Ali Sadr Cave
My special thanks to Mr. Ali Majdfar
AliSadr (Ali Sadr) Cave is a cave located in 75 km north of Hamedan in western Iran .The cave belongs to second Jurassic period (130-190 million years ago); its walls can extend up to 40 meters high, and it contains several large, deep lakes. The cave has a river flowing through it and traveling through the cave is mostly done by pedal boats. Ali Sadr cave is situated between the large cities in Hamedan, Tehran and Zanjan making it a popular destination for Iranians and foreign tourists.

AliSadr Cave Photo Gallery by Ali Majdfar

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. Knowledge of the cave existence there have been within local residents for centuries, however, its exploration as a natural attraction was in 1963. It is opened to public from 1975 to now. 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. --pbase

Ghar-e-Ali Sadr

Ali Sadr Cave
Useful Information
Location: 80km northwest of Hamadan, 350km E of Teheran. Buses from Teheran to Hamadan and from Hamadan to Ali Sadr Cave.
Fee: Adults 2000 Rial
Classification: Karst cave.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=11,440m, VR=40m, A=1,500m a.s.l., T=11.5°C.
Guided tours: L=1,400m, by boat, V=80,000/a [2006]
Bibliography: E. Fritsch (1995): Höhlen in Persien, Mitteilungen des Landesvereins für Höhlenkunde in Oberösterreich; 41(1); 57-62; Linz ()
Pete Szablyar (1988): Ali Sadre-barlang (Iran), Karszt es Barlang 1988(2):113, Budapest. ()
Georg Kaufmann, Michael Laumanns, Thilo Müller (2001): Iran - Ghar Ali Sadr, Mitteilungen des Verbandes der deutschen Höhlen- und Karstforscher, Nr. 2/2001, Jg. 47 ()
Last update: $Date: 2007/12/07 15:37:41 $

~500 B.C. artificial entrance tunnel into the cave built.
~1960 discovered by a local shepherd looking for a lost goat.
1963 explored by Iranian mountaineers.
1978 discovered by an inhabitant of Ali Sadr.
1994 new parts of the cave discovered but not surveyed.
DEC-2000 a German expedition, Dr. Georg Kaufmann, Michael Laumanns, and Thilo Müller surveyed most of the cave.

Ali Sadr is a water cave, most of the trip is done by boat. But the cave is not a typical river cave with a flowing river, the water is more like a very long lake and crystal clear. Of course the cave shows many formations, but the standing water also allowed the growth of calcite crystals on the walls. They are 5 to 10 cm in size and cover the walls under water and up to about 3 m above todays water level.

Ali Sadr has 400,000 visitors per year (1994), which makes it one of the most visited cave of the world. For a comparison: the famous Postojnska Jama had about 1,000,000 visitors per year in the eighties, the Eisriesenwelt has about 200,000 visitors per year. Because of the political situation and the difficulties to visit the country, the visitor must be from the Iran, not from abroad. Ali Sadr Cave is between huge cities like Hamadan, Teheran, Qom and Bakhtárán. And as far as I know, it is the only show cave in the Iran. This may explain the enormous number of visitors.

The 1994 new discovered parts of the cave are said to be enormous. But all older publications of a length of 11km were just a rumour. The number based on a very vague appraisal. In December 2000 a German expedition started a completly new, state of the art, survey. This survey was completed by a German/British expedition in summer 2001 and the result was by coincidence really 11kms. This makes Ali Sadr the longest (surveyed) cave of the country. The main chamber is 100 to 50 m big and 40 m high, the second largest is not much smaller.

For a very long time, the cave was a water reservoir for the people in nearby village Ali Sadr. The artificial entrance tunnel to the cave was built during the reign of Dareios I. (521-485 B.C.), King of the Araemenides. At least this is what an old inscription at the entrance tells. This tunnel leads the water to the surface.

The cave is known to the people for a very long time. However, most of this knowledge was lost, and so the cave was rediscovered in 1978, when the water from the spring diminished. An inhabitant of Ali Sadr followed the tunnel in search for the water. Another story tells, the cave was rediscovered already in 1960 by a local shepherd looking for a lost goat. --Show Caves of Iran

Ali Sadr Cave INT 870129-10
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