The Air Nomad caves are an ancient cave system located on a mountainside near the Northern Air Temple. They were once frequented by airbenders, who came there to meditate and contemplate the mysteries of life and the universe. By 171 AG, it was used by the Red Lotus as its base to imprison the members of the new Air Nation and hold Avatar Korra before they poisoned her in an attempt to kill her while in the Avatar State.
After the Red Lotus captured the airbenders at the Northern Air Temple, they were sent to this cave to be kept as prisoners, guarded by several Red Lotus sentries. After Zaheer defeated Korra, he tied her up in chains in the sanctuary of the hideout. Kai, managing to escape being captured, found the cave after following the Red Lotus on his sky bison, Lefty. He led Team Avatar, Tenzin, Lin, and Suyin Beifong to the hideout. They defeated the Red Lotus sentries who guarded the airbenders and escaped.
Meanwhile, Zaheer explained to Korra that he was going to end the Avatar Cycle and ordered a Red Lotus sentry to give Korra the poison. Once in her body, she entered the Avatar State, though managed to escape before Ming-Hua and Ghazan could kill her. Zaheer escaped through flight but Korra chased after him. Mako and Bolin appeared in time to prevent Ming-Hua and Ghazan from following the two, ultimately defeating the Red Lotus members. However, Ghazan, refusing to go back to prison, brought down the cave they were in with lavabending.
- The inside of the cave harbors a crystal formation similar to that found in the Crystal Catacombs of Old Ba Sing Se.
- The cave system bears resemblance to ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes such as the Yungang or Longmen Grottoes.
- The inside of the cave was inspired by the Cave of Crystals discovered in Chihuahua, Mexico.
- According to Michael Dante DiMartino, the cave entrances were inspired by ancient spiritual sites, such as Machu Picchu and Easter Island.
- The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Three: Change, page 171.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (August 22, 2014). "Enter the Void". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 12. Nick.com.
- Hamilton, Joshua and Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director). (August 22, 2014). "Venom of the Red Lotus". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 13. Nick.com.
- The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Three: Change, page 162.