Experts provide handy tips to explore historic caves during the monsoons
Explore with care
Anita Rane-Kothare, Head and associate professor, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology; president, Bombay Local History Society
Karla Caves. Pics courtesy/Wikimedia Commons
>> Avoid going into caves that are difficult to access, as there are high chances of landslides. Beginners can start by exploring Karla, Bhaja, and Bedsa Caves.
>> Wear full-length trousers preferably as there are chances of snakebite, scorpion and bee stings.
>> Wading through flooded rivers is dangerous. Make a chain with your hands and ropes and then cross.
>> Carry a stick, knife, rope, newspaper, and a torch and always stay hydrated. Wear shoes and carry a windcheater or a poncho. Hands-free umbrellas that stick to your head are a good option.
>> One should always be well prepared for unexpected situations.
Thoughtfulness is the key
Prashant Gharat, archaeologist and heritage researcher
>> While you soak in the site’s beauty and heritage, ensure that you keep them clean. Carry garbage bags and leave the place as you would like to see it on your next visit.
>> Resist the urge to bring back artefacts from these historic sites.
>> Respect local residents’ beliefs. Observe how they act; be in sync with them. We are lucky to have the opportunity and ability to witness and record the grandeur of our heritage. Ensure that we pass on the best version of it to future generations, both physically
>> Avoid footwear inside caves if it is actively worshipped. Take a local guide as this will help them earn money and ensure your safety.
>> Do your homework before visiting isolated locations. Avoid the temptation of activities like jumping from sites, shouting and screaming inside the tunnels, domes, caves or petting wild or stray animals.