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Old 29th April 2010, 13:27   #61
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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Anna - read the whole log in one go. Sorry, my laptop had crashed... nice to know you had a safe trip to some really wonderful places in India. I want you to get a much better camera next time.

Keep posting... waiting.

Thanks.

Better camera ? I guess Canon PowerShot S3IS is enough for personal use, hmmm I need to think on it now.
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Old 29th April 2010, 22:22   #62
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Originally Posted by trammway View Post
Better camera ?
Well, the canon is a point and shoot. If you want to shoot better res pics you know what to use in future...
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Old 29th April 2010, 23:22   #63
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Default 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.
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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.
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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, donít 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.
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My wife took the camera and asked me to pose from inside the cave entrance for scaling purpose, thatís a good idea I said. The cave entrance looked grand, and my parents didnít show any fear as a big corridor followed the path inside the cave.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Though my father didnít 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.
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Wify knows my dream to visit Mulu caves in Malaysia which is the worldís 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 wasnít that way).
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Little Adithya went back and forth in the narrow pass, I know he could do
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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 didnít 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.
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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.
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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 itís the Jaws of my Mother that dropped.
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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 didnít 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.
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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. Iím sure many would have slipped and took bath in the icy cold and clear water inside the cave.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Adhava wanted to take a picture in that place, I donít 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.
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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.
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But then, the tunnel end was not like the cave entrance but very small like a Rabbitís burrow, want to see how we came out? There you go!
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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.
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After clicking few pics of the lush green environment, the lovely and lonely path pushed us towards the entrance where we started.
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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)
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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.

To be continuedÖ

Last edited by trammway : 29th April 2010 at 23:35.
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Old 30th April 2010, 22:21   #64
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wow- offroading in vacation too? but seriously - nice adventure for any family who needs a break from a boring 6-9 life routine.
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Old 1st May 2010, 00:34   #65
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Thanks for sharing!

I so much want to go all the way to that old NH39. You see i was born in that area.

Also NH39 is actually a WWII battle ground. and a historic road. Japs did managed to enter till the North Burma but Indian Army who were fighting for British at that time heroically fought and never let them entered furthur.
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Old 1st May 2010, 08:31   #66
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Nice very nice! A second look at the caves after Koushik's TL !
Did you have plans for Meghalaya?
Thats one more place I hear people saying is worth going.
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Old 1st May 2010, 20:55   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
wow- offroading in vacation too? but seriously - nice adventure for any family who needs a break from a boring 6-9 life routine.
You got it right, the only thing is that this offroading was done without wearing shoes in the foot.

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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
Thanks for sharing!

I so much want to go all the way to that old NH39. You see i was born in that area.

Also NH39 is actually a WWII battle ground. and a historic road. Japs did managed to enter till the North Burma but Indian Army who were fighting for British at that time heroically fought and never let them entered furthur.
Hai Hind! But I'm only thinking now when we were under British we could even stop Japanese but now how many places we have to compromise such a Naxalites etc.

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Nice very nice! A second look at the caves after Koushik's TL !
Did you have plans for Meghalaya?
Thats one more place I hear people saying is worth going.
Yes, Kaushik Saikia plotted all my Assam and Megalaya plans, he was great and the places he suggested were all truly awesome.

There is one more thread that has much beautiful pictures of the Mawsmai caves under this link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-party-17.html (AP to AP: In search of a white X-mas and found a street party!)

I've 2 more trips to North East for Sikkim and other one for Arunachal Pradesh etc.

Last edited by trammway : 1st May 2010 at 20:57.
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Old 1st May 2010, 23:57   #68
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I think for Arunachal Pardesh you will need special permit. I mean it used to long ago, i dunno the current condition.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 01:48   #69
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Yes, Kaushik Saikia plotted all my Assam and Megalaya plans, he was great and the places he suggested were all truly awesome.
You are welcome Siva, it was my pleasure. I just wish that the taxi service was better then it would've been a perfect end to the trip. Even I had no clue how they operate as I never had to use one there for myself. Anyway, I remember it was one of your long pending trip that you wanted to make and I was glad to be of that little help that I could.

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I've 2 more trips to North East for Sikkim and other one for Arunachal Pradesh etc.
Arunachal Pradesh is the place to be in TBHP now. I planned once when I went home but some stupid Bandhs at Assam have caused me to abandon the trip. Then again when HVK was on his trip and I thought of joining but got so tied up at home that I couldn't. I hope this time I'll atleast touch the Arunachal border.

About the Permit, yes, you'll need a Permit(Inner Line Permit or Restricted Area Permit(foreigners if I'm not wrong)) and that can be obtained at Guwahati/Tezpur/Tinsukia.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 07:55   #70
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Some how I lost the updates in this thread for last 4-5 days. Just read the updates in one go; good going. I like to understand something on you passion of walking inside cave; what's so interesting walking inside the caves? Is it the unique patterns that is fascinating or what's that attracts you?

I think you missed the food at Madras cafe; I know how you would've felt when you saw Madras cafe written in Thamizh; but then you missed the food isn't it or did you make there some other time?

Edit - Why were you people asked to remove the footwear while I see people wearing shoes in this thread?

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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:00   #71
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Ok. From my last comment to this one, read this logue in one go!
Tramway. Amazing trip you had there with your aged parents. Though they look tired in some photos, guess this is a trip for all to relish and reminisce.
The photos of the darjeeling zoo brought back fond memories. I clambered up the same. We moved from darjeeling to gangtok, then back to Kolkata. Were to take the ship to Andaman islands. But a storm ruined it. But spend 20 days in Kolkata and had pots and pots of mishti doi. So was fun.
Also Darjeeling toy train used to be etched in my memory ever since I saw the song mere sapnon ki rani. Do you know that the train loops itself? Not heard of any other railway that loops itself in the world barring, if I'm not wrong, some railway in south america though.
Loved the cave photos. Guess it's the time of the caves now as people are flocking to caves.
I love the look on the faces of the kids from north east. The innocence is amazing. Nice photos you got there.
And indeed those are limestone formations.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 19:16   #72
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MX, Here is one more from the monasteries of Gangtok.

NorthEast Summer Vacation-img_0382.jpg

Trammway sorry for posting on this.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 19:39   #73
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Reminds me of Rumtek monastery. When I went there, I had a face similar to this too. Incidentally I was almost their height and age as well
So when I look at my old photos, I'm surprised at the innocence I show!
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Old 3rd May 2010, 19:43   #74
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This was 5 years back. It was quite some fun around that area. This was not Rumtek, but some place close to it. I forget the same. There were many many lamps in that area.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 20:32   #75
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Quote:
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Reminds me of Rumtek monastery.
Here is a photo of Rhumtek taken during my maiden long drive in Dec. 2008.

NorthEast Summer Vacation-p1010708.jpg
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