Caving / Spelunking in Kapova (Shulgan-Tash) Cave, Belaya River, Republic of Bashkortostan Russia

200 m/656.2 ft
Temperature in the cave:
A constant 7°C/44.6°F
Belaya River is a river situated in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia. The source of the river lies in the southwestern Ural Mountains and its length is 889 mi/1430 km. The Turkic name of this popular river means The White Volga and the Russian name means The White River.

The Kapova Cave is a paleolithic cave, very popular among caving enthusiasts. Shulgan-Tash Cave, as it is also known, is situated in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the southern Ural Mountains. It was first recorded in 1760 by P.I. Rychkov.

The Russian archaeologist A.V. Ryumin decided to examine the cave in the late 1950’s and he discovered a gallery of 1 mi/1.6 km long of cave paintings. Mammoths, rhinos, bison and horses, combined human and animal drawings and trapezoids are all over the walls.

The paintings were dated by a specialist to be from the end of the Upper Paleolithic. The cave has a couple of levels with the paintings mainly in the upper level at some distance from the beautiful entrance.

The later excavations revealed a layer containing human remains, charcoal, debris form the wall paintings and animal bones. In the reality Kapova cave is a complex natural monument, which has multiple grottoes and halls that are connected with passages on various levels.

On the cave walls you find calcite deposits of all kinds of sizes and forms. An underground river that is flowing out of the cave forms the notorious Blue Lake at its entrance.

The lake got its name by the blue color of the water, caused by the large amount of limestone in the water. On sunny days around mid day, when sunlight shines on the lake and into the cave is the best time to observe this magnificent event of nature.

If you like prehistoric caves, you will love the adventure of caving in Kapova Cave.

How to Get to Destination

449.1 miles/724 km, 9 hours 5 minutes
Head north toward просека 2-я. Turn right onto просека 2-я. Turn right onto ул. Ново-Садовая. Make a U-turn. Turn right onto ул. Ново-Вокзальная. Turn left onto ш. Московское/М5. Continue to follow М5. Go through 2 roundabouts. Keep right to stay on М5. Go through 2 roundabouts. Exit onto Р314. Slight right toward Р316. Turn left onto Р316. Turn right to stay on Р316.
BY CAR FROM Magnitogorsk
37.1 miles/60.5 km, 51 minutes
Head north on ул. Мичурина toward ул. Ленинградская. Turn left at the 2nd cross street onto ул. Ленинградская. Take the 2nd right onto ул. Советская. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto ул. Вокзальная. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit. Continue straight onto ш. Дачное. Continue onto ш. Автомагистраль Город-Соленое озеро. Turn right toward Р316. Turn left onto Р316.
Magnitogorsk International Airport,
34.1 mile/56.3 km

Russian Railways serve almost the entire Russia. Check the website for tickets, fares and schedule.

Audiovisual material



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