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Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

The Ali Sadr Cave originally called Ali Saad (meaning dam) or Ali Saard (meaning cold) is a cave located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran (more accurately at 48°18'E 35°18'N). 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. Ali Sadr cave is situated between the large cities Hamadan, Tehran, and Qom making it a popular destination for Iranians. The cave was originally discovered 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 tunnel was lost, and only rediscovered in 1978 when a local shepherd followed the tunnel searching for water or a lost goat.
This cave is located at 48°18'E 35°18'N, 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. The natural entrance to Alisadr cave (sinkhole) has been made accessible by stairs. It is gated and roofed. The stairs lead down to a concrete walkway in a dry gallery of approximately 3-4 m of height and 6-8 m width. The surface water enters the sinkhole during the wet months of the year, follows the walkway and disappears to the left where the first lake can be found. The dry entrance section of the cave connects through joint-controlled maze of smaller passages to the artificial (main) entrance to Alisadr cave.
 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

These passages are water-filled in their southern extensions. The artificial (Main) entrance begins as a 20 m long tunnel that slopes gently downhill to a wide gallery of 15 by 6 m formed under phreatic conditions. A calcite/aragonite ledge at the left wall marks a former water level and has some fine stalactites and crystals. To the right of the artificial entrance there is a Tearoom/Cafe for visitors which is operational in the summer.The walkways coming from both entrances join at the beginning of the water-filled passages of Alisadr cave where the main jetty from which the boats that take tourist through the cave are boarded. Tourists are guided into plastic boats at this point and these are pulled through the cave by paddling boats (Pedlo's) paddled and steered by the guides. The underground boat trip follows the main gallery to the SW that is up to 25 m wide and 4 m high (above water level), passing some maintenance facilities.
 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

After nearly 200 m the gallery turns to the left (SE) and diminishes temporarily in size. The dip of the layers can be clearly observed in this part of the cave. Some small water-filled galleries branches off to the left to meet the ""six-entrances room"" which is part of the return journey of the tourist trip.
After approximately 100 m the main route opens up into a wide lake passage once again. This runs straight in a SE direction for the next 300 m. There are four large passages leading to the NE towards the central north-south-axis of the cave (see below) some of which are galleries up to 40 m wide and 30 m high.In the middle of the 300 m long section leading to the SE, where the passage reduces in size for some metres and the depth of the water decreases to less than 1 m, a sizeable dinosaur sculpture has been installed for the enjoyment of amusement of children.
 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Having reached the end of this section the gallery turns to the NE and one reaches a pontoon where the tourists leave the boats to climb into the largest chamber of Alisadr cave, called ""Freedom Hall"". From the place where the tourists initially boards the boats to this pontoon the entire roof of the cave is covered by calcitic/aragonitic ledges that are full of crystals and small stalactites, marking former water levels.
This unique 600 m long structure is one of the most remarkable features of Alisadr cave and together with the dark green of the lakes, that in places are up to 15 m deep and the white/yellow crystals give the dark rock inside the cave a superb appearance. Just before the point where tourist trail climbs from the pontoon into the ""Freedom Hall"" the ceiling is covered with a fantastic display of up to 9 ledges one upon the other. The mineralization is predominantly aragonitic which indicates a relatively warm environment for the deposition of the crystals.
 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Freedom Hall was created by breakdown along tectonic fault zones and the visitor has to ascend about 30m up a boulder pile via a succession of fine marble stairs. At the highest point of the boulder pile the climb ends in a circular marble platform overlooking an impressive chamber that at its longest axis is 100m wide.From the platform to the roof of the chamber is a height of 14 m. A massive 8m high stalagmite is located close to this platform. The northern part of the large chamber, which is not accessible for tourists, connects via several parallel and partly water-filled passages with the "wedding room" (also called "1.000 stalactites room")
 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan


To the W extensive laby-rinthine water-filled passages of smaller dimensions can be found. However, before the dinosaur is reached again, the guided tour leaves the known gallery to enter a very large passage that makes up the main north-south-axis in the central section of Alisadr cave.

This joint controlled axis is partly enlarged to a succession of impressive chambers. After about 100 m a gate closes a water-filled branch to the right (East). The gated passage gives access to a network of waterways leading to the "wedding room" (also called "1.000 stalactites room"). This room is paved with marble slabs. The Wedding Room as it is known has been used for special events in the past and is still today accessible for tourists that are willing to pay an extra fee.

The "wedding room" is actually not a wide chamber but a passage that forms a loop decorated with many wonderful small white stalactites, draperies and helictites. The southern part of the "wedding room" has connection to the aforementioned ("Freedom Hall") main chamber of Ghar Ali. Having reached the end of the spacious central north-south-passage after 220 m the tourist boat tour turns to the left (West) towards the "six-entrances room". This room is a crossing of several passages in a small maze of rifts. 150 m later the underground boat trip reaches the starting jetty again where the tourists leave the boats to exit the cave. 

 

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

The new parts in the south of Alisadr cave are not accessible for tourists. These passages were surveyed by the 2000/2001 project and only minor open leads were left. The predominantly dry galleries are much smaller than the ones in the tourist section. A narrow and difficult to find passage contains remarkably fine dripstones and helictites. In other places large aragonite crystals are abundant. The southern dry section of Alisadr cave is extensive and very labyrinthine as small passages follow wide galleries.


Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan

 

Ali-Sadr Cave of Hamadan


Geocoding: 35°18′0″N,48°18′0″E 



Теги: ali-sadr cave, alisadr cave, world wonders, hamadan attractions, hamadan tourism, must see hamadan, must see iran, ira tourism, travel to iran, iran attractions

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