There is a natural gem in India which has made its way to the record books, according to this Hindustan Times report. In Meghalaya, adventurers have discovered the world’s largest sandstone cave, Krem Puri, measuring 24,583 metres in length near the village of Laitsohum in East Khasi Hills district.
Meghalaya possesses nine among the ten longest and deepest caves in India, and many of them are hidden under its undulating hills. The region attracts casual explorers and scientists from across the world.
Although discovered in 2016, the actual length of the Krem Puri cave was measured by a group of adventurers led by the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA). The association is well-known for organising the “Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Project,” an annual caving expedition.
It took the group nearly a month (February 5 to March 1) to measure and map out the entire cave. Measuring more than 24,000 metres in length, this underground sandstone cave is reportedly more than 6,000 metres longer than the previous world record holder, the Cueva Del Sama in Venezuela. This quartzite sandstone cave reportedly measures 18,200 metres in length.
“This sandstone cave has also become India’s second longest cave in the general category after the limestone Krem Liat Prah-Umim-Labit system measuring a little over 31km in Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya,” said Brian Daly Kharpran, a founding member of MAA, and winner of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2002, to the Hindustan Times.
The expedition team consisted of 30 professionals from Austria, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, and other European nations, besides four scientists from Italy and MMA members. According to the publication, the cave system is replete with ancient fossils of dinosaurs.
“The whereabouts of more than 1,650 caves and cave locations are known in Meghalaya, of which over 1,000 have been explored or partially explored. According to official data, the state has 491 km of surveyed caves, and many more are waiting to be discovered,” says the publication.