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The Kumanitsa cave
The Kumanitsa cave is located in the eastern part of the Troyan Balkan in Steneto reserve at the left riverbank of Kumanitsa River (this is the name if the upper stream of Cherny Osam river from its springs to the water catchment), in the narrowest and most picturesque part of the canyon over the beautiful waterfall Golemyat Kazan. The discovering and the mapping of the cave are performed in 1962 by cave divers from Sofia University Caving Club Academik but its research persistently continues to day. The actual length of the known galleries is 1656m and the displacement is – 104 m.
The entrance of the cave is situated hardly 1 meter above the river level and its dimensions are 2,5 х 2,5m. In the spring when the snow melts or when is raining heavily entering the cave is impossible because some quantity of the water flowing along the canyon swamps the cave entrance.
There are rivers running along both main galleries of the cave, which join each other in depth. The one starting from the entrance, is small and if the weather outside is dry it could even run dry. The inner river, which comes from the siphon, is big with a flow of about 300- 400 l/s. It is supposed that some of its main water sources come from the massif (probably – Poin Dol) and others – from upper streams of Kumanitsa river which pone. In high waters the vertical passages even in the beginning of the cave transform into difficult for passing waterfalls. There is an upper floor as well but it has not been researched properly yet. The development of the cave follows the ways of the underground rivers and leads us through vertical passages, waterfalls, big halls, galleries decorated by marvelous formations – draperies, stalactites, stalagmites, stalactones, sinter lakes and bars. At many places the gallery becomes double – one full of beautiful formations and the other is almost full of the underground river. The main cave gallery ends with a deep lake and a siphon.
Kumanitsa has not been completely researched yet as the way of the underground river and its flows are not very clear. The inhabitants of Kumanitsa are scarcely researched - woodlice, beetles, caddis flies, stone flies, harvestmen are found there. The millipede Anamastigona alba is troglobiont – endemic for Kumanitsa and Pticha Dupka caves. Balkan trout (Salmo trutta fario) fallen into the underground river by accident has also been found.
The waters from the cave come out through the karst spring Kumanitsa at about 4 km away of its entrance. They are caught and supply with water the towns of Pleven, Lovetch and Troyan.
Because of its inconstant water regime, the variety of its relief and the danger of sharply increasing the underground water level in heavy rains, the cave is among the difficult from the caving point of view. Its specialized research is acceptable only after its agreement with MoEW and National Park Directorate. The offenders will be prosecuted moreover the cave is in the sanitary security zone of the spring used to supply some big settlements with water. Address: Troyan Balkan