Ghar Saholan

Sahoolan Cave - Sahulan Cave - Sahoulan Cave - Seholan Cave

Useful Information

Location: At Sahoolan.
43 km southeast of Mahabad. On the road between Mahabad and Boukan in the northwestern of Iran, turn off to Sahoolan at 'isa Kandi.
(36.654690, 45.953027)
Fee: Adults IRR 7,000.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=771 m, A=2,000 m asl.
Guided tours: L=201 m by boat, 162 m by foot, V=20,000/a [2005].
Bibliography: Simon Brooks (2008): A Return to Iran – Caving with the Damavand and the Hamadan Mountaineers, October 2007, Grampian Speleological Group Bulletin. Fourth series Vol 3 No 4, March 2008. pp 50-53
Address: Sahoolan Cave.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


2000 cave discovered.


غار سهولان (Sahoolan Water Cave) is named after the village Sahoolan where it is located. The Kurdish word Sahoolan means freezing and describes the climatic conditions of the area, which are cool in summer and freezing in winter, at a height of 2,000 m asl. The locals call the cave Dove Nest, as there are doves all around the cave entrance. They roost along ledges on the cave walls, some in the reach of the cave visitors.

The cave has two entrances, both located in the same depression, which looks like a collapse structure, a collapse doline created by the breakdown of a huge cave chamber. The cave is entered through the entrance on the northwest side of the depression. The steep boulder slope is developed a series of marble steps and landings which lead down into a lake chamber, 12 to 15 m wide and 5 m high. A jetty in this chamber is the place where the first part of the tour starts, 201 m by boat to the main chamber of the cave. The boatmen wear traditional Kurdish dress and tell a story about the cave in Farsi. The water is generally 18 m deep, but there are some spots where a depth of 52 m has been measured. It is very clear and has the typical blue colour of limestone rich water. Some passages show painting which are said to be from the time of the Parthian dynasty.

The main chamber is rather big, about 35 m in diameter between 12 and 15 m high. It contains a lake with some 500m² and a second jetty. Here the boat ride ends and the walk through the main chamber starts, up a large flight of marble steps. As a rather strange feature the chamber contains a cell phone mast. Visitors can here use their mobiles to contact friends and family and tell about their great tour. The tour continues through a series of dry passages and out through the second entrance. This portal shows evidence of smoke blackening, a sign of human habitation and refuge.