Perm Region is the easternmost European Region of Russia, situated near the Ural Mountains, which, in turn, form the border between Europe and Asia. As a matter of interest, the Permian period of geological history is named after the Russian city of Perm, the center of Perm Region. There are about 10 000 caves in Russia, more than 700 of which are in Perm Region. This region is world famous for its Kungur Ice Cave – the oldest tourist cave in Russia. Another cave of the Perm Region has recently become famous: Ordinskaya Cave.
Ordinskaya Cave is one of the major discoveries in Russian speleology. It is currently the longest underwater system in Russia (and in the former USSR). As of April 2007, a total length of 4000 metres of underwater passages has been surveyed in this unique cave. The underwater passages in this cave also contain the largest syphon (underground passage completely flooded with water) in Russia and the former territory of the USSR, with a length of 935 m. The current total length of the cave, including dry sections and lakes, is currently 4400 metres with a vertical range of 43 metres.
Ordinskaya Cave has been known for many years. The first mention of the cave in speleological literature appears in 1969, in the popular Russian scientific periodical “Caves”. Here the eminent geologist, karst researcher and Professor of Perm State University, G. A. Maximovich published an article “Caves of Gypsum Karst”, listing among the gypsum caves of Perm Region, Kazakovskaya Cave (the former name of Ordinskaya Cave). G. A. Maximovich probably learned about the cave from the local population. Ordinskaya is located 1 km. southwest of the village of Orda, in the Ordinskiy District of Perm Region (100 km. southeast of Perm). Situated at an altitude of 160 m. a.s.l., the cave lies on the steep left bank of the Kungur River Valley adjacent to Kazakovskaya Mountain. The entrance is approximately five metres wide and two metres high, at the base of a karst sinkhole 15 metres in diameter and some 10 metres in depth.
Ordinskaya Cave is located at the eastern edge of the Russian Plain. Kazakovskaya Mountain massif, in which the cave in situated, presents a plateau-like upland. From the south, east and north it is embraced by the Kungur River valley. The karst massif rises some 50 metres above the river giving a limited area for cave development. Two different strata take part in the geological structure of Kazakovskaya Mountain: the “covering”, consisting of karst-collapse sediments, and “bedrocks” of the Kungurian Stage of the Early Permian. There are large karst sinkholes on the surface of the mountain, in one of which, located on the southern steep slope of the massif, the cave entrance is situated.