Kataleh-Khor Cave is a combination of wet and dry cave which is located in Khodabandeh county in Zanjan province. Kataleh-Khor Cave is one of the most delightful limestone caves in the world and in terms of age, size and number of floors, it is one of the unique caves globally.
Some believe that the name “Kataleh-Khor” is derived from the word “Kataleh” which means a low altitude mountain in some western regions of Iran, and since the sun rises behind it, it is known as "Kataleh-Khor" (Khor also means sun).
The first discoveries of Kataleh-Khor Cave date back to 1959, and eventually, became one of the province's natural tourism destinations. The cave consists of stunning stalactites and stalagmites and huge halls and corridors.
Kataleh-Khor Cave consists of three parts, only one of which can be visited by the public. The length of this section is about 2 km and covers only one-third of the total area of the cave. Although about 15 years have passed since the initial exploitation of this cave, access to all parts of it is still not possible and the excavation operation has been continuing.
Another part is the natural hall, used for holding various ceremonies and festivals. The third part of the cave is the part used by athletes, spelunkers, and rock climbers, which is about 4 km long and has not yet been fully explored.
The presence of very clear water springs around this cave is also a unique feature of this cave. Also, another wonder and beauty of this cave is the multiplicity of floors, these types of caves are very rare in the world.
Archaeologists and geologists' studies demonstrate that Kataleh-Khor Cave is a seven-story cave connected to "Alisadr Cave" via the lower floor. Needless to say, only 3 floors of this cave have been discovered so far.
About seven hundred meters from the cave, which is located at the beginning, has a diameter of 70 cm. Therefore, the early explorers of the cave had passed this path by crawling. 100 meters from the beginning of the cave was the place where the first humans lived, and the 80 human skeletons that were found can prove this claim. These skeletons can still be seen in this cave.
Moreover, one of the unique features of Kataleh-Khor Cave is the existence of large limestone columns, which are the result of the joining of stalactites and stalagmites that also play the role of a column for the structure of the cave.
To reach the amazing Kataleh-Khor Cave in Zanjan province, which is located in Khodabandeh county, it is necessary to pass approximately 120 km from Abhar city to Garmab and then drive through Kataleh-Khor Cave.