غار علی صدر

Ghar-e-Ali Sadr - Ghar Ali Sadr - Ali Sadr Cave


Useful Information

Image: entering the cave by foot.
Photographer: S. Asadi. This picture is public domain from  commons.wikimedia.org.
Location: Village of Alisadr, district of Kabudrahang. 80km northwest of Hamadan, 350km east of Teheran. Buses from Teheran to Hamadan and from Hamadan to Ali Sadr Cave.
Open:  
Fee: Adults 2000 Rial
Classification:  Karst cave.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=11,440m, VR=40m, A=1,500m asl, T=11.5°C.
Guided tours: L=1,400m, by boat, V=80,000/a [2006]
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: E. Fritsch (1995): Höhlen in Persien, Mitteilungen des Landesvereins für Höhlenkunde in Oberösterreich; 41(1); 57-62; Linz (Deutsch - German)
Pete Szablyar (1988): Ali Sadre-barlang (Iran), Karszt es Barlang 1988(2):113, Budapest. (Magyarul - Hungarian)
Georg Kaufmann, Michael Laumanns, Thilo Müller (2001): Iran - Ghar Ali Sadr, Mitteilungen des Verbandes der deutschen Höhlen- und Karstforscher, Nr. 2/2001, Jg. 47 (Deutsch - German)
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:10:14 $

History

 
~500B.C. artificial entrance tunnel into the cave built.
~1960discovered by a local shepherd looking for a lost goat.
1963explored by Iranian mountaineers.
1978discovered by an inhabitant of Ali Sadr.
1994new parts of the cave discovered but not surveyed.
DEC-2000a German expedition, Dr. Georg Kaufmann, Michael Laumanns, and Thilo Müller surveyed most of the cave.

Description

Image: entering the boats at Ali Sadr.
Photographer: S. Asadi. This picture is public domain from  commons.wikimedia.org.

Ali Sadr is a water cave, most of the trip is done by boat. But the cave is not a typical river cave with a flowing river, the water is more like a very long lake and crystal clear. Of course the cave shows many formations, but the standing water also allowed the growth of calcite crystals on the walls. They are 5 to 10 cm in size and cover the walls under water and up to about 3 m above todays water level.

Ali Sadr has 400,000 visitors per year (1994), which makes it one of the most visited cave of the world. For a comparison: the famous  Postojnska Jama had about 1,000,000 visitors per year in the eighties, the  Eisriesenwelt has about 200,000 visitors per year. Because of the political situation and the difficulties to visit the country, the visitor must be from the Iran, not from abroad. Ali Sadr Cave is between huge cities like Hamadan, Teheran, Qom and Bakhtárán. And as far as I know, it is the only show cave in the Iran. This may explain the enormous number of visitors.

Image: the ceiling with the ertraordinary calcite formations.
Photographer: S. Asadi. This picture is public domain from  commons.wikimedia.org.

The 1994 new discovered parts of the cave are said to be enormous. But all older publications of a length of 11km were just a rumour. The number based on a very vague appraisal. In December 2000 a German expedition started a completly new, state of the art, survey. This survey was completed by a German/British expedition in summer 2001 and the result was by coincidence really 11kms. This made Ali Sadr the longest (surveyed) cave of the country, at least until the next cave was surveyed. The main chamber is 100 to 50 m big and 40 m high, the second largest is not much smaller.

For a very long time, the cave was a water reservoir for the people in nearby village Ali Sadr. The artificial entrance tunnel to the cave was built during the reign of Dareios I. (521-485 B.C.), King of the Araemenides. At least this is what an old inscription at the entrance tells. This tunnel leads the water to the surface.

The cave is known to the people for a very long time. However, most of this knowledge was lost, and so the cave was rediscovered in 1978, when the water from the spring diminished. An inhabitant of Ali Sadr followed the tunnel in search for the water. Another story tells, the cave was rediscovered already in 1960 by a local shepherd looking for a lost goat.


See also


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