Magil Cave

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Vayots Dzor Marz

Magil Cave - bats

The Magil Caves are 1.7km deep and are full of many narrow passages and tunnels, as well as some bats and stalactites. The entrance is easy to reach from the road leading to Noravank Monastery, and is marked with a metal wire hanging down the tunnel to help you climb in. The bats often sleep close to the entrance, hanging in large communities. Going more than a room or two into the caverns is dangerous for inexperienced or unguided spelunkers. You can easily get lost in this labrynth if you do not know what you are doing. You should wear old clothes that cover your entire body since you will often be crawling and head protection is also not a bad idea. Completely covering yourself will also keep you warm in the perennially cool inside temperature, with one spot having a constant strong cold wind. There are stalactites and stalagmites in Magil Cave, but they are not very remarkable, and many have been broken off by vandals. The rooms in the caverns tend to be narrow, usually no more than a few meters wide. The height and length of the rooms however is often very large. You should bring a couple of flashlights and some spare batteries just to be safe.

A kilometer south past Areni is the turnoff right for Noravank Monastery and Magil Cave (Magili Karandzav), across the bridge and through a narrow gorge, you can just barely see the small entry tunnel on your left next to the large gash in the rocks pictured at the bottom of this page.

Magil Cave - tunnel

Ecologists beat an alarm: Night bats registered in the Red Book may disappear from Magela cave

arminfo Thursday, August 18, 10:41

The Magela cave near Noravank, which is the residence of 8 types of the night bats, has become a sweet spot for businessmen which decided to "improve" it for tourists.

As the head of non-governmental organization "Ecolur" Inga Zarafyan said at today's press-conference, for conducting an excursion in the cave they are going to start construction work their, to widen the entrance, to imbed in concrete the floor, to set electric lightening and to build stairs. Everything is OK, if not the fact that 8 types of the night bats dwell in Magela, 6 of which have been registered in the Red Book.

She also said that on 18 February during the first public hearings on the matter specialists were categorically against fulfillment of such a project, as even the construction noise will force night bats to leave the cave forever.

But despite indignation of specialists, the programme on "improvement" of the cave may become true, as this year the project got positive nature protection expertise, and ecologists may just make a helpless gesture.

Despite the negative view of ecologists, representative of Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, Mekhak Apresyan, was optimistic.

"We have thoroughly studied the project. We had two ways out - either to close the cave, or make it available for tourists but preserve its ecosystem", - he said and added there are many such caves open for tourists in the world.

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