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Russian Tourist Destinations: Kungur Ice Cave in the Urals
March 23, 2007 12:55


Kungur Ice Cave is one of the biggest caves in the world and the only in Russia cave purposely equipped for excursions. This unique natural monument, surrounded with multiple legends, is located in the Urals, between Perm and Yekaterinburg. Scientists claim that the age of Kungur ice cave is nearly 10-12 thousand years. The extension of the cave’s passages is around 6000 metres, and the underground tourist route is 1.5 kilometres; the cave has 20 grottos and about 60 lakes.

High popularity of the cave can be explained with favourable and easy to reach location and mysterious charm of its remote alleyways. As soon as one gets into the Kungur cave they start feeling dizzy because of the excessive level of oxygen in the air. The thought about getting lost in the labyrinths can also frighten visitors. Many tourists who were left behind the excursion group had to wait for the next one in complete dark.

Excursions through Kungur cave have nothing in common with museum excursions. When leaving the cave people get a feeling of being born again or returning from a long trip; there is hardly a museum to cause the same effect. It is recommended to visit Kungur cave in late spring, when the ice stalactites reach their maximum size. Tourists are also advised to put on warm clothes and comfortable footwear during the trip.

Kungur ice cave can be referred to one-level labyrinth, and consists of several tens of grottos of various sizes linked by passages and tracks. Some grottos reach 50-100 metres in diameter and 20 metres height. The total extension of all explored passages of the cave is around 5.6 kilometres.

The cave has gained world popularity because of its impressive ice formations giving the grottos incredible and unique beauty which is also reflected in the grottos` names: Brilliant, Polar, Ruins of Pompeii, Meteor’s Grotto, Sea Bottom, Crypt and Cross Grottos, etc. The first grotto tourists usually visit is called Brilliant and is full of beautiful crystals lit with illumination and sparkling with different colours. Brilliant Grotto is linked with the second, Polar Grotto, but it is known that in the past, 100 years ago, the two grottos formed one.

The grotto called Titanic is one of the most interesting ones as it is famous for a big underground lake it has inside. Sometimes a boat appears on the big lake; however, it is not tourists to have a boat trip but scientists from the Academy of scientists, who live and work in a two-storey building located not far from the cave’s entrance.

The length of the longest grotto in Kungur ice cave is 200 metres – this is why the grotto is called Long. Here there are a number of small lakes and there is also the entrance to the reserved part of the cave, which remains untouched for future generations and scientific researches; entering the reserved territory is available only for speleologist groups. There is also a place of complete darkness in the cave – Meteor Grotto. Excursion guides usually explain that even cats lose the ability to orientate in space after staying in this grotto for 5 minutes.

Source:     www.rusadventures.ru

Natalya Lavrentyeva


Tags: the Urals Region Kungur Ice Caves Russian tourism Russian anomalous zones  

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