A project is currently underway to turn the Ballıca Cave, famous for its stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years, into a health and therapy center. Located in the village of Ballıca in the Pazar district, 26 kilometers away from the central Tokat province, the cave has an average temperature of 18 degrees and 54 percent humidity. The place has preserved a sense of mystery thanks to its undiscovered sections.
The Ballıca Cave is generally a destination for patients with asthma due to its high amounts of oxygen, mud and wet clay. "Better accommodation areas will be built around the cave. The Eastern Black Sea Regional Development Agency (DOKAP) is preparing the project to run the cave as a health and therapy center, including centers for honey therapy and a center for the treatment of certain diseases," Governor Cevdet Can said in a statement.
As part of the project, bungalow houses will be built around the cave this year and tourism officials are expecting around 500,000 tourists to visit the region in the following years. Believed to be around 3.4 million years old, the cave is located on a hill at an altitude of 1,085 meters. As a seven-layered cave, the place features small ponds, drippings, dry natural pools and small polls on each layer.
The cave is open to the public throughout the year and has different sections like "Pond," "Mushroom," "Great Stalactites," "Mud," "Fossil" and "Bat." Some sections take their names from the shape of the stalactites. At the "Mushroom Hall," large onion mushroom-shaped stalactites and stalagmites create an impressive display. The "Bat Hall" features stalactites, cave needles, and dripstones as well as being home to dwarf bats. One of the youngest halls in the cave is around 30 meters in length and between 8 and 20 meters wide and can only be reached by rope.