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Last Updated Saturday May 27 2017 01:31 PM IST

Hanging coffins and the Sagada Cave Connection

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Hanging coffins and the Sagada Cave Connection The Sagada valley. Photo: Getty Images

Have you ever come across the world spelunking during your travels? If you have not heard it before you will when you are traveling through Sagada in the Mountain Province of Philippines. Spelunking is the increasingly popular activity of exploring caves or grottos as you traverse through small narrow passages under a rock. Clearly, not an activity for a fainthearted person. And strictly not advisable if you are someone who is claustrophobic, hates the dark or is afraid of heights. 

Sagada is now a very popular place for spelunking. And the tour starts at the tourist center, from where you have to get a guide. This is mandatory because the risk involved is huge. During some seasons, there will be too many people out to explore the caves, so start early. 

Hanging coffins and the Sagada Cave Connection The hanging coffins. Photo: Getty Images

Now, let us tell you why it is not for those who do not love adventure. The entrance of the cave is an ancient burial place. Scary? There is more. Some coffins are open and you can see the remains as you walk by. And the most important instruction you will get before passing through this place is the fact that you are not to touch or take anything from these coffins.

Lumiang Cave

Lumiang cave is where you start your spelunking. A steep climb down some narrow passages, no proper steps, and as you go on, it gets darker. And all you have is the light you are carrying. This cave is more of rocks. There are footholds and then, there are ropes that will guide you through. And this, is the reason why we say you need a guide. 

Sumaguing Cave
 

Hanging coffins and the Sagada Cave Connection The rock formations inside the cave. Photo: Getty Images.

The Sumaguing Cave is darker at the beginning and you have to squeeze through places that barely fit one person. But you have to be very, very careful when you travel down these caves. You will get slightly wet with the water dripping down the cave. Ensure that your gear is protected. There have been times when people have been trapped in the cave because of heavy rains. One step a time is the norm here. And the guides will tell you to take off your footwear if it gets too slippery. 

Darker and deeper the cave gets. At places, you have to wade through chest high water in the underground river. But the sights and sounds you will see around you are worth the trouble. The stalactites and stalagmites rock formations here are truly worth the trouble. 

Where?
The caves are at Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

Reaching Sagada

There are flights to Manila from India and then you have to travel to Sagada which is nearly 393kms away.

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