Sunday, 21 July 2019

Exploring the Mawsmai Caves, Meghalaya

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~ Joseph Campbell

I have always wanted to go on a cave excursion to see what lies within the old caves. Being with Nature has always taught me something or the other. So, I could envision that an underground cave excursion would not only be an adventurous experience, but also a metaphorical journey. When I heard about Mawsmai Caves of Meghalaya, I was determined to explore the cave. And so was my father. So the next day, we both planned to explore the cave system of northeast India.  

Mawsmai Cave is located in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, about 6km from the main town of Cherapunji. 

It is one of the most accessible caves in Meghalaya that travelers can explore even without a guide. However, a sane mind and a courageous heart are needed for the underground excursion. 

Before taking the staircase to reach the cave, we had to buy tickets from the ticket counter. There was a board on which instructions to the visitors were clearly given. The map of the Mawsmai cave was also included on the board. 

We had to take the staircase to reach the cave opening. Plenty of tourists were taking photographs outside the cave. Seeing the spacious opening of the cave, no one can tell that it would soon squeeze into a narrow lane.

If there were 50 people outside the cave, a maximum of 5 people went inside the cave to explore it. We were told that the Mawsmai cave is a one-way narrow road. Tourists need to enter from one end and keep walking until they reach the other end. 

Although the cave looked gigantic, I was determined to explore it. We were told that the cave is lit with electricity. Therefore, we do not need to carry candles with us. Moreover, it meant that we can observe the colors and patterns of each and every rock formation. 

The cave looked beautiful and inviting. I saw a few college-goers entering the cave with a lot of enthusiasm. My father and I followed them after taking a few pictures. We knew that as the light inside the cave would be minimal, it will perhaps not be possible to take many pictures.

The weather was quite pleasant as it was a sunny day in December. I was excited to embark on the thrilling adventure of my life. 

Once we entered the cave, we noticed that the pathway is getting narrower. At some places, we had to bend and squeeze our bodies in order to get through. 

I realized that obese people would have a hard time exploring the cave because some passages are too narrow. Fitness is an important criterion to get through the smaller openings of the cave, without getting hurt. We also had to climb a few rock formations in order to walk forward. 

A few rock formations looked like the gigantic feet of elephants. There was no option of going back. The only way was to move forward with hope and courage in the heart. 

The rock formations glinted beautifully in the light. We could find water dripping from the tips of the rocks. Mawsmai Caves helped me understand the powerful force of Nature that created such hard limestones. 

As the realization dawned on me, I surrendered to the beautiful, mystifying force of Nature. And once I surrendered to it, the rest of the journey became much easier. 

I was no longer being desperate to come outside the cave.  Rather, I observed each and every stone formation without the fear of being trapped inside the cave. Yes, I was able to overcome my fear with every step I took. 

Although the length of the cave is only 150 meter, it feels like a long journey due to the narrow passages and gigantic rock formations that do not allow a person to walk faster. 

Finally, we noticed a beam of sunlight that made us squeal with delight. Once we came outside the cave, we couldn't help celebrate our successful cave excursion. My father and I took a selfie with the cave. It was indeed an unforgettable experience, a metaphorical journey that taught me so many important life lessons. 

When we are trapped in a problematic situation (cave), we often feel that it will never change (never-ending journey). But if we walk forward with hope and courage in the heart, we will notice the ray of light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, if we enjoy each and every scene that we come across without cribbing about the problem, we will have great stories to tell later. 

We explored the nearby forest after the cave excursion. I knew that this underground experience will always stay with me, making me a better, patient, courageous, and resilient human being. I have always believed that Nature has answers to all our questions. Exploring the Mawsmai Caves gave me not only a beautiful experience that I can talk about but also provided answers to the questions I was contemplating during that time. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my cave excursion. In my next travel post, I will take you to another beautiful place in Meghalaya. You can also check out my photo essay on Laitlum, the Grand Canyon in Meghalaya. 

Have you ever gone for a cave excursion or embarked on any other adventure while traveling? 

Do you feel Nature is the best teacher?


  1. It's a beautiful cave. But i guess the old charm is gone now that it's illuminated.

    1. Yes I agree but it has made things safer for tourists.

  2. Hari OM
    Caves embrace one... once that surrender you speak of comes. Mother Earth reassures us in these places. I have been fortunate to enjoy many caves. "But if we walk forward with hope and courage in the heart, we will notice the ray of light at the end of the tunnel." Purba, we can be told this so often, yet continue to need reminded. I needed to read these words at this time - thank you! YAM xx

    1. Hari Om.
      So good to know that you have enjoyed many caves. It was the first time for me. And I wish to explore many more Caves.
      Thanm you so much Yamini for your generous words. Always so good to see you on my blog ❤️

  3. Meghalaya is full of natural beauty. It is a wonderful feeling to go through your post.

    1. Yes indeed. Thank you so much for stopping by 😊

  4. Truly Amazing Cave. Nice to read your post.
    Beautiful pics. Greetings.

    1. Thank you so much Rupam. Glad you enjoyed it 😊

  5. I had visited Borra caves in Andhra and have shared my experience on it. After reading your post I guess my cave visit might not be as adventurous but it surely was one of my first cave visits so yes it will always remain special:)
    Loved your narration and the post, the story writing was superb and best of all the realization that dawned onto you and the lesson you learned, "that when faced with problems the only way is way forwrad".

    1. Wow. I would love to read about your experience at Borra Caves.
      So glad that you liked this post.Thank you for the appreciation 😊

  6. I love visiting rocky destinations, caves included. So fascinating. I enjoyed the quick tour through Mawsmai Caves. About visiting caves, last summer I walked through a place called Shasta caves Here are some images if you'd like to see them --

    1. Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed the quick photo tour.
      I would kove to check out your post on Shasta Caves 😊

  7. Love to read ur experience here in Meghalaya


Hey! If you like this post or have anything to tell, please go ahead.
Looking forward to hearing from you :)