Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Come with us to Gandom-e Beryan:

Gandom-e Beryan is the name of a hill with an area of 480 square kilometers, which is covered with blackened volcanic lava. The hill has been introduced by Professor Parviz Kordavani as the world’s hottest point where temperature in the shade rises as high as 67 degrees centigrade in summertime.

Gandom-e Beryan or Rig-e Soukhteh is located 80 km north of Shahdad city in Lut Desert. Due to lack of access roads, only locals who are familiar with desert routes can reach there. The hill can become a geo-tourism resort and needs to be introduced to interested people. From November to April, temperatures in this part of the world are bearable and it is the only opportunity to tour this region.

Shahdad Desert

Shahdad Desert is part of Lut Desert. It is an unexplored land which can open a new window to ecotourism in Iran. Desert is not simply a geographical phenomenon, but is also of historical and cultural value. Its starry nights combined with elusive mirages, unparalleled silence, historical monuments and sweet taste of Shahdad dates can appeal to any taste and every nationality. There is also the permanent Shour (salty) river with beautiful salt crystals, Gandom-e Beryan hill, Barout gorge, egg-shaped salt formations, as well as desert plants which aggrandize beauty of the desert. This place is like an unknown planet.

Desert nights are also incredible and in no other place such a starry night can be seen. It seems that you can take stars in your hands if you reached out for them. The hotter the day, the more beautiful and starry is the desert night.

Why Gandom-e Beryan?

Residents of Shahdad also call Gandom-e Beryan as Rig-e Soukhteh. A local truck driver who does business between Shahdad and southern parts of Khorasan (Birjand) maintains that people called it Rig-e Soukhteh because of the blackened lava which covers surrounding hills.

Reza Abdollahi noted that caravans of camels traveled from Shahdad to Khorasan in 1950s and people say one of the caravans had been forced to jettison its wheat cargo in the vicinity. A few days later, new camels and their drivers noted that the wheat was scorched due to intense heat and, therefore, the hill was called Gandom-e Beryan (meaning “Scorched Wheat” in Persian) hill.

Geological viewpoints

A senior geological expert maintains that stones of Gandom-e Beryan hill are made of volcanic lava. Mohammad Hossein Behjati noted that more studies are needed to determine lifespan of regional stones, adding “The stones are alkaline and igneous.”

“After lava leaves the mouth of the volcano, the spindle-like movement of lava causes gases to get out of the volcano which leads to formation of pits…. In my opinion, the mouth of the volcano has been eroded in the course of time,” he said.

A major expert on deserts who is faculty member of Tehran University also believes that igneous is the hottest spot on Earth where temperature reaches as high as 67 degrees centigrade under shade.

Professor Parviz Kordavani who has done extensive research on Lut Desert has noted that the black color of stones attracts sunlight in the summertime and greatly increases the temperature. He noted that the area of Gandom-e Beryan hill amounts to 480 square kilometers.

Lut desert is no more remote

After inauguration of Shahdad – Nehbandan road which runs through the desert for 293 km, all nature lovers and ecotourists will be able to visit attractions of the desert. The local governor of Shahdad maintains that during this year’s holidays, more than 30,000 people have visited Shahdad and Lut Desert and 1,673 people have stayed the night at a desert tourism camp.

Mohammad Mo’meni added that the camp included 34 arbors, sanitary water, electricity, paved road as well as light towers, which are located 28 km northeast of Shahdad where tourists can stay the night.

Explaining about travel facilities to Shahdad and Gandom-e Beryan, the local authority noted that construction of an accessory road to Gandom-e Beryan was being studied and a gravel road will be probably constructed for 10-15 km. it will branch off the 75th km of Shahdad – Nehbandan road and will be finished by October 2008.

A Danish tourist, who was visiting the region for the second time during the past 5 years, noted that he was a 50-year-old journalist who has come to Shahdad from Kerman on bicycle. He opined that attractions of the Iranian desert should be introduced at international level.

Also, head of the ecotourism institute noted that infrastructures should be established in desert areas.

Mohammad Ali Inanlou proposed that Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization should establish two more tourism camps near Shahdad.

Abdolhossein Zargani, a citizen of Ahvaz, said presence of Red Crescent patrols deep into the desert assured the tourists.

The mayor of Shahdad, however, notes that establishment of tourism facilities needed more credits.

Asadollah Rajabi added that Shahdad has turned into a tourism resort and asked provincial authorities to appropriate more credits to the city.

Shahdad region has an overall area of 24,000 square kilometers with a population of 30,000. The region comprises two cities which are located in northeastern part of Kerman province near Lut Desert.

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم