Ali Sadr Cave reopens to visitors as coronavirus curbs eased

June 23, 2021 - 18:39

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ali Sadr water cave opened its doors to visitors on Tuesday after seven months of closure due to coronavirus. 

Sightseers are required to observe strict health protocols associated with the virus, the manager of the site, Mehdi Majidi, announced.

An average of 600,000 people visit the ancient cave per annum, however, the figure dropped to about 80,000 tourists in the previous Iranian year 1399(March 20, 2020 – March 21, 2021), IRNA quoted as saying.

Ali Sadr Cave revenue dropped to 30 billion rials ($714,000 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) last year from 220 billion rials ($5.2 million) the year before, the official added. 

He expressed hope that that the reopening of the complex would boost tourism in the province as well as compensate for the economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last September, the official announced that the outbreak of the coronavirus cut the number of visitors by 86 percent in the first six months of the Iranian year 1399 (March 20, 2020-September 22, 2020). 

He also emphasized that the economy of the region depends on the activity of this tourist complex. 

Back in April, the official said two-thirds of the employees of the tourist site have lost their jobs temporarily over the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

Located some 70km north of Hamadan in west-central Iran, Ali Sadr is a gigantic water-filled cavern wieldy believed to date from the Jurassic era.

The cave embraces a huge matrix of sunless channels, ponds, grottoes, and water passages which are stretched along with imposing rock formations and stalactite-covered tops in a span of several kilometers.

Sightseeing there is connected with traversing in well-lit labyrinths of waterways via paddle boats, walking on subterranean islets, as well as observing rock carvings of hunting scenes, artifacts, paintings, and vessels that are associated with prehistorical troglodytes.

ABU/AFM 

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