Lakes in Burdur’s İnsuyu Cave dry up due to drought
ANTALYA – DHA
All of the nine lakes in the İnsuyu Cave, which have even been the subject of myths, have dried up because of drought. Some of the stalactites in the cave have also blackened due to wrong lighting. The lighting of the cave was recently fixed and opened to visitors.
The İnsuyu Cave in the Mediterranean province of Burdur was opened to tourism in 1965 as the first cave opened to tourism and had been under restoration for nearly two years. Now, the works in the cave have come to an end.
Located in the 13rd kilometer on the Burdur-Antalya highway, the formation of the cave dates back thousands of years.
It is estimated that a one meter column of the cave, has been formed by stalactites, stalagmites and corrugations as a result of the geological collapse of the limestone with water, which has occurred between 10,000 and 15,000 years.
The cave, with a horizontal length of 597 meters, has nine lakes in its 300-meter-tall section that can be visited. The cave’s lakes have completely dried up due to droughts and extreme drilling in the area.
During the restoration works carried out in the cave in 2000, it was discovered that the illumination of the cave had damaged the stalactites and stalagmites and blackened them. Then, the cave was closed to visitors two years ago and the walking routes and illuminations were rearranged.
Love elixir according to myth
Burdur Cultural and Tourism Provincial Director Mehmet Özdemir has spoken about this myth.
“It is a myth that passes from mouth to mouth. The king of Sagalassos married his daughter off to the son of a rich man here. After they had been wed, the two young people could not get along and wanted to separate. This is why the king punished them, ordering them to ‘go to a place without bread and water.’”
“The İnsuyu Cave is in this area. They are left in the cave and stay here for a long time. As they drink the water of the cave, they fall in love with each other. When they see a light, they follow it and leave the cave. Since then, couples that drink water inside and outside the cave are believed to live happily for long time. This water may be the love elixir. It is said that the water gives peace and welfare. There is no water right now, only natural spring water outside the cave. People can drink it,” said the director.
Özdemir said the cave had nine lakes but all of them had dried up and disappeared. He said the walking route in the cave and the landscaping have been redone. The cave is being operated by the Burdur Teacher’s House, he said.
“The cave receives 50,000-60,000 visitors every year. This year we expect more people to come,” Özdemir added.