Caves have held a distinct fascination for mankind ever since time immemorial, these are fairly widespread across the five habitat continents across the globe.They constituted as cradling confluence of human imagination, being the earliest primordial natural habitat of mankind.
Caves have been used for multifarious purposes by homo sapiens for ages, as shelter for protection from extreme elements of nature, housing of priceless livestock, storage of treasures in form of food grains, valuable goods, arms and ammunitions etc.
Caves have embosomed within themselves innumerable geographical and historical secrets since inception of mankind on our mesmerizing planet. Some have been unearthed, while many are awaiting discovery, and some lost for ever in the annals of oblivion.
During recent years, even terrorists have been using caves in a shocking manner for furtherance of their nefarious designs against humanity. Tora Bora caves, a labyrinthine complex of underground interconnected tunnels, in the White mountains (safed khoh) on Afghanistan-Pakistan border were used by taliban for many years for carrying out atrocious attacks on peaceable humanity.
Kakana caves formed an interesting indispensable part of folklore reated to scintillating Car nicobar Island. These caves are a natural formation of coral rocks dating back to thousands of years, some few hundred feet in depth. They derived their name from nearby Kakana village, otherwise famous as residence of indeginous chief of Nicobar Islands, Chief Captain Kutchert. Meeting this pioneering beacon of Nicobar tribe was a real pleasure, he remained a pivotal key rallying point of these hardy valiant tribesmen for several decades. He daringly guided the tribals through the grim period of cruel Japanese occupation during second great World War as territory of grand British empire.
These caves invariably remained a hot destination for many adventure seeking visitors, due to their close proximity to the administrative Hqs. of Nicobar district. Pitch darkness prevailed inside these caves, requiring torchlights or powerful flashlights for ensuring proper viewing. They remained a natural habitat for a assorted variety of bats.
During the era of baffling Japanese occupation many mentally distressed islanders sought refuge inside these caves to escape the wrath of the Imperial Japanese army. These persons certainly succeeded in saving themselves from the Japanese vexation temporarily. But soon fell victims to thirst and hunger which proved equally disastrous for their survival. The distressing gloominess, inside the depths of the caves leading to springing of various melancholic phobias, generally perceived in such distressful conditions.
Local tribesmen had a strong belief that these caves were a genuine residence of evil Satan. Some of the elders visualised huge treasures lay buried inside. They associated many a interesting tales about these fully unexplored caves.
Every morning I used to go for jogging on the road near these mysterious caves. Some of my close tribal friends warned me to be prepared for a head on encounter with Satan, one of these days. I enthusiastically looked forward for materializing of such a historic meeting? But the imaginary fabled so called “Satan”, disheartened me by not obliging me a with a much awaited friendly appearance. For reasons best known to him or perhaps he thought myself to be more “satanic in bearing”, plus did not want to lose his highly established fabled authority?
All unknown and semi-known creates a mysterious flair in our brains, fertilizing our imaginative skills, besides heightening our thought process to fearful levels. It results in spinning of intricate cobwebs around already existant nebulous haze present in our brains. This many a times distorts our vision, to such a hyped magnitude, resultantly we often start visualizing an ant for an elephant and vice versa. In such matters we need to remain extra cautious from falling into abysmal pitfalls, from where our recovery may not remain a distant reality.
( H P S Virk , a retired police officer , is the author of this article . According to an information Kakana caves were badly damaged during Tsunami tragedy in 2004)