Karvės Ola

Cow Cave

Useful Information

Location: Karajimiškis village, Biržai district.
(56.206742, 24.694461)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstDoline Upper Devonian gypsum and dolomite
Light: n/a
Dimension: VR=13 m, Ø=10-12 m, T=4.5 °C (water).
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Karvės Ola, 41182 Lithuania
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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1964 declared a natural monument.
1973-1978 explored by Kauno speleologai (Kauno speleologists).
1978 underground lake explored by cave divers.
2007 Ievos duobė declared a natural monument.
2007 explored by Lithuanian speleologists' club "Aenigma" and Russian cave divers.


The Karvės Ola (Cow Cave) with five caves and an underground lake is located in Karajimiškis village and was declared a natural monument in 1964. Despite the name Ola which is Lithuanian for cave, this is actually a doline, a sinkhole or collapse doline which is accessible by a wooden staircase. The site has been developed with a trail and outlooks. There are educational signs, a parking lot, and wooden signs and even a stone sculptures- The idea was obviously to make the site an interesting and easy to find tourist site. The site is open without restrictions and for free. Nevertheless, it is not possible to enter the caves at the bottom of the doline, they are accessible only to cavers.

The doline is rather young, it is estimated that it collapsed about 200 years ago. At the bottom of the doline is a number of small caves, which are called Šlapioji ola (Wet Cave), Siauroji landa (Narrow Land), Šikšnosparnių landa (Bat Land), Blizgančioji landa (Shiny Land), and Rupūžės ola (Toad's Cave).

One day the landowner of Mantagailiškis was hunting and chased a hare, his dog was too close to the rim of the doline and fell into the hole. Its owner was sorry to loose his dog, which was quite expensive, and hired a muscular man to rescue the dog for 25 rubles. He tied several ropes together, and fixed them around a tree and climbed down into the pit. The number of observers increased, but he was gone for some time and did not give the agreed signal. Finally, they pulled the rope out, but the man was dead, and the dog had vanished into the cave without a trace.

One time a cow fell into the doline, and only the end of the chain, with which it was chained, remained. Thats hwo the pit got the name Karvės Ola (Cow Cave). But there is also another story which tells that the dead cows, which died from a disease and could thus not be eaten, were thrown into the pit.

The small forest is full of karst features, which are actually connected, at least geologically. To the east is the doline Velykų duobė, to the west on the other side of the road is the doline Klevų duobė, to the south is Ievos duobė (Eve's pit). Beneath the bigger ones, which have names, there are numerous small dolines which are unnamed. All are freely accessible and much less spectacular than Karvės Ola.