Archaeologists from Nepal and the University of Cologne began exploring the caves situated 155ft. (47.24 meters) above ground in the mid-1990s. They found the remains of dozens of people who had lived 2000 or more years ago.
Several other groups of researchers have followed in their footsteps since. Those who’ve seen the remote Upper Mustang site tend to liken its appearance to a giant sandcastle.
The climb to reach and enter the caves is dangerous. Some people have suffered broken bones (or even backs!) from falls, fractures are also highly possible due to falling rocks.
As Richards said, “This was real exploration. It’s dangerous it’s loose rock it’s scary. Everything is loose, everything around you feels like it’s crumbling. You feel like when you’re climbing everything is going to collapse.”
Richards tried to sum up his experience and the beauty of the caves: “Essentially at the end of the experience, what was illuminated to me the marriage of science and exploration and culture is the ultimate in how we bring the world to everyone.”