Ali Sadr Cave
Alisadr Cave in the province of Hamadan is a notable example of wondrous caves in Iran. Ali Sadr Cave is one of the rare samples of water caves in the world and a natural attraction in Iran. It is located 75 kilometers off the northwest of Hamedan.
This cave is one of the strangest natural sights and more probably the only water cave in Iran. In fact, it is an endless network of caves full of clear water flowing in. Historically, the Alisadr Cave and two other nearby caves were used by Safavid army as secure refuges.
There are no living creatures in the cave’s water and it is not drinkable. The cave has a river flowing through it and most of travels through the cave system is done with a boat. The cave’s ceiling in some parts reaches up to 10 meters high. It is 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.
Ten-thousand-year-old Ali-Sadr is a huge and ancient cave. The rock paintings and dishes found in it prove this fact. With a length of 11 kilometers it has a unique infrastructure with underground lakes and tunnels. To attract more tourists, an underground cafe was opened in the cave.
Kataleh Khor Cave
A veteran mountaineer discovered it less than a century ago, the formations in Kataleh khor Cave are said to date back to the Jurassic period. The name, Kataleh Khor, means “mount of the sun’’ .It is located at 165 Km southwest of Zanjan and though it is less visited than Ali Sadr Cave, the two are thought to be connected. The road from Zanjan to Khataleh Khor passes Soltaniyeh. The entrance to Kataleh Khor resembles a crevice at the beginning and culminates in a triangular arch. The cave has flat walls with high ceiling.
In addition, the Katale-Khor is the most studied cave. During the research, more than 12 km of underground tunnels were studied, but only 3 km are open to tourists. This cave represents fantastic stalagmites and stalactites illuminated for greater effect.
The Natural-Historical complex of Karafto is located to the North of Kurdistan Province, about 72 km to the northwest of Divandareh, to the east of Saqez, in an area called Havatu. Karafto cave consists of 2 parts/sections, natural part and carved part; the caves were formed naturally, but were modified by inhabitants over the centuries. Karafto was also regarded as a temple. It has vast spaces and corridors and some tracks of primitive human drawings have been also found here. Today, the caves are also significant for a Greek inscription found in them, as this is one of the few examples of such a script preserved in situ in Iran. There are also various human, animal, plant and geometric patterns/motifs, on the walls of some rooms and corridors of all 4 floors, which have been the subject of research and investigation of many researchers.
The Caves of Karafto are only accessible via a common entrance found on the southern side of the mountain.
Ghori Ghale Cave
This historical cave is located near the Ravansar County in Kermanshah province. Its history dates back to 65 million years ago. This ancient cave has been registered as one of the seven national natural sites of Iran. This cave is the biggest subterranean water complexes in Asia.
In the province of Kurdistan, there is another cave with a mysterious name “Temple of Hercules”. The staircase now leads to the inaccessible entrance, however, despite the difficulties of entering the cave, people lived there since the beginning of time. The inhabitants left rock paintings and artifacts, which became part of the cave.
In addition to its natural beauty, Ghori Ghale cave is historically and archaeologically important as it has been discovered in this amazing cave, some of which belong to the late Sassanid era and the time of Yazdgerd III.
Its water depth is about one meter and a half to two meters, and in some parts it reaches a depth of 3 meters.