Last week I shared my treasure trail through the unexplored Arwah Caves in Meghalaya. The stunning walls, the low ceilings, and narrow crevices were truly an adventurous experience for my entire family and me. There was a certain thrill in meandering through those caverns that were dimly lit and filled with water streams. It definitely added that punch to the whole treasure trail. However, the exploration was far from being over. Typically in a treasure trail, you have arduous trails and monsters that guard those trails. Right? So, we did our bit with the difficult trail (well! Not so difficult, just being dramatic!). We still had the monsters’ to tackle and guess what – we found them right at the next set of caves – Mawsmai Caves in Meghalaya.
Well, technically, there were no monsters! However, the Mawsmai caves had a lot of their formations that resembled monsters and those dreary beasts that typically guard the treasure. It was fun spotting these strange formations and continuing our treasure trail through them. My daughter found these caves much easier to walk through as there aren’t too many of those crazy turn and twists. “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” is how she termed it. The enjoyable bit for her were the cute shapes of the “scary” monsters that we encountered. 😉
Introducing Mawsmai Caves
Mawsmai caves in the local language mean “Oathstone caves“. I tried to find the reason behind this name but for the first time, I seem to have hit a dead end as to why it is so called. I was even more curious after I visited the caves for they definitely have some Eerie shapes that take me back to the world of the undead! (Yes, I do read a lot of those Vampire and underworld creatures books).
Though the caves are quite long, only 150m of it has been open to the public. The interesting thing here is that you enter from the mouth of a giant monster and exit from its rear. You think I am kidding! See for yourself –
Monster One – The Entrance of Mawsmai Caves
Jubilant with our victory at the Arwah caves, the A team (aka us) walked confidently along the wooden pathway to conquer the next set of caves. Expecting the same body contortions, we felt we were all prepared till we stopped dead in our steps. A large monster with open jaws lay waiting for us.
The guy was ancient with lots of gray wrinkles, some of which was covered with green beard. His teeth looked like as if he has not brushed for ages. He sat there motionless, staring at us, beckoning us to enter his large belly that we could see from the entrance of Mawsmai caves.
Walking into the belly of the monster
Definitely, this guy had a bad tummy. I mean look at the whole path strewn with his ingested food. What was even more interesting was that this guy did not just allow humans in but also, his fellow monsters. Some of them looked like snakes, some like dragons like this one.
The strange shapes kept staring at us as we walked past them till we reached the grand old man, waiting to ask us a riddle. I think he was just so surprised to see us that he was dumbfounded. We quickly walked past him to reach the point that looked like the epiglottis of the cave monster. From here, we seemed to have crossed over to its belly.
I am really not kidding when I say we had to squeeze past the Epiglottis into the belly. A narrow cave passage led us to the most interesting sights. Coated with the gastric juices of the cave monster, the smaller ones within its belly were staring back at us – Drooling!
Here the journey was quite like the Arwah caves but not as raw. We crouched and balanced through the narrow parts of the cave to finally reach a tiny hole.
Squeezing through the gut
This is the part where I felt I had to squeeze through the guts into the open, dark caverns filled with pools of ……Water! What else, you crazy people.
Out from the rear
The crazy ride with high ceilings and small slits of sunlight continued till we reached this point where suddenly, we were out in the open. This is where the treasure trail ended with us having picked up some memorable gems along the way. Mawsmai caves was truly a beautiful end to our underworld quest.
Once outside, you will also, see a lot of the ancient rock formations around the caves. The Mawsmai caves is an absolute must if you are a geologist.
Personally, I found the Arwah caves more adventurous but the Mawsmai caves were artistic. The experience through them gets your imagination wild – as you have seen in this post. I am pretty sure that what I discovered and saw might look different to you. This is the magic of Nature’s abstract art. I wonder what you felt like as you came along with me. You know where to let me know. And in the meantime, don’t forget to pin this journey to your board.
- Guwahati is the closest railway and airport to Meghalaya. You will need to get here and then, take a cab to Shillong or directly to Sohra.
- The North East Explorers helped me with the cab and the stay in Sohra. I had hired the cab from Guwahati back to Guwahati for around a week.
- Mawsmai caves are located close to the Seven Sisters’ falls in Cherrapunji (Sohra).
- The entrance to the Mawsmai caves is INR 20 per adult, provided you are more than 3 in a group. If you are less than 3, then it is INR 60. Here is the capture that tells your more.
- The caves are slippery and wet. Hence, please wear comfortable footwear that helps you grip and walk across these places.
- Please carry a light raincoat or windcheater here.
- A torch is advisable as certain parts of the Mawsmai caves are dark
- You should be able to finish these caves in half an hour
- There are restrooms and small cafes here in the parking area.