Hamadan: Discover The World’s Largest Water Cave

Not only is Hamadan believed to be one of the oldest Iranian cities, but it is also considered one of the oldest in the world. Its historical origins date back to several centuries before Christ when it was the Median Empire’s capital. Though pitifully little remains from classical times, the city dedicates significant parts to excavations, with a scattering of historical curiosities.

Located 336-kilometers Southwest of Tehran, Hamadan is situated at an elevation of 1800-meters on Mount Alvand’s slopes. In a temperate mountainous region influenced by strong winds, Hamadan is in fact one of the coldest cities in Iran.

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Located about 100-kilometers North of Hamedan, Ali Sadr Cave (غار علی صدر) is one of the largest subterranean water complexes in the world. Taking visitors on a breathtaking 2,100-meters journey, this 190-million-years-old cave includes a covered boat trip of 1,470-meters, ranking it among the longest underground boat trips globally.

There are no living creatures in the cave’s water and its temperature is 12°C throughout the year. Ali Sadr Cave is the phenomenon of Mother Nature as there are many stunning geological landscapes. Your journey begins in a gently sloping 20-meters long tunnel leading to a spacious gallery formed under phreatic conditions.

At the main jetty, guides provide life jackets, lead visitors into plastic boats, and paddle them through the cave. The most attractive part of Ali Sadr Cave is its wide lake that makes boating through the deeper parts possible. The depth of water ranges from nil to 14 meters in different parts. The cave’s water, sourced from rainfalls, underground springs, and wall and ceiling outflows, is colorless and odorless.

The height of the cave’s ceiling in some parts is about 10-meters, covered by pure calcium carbonate and its combinations. These sediments form different types of stalactites on the floor and waterless areas of the cave. There are also a number of attractive stalagmites.

Currently, explorers have surveyed 14 kilometers of the cave’s canals, but only about four kilometers have been illuminated and made ready for use. After looking at the great stalactites, passing through water paths and crystalline ceiling chambers, one believes that this phenomenon is one of the marvels of the world, which no one can describe, demonstrating all its glory and beauty.

Lastly, if you want to keep a track of all my photos and travels, remember to follow @wanderrsaurus on Instagram!

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Aloha! I'm Bunzy, a curious dreamer who is passionate about roaming around the world getting lost, experiencing new cultures and meeting the locals. My superpower is to be able to sleep anywhere, anyhow!

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