Caves are one of the mysterious and fascinating phenomena of nature that have a long-standing connection with ancient stories, historical narratives, and myths. Numerous remarkable and noteworthy examples of this phenomenon are scattered throughout Iran and can be seen in most regions of the country. Katale Khor Cave, a beautiful cave, is one of the tourist attractions of Iran, and in this article from Eligasht, we would like to delve into it. Stay with Eligasht to learn more about this beautiful and significant cave.
Introduction to Katale Khor Cave
Katale Khor Cave, like Ali Sadr Cave in Hamedan, is one of the most important caves in Iran, located in the heart of Saghizlu Mountain. This cave is also of the same age as Ali Sadr Cave but has two significant differences. One difference is that Ali Sadr Cave is completely underwater, while Katale Khor Cave is mostly dry. The second difference is that the limestone formations in Katale Khor Cave are much purer and their transparency has contributed to the cave’s beauty.
Interestingly, based on certain evidence and investigations, these two caves are connected. The quality of crystals, stalactites, and unparalleled beauty have placed it at the forefront of the world’s first limestone caves. This cave, predicted to have seven levels, is considered one of the rarest caves in the world, and so far, three levels have been discovered.
The sections of “Gol-e Kalami” and “Khooshé Angouri” are among the most beautiful features of this cave, which have a special enchanting effect on visitors. It is worth noting that Katale Khor Cave has a deep connection with the traditions of the surrounding villages and the Gerdab people. During a visit, you might witness a wedding ceremony taking place inside the cave. It is a custom where after the wedding, the guests, the bride, and the groom enter the cave and celebrate with joy and dancing. According to local beliefs, this act brings blessings and happiness to the couple.
History of Katale Khor Cave
Firstly, it should be mentioned that the discovery of Katale Khor Cave took place in 1921 by a group of experienced mountaineers, and 30 years later, it was registered as a national heritage by one of the members. Approximately 15 years ago, the first exploitations of the cave were carried out, but the search and activities for further preparations in the cave continue. The age of this cave dates back to 120 million years ago.
It is interesting to know that the initial sections of the cave were the habitats of early humans, and the discovery of 80 human skeletons in this location provides sufficient evidence for this claim. If you are interested in verifying the authenticity of this claim, you can still observe these skeletons up close during a visit to the cave. Another point is that Katale Khor Cave, in its early formation, was similar to Ali Sadr Cave, an underwater cave. In the process of cave layer formation, the water from the cave seeped underground, transforming it into a dry cave.
Meaning of the Name and the Reason for Naming Katale Khor Cave
In the Persian language, “katale” means a low and small mountain. One of these mountains is situated in a way that the sun rises behind it every day, and people call it “katale khor” instead of “katale-e khorshid” (khorshid means sun). In fact, “katale khor” means consuming or eating other katales, but ultimately, it implies that this cave leads to other small caves.
Different Sections of Katale Khor Cave
In addition to its various sections, Katale Khor Cave is currently divided into three main categories: cultural, recreational, and sports. The sports section is primarily popular among rock climbers and cave explorers. The recreational section is visited by the general public.
The cultural section of the cave is located in its southern part, which is the main area used for holding various ceremonies. As a visitor, depending on your abilities, physical condition, and interests, you can explore any of these sections that you prefer.
Where is Katale Khor Cave and how can we get there?
After providing all this information, it is necessary to give you the address of Katale Khor Cave and tell you how you can reach this magnificent cave. As you may have understood from reading the previous information, this cave is located in Zanjan Province. To be more precise, the cave is located approximately 146 kilometers south of Zanjan, not far from the city of Garmab, which is a part of Khodabandeh County.
Garmab city is bordered by Hamedan Province to the south and Kurdistan Province to the west. This fact can be another evidence of the connection between the two caves, Ali Sadr and Katale Khor. There are different routes to access the cave. If your starting point is Tehran, you should be on the Qazvin-Tehran Highway and continue towards Zanjan along the highway. When you reach Abhar, you should head towards Khodabandeh County and then proceed to Garmab City.
After reaching Garmab and being on the road to Katale Khor, you will see the mountain and the cave entrance in front of you after a short distance. There is no need to go to Zanjan on this trip. However, if you want to go to Zanjan and then head towards the cave, there is another option. The Sultanieh Road and Bijar Road are both routes to go from Zanjan to Qeydar and Garmab, and our recommendation is to go through Sultanieh Road. If you want to travel from Hamedan, you can take the Kabudrahang Road to reach your final destination, Katale Khor Cave.
Best time to visit
It can be said that visiting any attraction is much more enjoyable and allows a better appreciation of its beauty if it takes place during the appropriate season and time. Therefore, the best time to travel and visit this unique phenomenon is during the first three months of the year. In the spring season, both the route and the nature of the area are beautiful, and the weather is very mild. In the summer season, despite the heat, the temperature inside the cave is cool and suitable. The autumn season is also suitable for visiting Katale Khor Cave and its beauties. However, during the winter season, the temperature inside the cave drops significantly, and the cold may prevent you from visiting the cave comfortably. Therefore, if you have difficulty tolerating cold temperatures, we recommend avoiding visiting this cave in winter.
Facilities around the cave
Since this cave has been recognized as one of the most important attractions in Zanjan in recent years, many facilities have been provided in its surroundings to ensure the comfort of tourists. For example, the road leading to this cave is asphalted, and there are gas stations along the entire route. Parking, restrooms, clean drinking water, grocery stores, camping facilities, telecommunications coverage, and telephone services are among the other facilities available to you as dear tourists and travelers in the vicinity of this tourist attraction.
Attractions around Katale Khor Cave
It is necessary to mention some of the attractions around Katale Khor Cave, and if you’re interested, you can visit them as well. Firstly, we recommend exploring the city of Garmab and its other tourist attractions after visiting the cave. Lake Balikhli Boulaghi, Kharaqan Seljuk Towers, the Tomb of Pire Takestan, Gonbad-e Soltanieh (Soltanieh Dome), and Bijar Protected Area are among the notable attractions around Katale Khor Cave. Spending some time visiting these attractions will surely be enjoyable.
this Cave is one of the most important tourist attractions in Iran and Zanjan Province. It is a unique and unparalleled cave that you rarely come across. The visiting hours for this cave vary depending on the seasons, generally from 9 am to 5 pm or 10 am to 6 pm. Visits to the cave are conducted in groups and accompanied by a guide, taking approximately one hour. It should be noted that a fee per person is required for entry. Finally, we hope that the information provided in this article will be helpful to you and that you thoroughly enjoy visiting this cave and its wonders and beauties.
How do I get to Katale Khor Cave?
Katale Khor Cave is located in Zanjan Province, Iran. To reach the cave, you can travel to the city of Zanjan by air, train, or bus. From Zanjan, you can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach the cave, which is approximately 120 kilometers away. It is advisable to check with local transportation services or consult a travel guide for the most convenient and reliable options to reach Katale Khor Cave.
Is there an entrance fee for visiting the Cave?
Yes, there is an entrance fee for visiting the Cave. The fee may vary, so it is advisable to check the current rates before your visit. Typically, visitors are required to pay an entrance fee per person, which contributes to the maintenance and preservation of the cave.
Is Katale Khor Cave accessible for people with physical disabilities?
Unfortunately, Katale Khor Cave is not easily accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. The cave involves uneven terrain, narrow passages, and steps, which may pose challenges for those with mobility limitations. It is advisable to contact the cave management in advance for detailed accessibility information.