Ballica (Indere) Cave
Geographical Location and Arrival
It is situated in Pazar District of Tokat and at 600 m. southeast of Ballica Village that is in 6 km. distance.
Ballica Cave on the slope of Indere Valley is a cave that starts with a fossilized mouth of 1180 m. height. The cave having two storeys above the entrance and five storeys below it has the appearance of a beautiful seven-storeyed cave. There are small ponds, drippings, dry natural pools and small pools in each of the storeys. The amount of mud and wet clay is high although there is no water flowing at the floors of each storey. This fact makes climbing and descending difficult. The respiration easiness in a noteworthy level is sensed inside the cave.
The entrance mouth of the cave expands in the direction of east-west upside down. After the 45-50 m. of the entrance mouth a large saloon is reached. This saloon contains remains (plastered walls, plastered material depot etc.) showing that this cave had been used until the historic period. From here the cave continues with a passage of 25-30 m. in directions changing between north and northeast. There are chambers on left and right sides of the passage and then a large saloon is reached. There are numerous stalactites, stalagmites, pillars and water ponds here. The cave extends to upper parts in the direction of north and northwest, branching in the form of two different storeys. This section which is accepted as the first storey is 150 m. far from the entrance.
The second layer 10 m. below is in the shape of a large saloon. There are stalactites, stalagmites and pillars here. There is a descent down to the third storey at the end of the second one. The third and fourth storeys containing pillars, stalactites and stalagmites display breath taking views. The shortest distance between the end of the fourth storey and the entrance of the cave is about 350 m. There is a lake at the 5th storey.
The general morphologic manner is as big saloons in which debris is formed and the passages connecting them with each other. The floor isn’t evident because of the Guano that covers debris blocks especially in the saloon with bats and in the following saloon. It is necessary to use the vertical caving technique in order to reach those saloons (There are descents with 10 m. and 7 m. heights) There are quite interesting structures inside the cave that almost completed their development, and especially in the large saloon. These are pillars exceeding 10 m., travertine resembling parasol mushroom, gigantic columns and more importantly corm formations. Also, prevalent bat population is observed inside.