Дяволското гърло

Dyavolsko Garlo - Djavolskoto Garlo Cave - The Devil's Throat


Useful Information

Location: Near Jagodina, Mursalica, Rodopi (Western Rhodopes). Near the border to Greece.
From Pazardžik follow road 37 south 84 km to Dospat, turn east to Tešel 12 km, turn south to Jagodina 5 km. South-west of Jagodina, on the right valley slope of Buynovska river. 1.3 km north of the village Trigrad.
(41.614414, 24.380026)
Open: For a tour ask at Trigrad
Fee:  
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
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As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1940 massive flood washes 500 m³ of wood into the cave which vanishes without a trace.
1960s several speleological explorations including a dye tracing experiment.
1970 sump below the waterfall explored by the cave divers Siana Ljutzkanova and Evstati Jovchev, but they never returned.

Description

This cave is named Дяволското гърло (Devil's Throat) because of a legend. It is a river cave, and the cave river is swallowed by the cave, like a big throat. And as it seemed, that the water never reappeared - at least nothing thrown into the river ever reappeared - the locals called it Devil's Throat.

The cave is entered through a 150 m long artificial tunnel from the road. The first hall is so big, the famous Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia would fit in. We guess for Bulgarians this makes sense, foreigners typically have no idea hwo big this cathedral is. From this point a winding and steep concrete path leads down to cave river. The cave contains numerous underground waterfalls, among them the third-highest underground waterfall in any tourist cave of the world, which is 42 m high. It is also the highest subterranean waterfall in Bulgaria. It is located in the so called Roaring Hall or Howling Hall, which is filled with the thunder of the subterranean waterfall. From here the trail follows the cave river upstream to the natural entrance of the cave. There are a lot of steps, almost 300, until you finally reach the surface at the swallow hole, where the cave river flows out of a gorge and enters the cave. From the exit its a 700m walk back to the parking lot along the road.

It is actually not possible to see the waterfall, the trail runs along the top of the waterfall. At the foot of the waterfall is a lake and sump. In 1970 the sump below the waterfall was explored by the cave divers Siana Ljutzkanova and Evstati Jovchev, but they never returned. After their deaths, further expeditions were abandoned for a long time. Until today there are only guesses where the water goes. The obvious solution is the karst spring 500 m down the valley, but that's just a hypothesis, as the dye tracing did not work.

Dyavolsko Garlo is also famous for its cave animals. A bat colony, which spends the winter in this cave, is the biggest colony of long-winged bat in Bulgaria and on that part of the Balkan Peninsula. Not only this cave, but the whole area with its gorges and natural bridges is under special protection. It was declared a National Monument.