Visitors flock to Ballıca cave

Visitors flock to Ballıca cave

TOKAT - Anadolu Agency
Visitors flock to Ballıca cave

The Ballıca Cave is known for having healing features for asthma patients, thanks to its high oxygen level. AA photos

Famous for its stalactites, rare geological formations and cures for asthma, Ballıca Cave in the northern Anatolian province of Tokat is continuing to draw large numbers of visitors, with 70,125 people going spelunking last year.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdurrahman Akyüz said the cave had retained its mystery with parts that had not yet been opened to visits, as well as undiscovered sections.

“Viewing the formations in the Ballıca Cave is like visiting a natural museum. The age of the cave is nearly 3.4 million years old. Walking in the cave is a mysterious adventure. It is a place where all cave formations can be seen and is a wonder of nature,” he said.

“And this cave has not yet even finished its formation. It is a very important place for Tokat tourism.”Akyüz said, adding that more than 55,000 people visited the cave in 2013, and 70,125 people in 2014.

He said Ballıca also helped those suffering from asthma due to its healing air. “It is necessary to establish a health center for people with asthma. We believe that it will be more popular through time. The oxygen level in the cave is more than the level outside. This is important for people with asthma, who may find the cure here,” he said.

“Even a person, who knows nothing about caves sees that it is a wonder of nature, a wonderful cave. Tour operators always show their admiration for the cave,” he said, noting the site’s special nature.

The cave is located on a hill at an altitude of 1,085 meters. Its sections known as Havuzlu, Büyük Damlataşlar, Çamurlu, Fosil, Yarasalı, Çöküntü, Sütunlar, Mantarlı and Yeni are open to visits and is a popular place among people with patients with asthma, as well as tourists.

Seven-layered cave

Featuring two layers above the entrance and five layers below the entrance, Ballıca, also known as İndere, is a seven-layered cave, according to the website of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.

There are small ponds, drippings, dry natural pools and small polls on every layer, although there is also a lake on the fifth layer. The amount of mud and wet clay is high although there is no water flow at each layer floor. Such wet sediment makes climbing and descending difficult.