Meghalaya or the abode of clouds is a gorgeous place where you will find wide-spread carpets of lush greenery, dew-kissed grass, towering mountains and whispers of the wind. The magnificent clouds gossip with the peaks, exchange pleasantries and disappear as thin white tendrils within the blink of an eye. Amidst this gorgeousness are the underground secrets that are as old as time itself – The Caves of Meghalaya. Hidden beneath the verdant hills, some of these architectural marvels are man-made while others are the splendid artwork of nature. Patient hands made these with precision, willpower, and loads of dedication.
Even the darkness in these caves of Meghalaya seems to be talking to the visitors! If you are fascinated by caves in general and wondering how to visit the ones in the abode of clouds, we have you covered!
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Here’s a list of caves in Meghalaya that you must not miss out on your next visit to the northeastern state.
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The 10 Breathtaking Caves of Meghalaya
1 – Krem Liat Prah
Krem Liat Prah happens to be one of the largest Caves of Meghalaya and also within the country. Once you step in, you will have to walk around for about 30 km to completely explore the cave and it is further connected to other sub-caves. This particular cave is present in the Jantia Hills district of Meghalaya and is definitely a world of its own. It is popular for its raw wilderness, slippery slopes and impressive pools of water. Here, you will find an Air Craft Hanger and a big transit trunk, both of which are distinctive features of Krem Liat Prah
Timings: 7:30 Am to 4:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free
2 – Krem Mawmluh
Krem Mawmluh is present in Cherrapunji and is the fourth longest cave in India with a length of 7 km. It is very close to the working space of Mawmluh Cherra Cement Limited and that is why it is not uncommon to see the residues of cement around the cave. It is very challenging to get to the opening of Krem Mawmluh because you have to follow a river stream to the point where it completely disappears. In the summer season, instead of the river, you will find quicksand deposits and an alternate route has to be employed to reach the narrow opening of the lake. Inside, you will find several stalagmites and an impressive pool which is made from the water of 5 rivers combined.
Timings: 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free
3 – Siju Cave
The Siju Cave is one of the most sought-after caves of Meghalaya and is found in the East Garo Hills of Meghalaya. It is also popular as one of the most extended caves in the country and tourists can only access a portion of this cave. You will also hear people calling this the bat cave seeing how there are numerous bats making their home here. It is astonishing to see greenery within the cave along with streams of river water flowing freely. You can also find other reptiles within the tunnels of the wall. No matter which season, the temperature of the Siju Caves will remain below 26 degrees Celsius only.
Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20
4 – Krem Lymput
Krem Lymput is one of the most captivating caves of Meghalaya and is located about 6 km away from the Nonjri village. It is a little difficult to find the entry of the cave seeing how it is shielded by boulders and concealed by thick bushes. Once you squeeze yourself through the narrow entrance, be mindful of the slippery path and know that you can explore up to 1 km inside the cave. This path is also popularly known as the ‘Way to Heaven’. Here, you will find a display of impressive calcite formation and you should keep your eyes open for the ‘Mughal Room’.
Timings: Early Mornings and Early Evenings (no fixed timings)
Entry Fee: Free
5 – Krem Lubon
Krem Lubon is one of the impressive caves of Meghalaya and is located close to a waterfall that falls from a height of 30m. Though small, this waterfall coupled with the enchanting pull of the caves attracts tourists from all around the world. Once you go beyond the waterfalls, you will see the rectangular opening of the cave. Inside, the rock formations are too beautiful to ignore and you will keep walking for about 687 metres. At a point, the passage of the cave becomes narrow so you might also have to crawl your way further into the tunnel. That is why it is important to wear proper protective gear and carry spare torches.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM; 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Entry fee: Free
6 – Mawsmai Cave
After you are done exploring the Sohra market and going on cultural walks within the village, travel for about 6km to reach the Mawsmai cave. It is one of the best caves of Meghalaya that is naturally formed of limestone. The ground and the ceiling are connected to each other by pillars that are not erected but formed as extensions of the roof touching the ground. These are some of the best-lit caves of Meghalaya and if you visit during the day, you don’t have to carry torches. Despite being long, tourists can only access 150m and should be wary of the creeping insects and other fauna that call this cave their home. The most impressive part is that you have to trek through lush green grasslands to reach the entrance of the cave!
