Dasht-e Kavir

September 6, 2018
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Iran’s central desert, Dasht-e Kavir is a broad salt land with all beauties you can find in wilderness. Right in the heart of Iran’s great plateau, the desert, 800 km long and 320 km wide, extends 300 km east and southeast of Tehran Province.

Tens of million years ago, there was a salt water lake surrounding the current arid land. Once the lake dried up, thick layers of salt were formed in the region. In fact, salt layers in the lake’s bed were buried under mud over many years. But due to low density of salt in contrast to that of mud and stone, it exerted pressure on layers on top to create amazing (almost peerless in the world) salt domes on earth’s surface. An astonishing geologic phenomenon, the desert houses about 50 salt domes, recognized so far, which have been shaped as a result of wind and rain interactions.

The barren land is not appropriate for cultivation and it is to a great extent abandoned. Explored somewhat by eager trekkers, the desert is inhabited in limited areas; the villages’ buildings here have been built in a unique structure design to resist the severe climatic conditions.

As far as wildlife is concerned, animals like goats, camels, rams and Persian leopards are seen here in the mountainous areas. Bushes exist in places.

Although it might seem like salt layers are very coarse and rough, they are actually only a few centimeters thick; beneath is a sticky mud; so watch out as you might be swamped all of a sudden. Maybe the safest journey for desert fanatics is via organized tours in Iran so you can not only take pleasure in extensive desolate land at a high level, but you can get fun opportunities like camel riding, and some enjoyable 4WD rides.

Photographers will adore the plateau where they can come across gorgeous scenes; the sunset, when sand dunes glitter like gemstones, is marvelous scenery.

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