Deserts of Iran: Maranjab Desert

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Maranjab desert is located in the northern city of Aran Bidgol in Isfahan province. This desert from north to Salt Lake Aran Bidgol, the West Desert Lakes issue and salt pond and dock Sultan Moreh, from East to desert sand dam and Desert National Park and the southern city of Aran and Bidgol is limited.

Maranjab desert is one of the most beautiful parts of the Iranian deserts. High dunes and forests arch are the attractions of this region. Most of the vegetation consists of Halophyte plants such as Tamarix trees, Haloxylon trees and Zygophyllum bushes. Animal coverage area consists of animals such as wolf, jackal, hyena, fox sand, sand cat, lizard, chameleon, a variety of lizards, snakes, scorpions, dull-yellow partridge, eagle, hawk and others cause of lots of food and water.

Aran O Bidgol salt lake and Wanderer island are other spectacular parts of the desert. When you watch the island from far away, the two ends of it disappear in the horizon and the landscape looks like a ship adrift in the ocean desert, that’s why it’s called Wanderer island. The island, only one or two months of the year due to rainfall in the region are visible and the rest during the year converts to salt marsh. Other attractions of the Maranjab, is a caravanserai on the Silk Road, which is located in the desert. Maranjab desert average height of sea level is 850 meters and the highest point of this desert measures about 880 meters of sea level.

Maranjab Caravanserai

Maranjab Caravanserai one of the most famous caravanserais in Iran, was built by the order of Shah Abbas Safavid. Maranjab castle, caravanserai was located on the silk route. In Past there used to be always, 500 soldiers on top of the castle to watch over the caravans trading from China to Europe. Maranjab Caravanserai has a Qanat having fresh water which, is a phenomenon in a desert full of salt lakes. Today Maranjab caravanserai is used as a guest house. It has 29 rooms and accommodates tourists visiting this wonderful desert. The rooms don’t have beds so you should have sleeping bags. Each room accommodates one or two people and the bigger ones accommodate seven people. It doesn’t have shower facilities, but there is water in the toilets located outside the main building, about 3mins walk. The caravanserai has also a small restuarant that serves food. The around area of Maranjab Caravanserai is safe, and is a great place for camping.

Getting there:

There are several ways to get to the Maranjab desert. The main rout is from Kashan to Aran va Bidgol to Padegan road and you have to drive some 45km on a dirt road to get to Maranjab desert. Due to the military base that is located in this region, it’s better a leader accompanies you.

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