Alisadr Cave, Hamedan
Alisadr Cave is the world’s largest aquatic cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. The Caves lies 100 km away from Hamedan. Tourists enter the Cave from Sari Ghiye gate. The cave is also entered from Sari Ghiye side which also includes Sarab and Soubashi caves, near Ali Sadr Cave. Apparently the water in Ali Sadr cave is supplied by springs from Mount Sarab. In summer 2001 a German/British expedition surveyed the cave and discovered it was 11 km long. The main chamber of the Cave is 100 m to 50 m in diameter and 40 m high. The Cave contains several large and deep lakes. A river flows through it and most of the visitors tour the cave by boats. So far more than 11 km of the water canals have been explored in the Cave. All the canals lead to “The Island” in the center of the Cave.
Excavations and archaeological studies in Alisadr Cave have led to the discovery of ancient artifacts, jugs and pitchers dating back to 12,000 years ago. Animals, hunting scenes and bows and arrows are engraved on the walls and passages of the exit tunnel. The images suggest that primitive man used the cave as his abode. The Cave was known during the reign of Darius I (521-485 BC) as mentioned in old inscriptions at the entrance of the tunnel. However, information about the 70 million-year old cave was lost and the cave was only rediscovered in 1963 by Iranian mountaineers.