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Popular Caves in Meghalaya

Popular Caves in Meghalaya

1 February 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Caving in Meghalaya 2024

Have you ever wondered what lurks underneath the mysterious facade of waterfalls and green hills in Meghalaya? Prepare for an adventure in one of the world's lesser-known wonders: the stunning limestone caves. These subterranean labyrinths hold secrets that echo ancient tales, providing a glimpse into the earth's hidden stories. So, fellow adventurer, lace on your boots, grab your torches, and let's explore Meghalaya's most mesmerising caves together.


Did you know that? Nine of India's 10 longest and deepest caves are in Meghalaya, with the tenth located in Mizoram. Krem Liat Prah in the Jaintia Hills is the crown jewel, measuring 30,957 metres in length. "Krem" refers to a cave in the local Khasi language.


The 12 Best Caves in Meghalaya

1. Krem Liat Prah: The King of Caves

2. Mawsmai Cave: A Beginner's Delight

3. Krem Mawmluh: A Historical Adventure

4. Krem Puri: The Longest Sandstone Cave

5. Umlawan Cave: A Thrilling Journey

6. Siju Cave: Bat Cave in Meghalaya

7. Krem Phyllut: Must-visit Attraction in Cherrapunji

8. Mawjymbuin Cave: A Spiritual Sanctuary

9. Arwa Cave: A Photographer's Paradise

10. Krem Lymput: The Cave of the Bees

11. Krem Lubon: Behind the Water Wall

12. Krem Dam: A River Flows Through It

Tips to Visit Caves in Meghalaya

FAQs related to Caves in Meghalaya

The 12 Best Caves in Meghalaya


Beyond the stunning waterfalls and incredible trekking trails, there is one more reason why Meghalaya is famous – caving. And why not? This northeastern state proudly boasts an incredible count of 1,580 identified caves. However, in this exploration, we'll focus on delving into the secrets of the top 12 caves that stand out in this mesmerizing underground world.


Here's a list of caves in Meghalaya that you should include in your itinerary.


1. Krem Liat Prah: The King of Caves


If you love exploring caves, Krem Liat Prah is a must-visit cave in Meghalaya. Not just in the state, it is also the longest cave in India. Here you’ll get to wander through impressive chambers like the 'Aircraft Hangar,' and cross underground rivers. Once you step inside, get ready to walk about 30 kilometres to see it all. 


Inside Krem Liat Prah, you’ll find numerous connected sub-caves waiting to be explored. To avoid getting lost, be sure to join a guided tour. If you are seeking a true experience of caving in Meghalaya, a multi-day expedition is worth considering.


Location: Shnongrim Ridge, East Jaintia Hills
Timings: 7:30 AM to 4 PM
Entry Fee: Free
Major Attractions: expansive trunk passage called the Aircraft Hangar, incredible cave system featuring mesmerizing pools of water and slippery slopes


2. Mawsmai Cave: A Beginner's Delight


Just 6 km from Sohra market, Mawsmai Cave is a must-visit cave in Meghalaya. Fully illuminated, the cave invites you to stroll along well-lit pathways, admire intricate rock formations, and discover fossilised shells with tales from ancient oceans. 


Mawsmai Cave in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya is perfect to visit with family and children. Even the journey to the cave is a fantastic experience as you walk through lush grasslands near the village, embraced by surrounding forests.


Location: Mawsmai village, close to the Bangladesh border
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20
Major Attractions: Chamber formations, imposed large passages, stalagmites, and stalactites, unique variety of flora and fauna.


3. Krem Mawmluh: A Historical Adventure


If you are seeking serenity, you will find solace in Mawmluh Cave in Meghalaya. Here you can witness the ethereal beauty of sunlight filtering through cracks in the cave ceiling, illuminating the stalactites and stalagmites in a mystical dance of light and shadow. 


Adding to the allure, a unique rock formation shares a tale of a major climate event around 2250 BC. Recognising its significance, researchers named it the Meghalayan stage marker. To discover this geological wonder, you can follow the river to explore the cement works of Mawmluh Cherra Cements Limited.


Location: Khasi Hills
Timings: 7:30 AM to 4 PM
Major Attractions: Low 2.5-foot ceilings for intimate exploration, striking stalactite, stalagmite, and rock fossil formations, abundant bat population


4. Krem Puri: The Longest Sandstone Cave


Meghalaya is full of interesting facts, one of which is the recently discovered Krem Puri. With a length of 24,583 metres, this cave boasts the impressive title of the World's Longest Sandstone Cave. A daring expedition by the Meghalaya Adventurers' Association revealed this unique marvel, now imprinted on the world map. 


Krem Puri in Meghalaya not only offers an unmatched underground adventure but also serves as a fascinating time capsule with dinosaur fossils dating back about 70 million years. Furthermore, this hidden gem might also house the remains of the giant Mosasaurus, an extinct aquatic lizard. 


