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The Republic of Dagestan

Karadakh Gorge

There is a place called the Gate of Wonders in Dagestan. It is a unique natural monument, the Karadakh Gorge, located between Khunzakhsky and Gunibsky Districts. Here people feel as if they are in a tunnel or a narrow cave, as the place is almost completely dark.

The gorge is 400 meters long, 2 to 4 meters wide, and reaches 170 meters high in some places. The walls of the gorge seem to have been polished by the impact of water here. At the top, the walls are very close together and sometimes even touch. There are places where huge boulders are stuck between the walls of the gorge. In the summer, it is cool and very quiet here, and in the mysterious silence you hear the murmuring of the river, and the words that you whisper are repeated in a resounding echo. Hardly anyone comes here in other seasons, because it is either full of water or covered with snow. For example, in the spring, when the snow melts, the level of the water rises to four meters.

The powerful stream moves even the heaviest boulders with ease. The Karadakh Gorge was created by a river going from the mountains to the Caspian Sea. The river bed went across the Karadakh ridge, and in thousands of years it washed its way through it. For many years the stream washed through the mountain, carrying it away in tiny grains of sand, until a narrow crack was formed.

Today Karadakh Gorge is a well-known tourist attraction of Dagestan. People who like hiking in the mountains come here to walk along the dark river bed under overhanging rocks. A narrow strip of sky can be seen at the top of the gorge, so a traveler feels as if they are at the bottom of a well or in a tunnel.

At the exit from the gorge, tourists can see another natural wonder: a hive of wild bees. Their hive is built at an altitude of about fifty meters. In the past, there was a ladder made of wedges drawn into the rock, and people used to climb up for honey.

Tourism Committee of the Republic of Dagestan

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Address: The Republic of Dagestan

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