Whereabouts of 1, 700 caves and cave locations known in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, Mar 19: The Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA) has said that till March, 2019 the whereabouts of about 1, 700 caves and cave locations are known in Meghalaya of which over 1000 have been explored or partially explored.

Recently, from February 3 to 28, this year, the 28th Edition of “Caving in the Abode of the Clouds”, drew 30 cavers from UK, Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Serbia including members of the MAA, including a biospeleogist.

“The landmark of this year’s expedition was the achievement of 503 kilometers of cave passage explored and mapped in the state of Meghalaya, with much more still waiting to be discovered. This solidifies Meghalaya as a top caving region in the world,” MAA general secretary Brian D Daly Kharpran said.

Kharpran informed that the expedition started with a pre-expedition of a five-member group in the village of Laitsohum, which concentrated on the completion of Krem Puri.

He said that Krem Puri, which at 24, 583 meters, was declared to be the longest sandstone cave in the world, has now been further extended by another 459 meters to top the cave at 25, 042 meters.

Kharpran informed that the main expedition team concentrated its efforts in the area of Muallian in East Jaintia Hills. From February 11 to 28 they explored and mapped eight new caves including a revisit to Krem Shrieh (Tangnub).

He informed that Krem Shrieh which was earlier explored in the year 2000 was now extended from 8, 713 meter to 9, 844 meter.

The other major caves explored and mapped are Krem Um Ladaw 3, 177 meter, Retdung Khur 3, 724 meter, Tui Khur Lut 2, 185 meter and Kellung Puk 788 meter.

“The big surprise of the year’s expedition was the discovery of Krem Um Ladaw which though located on the valley floor yielded an astonishing 105 meter deep shaft entrance passage, making it the deepest shaft in India,” Kharpran said.

Overall, the expedition explored and mapped 12.3 kms of new cave passage.

According to Kharpran, much of the cave that have been explored and mapped in Meghalaya over the last 28 years consists of impressive river cave mixed with massive and often richly decorated relic passage along with magnificent clean white shafts that create cave systems equal in size and beauty to those found elsewhere in the world, maintaining Meghalaya’s status on the world-caving map as a significant caving region.

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