Orda Cave. Russia
The longest underwater caves in the world are located in Mexico and the United States. In Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, it is known about 17 caverns with a length of 5 km, including six caves with a length of over 10 km, and two – more than 100 km. Orda Cave can’t boast of such figures, however, it is unique in its own way.
Orda cave is the longest underwater cave in Russia, the second longest underwater cave in Eurasia and the world’s longest underwater cave in gypsum – a real paradise for speleo diving enthusiasts. People come here from all over Russia, and sometimes from abroad. Orda Cave is well known for its underwater beauty.
Orda Cave is located 100 kilometers south-east of the city Perm, near the south-western outskirts of the village Orda, on Kungur River, Perm Krai. That is, the name was given after the nearby village Orda. Orda Cave is situated in the bowels of the mountain Kazakovsky – plateau-like hill with a flat top, the envelope of the Kungur River. The height of the hill doesn’t exceed 50 meters. There are large karst funnels on the surface, and one of which, situated on the south steep slope, is the entrance to the cave.
The cave consists of “dry” and underwater parts. The length of dry part is 300 meters, the underwater – 4600 meters. In addition, part of the cave is the longest siphon on the territory of the former Commonwealth of Independent States – 935 meters. The amplitude – 45 meters, the area – more than 50 thousand square meters.
The research began in 1992, thanks to the striving of speleologists enthusiasts. The cave received the status of the longest underwater cave in Russia 20 years ago, in 1997, through the efforts of the first Russian cave diving expedition. The length of the explored underwater part of the cave has significantly increased since then – more than tripled, from 1250 m to 4000 m.
The cave is characterized by low water temperature (4 degrees Celsius), huge amounts of underground galleries, water clarity, low turbidity. The cave entrance is located in the sinkholes on the steep slope of the mountain Kazakovsky, from the Kungur River. The descent is equipped with ladders; the lighting is switched on when the speleo divers are inside. The width of the inlet opening of the cave reaches 5 meters, and height – 2 meters.
Volume of the cavities amazed the researchers – sizes of the grottoes were comparable to the size of the large halls of Kungur Ice Cave. Deep clear lakes, high plaster arches, bizarre snow and ice decoration of halls in winter – all this only underscores the similarity of the two caves. The largest grotto of Orda cave is Ice Palace – its length is 50 meters, the width – 15 meters and the height is up to 7 meters. In winter there are beautiful ice formations. The floor of the cave is covered with fallen blocks from the ceiling. The gypsum caves are characterized by a high risk of collapses. You have to be very careful. It is especially dangerous here in the spring. Only experienced divers may visit and enjoy the picturesque underwater caves.
In the cave there are several lakes that are connected to the underwater part of the cave. In the grotto Ice Palace there is a staircase that leads to the main lake, there is also a platform for divers and benches. The water temperature in the cave is always low (+ 4 + 5 ° C).
Such magnificent caves look like a kingdom of eternal cold and darkness. They always appear to us completely lifeless. But here, in the bowels of the earth, you can find amazing and mysterious creatures. We are talking about the famous Crangonyx Chlebnikovi Borutzky, small sandhoppers of milky or dirty white color, sometimes with a yellowish tinge.