Siju Dobakhol

Bat Cave - Siju Cave

Useful Information

Location: Damra-Dambu-Baghmara-Barenggapara Rd, Meghalaya 794114.
Near Siju village, Balpakram National Park. 30 km north of Baghmara and 132 km from Tura.
(25.350908, 90.684354)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: T=21-26 °C, A=60 m asl.
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: W. M. Wheeler, S. A. Rohwer (1924): Hymenoptera of the Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Assam, Records of the Indian Museum, Vol. XXVI, Part I, pp. 123-125. Calcutta, January, 1924. pdf text
Stanley Kemp, B. Chopra (1924): The Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Assam Records of the Indian Museum, Vol. XXVI, Part I, pp. 3–22. Calcutta, January, 1924. DOI
Dan Harries, Ilona Kharkongor, Uttam Saikia (2020): The biota of Siju cave, Meghalaya, India Cave and Karst Science. 47. pp 119-130, BCRA, ISSN 1356-191X. researchgate
D.B. Harries, F.J. Ware, C.W. Fischer, J. Biswas, B.D. Kharpran-Daly (2008): A Review of the biospeleology of Meghalaya, India. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 70, no. 3, p. 163–176. pdf
Address: Siju Tourist Lodge, Siju Dobakolgittim, Meghalaya 794114.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1922 detailed biological survey.


Siju Dobakhol (Bat Cave at Siju) is the local name of a rather famous Indian cave generally published as Siju Cave or Dobakhol (Bat Cave). The name is derived from nearby village Siju and the abundance of bats in the cave. The cave is located at the Simsang river in Balpakram National Park. A road leads from Siju to the river, from the parking lot at the end it is a 5 minutes walk to the cave. It is not developed but spacious and the entrance section is level and easy to visit. A trail with railing was built to the cave entrance, visitors are guided by locals after appointment. Nearby Siju Tourist Lodge was opened.

The cave is known for a long time and was first explored by the British Geologic Survey during a 3-week biological survey in January and February 1922. The participants wrote a series of 27 papers reporting the findings. It was the most comprehensive and authoritative biological survey ever conducted in an Indian cave, with 102 species, 33 of them true troglobionts. And this was not the last speleobiological exploration of this cave. In 2007 a new kind of cave fish, Schistura sijuensis (Menon), a new species of loach has been discovered in the cave. Actually the fact that the cave is a bat cave is the reason why there are so many cave animal, most of them are guano fauna, animals which live of the bat guano as primary food source.

The cave has now been explored and surveyed to a length of almost five kilometers, and is often called India's third longest. Actually this is a fame which changes frequently at the moment, as India has lots of caves, most of them unexplored, and every year the list of the longest caves has to be rewritten. As the cave is the lowest level of the cave systems in Meghalaya, at the karst groundwater level, it is mostly water filled and thus only a small part is accessible for visitors. Nevertheless, walking through passages which have a cave river is quite common, gum boots are much recommended.

Above the cave on the hill is a rock formation with a labyrinth of narrow gorges, which is called Rongchang Rock Formation Ram sangma. When you visit the cave this site is definitely also worth a visit. Like the cave it is actually not developed, but the floor is mostly level and with good walking shoes it should be no problem. The actual problem might be to find the site, so again a local guide is advisable.