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    Katala Khor one of the most Famous Caves in Iran

    Zanjan - Katala Khor one of the most Famous Caves in Iran


    • Best Time to Visit: May to September
    • How to get there: 1. via the Zanjan-Bijar highway 2. via the Zanjan-Soltanieh highway
    • Plan Your Visit: Half a day

    Katala Khor cave located in Zanjan province is one the most beautiful attractions in Iran.The Katale Khor cave has been chosen as the first cave in terms of its crystals and cave formation, beauty and its numerous layers. Of the best known caves in Iran, Katala Khor has a special status because of its spectacular beauty

     This cave is a leading tourist attraction and in addition to having a unique infrastructure and geological features, it is one of the most exquisite caves in the world and people of different ages visit this place.
    In general, Iranian caves can be categorized in several groups in terms of geological formation, of which the most beautiful are the natural caves and mountain craters. From among these caves, we can name the beautiful Ali Sadr Cave in Hamedan Province through which a river runs for several kilometers, and the Katala Khor Cave in Zanjan.
    Katala Khor is located in Iran's western regions 155 km south of Zanjan and 173 km north of Hamedan near the small town of Garmaab.

    This cave was discovered in 1950 by a group of climbers and was regiSample Imagestered as a natural cave, said to be formed in the third geological era.

    Until 1993, only professional cave explorers equipped with special equipment could visit Katala Khor Cave. Later, as facilities improved the area became more frequented and recreational visits started. Presently, some 2350 meters of the cave is traversable by tourists and sightseers. The most beautiful natural attractions of this cave are its amazing icicles that can be usually seen around the cave's surface, which abounds in springs.

    It is worth mentioning that Katala Khor Cave was a water cave in its primary stage of formation, as is evident by the icicles and springs that abound in it. Later geological changes occurred and separated the huge masses of stones from the main ones. This is evident by the formation of numerous natural floors in the cave, as a result of the water penetrating the stone over ages, while leaving the other floors dry.

    Notes & Recommendations:

    For the convenience of the growing number of visitors, near Katala Khor cultural, recreational and sports sections have been built. The sports centre spreads for about 2 km and is used mostly by cave explorers and mountaineers.
    The recreational section of the cave, which is used by the general public, includes a 2-km straightened path. The cultural section is located on the southern edge of the cave, where different ceremonies are held.

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    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.