Several researchers noted plenty of predominantly Triassic limestone from Kashmir and Jammu but only very few came accross caves in Jammu and Kashmir. There exists, however, no systematic account of karst landforms in this vast mountain belt. The lack of karst studies in the Himalaya could be a result of either lack of investigation in this vast and inaccessible region, or the lack of karst features. Certainly, there have been only very few geomorphic investigations by karst specialists or published results of cave spelunking friends resulting from brief and preliminary reconnaissance trips.
The lithology of the impure limestones does not favour karstification. It is also likely that the rapid uplift-rate of 5000 m in 100 000 years in combination with mechanical denudation are inimical to karst formation. Nevertheless, there are caves and karst features at low and high elevations found both in Kashmir and Jammu. In addition to what must be the worlds most heavily visited religious showcave (Armanath Cave), there are stream caves, sinks and resurgences, temple caves and rock shelters, and even a few man-made “cave temples".
Access, geology, limestone, karst & caves 5
Cavish curiosities 8
Jammu & Kashmir cave directory 11
Ladakh and Zaskar cave directory 59
Dramatis personae 73
Manuscript sources 76
Printed sources 76