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New caves discovered in Meghalaya

Shillong, Apr 4, 2013, (PTI): 18:27 IST
With the discovery of 19 new caves in the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya could now boast of 1,350 of them spanned over 387 kilometre, of which 887 caves have been explored including the country's longest Krem Liat.

The discovery was made by a team of international speleologists led by the Meghalaya Adventure Association (MAA) who successfully undertook an expedition recently to 21 caves in the state.

Speleologists from UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Germany, and members of the host organisation besides two Romanian biologists and a city-based researcher were part of the 2013 team, MAA Secretary B D Kharpran, told PTI.
He said that during the 18-day expedition 19 new caves were explored and four partially explored ones were further explored and extended.

The team also collected information about a number of other caves in Moolapui village in the East Jaintia Hills district, he said.

During the expedition the Krem Khung in Larket area was re-estimated from 5,065 metre to 7,349 metre in length, making it India's 8th longest cave characterised by huge fallen boulders the size of houses, Kharpran said.

The 10th longest cave in the country, the Krem Labit Kseh in the Kopili Valley was re-estimated from the previous 5,910 meter to 6,802 meter in length with fine river passages and beautifully decorated dry relic passages like the Black Diamond Passage and Crystal Gallery.

Kharpran said this was one of the very few caves in India that had a profusion of rare gypsum formations resembling flowers.

The explorers also re-estimated the length of Krem Diengjem in the Krem Tyngheng-Diengjem cave system from 21,250 meter to 21,359 meter, almost touching the Krem Kotsati-Umlawan system which is India's 2nd longest cave at 21,450 meter, he said.

In December last year, adventurers from the MAA and an American speleologist successfully identified 12 new caves in in Amarsang village in South West Khasi Hills district near the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The expedition mapped 743 meter of Krem Amarsang, characterised by identical 3 meter wide deep wells all along the active stream, he said.

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