Kotumsar Cave - Biologically Live Cave of Jagdalpur

Kotumsar cave is a major attraction for people interested in ecotourism. Famous for unique stalactite and stalagmite formations, the Kutumsar Caves are hidden amid a dense sal forest inside the Kanger Valley National Park. Kotumsar cave is located in a village named ‘Kotumsar’ near Jagdalpur in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It is a limestone cave formed on the Kanger limestone belt, situated near the bank of the River Kanger, a tributary of the Kolab River. It lies at an altitude of 560 m above sea level. A vertical fissure in the wall of a hill serves as the main entry for the cave. The convenience of tourists a concrete path has been made extending to the end of the cave. The main tunnel of the cave is nearly 200 m long with several lateral and downward passages. Various types of speleothems offer panoramic views. The cave is subject to frequent flooding during the monsoon season, which generally begins in the middle of June and continues until the middle of October. The site is closed to tourists during this period. Various water pools fed by seepage throughout the year also exist in this cave.
According to Hindu mythology, caves are generally considered to be prominent religious locations. This prehistoric caves are also a spiritual site, attracting devotees who come here to worship Lord Shiva. Many pilgrims visit Kotumsar cave to worship at a big speleothem formation (stalagmite) in one of the chambers. Earlier worshipers also burnt incense and camphor in this part of Kotumsar Cave, which polluted the cave ecosystem resulting in a decline of cave biodiversity. This practice was accordingly stopped by the authorities based on a report published by the National Cave research and Protection Organization, India.
The cave has been known since the British era of India , but it was not taken seriously until the 1950s when the geography professor Dr. Shankar Tiwari visited the cave and attempted to explore its chambers with limited resources and equipment. The cave was first systematically mapped in the 1980s by Dr. Jayant Biswas (then a PhD scholar), guided by a Romanian caver. The map was first published in Biswas's PhD dissertation in 1990, and in 1992 by him in the internationally recognized publication of the National Speleological Society. The complete biodiversity of this cave has been well described by Dr. Jayant Biswas in the year 2010. There are many more caves identified around 5 km radius of this caves, but Kotumsar cave is the most biologically live cave of Kanger Valley National Park.
Kotumsar cave is situated in Kanger Valley National Park, which is around 35 km from the city of Jagdalpur, the district headquarters of Bastar, in the state of Chhattisgarh. Jagdalpur can be reached either by road, train or air. The city is well connected by National Highways 212, 202 and 16. The nearest airport is the Swami Vivekananda Airport of Raipur. To reach the park one follows the Jagdalpur, Sukma road. The cave is located around 10 km from the main entrance of the national park.