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The Travel Well Guide
The Ali Sadr Cave
City: Hamadan State: N/A Country: Iran
The Ali Sadr Cave is one of Iran's most famous natural wonders, and has been a magnet for Iranian tourists since its re-discovery in the late 1970s. Situated in the Soubashi Mountains to the north of the city of Hamadan, the limestone cave is highly unusual. It is a water cave, however the water within it is more like a series of long lakes than a river. An inscription at the entrance of the man-made tunnel makes it clear that it was built during the reign of Darius.Formed some 70 million years ago, the cave has been used by man for 1,200 years. Ancient tools, pottery and fascinating cave paintings depicting animals such as stags and gazelles, as well as hunting scenes, have been found here. For years the cave acted as a reservoir for people in the nearby village, but in 1978, when the water supply diminished somewhat, a local man followed the tunnel deep into the mountain in search of more.On entering the tunnel, a wide passageway leads to a wharf. From here, the journey must be undertaken by boat. There are several different routes, varying between 2.1m and 50 m (165 ft) in width, all of which end in a vast central atrium. Along the way the roof and walls are covered with fantastically shaped stalactites, some more than 15 m (49.5 ft) in length, and stalagmites, in extraordinary colors - purple, green, blue, red and brown. The water is absolutely crystal clear and even in dim light one can see to depths of several meters.
Climate | When to Visit
Visit during: March to October
Directions | How to Reach
All international flights to Tehran land at the new Imam Khomeini International Airport based 37km southwest of Tehran.. There are 70 smaller regional airports, for example those in Shiraz, Mashhad, and Isfahan, and these have daily flights to many international destinations.