The Caves in Meghalaya – Exploring Offbeat Arwah Cave with our Toddler

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

Inside Arwah Cave while returning back

Inside Arwah Cave while returning back

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

  1. We had no idea that such a cave existed in Meghalaya until we reached there.
  2. We had no idea if we could manage the cave expedition with our toddler, still, we took up the challenge.
  3. Also, we didn’t know how deep and long was the cave. We went a step ahead and said ‘No’ to hire a guide.
  4. We were not well prepared & equipped for cave exploration. Yet, we managed to touch the darkest passages inside the cave.
  5. 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.

offbeat caves in meghalaya


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 

towards arwah cave

Walking towards the ticket counter

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.

ticket counter

Ticket Counter at Arwah Cave

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.

Walking towards the cave

Walking towards the cave

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.

Passage getting narrow inside the cave

Inside the cave

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

  1. Hire a guide.
  2. Carry a big torchlight.
  3. 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.
  4. Carry enough water bottles, it gets quite hot inside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Be very careful with kids, don’t leave their hand in a dark or a slippery area.
  8. Don’t step into the water stream.
  9. Be alert and don’t panic.
  10. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, return back.
  11. You can take your toddler (age 2+) with you, strictly a ‘no’ for babies and infants.
  12. Otherwise, the cave looked safe, just watch your step and mind your head.
12 things to keep in mind before visiting the caves in Meghalaya


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?

Today is Day 15 of #BlogchatterA2Z and the letter of the day is ‘O’. My theme for the challenge is ‘Traveling with kids’ & I have chosen O for Offbeat. 

You may read all my posts under BlogchatterA2Z here!


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    Noor Anand Chawla April 18, 2019 at 11:43 am - Reply

    That sounds so thrilling but also kind of scary.. Ever since the Thailand episode last year where these kids got stuck in a cave, I’m wary of going inside deep caves 😞
    It does look absolutely stunning though!

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      Neha Sharma April 19, 2019 at 12:10 am - Reply

      Oh yes, it was scary, even we were recalling that incident when we went too deep inside the cave. But yes the experience was extraordinary.

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    Neha Tambe February 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Meghalaya has been on my cards. I am planning a trip after things get back to normalcy, saving your post for future reference

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    Surbhi Prapanna February 5, 2021 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Your post is a refreshing read for me Neha. due to Covid since long many months, we had not travelled and we ( as a family) are craving so much for going on some exotic places. Meghalaya sounds like a great state and your arwah cave visit experience looking very adventerous. will surly keep all your points in mind, if get a chance to visit this place in future.

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    Varsh February 5, 2021 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I like visiting caves, Ellora and Ajanta were our regulars as kid, but have never ventured into something so scary. Sounds like a thrilling experience though!

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      Hansa Kajaria February 7, 2021 at 4:57 am - Reply

      While this trip of yours looks very interesting it’s also a bit scary for sure. Forget my kids, I personally would be scared to enter caves.

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    sonam jain February 6, 2021 at 12:54 am - Reply

    I always wanted to visit the north east..but I am so clueless ..your post is perfect for me to plan an literary to begin with and just explore the hills.. thanks you so much dear.. and amazing travel journeys

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    Jhilmil February 6, 2021 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Exploring caves in Meghalaya has been one of our most cherished memories. And Arwah cave was one of it. Your experience was quite adventurous Neha.

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    rashmi February 6, 2021 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    wow this was quite an adventure.. loved your off beat travel posts. i ahvent yet traveled to North East. will refer to your post Neha

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    Debidutta Mohanty February 6, 2021 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Out of seven states, it’s said that Meghalaya is the cleanest and beautiful among Northern -Eastern region. But this cave experience of yours sounds exciting but at the same time scary. It must have been an adventurous trip, Neha. That too with a toddler.

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    Snigdha February 7, 2021 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Meghalaya is beautiful state but very under rated . I really enjoyed your travel through your post . This is an adventurous trip for sure.

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    MeenalSonal Mathur February 7, 2021 at 8:16 am - Reply

    I can’t even think to step in dark place in a tourist place and that too cave. You all are brave to do that. I will surely hire a guide if ever I visit Arwah caves.

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    The Champa Tree February 7, 2021 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Wow. Arwa caves are breathtaking. The place would be loved by everyone. Next time I visit Meghalayas I would make sure to visit the caves.

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    Sakshi Varma February 7, 2021 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I am so inspired by how much you guys travel! Loved reading this. This sounds like an exciting place. I have never been to Meghalaya, only to Mizoram and assam amongst the 7 sisters.

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