Guided by experts, explore this unique treasure, trek through lush forests to the cave entrance, capture surreal moments through photography, indulge in bird watching amidst rich biodiversity, and immerse yourself in the vibrant tribal culture of the Khasi and Jaintia tribes. 


Location: Near Laitsohum Village, Mawsynram, East Khasi Hill
Timings: Early morning to early evening
Major Attractions: Dinosaur fossils, unexplored passages, remains of extinct fauna


5. Umlawan Cave: A Thrilling Journey


Feeling brave? Umlawan Cave in Meghalaya is the one for you, especially if you're a wildlife enthusiast fancying the company of bats. Watch as these winged performers fly through the darkness, their sweet chirps creating a symphony in the vast space. Keep a reasonable distance from the bats to ensure a pleasant experience for both of you. 


Now for the exciting twist: ready to swim before making your grand entrance into the caves, offering an extra splash of adrenaline to your exploration. Umlawan Cave is more than just a single cave; it's a mesmerising network of caves, each with its own distinct beauty. Krem Umtyongai, Krem Wahjajew, Krem Kotsati, and Krem Umsynrang Liehwait are among the major ones.


Location: Lumshnong Village, Jaintia Hills
Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Major Attractions: 24 horizontal and vertical entrances, multiple pathways, water streams, waist-deep lakes, and a variety of geological elements

6. Siju Cave: Bat Cave in Meghalaya


Boasting the country's third-longest cave network, Siju Caves are among the top attractions in Meghalaya. Nestled beside the Simsang River near Naphak Lake, these limestone wonders demonstrate nature's artistic prowess with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites formed over time. This cave is 1 km long and is home to hidden chambers and one of the world's largest bat colonies. 


Inside the cave, you can explore Princess Di's room, a limestone masterpiece steeped in local folklore. Enjoy yourself in quiet river channels and marvel at the rich flora and wildlife creating a paradise to explore. Siju Caves are one of the most extensively explored and well-known caves in Meghalaya. One interesting fact about these caves is that they maintain a cold temperature of less than 26 degrees Celsius all year.


Location: Siju Village, Garo Hills
Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fee: INR 20
Major Attractions: Simsang River, Di’s Chamber, Siju Bird Sanctuary, Rongchang Rock Formation


7. Krem Phyllut: Must-visit Attraction in Cherrapunji


Nestled in the East Khasi Hills, Krem Phyllut is a real gem for explorers. What's in store for you? Think stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones tempting natural pools for a quick, refreshing splash. 


The cave has three entrances and two river passages. While moving through the narrow passages, be ready to be awestruck by unique limestone formations, and a world teeming with bats and cave-dwelling insects. Guides are available to help you learn more about the cave's history, geology, and ecology.


Location: Sohra, East Khasi Hills
Timings: Early morning to evening
Entry Fee: Free
Major Attractions: Natural pools, stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones, two river passages


8. Mawjymbuin Cave: A Spiritual Sanctuary


Mawjymbuin Cave, or Krem Mawjymbuin, a marvel of nature formed from calcareous sandstones is located 60 kilometres from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Standing tall at 209 meters, it's renowned for its captivating beauty and serene surroundings.


The main draw of this cave is a unique stalagmite resembling a Shiva Linga, which believers consider to be the deity’s sacred home. Pilgrims travel from all over the country to offer prayers here. During monsoons, rainfall delicately streams through a narrow entrance, providing a heavenly spectacle as it showers the Shiva Linga, a symbolic 'Abhisheka' by nature. However, severe monsoons might make the path inaccessible.


Location: Mawsynram village in the Khasi Hills
Timings: 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 30
Major Attractions: Stalagmite shaped in the form of Shiva Linga, a stream flowing in the eastern part


9. Arwa Cave: A Photographer's Paradise


Are you interested in photography? If yes, the natural limestone bridge at Arwa Cave in Cherrapunji, wrapped in brilliant green moss and ferns, is an excellent addition to your gallery. A spellbinding trip here brings you to sunshine piercing the darkness and lighting the crystal-clear lakes within the cave.

Arwa cave is one of the most famous caves of Meghalaya, thanks to its amazing underwater streams, stalactites and stalagmites formations, lush greenery, and mysterious charm.


Location: Khliehshnong area of Cherrapunji, East Khasi Hills
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20; INR 10 for kids
Major Attractions: Limestone walls with illuminated interiors showing fossils, particularly at the cave's end, crab shells, and fish bones.


10. Krem Lymput: The Cave of the Bees 


Another popular cave in Meghalaya, Krem Lymput is a haven for a lively bee colony. Here you can watch little bees buzzing around, collecting nature's sweetness from the nearby forests. The entrance of the cave is hidden behind boulders and thick bushes. So you might find it a bit tricky to enter here. However, once you reach inside, you’ll discover a world of wonders—stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones creating a magical underground landscape. 


Don’t forget to hop on the 'Way to Heaven', a 1-kilometre passage. It’s a bit slippery but leads to galleries adorned with stunning calcite formations. 


