Iran is a country full of diversity and home to numerous amazing tourist attractions, similar to which, one can hardly find any other places.
One of the tourist attractions in Iran is its amazing caves. Thanks to the numerous caves in Iran, it is the paradise for caving lovers, and, every year, a large number of nature and adventure lovers travel to Iran to explore deep into the earth at the beautiful caves in this country.
In addition to places like Mount Paraw (Parau), which is full of technical deep caves, Iran has some caves that are good destinations for tourists interested in nature.
1. Ali-Sadr Cave
Ali-Sadr Cave is one of the most popular tourist caves in Iran, with the longest boating path inside the cave in the world.
Ali-Sadr Cave is one of the lagoon caves in Iran, which is located 70 kilometers northwest of the province of Hamedan in Kabudrahang County. Ali-Sadr Cave lies in Sari Qayah hills, with an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level.
Based on the rocks inside the cave, the age of this cave is estimated to be approximately 130 to 190 million years, which belongs to the Jurassic period from the second geological period.
Ali-Sadr Cave has a special position among the water caves and lagoon caves in the world because of the very attractive and special boating path inside the cave. There is a lake in the cave, with a depth of up to 14 meters. It should be noted that this cave is not fully explored yet, and some parts of the cave is a secret because of the different corridors and paths in the cave.
Ali-Sadr Cave was first explored by a group of 14 climbers from Hamedan province in 1963. Until 1974, when the cave opening was much smaller, this cave was visited by the mountain climbers only. After the size of the cave mouth was increased, it became open to public and is now known as one of the tourist spots in Iran.
2. Nakhjeer or Chal-Nakhjir Cave
Chal-Nakhjir Cave is situated 11 km northeast of the city of Delijan on the way to the city of Naragh in Markazi Province, on the slopes of Mount Takht.
Mount Takht is at an altitude of 1716 meters above sea level.
Chal-Nakhjir Cave is also located near the villages of Kerogan, Veshtekan and Harazjan.
This spectacular limestone cave has several floors.
Chal-Nakhjir Cave is one of the natural and alive caves in Iran. You may ask what alive cave means!
Alive Caves are natural phenomena with no human involved. It may take a long time, but finally the cave formation will happen naturally.
95 percent of the cave walls are covered by limestone.
According to some experts, this cave belongs to the third geological period and dates back to about 16 to 34 million years ago.
The reason why it is named Chal-Nakhjir is that this area was used as a hunting place in the past, since it was located lower than the area around it. Therefore it was named ‘Chal’ that means ‘hole’ in English.
Chal (low) + Nakhjir (hunting place) = Chal-Nakhjir (lower hunting place)
This cave is one of the caves in Iran with a big entrance. Its entrance is between 10 to 40 meters high and about 40 meters wide.
The cave mouth was first located higher than the water wells in Delijan County and was not as wide as it is today that is so wide because of the improper explosions done in the area.
This cave was discovered in February, 1988. It was discovered during digging wells in the area for drinking water.
Kamran Soleimani was the first person who stepped into the cave to explore it. He explored it to the depth of 500 meters, and he had to return because his trailing rope was not long enough.
The depth of Chal-Nakhjir Cave is estimated to be approximately 8 to 10 kilometers, 4 kilometers of which is explored by the locals and the cavers. About 102 kilometers is open now to the public visit.
According to the experts there is a lake at the end of the cave that makes boating possible there.
There are a large number of crystals in the first part of the cave explored.
Among the breathtaking beauties of the cave that catches every visitor’s eyes are crystal prisms and sponges and coral gardens.
After 600 meters from south to north, the path in the cave is divided into two paths, one to the east and the other to the west. Each of the two paths are more than 1300 meters long.
The reverse fault in Varan region caused the cave to be formed. Most of the rock formations in the cave are made of Calcium carbonate, Aragonite and Gypsum.
There are some cracks created in the rocks thanks to the folds which has come from pressure on the rocks.
Then, the acid rain, containing carbon dioxide, penetrated into the earth through fractures and folds resulting in dissolution of calcium carbonate.
Next, by increasing the dissolution the cave was formed after millions of years.
Chal-Nakhjir Cave is a cave with a high ceiling that is an average of about 8 meters high.
Among the other characteristics of the cave is that it is a water, horizontal cave.
The permanent ventilation in the cave causes that the cavers never suffer from the lack of oxygen in the cave.
The temperature of the cave in different seasons varies between 7 to 14 degrees that results in cool weather in summer and warm weather in winter.
In the distant past, there was water inside the cave that is gone now because of the climate change.
