The Caves in Meghalaya
Hey guys, as promised in my last post, today I will share our experience of exploring the caves in Meghalaya.
My oldest memory of visiting a cave takes me back to my childhood. We used to visit Vaishno Devi, the famous Hindu shrine in Jammu, every year. For me, that was the first taste of adventure travel. The overnight train journeys followed by the risky bus rides through the hairpin bends in the hills. And then taking up the 12 km mountain trek from the base camp at Katra to finally reach the cave on Trikuta mountain. Since then I have been fascinated by caves of all kinds. And have never left a chance of exploring any famous or offbeat caves during our travels.
Some of the caves we have visited are the animal caves at Nainital, Tiger cave in Krabi the limestone caves at Baratang Island, Mawjymbuin cave in Mawsynram, Phra Nang cave on Railey beach Krabi, Mawsmai cave & Arwah Lumshynna cave in Cherrapunjee.
There are many caves in Meghalaya and one can take caving expeditions as per their expertise. If you are a first timer and not the adventure lover kind, Mawjymbuin cave will be a perfect one for you to visit. If you like thrill but are afraid of exploring the deep dark unknown spaces then try visiting Mawsmai cave in Cherrapunjee. This one is the most famous cave among the tourists.
But, if you like exploring offbeat locations and you thrive on thrill then you should definitely try exploring the Arwah Lumshynna cave.
Exploring Offbeat Arwah Caves in Meghalaya with our Toddler
Exploring the Arwah caves in Meghalaya was one of our most exciting & terrifying experiences of all. Check out these 5 reasons why visiting Arwah cave was our best escapade ever–
- We had no idea that such a cave existed in Meghalaya until we reached there.
- We had no idea if we could manage the cave expedition with our toddler, still, we took up the challenge.
- Also, we didn’t know how deep and long was the cave. We went a step ahead and said ‘No’ to hire a guide.
- We were not well prepared & equipped for cave exploration. Yet, we managed to touch the darkest passages inside the cave.
- Although the cave was surprisingly long, creepy, quiet, & suffocating, we felt the sense of joy & satisfaction.
Our Journey of visiting the Caves in Meghalaya
It was our 4th day in Meghalaya, we started early morning from Shillong to reach Cherrapunjee. Our driver had promised to take us to all the viewpoints on the way. And he happily kept his promise that day. We were about to reach Cherrapunjee when he mentioned about these offbeat caves which no one visits. After our not-so-good experience of visiting Mawjymbuin cave the other day, we were not interested to explore yet another dull cave.
But when he mentioned that these are the longest accessible caves for visitors, we decided to check these out. After getting a go-ahead from us, he took a sudden left turn and we were now off road moving at a speed of a tortoise to avoid jerking and shaking. Nemit was totally enjoying the ride though.
The road didn’t seem to end and we were almost regretting our decision. But just then we saw a big parking area in front of us. Finally, we reached but couldn’t see the cave. Upon enquiring we came to know that we need to walk some 800 meters ahead to reach the cave. We were already so tired that the idea of walking any further put us off.
Arwah Lumshynna Cave
After walking a few steps, we saw the ticket counter from where the walkway leads to the cave. Once I stepped on that path, I just skipped a heartbeat, the view in front of my eyes was extremely beautiful.
It seemed we had entered a fairytale setting, the pathway was narrow with hills on one side and tall trees & deep valley on the other. The only sounds we could hear were of birds and insects. It was the most beautiful sight which we were least expecting that time. And, all our tiredness just faded away.
We enjoyed each minute walking on that bridge towards the cave. Soon, we saw the cave entrance where we were approached by a local guide. We were certainly not in our senses and refused to hire him. We went inside the small entrance and walked down the stairs. The cave looked huge from there. There was another flight of stairs which seemed rickety but we managed to descend safely.
What we saw ahead was a huge passage, poorly lit, small water streams flowing out of nowhere, water dripping from the ceiling and only sound was of flowing water.
That was the moment when we realized we were going to have the best experience of our life. We moved further enthusiastically carefully making our way in the semi-lit cave observing the limestone formations. There were fossil carvings on the rocks above, we were totally having a thrilling time.
We moved further and realized it was getting darker with each step. Since we were not carrying the torch we used our mobile phone torch to find our way ahead. And then the passage started getting narrower. Soon we reached a point where it was pitch black and even our phone lights refused to help us see clearly. The only sound we could hear was our own heartbeat, I can’t even explain the adrenaline rush I could feel in that moment. Also, it was quite humid and suffocating inside.
After an hour’s ordeal, we decided to head back and took a deep breath when we saw the natural light once again.
12 Things to keep in mind before visiting Arwah Cave
- Hire a guide.
- Carry a big torchlight.
- Don’t carry a big backpack or handbag. A backpack might get stuck in narrow passages and you will need free hands to keep your balance so no handbag.
- Carry enough water bottles, it gets quite hot inside.
- If there are more than 10-20 people inside the cave, wait and keep a distance. It’s a one-way cave you will not like getting suffocated in that small area.
- Wear comfortable shoes preferably with rubber sole or floaters or crocs sandal which gives a good grip, it is very slippery inside. Keep an extra pair of footwear in the car in case your shoes get wet.
- Be very careful with kids, don’t leave their hand in a dark or a slippery area.
- Don’t step into the water stream.
- Be alert and don’t panic.
- If at any point you feel uncomfortable, return back.
- You can take your toddler (age 2+) with you, strictly a ‘no’ for babies and infants.
- Otherwise, the cave looked safe, just watch your step and mind your head.
That’s all for today! I hope you liked reading our experience and found this post helpful. Are you an adventure lover? Would you like to take your child to explore Arwah cave?
- Subscribe to my blog. Sign up here
- Follow us on Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
You may read all my posts under BlogchatterA2Z here!