Mawsmai caves

The southern part of the Shillong plateau is largely made of limestone. The intense rainfall in this region has carved huge cave systems into these rocks. The plateau of Meghalaya is full of these caves, from the 24 kilometer long monsters to the touristy maze of the caves we visited near Sohra.

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Half the clan was off on a long trek down to yet another living root bridge, while I and the other equally jaded people rode the Rath of the Clan to Mawsmai village. In the five years since I was here last, a veritable strip mall has sprung up outside the caves and the Khasi sacred grove. My new phone was much better at taking photos of the ill-lit interior than my top-of-the-line bridge camera of half a decade ago. These photos of the grotesque and tortured shapes of the rocks in ambient light are brought to you by the consumer electronics revolution.

In the last few years much has been written about the danger that illegal limestone quarrying poses to the caves, and the rapid dying off of life that is adapted to these caves. Part of the response has been to encourage more tourism to the caves. While this may put pressure on the illegal miners to stop, it is not clear that it helps the lifeforms in the caves. During our short walk in the Mawsmai caves we saw many tourists and no non-human animals.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

8 thoughts on “Mawsmai caves”

  1. Shops outside the cave!!
    We used to visit using a candle…..I have seen the lighting inside when I went last, which again felt cosmetic enough to have no motivation to go again. But a mall….
    And, too bad you could not visit the root bridges. I’ll not be surprised if they have shops around them soon. I already heard about discussions of a road that may be constructed till the village 😦 😦
    Though it may be helpful for the villagers but at what cost…..

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      1. Happy to hear you did visit it.
        Nooo, I don’t want a road, half it’s charm will be gone….plus all the associated unwanted things that’ll come along with a road…being selfish here….

        Like

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