11 January 2010


Sahoolan Cave
Caves of Iran, Sahoolan Natural National Monument Aquatic
Sahoolan is located 43 km southeast of Mahabad in West Azarbaijan Province, Iran. This limestone water cave has two main sections, a waterway which vistors ride on a boat to discover the amazing attraction of it and a dry part which tourists walk up through the chambers and corridors to visit the hidden undergrounds of this beautiful natural cave.

The name is taken from the nearby Sahoolan Village, the word “Sahoolan” in Kurdish means ice and freezing, because the climate in the area is very cold in winter. This cave is also called the “pigeon or dove nest” cave because there are many pigeon liveing inside, they lay eggs even within reach of visitors so closed that visitors can touch them, doves and bats are the main residents of Saholan Cave.

Cave Sahoolan Iran
Sahoolan Cave Azarbaijan, Iran
Photo by A. Soltani

The cave has two entrances, the tour starts from the first entrance with a big jetty chamber, a 200m water trip by boat to the main chamber and it continues in a series of dry corridors and out through the second entrance, the second entrance shows a history of human habitation in the past, black soot smoke on the walls and ceiling shows evidence of long term use of campfires in old ages.

Besides the this natural wonder, there are some historical evidence of old ages too, some paintings on the walls of passages and corridors belonging to Parthian dynasty. This tourist destination is cool in summer and freezing in winter.

Ghar e Sahoolan Iran
Saholan Cave Iran
Photo by Ardeshir Soltani

Many sourses indicate that this is the second largest water cave in the country after Alisadr in Hamedan, but there is not any source of info to mention what is the length of this cave ?!
Sahoulan is a very interesting natural target especially for foreign tourists and Mt Damavand climbers, a recommended destination to visit the beauties of Iran nature besides their climbing and other outdoor activities.

Cave Sahoolan Iran
Sahoulan Cave Azarbaijan
Photo by Soltani

Quick Facts
Geology Struture: Aquatic- Argillous
Alive creatures: vespertilionidae, dove
Natural characteristics: calcareous candels in diierent shapes

The first lake is about 200 square m,
The big lake is approx 500 square m
The lake chamber, 12 to 15m wide and 5m high.
The water is generaly clear limpid with typical blue color.

The avarage water depth is about 20m deep,
The max water depth is 52m.
The main chamber is about 35m in diameter and approx 12 to 15m high.
It contains a big lake anout 500m² .

Water Temp: 7 to 10 deg C
Air Presure: 892 mh
Humidity: 70% to 80%
Air Temp: 13 deg C

Light: electricity
The mobile network is available in the area
Protected by: Consult of Environment of Iran.
Date of protection: 31 May 2000

Sahoolan Iran
Sahoolan Cave or Pigeon Nest, Dove Nest, Kooneh Kovtar
Photo by A. Soltani

Longest Caves in Iran
1- QuriQaleh 13 Km, watercave
2- Katalehkhor 12.8 Km
3- Alisadr , 11.5 km, water cave
4- Karafto 750 m,

Geographic Location and Coordinate
GPS Landmark for Cave Sahoolan
Altitude: 1760 M
Latitude: 36-39-19 N
Longitude: 45-57-11 E

How to go there
Sahoolan cave is situated 43 kms to the southeast of Mahabad, halfway between Bookan City and Mahabad City near the village of Issakand West Azarbaijan province.

Alternate Names and Spellings
Cave Sahoolan, Saholan, Sahulan, Sahoulan, Pigeon Nest, Dove Nest, Water Cave
In Kurdish: Kooneh Kovtar, کونه کوتر
In Persian: سَهولان، سهولان, غار ساهولان

Major Caves in Iran
Alisadr, Hamedan Iran, water cave.
Karafto, natural and historical cave.
Katalekhor Zanjan,
Moon , Cave civilization.
Quri Qaleh, Kermanshah.
Shapour Kazeroon, statue king shapour the great.
Vara Jahrom , Temple.

Cave Sahoolan Iran
Sahoolan Azarbaijan, Iran
Photo by Ardeshir Sherppa

Cave Sahoolan Iran
Sahoolan Cave Azarbaijan, Iran
Photo by Ardeshir

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