QuriQaleh Cave Slideshow
Photo by Ali Majdfar

QuriQaleh Cave
My special thanks to Mr. Ali Majdfar
Ghar-e-Quri Qaleh
Quri Qaleh Cave - Ghoori Ghaleh

1957 cavers discover an 55m deep shaft.
1957 to 1984 American, British, and French speleologists explore 550m of cave.
1989 young Iranian adventurers excavate and explore further 1,340m.

Quri Qaleh Cave is noted for its wealth of speleothems. It is also said to be the longest cave of the middle east, but that's a fame which changes frequently at the moment. The caves of this area were only sparsely explored until now, but during the last decade research increased and new superlatives are discovered almost every year. The cave contains a colony of mouse ear bats, which are rather rare. It seems so far no archaeological excavations have been made in the cave, but near the entrance numerous artifacts were found accidentially. A human skull and various clayworks from Prehistoric times and remains from the Sassanid Period tell that the area was inhabited over thousands of years. 15 coins were found, showing Yazd Gerd III, the last Sassanid monarch. The cave was long known, but only the shallow entrance portal was accessible. In a first exploration era starting in the 1950s the first 550m leading to a 55m deeep shaft were discovered. The continuation at the bottom was blocked and opened many years later in 1989 by an Iranian adventurer club. They discovered the main parts of the cave. The cave tour shows both levels of the cave. First the 550m long upper passage with two chabers. Notable are a stalagmite formation resembling a camel's profile and hump and a second one called Mother Mary. About 1,000m of the lower lever are also developed, starting with the 12m long Talare Namaz (prayer hall), then Talare Bolour (crystal hall), and finally Talare Aroos (bride hall). Talare Bolour has former cave lakes with calcite crystals and some stalactites which knocked by the guide to create sounds. Talare Aroos is said to be the most magnificent part of the cave. It has bright, glittering crystals and four waterfalls each 10 to 12m high. There are stalagmites all over the chamber which are up to eight meters high. Showcaves

Asia's longest cave in western Iran
Sat, 24 Mar 2007 09:07:08
An air of mystery, a cool freshness and a sense of wonder - these are the initial impressions when entering into the cave of Ghoori Ghaleh, millions of years old but which, until recent decades, was still undiscovered.
Residents of a nearby village of the same name, in Iran's Kermanshah province, would never have thought it was the longest cave on the Asian continent. For ages locals believed that the cave entrance was only an opening, just a few meters deep, in the rocks of the cool Shaho Mountains.
All that changed when a team of investigators explored the cave of Ghoori Ghaleh in the 1950's and discovered an opening 55 meters deep. No other major discovery took place in the cave until 1989, when a group of young Iranian adventurers from the province excavated and cleared a path 3,140 meters long into the heart of the cave. Ever since, scores of research teams have been exploring the cave with an insatiable hunger to discover the wonders hidden inside the mountain. There is much speculation over the origin of the cave's name. Some believe its name was originally Goori Gabr, literally the 'grave of the non-Muslims', and attributed to a Turkish word meaning 'dry castle'. The cool and refreshing water that collects in the cave's cavities runs into an underground spring which has quenched the thirst of local residents since before Islam arrived in Iran. Visitors to the cave are astonished by the rock formations and remarkable stalactites, which can resemble any object, from elephants and snakes, to ships and even a 'bride'. The cave explorers are inspired by the formations when naming a newly discovered pathway, or 'hall'. Visitors now refer to the 'bride hall' or the 'Mary hall', which is said to have a formation that resembles the Madonna, mother of Jesus.
Before discovering the Mary hall, exploration teams were faced with a massive boulder that blocked its entryway. Legend says that a young and stout boy named Ismail single-handedly broke apart the large stone with his sledgehammer, paving the way for even greater discoveries of the cave within. Excavation teams have unearthed numerous historical objects in the cave, including a human skull from 800 years ago, two vases filled with gold coins, and a third vase which bears a tablet from the Sassanid era (205-651 AD). Today, Asia's longest cave remains a realm of mysteries. Scientists believe the full depth of the cave is far greater than what has been discovered so far. Some even suggest that the cave of Ghoori Ghaleh runs as far as into neighboring Iraq. Cartographic research has identified an unexplored passageway, 13 kilometers long, which silently awaits a daring adventurer to unveil. Presstv

QuriQaleh Cave INT 870130-1
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