-aid kit, and a set of fresh clothes.
Best season for caving
Choose November to March as it is the best time to enjoy caving in Meghalaya .Water levels are manageable at this time.
Cost of caving activities
The cost of caving depends on the tour company you choose, and the number of people you have in your group. You may contact Assam Holidays for more information on caving organizers.
Best caves to explore in Meghalaya
KremChyme is the fifth largest cave in the country. It has a river anda difficult terrain.With 50 natural dams and the water levels in the cave going high as 20 to 26ft, you would need to swim over 3.5km to cross the water.
KremUmthloo: The cave has gorgeous formations inside with 50 to 60m deep potholes in a dendritic pattern.
KremLiatPrah is the longest known in India about 25km long. This cave has a ginormous trunk passage like an aircraft hangar.
Khasi Hills caves
Mawsmai Cave You can explore the caves without a guide. This limestone cave has a big entrance, which narrows later.It is fully lit cave. You will be greeted by bats and many kinds of insects.
KremMawmluh is 7 km in length and is fourth largest cave in India. You can enter the cave by walking through water, which turns into quicksand in the dry season. Be ready for some belly climbing and vertical climbs.
KremRiBlai is a vertical cave that is difficult but is perfect for lovers of adventure and the dark. The cave has a tube-like passageway. Lot of waterfalls make it beautiful.
TetengkolBalwakol is the second largest cave in the Indian subcontinent. This cave is also called the cave of dwarfs as you can only stoop to move ahead.
Siju Cave has impressive stalagmites and stalactites in its bat caves inside. It also has river passageways and limestone rock formations. Be sure to take a guide to explore the cave.