Tara River Canyon

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Tara River Canyon

The Tara River Canyon (Serbian and Montenegrin: Kanjon rijeke Tare, pronounced [kǎɲɔːn târɛː]), also known as the Tara River Gorge, is the longest canyon in Montenegro. It is 82 kilometers (51 miles) long and is 1,300 meters (4,300 feet) at its deepest, making it the deepest river canyon in Europe. The canyon is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and is a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tara River cuts through the canyon.

The Tara River, at its end making confluence with Piva, becomes the Drina, and is some hundred and fifty kilometres long. In its passage through the Tara National Park, the river has a mean fall of 3.6 metres/kilometre, making a host of waterfalls and cascades possible, thus creating with its uniqueness The Montenegrian Colorado.

All along its flow, the Tara gets large quantities of water from numerous sources, and quite a few tributaries. The most important tributaries on the left bank of the Tara are Ljutica and Susica, and the most important tributaries on the right bank are Vaskovaska rijeka and Draga. The most important source is the source Bajlovica sige, a source placed on the left bank of the Tara river, giving to the Tara a few hundred litres per second, where the water sourcing from the Bucevica cave falls into the Tara more than thirty metres high, and more than a hundred and fifty metres wide. Very special are the Tara cascades. The roar from the cascades is heard on the very peaks of the canyon. There are more than forty cascades, the most famous being Djavolje lazi, Sokolovina, Bijeli kamen, Gornji tepacki buk, Donji tepacki buk. Because of the quality of its water, and because of its unique ecological system, Tara in 1977 was put into the programme “Covjek i biosfera” (People and Biosphere) and inscribed into the ecological biosphere reservations of the World, being thus protected under an internationally issued convention.

There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon.

Planned hydroelectric dam[edit]

The Bosnian and the Montenegrin government initially had plans to flood the Tara Gorge and construct a hydroelectric dam in the Drina River. However, this plan was abandoned in April 2005 after several successful protests of advocates for the preservation of the canyon. In September 2006, a protocol for cooperation between Slovenian company "Petrol" and Montenegrin company "Montenegro-bonus" was signed, and the building of an electric plant with initial power of 40 or 60 megawatts is planned, despite all efforts to protect the gorge.

Rafting[edit]

The canyon is part of the Tara River rafting route. The one-day rafting route, from Brstnovica to Sćepan Polje, is 11 mi long and it takes 2 to 3 hours. This part of the canyon is the most exciting because the river has the biggest drop in elevation in the shortest length. There are 21 out of 50 rapids in that part of the Tara. The rapids are Brstanovići, Pećine, the very dangerous Celije rapids and Vjernovički rapids. If one decides to go all the way, rafting adventure is 62 mi long. At the beginning one will see the waterfalls of Ljutica, then you will pass under the 541 feet high monumental bridge of Tara. Next thing you can see on this exciting journey is the old Roman road and the Lever Tara. "Funjički bukovi" and "Bijele ploče" will make you realise how calm and up to this moment nice Tara becomes a wild beauty. "Nisovo vrelo" is the deepest part of the canyon (3608 feet high). Further is the bottom of the mountain top, "Curevac" (5413 feet), that rises above Tara as its "eternal guardian" and one of the nicest viewpoints of the Durmitor area.

In 2005 and 2009, the European Championships in Rafting were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republic Srpska) on the Vrbas and Tara rivers. According to the International Rafting Federation: "The event was hugely successful ..."

Coordinates: 43°12′32″N 19°04′40″E / 43.209°N 19.0777°E / 43.209; 19.0777

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