SHILLONG: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the remarkable achievements of a resident of Meghalaya and his team for their astounding discovery of more than 1,700 caves in the state.
During his address in the ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on Sunday, the prime minister heaped praises on Brian D Kharpran, who along with his dedicated team, has successfully mapped over 537.6 km of caves, elevating Meghalaya’s status on the global cave map.
“Friends, I am happy to introduce you to Brian D Kharpran. Hailing from Meghalaya, he is passionate about speleology. Simply put, it means the scientific study of caves,” said the Prime Minister.
Appreciating the collective efforts of Kharpran and his team, Modi also encouraged citizens across the nation to include Meghalaya’s caves in their travel plans.
Kharpran’s journey into cave exploration began during his school days in 1964 when he conducted his initial exploration. Later, in 1990, he joined forces with a friend to establish the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association, embarking on a mission to unveil the hidden treasures within the state.
Meghalaya boasts an extensive array of caves, including some of the longest and deepest in India, such as the renowned Liat Prah limestone cave system.
The unique geological conditions in the state, marked by high-grade limestone, abundant rainfall, elevation, and a humid climate, provide an ideal environment for the formation of intricate cave systems. The Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association’s diligent work has played a pivotal role in the discovery and documentation of these caves.
In a significant recognition of Meghalaya’s geological significance, the International Union of Geological Sciences designated the Mawmluh Cave as a geological heritage site in October 2022. This recognition was part of a list of 100 geological sites identified by the International Union of Geological Sciences in collaboration with UNESCO.
Notably, a stalagmite discovered within the Mawmluh Cave in 2018 led to the declaration of the “Meghalayan Age” by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, a testament to the state’s rich geological heritage.