Sunday, December 26, 2010

Summer Vacation in NorthEast India - Part 13 (Magical Mawsmai Cave)

The most exotic and family friendly adventure spot is what I was talking about in my last post. If you all followed me in the thread carefully, you would have already understood I made this trip with 2 elders, 2 youngsters, 2 kids and a teenager hence it was my commitment to all the members that I will make the trip memorable to all the age group.

The Temples in Guwahati was for my parents, the hill stations like Darjeeling, Shillong are for self and wife, toy train, zoo are for the kids, shopping once again for my wife and niece then what was in the package for the teenager in the trip? That is it; we were at Mawsmai caves, a thrilling yet unforgettable experience for the whole family.

I have first heard good English from the ticket counter personal at Mawsmai cave, the people sat inside the counter was cool and soft spoken. They response to all your questions very politely and also gave lots of information about the cave.

After paying and collecting the ticket and camera permission fee, I was also requested by these people to leave all the footwear in the counter itself before proceeding. One more thing, don’t let kids to walk inside the caves and also be careful as the cave floor is slippery. Enough caution words from the gentlemen, I nodded my head like saying yeah and moved in the concrete path.

My parents were already tired in the travel, and asked me if they really need to be coming with me, Oh yeah it is mandatory I said. I captured their tired faces in the camera and climbed few steps to only find the huge cave entrance.

My wife took the camera and asked me to pose from inside the cave entrance for scaling purpose, that’s a good idea I said. The cave entrance looked grand, and my parents didn’t show any fear as a big corridor followed the path inside the cave.

The family moved about 25ft to only understand that the journey inside the cave will not be the same as we did till now, as the path started reducing its height and width.

We found the first obstacle (obviously not for me and the kids); where one need to climb a rock about 4ft and down then go ahead of the path.

I was looking at my parents, visibly they are worried Ohhhhssssh. I said no worries, let us experience what next, and while I was telling these words, there were two foreign nationals jumped on the rocks and went inside. I followed those people to only find them removing the shoes and carrying it with their hands to proceed next as the cave floor was filled with water like a pond.

Oh no, not only the water that makes the concern but now the caves ceiling is shrunk to only three foot height and the width of the path also narrowed to a small hole.

Though my father didn’t say anything but his jaws dropped after seeing it. Eeeerrrrrr, may be a mistake I felt inside my mind.

Just to divert all of their concerns from the narrow path, I started talking to everyone about the textures created by nature in the cave walls. I forgot to tell you all that the Mawsmai caves is one of very unique cave in India that is formed by limestone.

Wify knows my dream to visit Mulu caves in Malaysia which is the world’s largest lime stone cave and also worlds largest cave corridor, as soon as I revealed the Mawsmai cave is a limestone cave, she started telling to all of them no wonder why we are here with my plans.

We paused for few minutes on the same place finding a solution for the narrow pass, Ok that was me again to try crossing the narrow pass and come back to the family side to only covey to them that it is not so tough (but it wasn’t that way).

Little Adithya went back and forth in the narrow pass, I know he could do

The other side of the narrow path got division in the route, one towards right which looked taller and other one is towards left side that was very small and slopping downwards with completely slippery rock, I didn’t know what was in the other side. The taller side path had a board claiming that no exit and no light, hmmm we again need to do another circus, as our path is in the unknown left side. The most important part there is very little place so only one person can stand or sit in this point, so my family was still unaware of the issue.

I called my niece and wify to pass first one by one, just to send them down first so they can keep Adhitya and Adhava and I can call my mother and father slowly. This picture my wify can explain you the difficulties in passing the narrow pass.

It was tough but very interesting, not my words but my mother said after coming out the narrow pass. Smilingly I told her, you are yet to see the most interesting part now and moved a bit to show her the down slope, ha ha ha now it’s the Jaws of my Mother that dropped.

By then my wife, niece and kids were managed to reach the floor next side the left route, so my mother was. Finally my father, he had trouble in passing the first narrow pass due to his body built, but then he could squeeze to come out of the first obstacle.

What next, I told him that mother just went in this way pointing the route. Oh he didn’t show any expression in the face as I expected. But he started moving inside, what a surprise to me.

After we all reached the next side, almost unanimously everyone said this is just great. The cave walls are perfect example for the artistic skills of Mother Nature, Superb sculptures made with perfect sense of arts; we admired every single shape we found inside the cave.

Like this there were few more obstacles, one place had a metal bridge and other places had wooden boards as water crossing arrangement. There was one larger water pool which is good enough to have at least 4ft of depth. Eventually you will have rocks (slippery) to carefully cross the water without getting wet. I’m sure many would have slipped and took bath in the icy cold and clear water inside the cave.

With kids and elderly, I was much worried but they were enjoying the cave crossing experience. The ceiling of the cave is mostly close to the ground only at 4ft or 5ft tall and had very sharp structures which can easily puncture our skin and skull.

After having good time in the caves, some one in my family shouted we are reached the end of the cave by pointing to some sun light. I forgot to tell you, the cave had CFL lights in every 15ft distance which can only used for navigating the route and mostly the tunnel wore a dark theme(picture were taken with flash assist so don't get carried over by the pictures), but with the bright sun light I saw the faces of my family, one more surprise awaited for me as they were all looked fresh. I expected them to be more tired but no I was wrong. Since I carried Adhava all through the caves, my hands were in little pain so I thought everyone was tired.

Ok, now the bright light was not from end of the cave but a larger cavein that caused sunlight from top of the cave to intrude inside the cave.

Adhava wanted to take a picture in that place, I don’t know what attracted him, but he wanted to take picture of him near to that stone in the background. With the help of another tourist we all took our first family picture in the trip inside the cave.

Once again we moved in the cave to find another tunnel of light from before our path

AAAH AAAAaaaaahhhhh I know this is really end of our cave journey, yes it was the end of tunnel.

But then, the tunnel end was not like the cave entrance but very small like a Rabbit’s burrow, want to see how we came out? There you go!

Once we ejected out of the 150mts tunnel, it was all green that surrounded the burrow and I spotted a plant something similar to famous fly trap Nepenthes plant.

After clicking few pics of the lush green environment, the lovely and lonely path pushed us towards the entrance where we started.

Overall adventures and very interesting part of the trip came to end with most satisfying mask covered at everyone face in my family (I know it was time for them to go for lunch)

With Maggi cup noodles that were served in the shops in car parking area we completed our quick lunch. Driver was already in the car to go to the next location in our plan.

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