Another tourist cave in Iran is Roodafshan Cave. This cave is located 103 kilometers east of the city of Tehran and 62 kilometers from the city of Firoozkuh. Roodafshan Cave is a great destination for the tourists visiting Tehran.
This cave, overlooking Roodafshān village and Damavand city, lies on the slopes of Alborz mountains in the mountainous region of central Alborz.
Roodafshan Cave is located at an altitude of 1945 meters above sea level and has an oval opening.
Roodafshan cave’s mouth, which is 12 meters high and 40 meters long, is one of three largest cave openings in Iran.
There are several paths in Roodafshan Cave, the longest of which is 800 meters long and the total length of the paths in this cave is 1637 meters.
Roodafshan Cave was discovered in 1949 by Changiz Sheikhali, the Iranian father of speleology, and was listed in the National Register in 2006.
Roodafshan cave is one of the limestone caves in Iran that has been formed through the dissolution of limestone by the constant flow of water, over millions of years. By entering into the cave and going through the cave for a while, one can see the wonderful icicle-shaped rock formations called Stalactite and stalagmite.
There may be a question about the meaning of stalactite and stalagmite in your mind!
There are numerous cylindrical sediments or cone-shaped rock formations known as stalactite and stalagmite in many caves. These sediments are of two types: some of them hang from the ceiling of the cave, named Stalactite, while the others rise from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings, known as Stalagmite. Sometimes stalactite and stalagmites come together and form an integrated column.
Limestone rock is mostly composed of calcium carbonate. When rain penetrates through limestone, it dissolves some of the calcium carbonate. So, the water dripping from the cave ceiling contain a large a Mount of calcium carbonate.
Once the drop is formed, a part of the water evaporates and small a Mounts of calcium carbonate remain in the ceiling of the cave. This process occurs repeatedly and the stalactites are formed. When the drops reach the cave floor, the calcium carbonate sediments remain there and the stalagmites are formed gradually. If the cave remains untouched for thousands of years, some massive and beautiful columns are formed in the cave.
4. Danial Cave
Another attractive tourist cave in Iran is Ghar-e-Danial (Danial Cave). Danial cave, located in Mazandaran Province, Salman Shahr, is the second river cave after Quri Qala Cave.
The river flowing in this cave is not deep; it is not more than one meter deep in most parts of the cave.
The water flowing in most of the caves contain a high percentage of minerals, limestones, etc. This is not true about the river of Danial cave that has crystal clear water with a small percentage of minerals.
Danial Cave is over 2,100 meters high and more than 70 meters deep. The mouth of the cave is located at an altitude of 160 meters above sea level.
To pass through the Danial Cave, one needs to cross through the water in the entire path.
Danial cave has different parts, including Talar-e-Rizan (Rizan Hall) with hanging rock formations (Stalactites) and Talar-e-Khofash (Bat Hall) with unpleasant smelling.
5. Katale Khor Cave
Katale Khor Cave is located in the province of Zanjan, in Khodabandeh County. This cave is situated 165 kilometers south of the city of Zanjan, 80 kilometers south of the city of Qeydar County and 173 km of the city of Hamedan.
The opening of Katale Khor Cave is located at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level.
The cave was first explored by a group of Iranian cavers in 1952.
Katale Khor Cave, is the oldest cave in Iran with an age of more than 120 million years, much like Ali-Sadr Cave. Some evidence suggests that this cave will connect to Ali-Sadr Cave in Hamadan at the end.
Indeed, in spite the similarities, there are some differences between this cave and Ali-Sadr Cave.
For example, Ali-Sadr Cave is a water cave, while Katale Khor Cave is a dry-water cave. However, it should be noted that this cave was first a water cave too, and, after a while, different floors of the cave were formed due to the water flowing through the rocks and the dissolution of rocks, so this cave is currently a dry cave.
Katale Khor Cave is among the most popular caves in Iran and in the world and is known as the most beautiful limestone cave in the world because of different floors it has and the quality of its crystals and stalactites. This cave is the second largest cave in the world after Son Doong cave in Vietnam.
Since the cave has not been explored completely yet, there is no certain information about the number of floors of the cave. It is estimated that there is about 7 floors in the cave, but only 3 floors of them have been explored to date.
A remarkable fact about this cave is the cave’s use. This cave is divided into different cultural, recreational and sports sections. In the cultural section, there is a large hall used for ceremonies. The sports part of the cave that is a 4-kilometer path is used by the climbers and cavers. The recreational part of the cave that is a 2-kilometer path is used for tourists who come to visit the cave.
If you are interested in more information about Top 10 tourist caves in Iran, don’t miss our article“Top 10 tourist caves in Iran tour Part2”.