They are known as the “Sky Caves of Nepal,” an archeological wonder steeped in mystery. A rough estimation places their total at an astonishing 10,000 – and that’s being conservative.
Perhaps even more astounding than their sheer number is the fact that these caves have been carved – by hand – into a sandy cliff face looming over a hundred and fifty feet off the ground. Essentially, the complex is an immense sandcastle capable of housing an entire kingdom.
Deep within the wind-swept Himalayas, the caves occupy a gorge so large it makes the Grand Canyon look like a pockmark by comparison.
The vast and intricate network dates back thousands of years, yet who constructed them and for what reason are still unknown. Incredibly, researchers are baffled as to how these ancient cave-dwellers could have entered the system – ladders and other conventional means have all been ruled out.
Scaling the narrow ridges and extraordinarily fragile rocks is downright treacherous, even for the most hardened of adventurers. Those who have dared to infiltrate the complex face genuine danger – videographer Lincoln Else was struck by a falling rock and suffered a fractured skull, while photographer Cory Richards took a tumble and broke a bone in his back.
Thankfully, both men survived, but their severe injuries are testament to the perils of this inhospitable area.
From an archeological viewpoint, the Sky Caves are a treasure trove of relics. Dozens of jewel-adorned skeletons, wall after wall of elaborate art displaying portraits of Buddhist yogis, and even 8,000 calligraphed manuscripts have been discovered tucked away within the endless maze, along with countless other artifacts.
Many more secrets are no doubt still hidden within the bowels of the remarkable Sky Caves, just waiting to see the light of day.