Birkleyn Caves, Diyarbakır
Lice, a town located in the rural part of Diyarbakır Province, welcomes thousands of nature and outdoor sports enthusiasts throughout the year.
Located 15 kilometers from Diyarbakır city center, Lice is home to a 3-kilometer trekking route starting from the Birkleyn Caves, where Assyrian inscriptions, reliefs, and remains of the Byzantine era can be found.
The Birkleyn Suyu (Birkleyn Waters) runs through the region creating three big caves that have been famous for centuries. The place where the water surfaces through a natural tunnel from a deep underground system is called “Birkleyn,” or “Tigris Tunnel.” The spot was popularly believed to mark the source of the river Tigris and was marked by five Late Assyrian reliefs and inscriptions. In ancient times, the location where the water disappears to flow underground was dubbed the "End of the World."
Today, the spot is a major tourist attraction where nature lovers can trek and explore the area's natural wonders.
The biggest of the caves can host up to 3,000 people at a time, while the other two smaller caves run as deep as a kilometer. Although the majestic caves and the rough trekking route might appear at first a bit intimidating, experts say it is a very safe route for explorers.