Pamukkale – A crowning beauty among natural spas

Who doesn’t enjoy a nap in a calm, serene setting? Now imagine having that nap in a large natural spa filled with hot water springs and warm mineral water that is enriched with calcium. Therefore, not only do you enjoy a relaxing bath but the calcium rich water also relaxes your sinews and bones and heals the tension in them. Now, that is tempting, isn’t it? Now fill this scene with a little more magical elements; the warm water flowing down the cliff’s edge, cools down to solidify and form large terraced pools of deposited calcium, overlapping one over the other. Something is akin to the stalactites and stalagmites in the caves. Only these pools are not hanging vertically.

The scene that has just been created for you has not been pulled out from some fairy tale. You can see this place for real in Turkey. This place is called Pamukkale, which means ‘cotton castle’, and is located in the Denizli Province in Turkey. An ancient Roman town called Hierapolis was once built over these terraced pools. Heirapolis means ‘The Holy City’ or ‘The Sacred City’. The ruins of this city continue to exist and can still be seen over the terraced pools today.

If you see the photographs of this place, you are bound to be astounded. Such a strange and beautiful formation exists in our world. There are about seventeen hot water springs in the area. One can also see limestone formations in these hot springs. Underground volcanic activity in the area has led to the formation of some picturesque limestone and calcium walls over the cliff. The temperature of the region assists in the reactions that take place in the formation of the walls and pools as well as control the speed of the flowing water.

However, if you were planning to visit this place on your next vacation, then you are going to be disappointed. Until the mid 1980s, tourism was a major industry in the area. People from around the globe came here to enjoy the scenic beauty as well as use the curative powers of the water for healing themselves. However, the existence of roads and hotels built around these pools, and the increasing number of people bathing in them, began to drain out the water and damage the site.

The terraces began to be ruined and the water began to dirty and dry. As a drastic measure to stop further damage from ruining this site completely, UNESCO declared Pamukkale as a World Heritage Site. In order to preserve it, tourism in the area has now been stopped, the hotels have been destroyed, and people are not allowed to bathe in these pools anymore. However, despite these measures the flow of the water to the pool has reduced and is replenishing at a very slow rate.

So unfortunately, for those of you who may have been thinking of visiting this exquisite natural wonder, it may not be your best choice for a holiday spot. Nevertheless, you can always enjoy the pictures from this place and marvel at how stunningly the nature carves its wonders.