Katalekhor Cave is a cave located in Zanjan Province, Iran. It is situated 120 km south of Zanjan city. The cave was discovered about 90 years ago. This cave is not only a longest but also the most beautiful cave of Iran given a cave phenomenones.
In some parts of Iran, people define Katale as low mountains and they believe that the name of this cave is because of its situation Under a Mount. Another meaning of Katale is up and down and it might be because of ups and downs in this cave. Khor is a Persian word meaning sun and its relation with the cave is that the sun rises behind it every day. The was cave discovered before the year of 1921. This cave is known as Mount of Sun.
The cave mostly contains lime stalactites and stalagmites and huge halls and corridors, mainly dry. Three levels of the cave have been explored so far and it is anticipated that unexplored levels exceeds to four. Currently, there are two visiting routes inside the cave, a 2 km long straight route for public visit and a 4 km long sport route for professionals. This cave at entry stages was residence of ancient people so that bones of about 80 people are still preserved. This gallery presents a small part of nature excellence and glamour in the ” Katale Khor Cave “.
At first, because of low ceiling and long way in the cave, researchers believed that it is just a rocky and wrong way, but in the year of 1986, experienced researchers said this is a valuable cave dating back to Jurassic era, 120 million years ago.
The cave consists of 3 floors with stalactites and stalagmites with different colors. Purity of the cressets are high and most of them look as shining glasses. Entrance of the cave consists of a low ceiling with secondary ways. After secondary ways, there are uphill and dry holes and after continuing the way, you will reach a hallway with cressets and columns.
First entrance of this way is blocked because of possible damages. Some clay-made plates and bones of humans have been discovered in the cave that the skeletons date back to nearly 4000 years ago. Today this cave is divided into 3 parts:
First part is only used for caving and rock climbing. Second part is used for holding special ceremonies and the last one is just a natural place and tourist attraction. The cultural section of the cave is located in the southern part of the city. The main part is a natural passageway used to hold various ceremonies. Of course, these corridors have no way out and the way out is artificial, but the hall itself is completely natural.