Caving in Northeast India

Author: Shiksha Soraki Pradhan
Date: 2020-10-27

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There are many big and small, long and short caves in Northeast India. Some of the noted caves are the Krem Liat Prah cave (longest natural cave in South Asia) and Krem Puri sandstone cave (cave with the deepest shaft in the country), both of which are located in Meghalaya.

There are several other natural caves, with some connected to spirituality in northeast India especially in Sikkim, which has become a great area to go spelunking. These caves attract a large number of explorers every year and look absolutely stunning from the inside.

Umlawan Caves, Meghalaya 

Meghalaya takes pride in housing the subcontinent's deepest and largest caves - the Umlawan Caves, situated 60 km East of Jowai. The Umlawan Caves are interconnected with two other caves namely Krem Kot Sati and Umskor caves. The total length of these caves is more than 21 km and about 100 m in depth. They look resplendent with spectacular stalagmites and stalactite formations.

Kotsati - Umlawan Cave system is a network of many caves like Krem Kotsati, Krem Umtyongai, Krem Umsynrang Liehwait, Krem Wahjajew. Krem Lalit, Synrang Thloo, Krem “Washing Place Inlet,” Krem Umshor, Put Lyer, Garage Pot, Thloolong Kharasniang, and the thirteen other entrances of Krem Umlawan. With 24 entrances, both horizontal and vertical, no part of the cave is more than one hour away from the nearest entrance. 

One needs to swim to enter the cave. During the monsoons, the entrance is submerged.

Umlawan Caves, Meghalaya 

Krem Liat Prah, Meghalaya

Krem Liat Prah is the longest natural cave in South Asia. Krem Liat Prah (Krem is the Khasi word for "cave") is one of approximately 150 known caves in the Shnongrim Ridge of the East Jaintia Hills district in the state of Meghalaya. Its current length is 25 km but is expected to be more when full exploration is done.