Cennet and Cehennem

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Cennet and Cehennem (English: heaven and hell) are the names of two big sinkholes on the Toros Mountains, in Mersin Province, Turkey. The sinkholes are among the touristic attractions of the province.


Cennet and Cehennem are situated next to each other. Cennet is situated at 36°27′09″N 34°6′20″E / 36.45250°N 34.10556°E / 36.45250; 34.10556 Cehennem on the other hand is at 36°27′16″N 34°6′21″E / 36.45444°N 34.10583°E / 36.45444; 34.10583 . Both of them are in the rural area of Silifke district which in turn is a part of Mersin Province. They are accessible by a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) all season open road from the main high way (D 400) . The highway distances are 22 kilometres (14 mi) to Silifke and 67 kilometres (42 mi) to Mersin. They are close to Narlıkuyu coastal town.


The monastery

Top opening of Cennet is 250 x 110 m2 ( 820 x 360 ft2 ) and its average dept is 70 metres (230 ft). It is possible to reach the bottom of Cennet by a primitive staircase composed of 300 steps. At the bottom towards south, there is a smaller and 150 steps deeper cave. In this cave are the ruins of a monastery built in the 5th century by a certain Paulus and dedicated to Virgin Mary. In this monastery one can hear the sound of a small underground stream from the monastery to the gulf of Narlıkuyu.[1]


Cehennem is a deeper sinkhole with a depth of 128 metres (420 ft). But its top opening is smaller with dimensions 70 x 50 m2 ( 210 x 150 ft2 ) . More over, the upper edge of the opening is concave. So, it is impossible to reach the bottom of Cehennem.


In mythology, Zeus kept Typhon temporarily in Cehennem before imprisoning him under Mount Etna.(see Corycian Cave)


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