iStock/Aleksei Rasskazov
iStock/Aleksei Rasskazov

Kungur Cave: the kingdom of ice and stone in the Urals

3 minutes to read

Autumn in the north of the Urals is moody. Rare sunny days are replaced by lingering rains. If you happen to be in this part of Ural Federal District in autumn, you might ask yourself where to go to get vivid impressions and tickle your nerves? In that case, a trip to the Kungur Ice Cave, the kingdom of ice and stone, a hundred kilometers from the city of Perm, is what you need! In the cave labyrinths, the sense of time and space is lost, vanity and problems go away, only the beauty created by the wild fantasy of nature remains. 

The only ice gypsum cave in the world

© Istockphoto/ShevchenkoAndrey
© Istockphoto/ShevchenkoAndrey

Kungur Ice Cave is one of the seven gypsum caves in the world and the only one with extensive icing. Its length is 5700 meters. Forty-eight grottoes, 70 lakes and 146 high mines reaching the surface of the earth – is what awaits the daredevils who are ready to admire this fantastic creation of nature. In the center of the cave, the temperature is about + 5 degrees Celsius, but in some grottoes, it reaches - 28 degrees.

The mystery of the cave labyrinths

© Istockphoto/Sergey_Sizov
© Istockphoto/Sergey_Sizov

Kungur Cave is a sacred place of the Urals. Next to it were discovered pagan shrines dating back to the Stone Age. And in the cave, you can see samples of cave paintings of the same period. The cave discoverer, Semen Remezov, in 1703, revealed a mysterious pyramid in the cave, which could be the cause of inexplicable events occurring in the cave. Cavers and tourists more than once noticed fireballs and bright flashes of unknown origin. And in the background of photos, mysterious creatures are sometimes visible.

Grottoes and lakes

© Istockphoto/GoodOlga
© Istockphoto/GoodOlga

Nature’s artworks, such as grottoes and lakes, can be seen in the cave. The most beautiful grotto is called the Diamond, where the ice crystals are needle-shaped. In the Meteor Grotto, in addition to the shooting star (make a wish), you will experience absolute darkness in which even cats cannot see. Some tourists claim that in the darkness they saw the white caver, about whom the guide will be happy to tell you the following legend. Once, two friends decided to come down to the cave’s well, with the help of a rope. The rope broke, and one of the friends fell to the bottom, breaking his leg. His comrade ran away, leaving a wounded friend. Since then, the lame “white speleologist” has been walking around the cave, and everyone who has betrayed friends at least once is led into the dark.

In the Cross Grotto, in the 18th century, the icons of a cross, an altar and a stone crypt house were discovered. Probably the Old Believers, who did not accept the church reform of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, were hiding here. In the Long Grotto, you will see an underground lake with the poetic name the Lake of the Maiden Tears. Of course, a beautiful legend is attached to the lake, and it is about unhappy love.

Where is the Kungur Ice Cave

Kungur Cave is located between the Ural cities Perm and Yekaterinburg, on the outskirts of the ancient town of Kungur. It is difficult to get there by public transport on your own, so the best option is to contact one of the travel agencies in Tyumen, Yekaterinburg or Perm.

Having visited the Kungur Cave, you will get unusual, unique impressions. Your photos and stories about the underground journey through the kingdom of ice and stone in the Urals will truly surprise your friends and relatives.

Kungur Ice Cave, Perm Region
Kungur Ice Cave, Perm Region

The author

Natalya Lisovskaya

Natalya Lisovskaya

Hi, I'm Natalya, a journalist from the ancient Siberian city of Tyumen, in the Ural Federal District. I love my Siberian land, its rich history and the harsh and majestic beauty of its nature. I hope you will fall in love with it too, after reading my stories.

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