Location: Nongri Village, Khasi Hills
Timings: Between early morning and early evening (no fixed timings)
Entry Fee: Free
Major Attractions: Calcite formations, Mughal Room (25 m wide), trunk passage, Way to Heaven


11. Krem Lubon: Behind the Water Wall


Hidden behind a 30 m-high waterfall lies Krem Lubon, a cave adorned with intriguing rock formations—stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. This is one of the smallest caves in Meghalaya but its allure captivates visitors from around the globe. 


Once you go beyond the waterfall, a rectangular cave opening unveils itself. Inside, you’ll find captivating rock formations that stretch for about 687 metres. As you progress, the cave passage narrows, requiring you to crawl through the tunnel's depths. Safety first—wear proper protective gear and bring spare torches to illuminate your path in this enchanting underground journey.


Location: Sutnga Village, Jaintia Hills
Timings: 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM; 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Major Attractions: Rectangular entrance, distinct flora and fauna, breakdown rooms, and a variety of topographical elements.


12. Krem Dam: A River Flows Through It


Krem Dam is one of the best caves in Meghalaya known for its natural wonders. Inside this cave is an enthralling natural dam built over time by rocks and debris. If you are a boating and swimming enthusiast, there is a serene lake. The cave also boasts interesting rock formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. On entering, behold the spectacle of a 30m-wide opening leading to a valley-bound stream.


What sets this cave apart is its unique coarse calcareous-grained faces which resemble the texture of sandstone. Cross a massive river passage that ends in a spectacular roof collapse, where daylight penetrates through. Although the calcite formations at Krem Dam are minor, you can enjoy the beach-like atmosphere outside the cave opening and the relaxing river stream. 


Location: 1 km east of Mawsynram village
Timings: From early morning to evening
Entry Fee: Free
Major Attractions: A complex network of small passages, a beach-like appearance, minor waterfalls and a river stream running through the cave.


ALSO READ: 11 Most Popular Trails for Trekking in Meghalaya


Tips to Visit Caves in Meghalaya


  • If you are claustrophobic, avoid some caves with narrow passageways, openings and thick streams of water where you need to go waist-deep while exploring. 


  • To avoid accidents, stay on the marked paths within the caves.


  • Bring your water shoes. In some famous caves in Meghalaya, sections are filled with water, and you'll have to wade through.


  • Wear adequate headgear and full dungarees when entering the caves. So, you can protect yourself from unintentional falls, insects, and other living creatures in the cave.


  • Carry flashlights and torches.

  • Avoid touching anything inside the caves, especially the stalagmites and stalactites. These are very delicate and may fall on you and injure you.


  • Some caves, like the Mawjyumbuin cave, are religiously significant. Please respect the religious beliefs and traditions of the locals. 


  • Be sure to check the weather before planning your visit. Monsoon rains can flood or seal several caves, like Umalawan Cave, which gets submerged during this season. It's best to avoid visiting here during the monsoon.


  • Book your Meghalaya tour package from a reputable agency. They will handle logistics, and permits, and guide you safely.


Don't just explore the caves! There are many fantastic places to visit in Meghalaya, including awesome trekking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, lush forests, and vibrant markets to discover. Make it a truly unforgettable adventure!


FAQs related to Caves in Meghalaya


Q. How many caves are there in Meghalaya?

A. Meghalaya has 1,580 caves and cave sites recognised, with 980 caves fully or partially explored.


Q. Which is the longest natural cave in Meghalaya?


A: Krem Liat Prah, India's longest cave, offers adventurous souls with its expansive chambers, underground rivers, and multi-day expeditions. Prepare for epic spelunking!


Q: Which cave in Meghalaya is beginner-friendly?


A: Mawsmai Cave in Cherrapunji is your perfect introduction to caving in Meghalaya. Easy walking paths, stunning formations, and even fossilized shells for a fascinating journey, all with minimal effort.


Q: Is there a cave with a spiritual vibe?


A: You can seek serenity at Krem Mawjymbuin in Meghalaya. Witness sunlight dance on stalactites, experience the sacred Shivlinga formation and let the ancient echoes wash over you.


Q: Which is the deepest cave in Meghalaya?


A: Krem Synrang Pamiang is the deepest cave in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills area, having a vertical depth of around 317 metres.


Q: What safety precautions should I take while caving in Meghalaya?


A: Wear proper shoes, helmets, and headlamps. Stick to marked paths and listen to your guide's instructions. Leave no trace and minimize your impact on the delicate cave ecosystem.


Q: When is the best time to visit caves in Meghalaya?


A: Winter (From November to February) offers clear skies and pleasant temperatures, perfect for outdoor activities. However, if you don't mind the monsoon, July-Aug can be exciting with waterfalls cascading near cave entrances.


Q: I need help planning my caving adventure. What should I do?

A: Reach out to the expert team at Holidays Crowd. We offer some of the finest and budget-friendly Meghalaya tour packages. We'll also take care of all the logistics, permits, and guidance, ensuring your experience is both safe and unforgettable.

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