There are no signs of recent human passages in the third cave but some Himalayan porcupines are present over there: American Explorers Eric Fries and Amber
Kashmir is known for being the land of mystery. It has a long list of spectacular sites like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Ladakh etc. But among all these places the caves of Kalaroos have a lot of mysterious surrounding it. Located in the Kalaroos village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, these caves are known to have ‘Tunnels that end in Russia’.
Kalaroos got its name from Qila-e-Roos which actually means Russian fort. It’s believed that the caves in this mountain extend till Russia and during silk route time they were used when Kashmir valley used to get completely covered with snow.
The Kalaroos caves are situated midway of the Lashtiyal and Mahdmadu villages. There is a giant stone in Lashtiyal village named Satbaran. The stone has seven doors which are known as Sath Barr. Locals say that the doors symbolize seven distinct routes to Russia and other countries.
Inside these caves, there is a discolored board with some foreign language written on it. Some villagers say that the caves hide some magnificent water bodies too.
A group of youth told a local news agency in Kashmir that inside these caves there are huge water bodies and we can hear the sound of running water. Many believe that Satbaran was a temple in the ancient era where the Pandavas used to worship.
Apart from Satbaran there is a Kalaroos cave. On its entrance is a well maintained gap to let you in but at some places it needs skillful technique to walk in it because there are many uneven slopes. Once you enter into the cave you feel the air much cooler than normal and darkness at its peak.
Some of the American explorers like Eric Fries and Amber explored three caves back in 2018 and reached the termination points for each of them. They mentioned the possibility that two of the caves might have been connected in the past; one of the two caves is upward trending and the other one trend downwards.
Both of them have similar elevations and azimuths. They couldn’t determine a similar elevation for the third cave as it was sealed by the Indian army.
Referring to Satbaran, they have also stated, “No one knows the history behind the structures who built it or its age.”
The explorers have notified that though there aren’t any signs of recent human passages in the third cave but some Himalayan porcupines are present over there.
These structures are unique and have archaeological importance. They attract people of from all around the world and have become popular picnic spots. People who visit once fall in love with the ancient legacy and are willing to visit again and again.
Concerned about the importance of these sites locals are demanding to declare these caves as heritage sites. The Department of Archaeology and Museum must preserve and declare these sites as protected sites. There should be more research and restoration work so that it will increase cultural tourism in the district.
State government must provide basic civic amenities like road connectivity, foot path’s and toilet facilities at these sites for the convenience of the visitors. There must be strict government actions and plans to save these caves.
These monuments are in remote area were weather remains almost uncertain, so the government must make more huts and resting places for the visitors. The youth should also play an important role in preserving these ancient monuments.
We all should visit these monuments so that we can properly realise the charm, beauty, attractiveness of these monuments and we believe once you pay a visit you will be the daily visitors.
Authors are students, Aligarh Muslim University