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20
7 – Kotsati – Umlawan Cave System
The Kotsati and Umlawan caves are interconnected networks of multiple caves that are absolutely stunning once you enter. There are about 24 entrances to this network, some horizontal and some vertical. For the Krem Kotsati cave, you should also swim through a stream and then enter through the main opening. Avoid coming here during monsoons because the water level increases and the cave is completely submerged and becomes inaccessible. It takes about 60 minutes to walk and explore the caves, no matter which gate you enter through. Once you manage to go inside, you can see the magnificent interior, beautifully carved paths and hip-deep waters that you should navigate through. This is the cave that is sure to impress the adrenaline junkies.
Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Entry Fee: Free
8 – Arwa Cave
The tranquillity and peace that you will find within the Arwa caves is something that you cannot describe in words. With its impressive underwater streams, stalactites and stalagmites formations, lush greenery and mysterious charm, Arwa cave happens to be one of the most visited caves of Meghalaya. The cave explorers and spelunkers will have the time of their lives while exploring this hidden wonder made of natural limestone. Inside, you can see the skeletons of crustaceans and fish fossils that are embedded within the limestone walls. The Arwa caves are located in the East Khasi hills and are also popular as one of the longest caves in India. They extend up to a distance of 8.4 km. Photographers and nature lovers will definitely enjoy their time at these caves. Also, it is not uncommon to see bats, spiders and certain centipede species crawling around here.
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20; INR 10 for Kids
9 – Mawjymbuin Cave
Mawjyumbuin cave is again one of the most well-lit caves in Meghalaya and you don’t have to use a torch to navigate your way around the place. It is made of limestone and has a big entrance and a narrow opening at the top. The caves of Meghalaya are either hailed as great architectural wonders or worshipped as the sources of spiritual power. The Mawjyumbuin cave falls in the second category. Here. you will find a stalagmite shaped in the form of Shiva Linga and people believe this to be a tiny abode of the God. The devotees come here from across the country to offer prayers and see the natural beauty surrounding the place. When it rains, the water enters the cave through the narrow opening on the top and falls directly on the Shiva Linga. This gives an appearance as if nature is celebrating the presence of God and offering ‘Abhisheka’. However, note that coming to visit this cave during heavy monsoons will be a bad idea seeing how the entire path that leads to the cave will be blocked and waterlogging will make it difficult to walk around. Here, you will also find species of bats and spiders, and a few crawling insects that are exotic and native to the place.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 30
10 – Krem Lawshynna Cave
Before entering the Sohra village and proceeding toward the Mawsmai cave, we suggest that you stop and explore one of the most awe-inspiring caves of Meghalaya – the Krem Lawshynna. It is situated in the East Khasi Hills region of Meghalaya and is made of natural limestone. The impressive turns, stalagmites, stalactite formations and water streams are the main attractions near this cave. We saw that most of the caves we discussed so far become inaccessible during the monsoon season. However, the Krem Lawshynna cave becomes all the more charming in the monsoon months and there is nothing stopping you from exploring this wonder during the wet days. It has a length of about 3 km and one-third of it is well-lit. You will have to use a torch post that. The limestone walls also have the impressions of various fossils and you might also come across some amphibians and reptiles within the tunnels of the cave.
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free
It is important to note that the entry fee that we have mentioned for each of these 10 caves is subject to change. The decision to revise the fee lies solely with the state government authorities and the local villagers who might use the caves of Meghalaya for their own daily activities. It is always good to ask the villagers for the cost and the place where you can get yourself the tickets.
There are certain things that all travellers, cave dwellers, explorers and spelunkers have to keep in mind while visiting the caves of Meghalaya. Here’s what to note before exploring these underground marvels.
Things to Note While Visiting The Caves of Meghalaya
- People who are claustrophobic should avoid certain caves that have narrow tunnels, openings and thick streams of water that require you to go waist-deep in while exploring.
- There are specified paths within the caves and it is always good to stay on these tracks to avoid accidents
- It is very crucial to wear proper headgear and full overalls while entering the caves. This way, you can protect yourself from accidental falls, insects and other living creatures that reside in the cave.
- Always carry flashlights and torches. In fact, we would suggest that you have spare ones too.
- There are no food stalls or general stores near the caves. Carry your own water and snacks. However, do not litter the caves.
- It is better not to touch anything within the caves, especially the stalagmites and stalactites. These are very delicate and may end up falling on you and hurting you
- Some caves like the Mawjyumbuin cave have religious significance. Kindly respect the religious beliefs and practices of the locals to avoid animosity and hostility.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick your gear, pack your bags and head toward the abode of clouds to explore the outstanding caves of Meghalaya. Once you enter these caves and explore the underground world, you will come out as a transformed person with a smile on your face!