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Dragov ponor

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Dragov Ponor (~ 11 km from Mravinjci)

Donje Leskovice village, Petrović hamlet, Valjevo, western Serbia

Geographic position and history of exploration

The cave Dragov Ponor is situated on a karst levelled surface above the Sušica River canyon, in the village of Donje Leskovice (Petrovići hamlet), on Brezice locality. The owner of the land is Krstivoje Petrović. The entrance to the cave lies at the altitude of 646 m a.s.l.

The cave may be reached from the main road Valjevo – Mravinjci, by turning right in the village of Donje Leskovice, at the locality Jabuka, towards the hamlets Maksimovići and Petrovići. From the farthest Petrovići houses, the cave lies 300 m towards the south-west, which may be passed on foot or by a 4x4 vehicle (provided the weather is dry). The entrance to the cave is situated at the bottom of a funnel-shaped doline (20 m in diameter and about 10 m deep). The doline is overgrown with vegetation, including tall trees (beech), situated on the south-western slopes of the Stevanov Krš, at the altitude point 650.

The cave was first explored on November 20th 1977 by the members of the Speleological Group of the Researchers Society „Vladimir Mandić - Manda“ from Valjevo. Since that time, the cave has been visited by numerous cavers. The cave was named after a man named Drago, who accidentally fell into the cave, while elderly local population still thinks that some unknown forces took Drago down.

Morphology of the cave

 

The cave entrance is of elliptical shape. Its major axis is 4 m long, while the minor axis reaches 2-3 m. At the depth of 33 m from the entrance, there is a small ledge, covered with clastic material from the surface. Down to this depth, the passage descends at an angle of 50 degrees. From the ledge downwards, the passage is 6 m wide, increasing to 7 m down to the 88th metre of depth. From 88th to 144th metre, the passage narrows to 5 m. From 104th metre, the cross section widens again. From the mentioned ledge to 122th metre, the cave is vertical, with elliptical cross section, with diameters from 5 m to 20 m. At 112th metre, there is a terrace covered with limestone debris, boulders of various dimensions and clayey material. A passage 35 m long leads from the terrace. This passage is coated with calcite and abounds in various kinds of speleothem. Another passage, descending and cascading, also leads from the terrace towards the bottom of the cave. The end of the dry passage lies at 183 m of depth, and stagnant water level is present here. The lake is 7 m in diameter, and the depth reached by diving is 17 m. Thus, the total depth of Dragov Ponor is 200 m. The lake level is constant.

Position of the cave on the topographical map Valjevo 478-4-1 (Sušice)

The lowest explored point of the cave is situated at the altitude of 446 m, which is at the same time the level of the Sušica River bed. There are no constant water streams inside the caves, but seasonal streams are present. Percolation waters are rather intense.

Dragov Ponor is the deepest cave in the wider surroundings of Valjevo. Thus, it is often visited by cavers from Serbia and abroad. The cave is used as a cave rescue training polygon. Among the caves in Serbia, Dragov Ponor is the 8th deepest.


 
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