Tag Archives: Cave

Iran’s Hamedan Province: Ali Sadr Cave – The world’s largest water cave

Hamedan Province, Iran - MapThe Ghar-e Ali Sadr is the world’s largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. It is located in Ali Sadr Kabudarahang County about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran.

Excavations and archeological studies of the cave have led to the discovery of ancient artworks, jugs and pitchers dating back to 12,000 years ago. Animals, hunting scenes and bows and arrows are depicted on the walls and passages of the exit section. These images suggest primitive man used the cave as their abode. The cave was known during the reign of Darius I (521-485 BC) which can be verified by an old inscription at the entrance of the tunnel. However, the knowledge of the existence of the 70 million-year-old cave was lost, and it was only rediscovered in 1963 by Iranian mountaineers.

The cave is entered at the side of a hill called Sari Ghiyeh which also includes two other caves called Sarab and Soubashi, each 7 and 11 kilometers from Ali Sadr Cave.

Apparently, the water in Ali Sadr cave stems from a spring in Sarab. In the summer of 2001, a German/British expedition surveyed the cave, finding to be 11 kilometers long. The main chamber of the cave is 100 meters by 50 meters and 40 meters high.

The cave walls can extend up to 40 meters high, and it contains several large, deep lakes. The cave has a river flowing through it and most travel through the cave system is done by boat. More than 11 kilometers of the cave’s water canals have been discovered so far. Some routes are 10 to 11 kilometers long and all lead to “The Island”, a centrally located large atrium.

More articles on Iran’s nature: The other Iran | Nature

Sources: Wikipedia | Ali-Sadr Cave, IRNA | Photos, Alisadr Toursim Co | Portfolio, Wikimedia Commons | Ali Sadr Cave

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Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province: Saholan Cave

Ghar Saholan is located in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran, near to the village of Saholan that lies some 43 Kilometres east of the city of Mahabad. Situated in a small hill of limestone the cave has two entrances at an altitude of 1,780m. The cave has a total surveyed (mapped) passage length of 771.1m and a vertical range of 45.8m.

Geomorphological evidence within the cave would strongly suggest that it has been formed under phreatic conditions by still water and not by flowing water. Originally the cave would have been completely flooded. In the latter stages in its development the water levels have dropped to create airspace within the chambers and passages and further passage enlargement would have been stimulated by the gentle rising and falling of the water table and subsequent water level. Throughout the cave there are horizontal ledges of calcite deposits along the walls that are indicative of former (higher) water levels.

Sources: Tasnim News | Photos, www.caving-in-iran.org

Photos: Nakhcheer cave, approximately 70 million years old limestone cave in Iran

Nakhcheer or Chal-Nakhjir is a cave situated in Markazi Province of Iran. It is a limestone cave approximately 70 million years old.  It was discovered in 1989 and registered as a national monument in 2001. Its interior is made of crystals, dolomite sediments, stalactites and stalagmites.

More fascinating pictures: Payvand News of Iran | Photos: Nakhcheer cave