Exploring caves in Meghalaya is an incredibly fun experience. But at the same time, it can be very daunting and eerie. Given the fact that Meghalaya has a rugged and mountainous terrain, there are supposedly more than 1000 caves here. It is also one of the top 10 destinations for caving in the world.

If adventure and risk sound like familiar words to you, then here are the most visited caves in Meghalaya that are enchanting and unforgettable.

1. Mawsmai Caves

Raining in the caves
Raining in the caves. Photo by Sandeep. barkaley

Most of the caves in Meghalaya don’t have good lighting and are very dangerous to explore. As a result, not many of them are open to the public. But the Mawsmai Caves is open, and it’s the most frequently visited cave in Meghalaya.

This cave receives natural lighting because of the cracks on its surface, and thus the path becomes clear to proceed and explore. But even then, the cave has been termed as “eerie” by most travellers because of the dingy feeling prevalent there. You can also see some incredible stalagmite formations in this cave.

Because of this cave being comparatively better than the rest of the caves of the state in terms of ease, you need not have a guide with you here. It is about 5 km from the town of Cherrapunji and located on a beautiful hill.

The opening of the cave is very wide, but as you proceed, it becomes narrower. Also, there are only two openings in the cave from where you can get out: one at the entrance and one at the end of the cave.

2. Siju Caves

Siju Caves
Siju Caves. Photo by James Gabil Momin

The Siju Caves is the third longest cave in the Indian Subcontinent. It’s a stunning limestone cave.

But as I mentioned earlier, only the Mawsmai Caves have natural lighting in them, and so, you can expect total darkness in the other caves, including the Siju Caves. It is also known as the “Cave of Bats” and if that wasn’t spooky enough, the cave is filled with almost knee-height water.

The caves are huge, and since they’re very long, they consist of many labyrinths and chambers. So you’ll definitely have to take some equipment like battery powered torches. Also, make sure to get a guide with you as the passages in the cave can get very confusing.

3. Marai Caves

This cave is located in Shillong, and it’s considered sacred by the locals. This is because the Marai Caves (also known as Krem Marai in the local language) have many legends, mythological stories and folklore associated with them.

According to popular belief, the descendants of the kingdoms of Mylliem and Khyrim dug this cave. Some mythological stories also say that the daughter of the supreme deity of Shillong is the only one who lived here.

This cave is comparatively small compared to many other caves of the state. The best part about visiting Marai Caves is that it provides a bird’s eye view of the hilly Shillong. It also gives a view of the Assam Regimental Centre.

4. Krem Liat Prah

Krem Liat Prah is the longest cave in the country. It is dark, long and extremely daunting to explore. But if you’re up for all that risk and adventure, it is worth visiting this incredible cave.

Situated in the Jaintia Hills, this cave is a part of 150 other caves here. It consists of many passages and tunnels, some of which are eerily fascinating.

The group of caves have very low ceilings with an amazing array of stalactites and stalagmites. Since the cave is very dark, there are many insects and bats here as well. The cave is filled with knee-high water at some places.

This cave is definitely one of the many wonders of the country, but sadly, it seems like Krem Liat Prah may lose its dark splendour after all because it’s being exploited and mined for limestone and coal. Let’s hope that the Government and other communities come forward to prevent this act and protect this critical natural creation.

5. Mawsynram Cave

Naturally made Shiv Ling
Naturally made Shiv Ling. Photo by Sharada Prasad CS

Located in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, this cave is flocked by pilgrims every day because it has a religious significance in Hinduism. There is a naturally formed stone Shiv Ling here which is the reason for all the religious hype. So devotees come here to seek the blessings of Lord Shiv.

The caving experience here is not really adventurous if that’s what you’re looking for. Also, don’t expect it to be a very pleasant experience because it’s usually crowded. It is approximately 100 m long and very narrow at some places. Also, natural lighting makes walking through this cave much easier.

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