Ali-Sadr Cave - Lake & Tunnel - Iran

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Bryan Freeman

Sydney, Australia

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This is one of the lakes in Ali-Sadr Cave which is said to be the largest water cave in the world. We went on a tour through it and just the small part we saw took two hours. We went on a convoy of little plastic boats that were towed by a large paddle boat powered by two guys. That was their job. To tow people in a paddle boat all day.

There was sign at the entrance to the cave that stated the following:

“Alisadr Cave – The Most Wonderful Water Cave In The World

Geologists believe that the rocks in this mountain belong to the second geological period ie: Jurassic (136-190 million years ago).

On 28/9/1963 Hamadan Sina Mountaineers with 14 members visited the cave and investigated its different parts. In 1973, Hamadan Mountaineers extended the entrance hole and then it was open to the public from 1975 to the present time.

The water in the cave is colourless and odourless. In addition it a natural taste and its ph (acidity) is nearly neutral. The depth of the water varies from 0.5 to 14 metres."

The additional information below is from:

The Ali Sadr Cave (Persian: غار علی صدر) originally called Ali Saad (meaning dam) or Ali Saard (meaning cold) is the world’s largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year.1 Ali Sadr cave is located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran . Since the cave is situated between the large cities Hamadan, Tehran, and Qom making it a popular destination for Iranians.

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 with a 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’.

Excavations and archeological studies of the cave have led to the discovery of ancient artworks, jugs and pitchers dating back to 12000 years ago. The animals, hunting scenes and bows and arrows depicted on the walls and passages of the exit section, 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 only rediscovered in 1963 by Iranian mountaineers (or 1978 when a local shepherd followed the tunnel searching for water or a lost goat).

This cave is located in the southern part of Ali Sadr village. The cave digs into a hill called Sari Ghiyeh which also includes two other caves called Sarab and Soubashi, each 7 and 11 kilometers away from Ali Sadr Cave. Apparently the water in Ali Sadr cave is supplied by a spring in Sarab.

In the summer of 2001, a German/British expedition surveyed the cave to be 11 kilometers long. The main chamber of the cave is 100 meters by 50 meters and 40 meters high.

A tour of the cave can be seen by pedal boats to a centrally located large atrium.

Artwork Comments

  • Dorothy Venter
  • Bryan Freeman
  • MelDavies
  • Bryan Freeman
  • vampvamp
  • Bryan Freeman
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