4 million centuries old marvel: Luray Caverns, Virginia, USA

Last year during my USA trip, I visited Luray Caverns. Rather, my school friend drove me to this interesting place. Luray Caverns is the largest and most popular underground limestone caves in east USA. Luray is about 92 miles west of Washington DC. I don't think there's any public transport to visit Luray. I could go there only because my friend took me there. Else I would have skipped.
Above: a crystal clear pool inside Luray Caverns, providing 100% reflection of caves above. There're multiple spots like this. The optical illusion they create is captivating.

Adult entry fee at Luray is about 20 USD per person. There are guided tours- visitors are taken to underground caves in small batches. The tour lasts about an hour plus. Visitors need to stick with their group and follow a designated walkway along with their guide.

Take a look at few pics of Luray's underground caves
History: Luray caverns was discovered in 1878 by a tinsmith and local photographer. The caves are said to be 4 million centuries old. Today Luray is one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders and most popular cave in eastern America.

The structures inside the cave are called Stalactites (those who hang from ceilings downwards) and Stalagmites (structures that are based on the floor and grow upwards). Luray has both of these. There are some structures that extend from roof till floor. Visitors are not supposed to touch them and flash photography is not allowed. The caves had limestone and clay but over time clay got washed away with water, leaving only limestone structures and cavity. The otherwise dark caves are illuminated for tourism purposes. Temperature and air circulation is also artificially maintained I think.
 Elephant's leg?
Caves are almost 3 stories high in most places.
 A war memorial inside the cave, with names of soldiers and officers of the county who lost their lives in various wars America fought.
Looks like claws!
 A wishing well: Just like in India visitors are seen throwing coin and currency notes into this pond.
There was supposed to be a musical chamber where a great Stalacpipe organ plays music. Unable to recall if we visited that spot.

Our guide: Well trained guides take you around the cave, highlighting important spots and their significance. Structures that resemble living being or things are given names.

The time spent exploring Luray Caverns was totally worth. Nature's wonders have no bounds. Happy I would visit it, thanks to my friend.

I read that a new entrance is now made available. Luray is temporarily closed due to Covid-19 and is scheduled to reopen after June 10th.

Luray Caverns is open from 9 AM till 4 PM on weekdays, 5PM/6PM on weekends/select special days. The road we took to reach Luray, Skyline drive is also an interesting place. But April was kind of off season, I was told in October the area will be extremely beautiful.

There was an automobile museum in same campus, will write about it separately.

Similar places I have seen elsewhere are: Belum Caves, AP

Official website of Luray Caverns is https://luraycaverns.com/. Visit when you are in Washington/Baltimore or nearby areas.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful pics.... Reminds me of Baratang caves in Andaman... Which are on a smaller scale than this but equally beautiful!

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  2. Wow. Mind blowing photos. I may not be able to visit this place. But thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful place.

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  3. Fascinating! Reminded me of the Dunbar Caves mentioned in The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.

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