Discovering Eurasia. The Secret of the Kungur Cave

Once two comrades went down the rope into the cave. The rope went over the rocks. One of the friends fell and broke his leg. A friend shouts to him from above: “Do not worry, I will get out now and call people, we will get you out.” He himself got out on the white light, but escaped. Since then, a lame White Caver has been walking around the cave. And anyone who at least once betrayed a friend or comrade, or maybe a beloved woman, he takes by the handle his curb and drags to the tame places of the cave, where they walk until the unfortunate one breaks his heart with fear and horror before eternal darkness.

This is one of the legends about the secrets of the Kungur ice cave. It is located in the Perm Territory, on the outskirts of the city of Kungur in the village of Filippovka. The age of the cave is 10-12 thousand years. From the inside, it has 48 grottoes connected by illuminated corridors. The temperature is almost always below zero, even in summer.

And there are about 60 underground lakes in it. Despite the low temperature, they have side crustaceans and small frogs, and the water is so clean that it reflects the bottom. Walking through the ice cave, you can see stalactites and stalagmites, stones in the form of different creatures, feel the cold, darkness and silence of real underground life.
There are many stories and legends associated with this place. According to one of them, in 1578-1579, a detachment of Yermak wintered in the vicinity of the cave before going to Siberia. And in 1974, due to the collapse that blocked the exit from the cave, a group of students was forced to meet the New Year in the cave.

According to one of the legends, Yermak with his army stayed next to the Kungur caves.

There are also legends about the origin of the lakes that a beautiful, but proud girl lived. Her mother wanted to bring her all together with the local blacksmith, but did not want the girl to marry a simple man to go out. Young merchants also married her, but she rejected everyone. “If you can put all of me down with diamond stones, I will marry you, and you cannot, and from the eye down – out of the heart.” Scrub the merchants of the five of their heads and go to others to get married, who is more modest. She was left alone. And then she gave it to everyone: while she walks on the ground – not to get married. But somehow a young merchant came to her and let’s get married. She asks him: “Didn’t you hear what oath I made with everyone?”
— Heard. And you and I are not on the ground, but are getting married underground. And as a reward for this, I will dump you all with diamond stones.
The maiden heart flinched from such ambassadors, and she agreed. Married them in the Ice Cave some pop right under the organ pipe, which has been called the “Chapel of Lovers” ever since. Only the ceremony ended, as a young man turned into a decrepit old man – it was the Cave Spirit. And the diamonds that decorated the girl’s chest immediately melted – these were snow crystals that adorn the first grotto of the cave, Diamond, in bunches – where it always happens cool, even in hot summers. Since then, pride has been locked in a stone cell above the lake and cries about the fact that she exchanged her youth for the imaginary treasures of the Cave Spirit, and her tears drip into the lake of “girl’s tears.”

There’s something unusual about every grotto, too. In Diamond, the vault covers beautiful, icy crystals, in Polar they show many ice stalagmites, stalactites and columns.,, Giant “has been storing a felled, but still green tree for several years. In the grotto of Ruins you can see a stone turtle and a crocodile. Fantastic sculptures in the Sculpture Grotto, and more than half of the grotto of Friendship of Peoples is occupied by the Great Underground Lake.
Even now, visitors to the cave can meet the Cave Spirit.

Films were made about the Kungur cave, and books “Cave Tales” and a guide to Kungur and Ice Cave were written by Valentin Rappa. It is included in the Forbes list as one of the most impressive caves in the world, probably because of the beauty and unusual stories associated with this place.

Marusya Kochurova

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