It is located on the land of the village of Slivarovo, Malko Tarnovo Municipality, in a deep and dank ravine, overgrown with a dense beech forest.

Coordinates: 42°00’17.32” N, 27°39’12.19” E, 178 m above sea level


Area Descriptions

Indipasha is one of the most unusual places for tourist visits, but it is visited year round by hundreds of pilgrims seeking healing through the practice of ancient rituals, in which the cleansing and healing power of water plays a crucial role. It is believed that the sanctuary Indipasha is more than two thousand years old. This place was worshiped by the Thracians. It is a place which combines pagan and later Christian beliefs in an incredible way. Indipasha is an ancient Thracian consecrated ground, a mysterious and mystical place, hidden from or hard to reach by the average or uninformed tourist (especially without a local guide). The routes to it are mainly two, but both are difficult of access. One starts from the area of Kachul (next to the bridge over Veleka and near the village of Gramatikovo). It continues along a forest road and after 7 km it gets to a junction where there is a sign pointing in the direction of Indipascha. There are not enough signs and you can easily lose your way. The second option is the road to the village of Slivarovo (a turn road off the main road Malko Turnovo - Tsarevo). There is a sign indicating in which direction the sanctuary is on the road, but on the whole this road is very bad and is suitable only for jeeps. Otherwise there are enough signs and if you follow them, you can get to a place where there are rough, wooden tables and benches. This place is near the sanctuary. The consecrated ground lies below it and it can be reached along a steep cutting, hidden in the centuries-old forest.

The Thracian priests struggled among the impenetrable forest to perform sacrifices in the name of the Sun God and Mother Earth and to predict the future. But as time went by the path to the consecrated ground was forgotten. The dense forests in Strandja hid the sanctuary from the people and nobody knew where it was. Legend has it that it was discovered again by a blind buffalo, which was chased away by its compassionate master (instead of being killed), but a few days later it returned and could already see. After a while it lost its eyesight again, but went into the forest and came back able to see. This happened several times. One day its master followed it and thus reached the rocks where the animal drank water. It is believed that even today in the mystical sanctuary there is healing water which helps sick people – lame people can walk again and blind people can see again. People say that the water of Indipasha is the most healing on the Sunday after Easter. But there is no explanation why this is so. However, on that day the sanctuary attracts thousands of people from Strandja and from the rest of the country who come here to drink some water, to wash or to take some healing water with them.

Indipasha is so old that it is not even associated with a particular Christian saint. Attempts to translate the name as "after Passover" or even "anti Passover" make the mystery rock surrounding the consecrated ground even greater. Indipasha is an example of a sacred place of the most ancient type, combining the four main elements of which the world is made: fire, air, water and land.

At this miraculous place in the impenetrable forest, faith and hope bring together pagan and Christian rituals. The sanctuary is always in twilight because of the dense forest and the high stones overgrown with lush greenery. Time has stopped here, the silence is ominous, the sun’s rays can hardly get through, and humidity is in the air. By the holy spring there is a small, rough chapel and numerous icons left by worshipers. On the rocks are hung knotted pieces of clothing which have touched the sick parts of people’s bodies which are expected to be healed. The sight is very wierd. But people come here, wash their faces, take a sip of the magic water, light a candle and pray to Bogoroditza for health. And they leave filled with faith, hope and love.

The Thracian sanctuary is just one of the dozens of mystical places in the Bulgarian part of Strandja, which has been preserved and reminds people that faith is limitless and constant over the centuries, but also that taking care of nature (and in particular of the dense and ancient forests of Strandja) is an important part of this mysterious process.

Related routes

Project: Green corridors - promotion of natural, cultural and historical heritage in the region of Burgas and Kirklareli. Grant Contract №РД-02-29-173/01.07.2011.

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