Saturday, 13 December 2014

Kungur Ice Cave Russia



Kungur Ice Cave is a lovely karst cave situated in the Urals, near the town Kungur in Perm Krai, Russia, on the banks of the Sylva River. This remarkable cave has a length of explored passages over 5 kilometers. Though this is one of Russia’s biggest karst caves and the only one in the country equipped for visits by travelers. Over thousands of years rainwater dissolved the soft rocks and formed a system of capacious underground halls, filled with rocks of unusual shapes. Therefore; snow-melt dripping through the porous rocks had frozen in the cold interior of the cave to turn into ice stalactites that hang from the ceiling in entirely impulsive forms and extraordinary sizes. Amazingly some of the hanging icicles have reached the floor and formed spectacular ice columns shaped like giant hourglasses .One of the most beautiful places in the cave is right near the entrance “The Diamond Grotto”. Layers of ancient ice in these chambers overflow under spotlights, bringing to mind a frozen waterfall, while vaults cover large crystals. Diamond grotto adjoins Polar grotto where it is possible to observe ice stalactites and stalagmites.

 In the grotto of Pompeii Ruins visitors can see rocks of strange shape some of them resembling silhouettes of animal and fantastic characters, thanks to the special system of illumination. Well overall, Kungur Cave encompasses 48 grottoes, but each having their own story and exclusive name. i.e. there’re  the Coral and Sea Bottom chambers, which’re beautifully ornamented with stone lace that water wore away for 12,000 years. In the Meteorite chamber, a spectator has the illusion that massive celestial bodies are lying under the earth. The history tells us, that the first plan of the ice cave was made in 1703 when Peter the Great issued the decree sending the famous geographer Simeon Remezov. When they’ve used the materials of Remezov drawings, Stralenberge made one of the first schemes of the cave which we can see now. 

The first regular excursions of the ice cave were made by Alexey Timofeevich Hlebnikov, the grandnephew of the Russian America researcher K.T.Hlebnikov. Hence in 1914 Hlebnikov, having rented the cave from a local community of peasants, started to arrange paid excursions for inhabitants of Kungur and visitors of the city. Owing to Alexey Hlebnikov's diligence, the news about Kungur’s outstanding ice cave speedily scattered to diverse corners of the country. Nowadays the cave is a popular destination and every year thousands of visitors pay the visit to this cave. Source: Charismatic Planet