Mirusha Park (Kosovo)

Mirusha Park

Mirusha is a regional park located in the central part of Kosovo on the eastern side of the Metohija plain.The area has been put under protection in 1975 as a special nature reserve, with an area of 190.21.55 ha by a decision of municipality of Rahovec and Klina.

1 - wikipedia - by Ben Njeri.jpg
Photo by Ben Njeri – Wikipedia

Features

Mirusha park is most famous for its canyon in which flows the river Mirusha that creates series of karst lakes and waterfalls arranged one after another in cascades.

Due to its geological structure which consists of ultra basic rocks and volcanic-sedimentary formations (diabase cheart) of Jurassic age and the carbonates from the lower and upper Cretaceous, Mirusha river has created a 200 meters deep canyon.

At certain points along the canyon lie small lakes, connected to each other by waterfalls, high up to 21 m. There are located in total 12 waterfalls and 16 lakes. They vary in shape and size according to their position, and the structure and lithological composition of the limestone blocks. The canyon is at its widest at the final lake, while the narrowest part is in the area of the fourth lake, where it is also deepest,between cliffs 200 m high.

Rare natural geological and geomorphological features, also create interesting motives for the landscape of the park, especially specific geological form of the terrain, caves, cracks, other rocky phenomena which are created as a result of geological past, the effects of erosion, water and other exogenous factors.

As a result of mild continental climate influenced by the Mediterranean, a very rich flora and fauna has been created. The regional park area is home to many endemic and stenoendemic species.

2- by Planeti
Photo by Planeti – Wikipedia

Location

Mirusha Park is one of the most beautiful and most interesting areas of nature in Kosovo, which lies in the central part of the country, in the territory of the municipalities of Klina, Malisheva and Orahovac.

The nature park is located in the south of the Gremnik mountains, in both sides of Mirusha River, from the beginning of canyon up to the discharge in the White Drin River, around 2 km from villages of Dush, Grapc and Llapqeva and the Hill of Dushi.

In the western part of the park passes the national road Klina – Gjakova (M9.1). Parallel to this road lies the railway Peja -Prizren. Around 8 km to the north passes the national road Pristina – Peja. Distance from the capital of Kosovo – Pristina is 65 km.

The nearest airport is Prishtina International Airport (PRN).

Geography

The nature regional park of Mirusha covers 555.80 hectares (5.5580 km2) throughout Klina, Malisheva and Rahovec municipalities on the eastern side of the Dukagjini plain, central Kosovo. The elevation typically ranges from 340 metres (1,120 ft) to 600 metres (2,000 ft) above sea level.

The geodiversity of the Mirusha river basin represents important heritage components linked to geology, geomorphology and hydrology, important for science, education as well asfor touristic use.

Geology

The geological structure of the park consists of ultra basic rocks and volcanic-sedimentary formations (diabase cheart) of Jurassic Era and the carbonates from the lower and upper Cretaceous.

The geological structure of Mirusha canyon mainly compose Mesozoic limestonecliffs with tendency to drop in the direction of the water flow. Extension of these rocks in the direction northwest – southeast, and dropping to the southeast, presents geological extension of rocks.

Deluvionet are more common in the wide part of region.These sediments are formed under natural conditions passing through sedimentary material, from mobile state or transferred to the stationary state. Quaternary sediments are in contact with upper Cretaceous limestone. Also, in the eastern and western part these sediments are in contact with metasediment belt. Quaternary area is represented by lake sediments, su-clay, gravel, sand and silt.

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Photo by Faton Sadiku – Wikipedia

Caves

In Mirusha canyon are created special relief forms: deepening, caves, rocky cuts, material deposits, lakes, etc. Besides the waterfalls and lakes characteristic forms are also caves with different shapes and sizes.  Some of the most interesting caves are the Great Church and Small Church caves, the cave in the tenth lake, the cave in the ninth lake which is divided into two channels (the left and right channel), the cave behind the ninth lake and the cave of Dush etc.

Great Church Cave stretches at the last lake on the right side of river flow. This cave is located in a characteristic relief in the wall form. The cave in its geological past has been a source of underground waters. It has an 4 m wide and 12 m high entrance and has a total length of 40 m. At the end of the cave there are few stalactites and stalagmites and karst pillars.

Hydrology

In Mirusha park flows the river Mirusha, from which the park took its name. Due to hydrological, geomorphologic and landscape importance this river has been put under protection in 1983 in third category according to IUCN.

The source of the River Mirusha is situated in the west of the Caraleva mountains. It forms the left branch of the White Drin river with a length 37 km with an average altitude of 795– 360 m above sea level. The average flow of Mirusha river is 1.2 m³/s while the average water level of the river is 0.65 cm. The river covers an area of 336.7 km², around 3.1% of the total land area of Kosovo.

Mirusha River hydrographic network is generally asymmetric irrespective of numerous leaks streams and creeks to the right of the river Mirusha, in front with those of the left.

Lakes and waterfalls

The most important and most interesting features of this Mirusha natural phenomenon, are lakes and waterfalls. These natural phenomena are created in the middle and end course of Mirusha river with a length of 650 m. In this area are situated 16 lakes and 12 waterfalls of different forms and sizes.

The last lake is the largest regarding dimensions and is easily accessible to every visitor. It has dimensions of 55 x 45 m, a depth over 5 m with an area of 2250 m². The deepest lake is the 10th lake with a 9 m depth, while the longest lake is the eighth lake with a length of 56 m, width of 18.5 and depth of 5–6 m.

The highest waterfall is between the eighth and ninth lake with a height of 21 m but the most impressive waterfall is between the 15th and 16th lake with a height of 8 m.

Tourism

Those waterfalls between the lakes, together with the stunning landscape, and rocks and caves around the waterfalls, form an overwhelming sight and present a special tourism attraction. Although the water temperature is usually quite cold, throughout summer when the temperature is high, swimming there can be incredibly pleasant.

4- Ben Njeri
Photo by Ben Njeri – Wikipedia
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