Katle khor cave | A miracle of stones

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Katale Khor Cave is one the natural attractions in Iran which is located in the Khoda Bande city- Zanjan Province.

Katle khor is one of the most unique and beautiful caves in Iran. This cave is actually a gateway to the world of geological attractions.
The cave was discovered in the spring of 1952, by a group of mountain climbers and afterwards has attracted the attention of spelunkers and enthusiasts as a wonderful natural phenomenon According to geology maps, Katle khor is a water-dry cave which formed in Saghizlo Mountain Eligomusen limestone in connection with the third period of geological periods and dates back to 30, (according to some, 120) million years ago.

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Animal skeletons discovered in the Katele Khor Cave.

Structure

Katle khor cave has 7 floors that so far, only 3 of these floors have been studied. In early studies of these floors, some evidence was found based on the habitant of early humans. Skeletons of 80 early humans were discovered here, which are still kept in this place.
Katle khor was created in a rectangular area with 1500.2000 meters dimension and its entrance height is 1700 meters above sea level. The entrance of the cave has been formed in the shape of a triangular arch with a diameter of 70cm that was probably the result of floods or internal river flow of the cave.

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Due to the available capabilities and ability to attract tourists, the Katale Khor Cave can be one of the most important tourism hubs in Iran.

The entrance of the cave is a 4000 kilometres vestibule with a short roof. After that there is a subsidiary vestibule and the main corridor with 950 meters size and 2 meters height that leads to a splendid hall in the end, covered with many Stalagmite and Stalactite.
The cave includes different parts that among them we can name asleep lion square, Bisoton square, five lions three ways, bride hall, chandelier hall, engagement room, elephant’s leg, camel with dowry, bride and groom, candle square, two wizards, burnt palm, The Holy Marry square and etc…
The reason of these namings is a similarity between cliffs and the volumes in result of sediments.

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Each hall in this cave is named after the limestone volume similarities to an external factor.

Other features of this cave include huge limy pillars, outcome of the mixture of Stalagmite and Stalactite over thousands of years. Beside beauty and peculiar display these pillars have given the cave, they also have a supporting role and prevent walls and ceilings from falling down. In Katle Khor cave it is possible to see various kinds of Stalagmite and Stalactite like different kinds of cauliflower-like and beautiful, see- through chandeliers.

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Different kinds of Stalactites, Stalagmites, soda straws and dripstones can be seen in this cave.

Katle khor was a water cave on its first phase of creation. In effect of water flowing, massive volumes of rock were detached from the walls and the ceiling and caused the water flow to deviate from the main route. This water flow ran in other parts of the cave. Several floors in the cave caused the water to penetrate the lower floors and over the years the cave transformed to a water-dry cave from a total water cave.

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Katle Khor Cave is one of the largest dry-water caves in Iran.

Katle khor is a limy cave that clay and solids containing iron oxide have been seen in some parts of it. This cave is in the same geological period as Alisadr cave in Hamedan. Alisadr cave is a total water cave while Katle Khor is a water-dry cave. Katle Khor’s lime kind is different from Alisadr. Pureness of the limes in Katle Khor is the reason of its see-through chandelier’s formation that sunlight passes through them and creates peculiar displays.

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Despite this assumption that Katale Khor Cave is connectiong to Alisadr Cave at the end, the limestone of the Katale Khor Cave is different frome Alisadr Cave which gives a special feature to it.

Many of spelunkers and explorers believe that Katle Khor will eventually be connected to Alisadr cave in Hamedan .The accuracy of this subject has not been proved yet because some of the access paths are really difficult to pass.Katle in the local’s language means ” low height” or hill. And Khor is a short version of ” Khorshid”, meaning the Sun .Katle Khor or Katle Khorshid means a low height mountain which sun rises from its behind. There is another theory about this cave’s name. According to this theory, Katle means ups and downs and inner unevenness. And Khor means comfort and easiness. Therefore, Katle Khor means ups and downs in the heart of the mountain.

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The sports sections of Katle Khor Cave can only be used by professional caving teams.

Different parts of cave

Currently, this cave is divided to three parts; cultural, amusement and sports.
Sports section is only used by spelunkers and rock climbers and professional Eco tourist teams. This section is 4 kilometres long and so far only the end of this path has been undiscovered.
Cultural section is located in the southern part which has been reconstructed to hold different ceremonies. This section includes a big corridor that its exit way was established artificially, because the corridor had no exit way itself.

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Katle Khor Cave is one of the largest dry-water caves in Iran.

Katle Khor is located in Zanjan, Khodabande province, 80 kilometres south of Ghidar. To reach this cave, you can take Zanjan_Soltaniye_Khodabande_Garmab road or Zanjan_Bijar_Garmab or Hamedan-Kabotar Ahang road.
If you are heading off to this cave from Ghazvin or Zanjan, first get yourself to Ghidar . Then go towards Zarin River and take the byroad to Garmab from there . The distance between Ghidar and Zarin River is about 45 kilometres and the distance between Zarin River and Garmab is about30 kilometres.

To read this article in Persian Language Click here.

* Written by Marjan Ghanavati and Translated by Arefeh Firoozan.

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Official Website: N/A Entrance fee: 500.000 IRR
Wikipedia: Click here Name(s) in Persian: برج خاموشان
UNESCO Website: N/A Public transportation availability: Yes
Province: Zanjan Accommodation availability: Yes
Phone: N/A Facilities: Yes
Working days: All days Restaurant & Cafe availability: Yes
Opening hours: 9:00 AM-6:00 PMBest time to visit: Spring and Summer

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