Do the vaults in the magical world of Harry Potter books or the enchanted cave from the story of Ali Baba and 40 Thieves enrapture you? Have you ever wondered if such mysterious caves actually exist on our planet? Well, not just on the planet, they are right here under your nose in India. Buried among the hidden hot spots of Northeast India, the world’s longest sandstone cave has been discovered in Meghalaya. Situated near the village of Laitsohum in the Mawsynram of East Khasi Hills district, it has been named Krem Puri, which means “fairy cave” in the local Khasi language.
Setting a world record at 24,583-metre (24.5km) — which is almost three times the height of Mount Everest, Krem Puri is 6,000-metre longer than previous record holder Venezuela’s Cueva Del Saman 18,200-metre (18.2km) long quartzite sandstone cave in Edo Zulia.
Not only is the cave rich in flora and fauna such as frogs, fish, spiders and bats, but dinosaur fossils — especially of a giant aquatic carnivorous reptile Mosasaurus that lived 66-76 million years ago — have been found. While the cave had been discovered two years back in 2016, it is only recently that a team from the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA) led by Brian Daly Kharpran – who is a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2002 – explored the complex maze of passages and corridors inside.
What’s more, the sandstone cave has reportedly also been named India’s second longest cave in the general category after the limestone Krem Liat Prah-Umim-Labit system, which measures a little over 31km in Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya.
This article is written by Jyotsna Basotia first published in The Indian Express