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Touch the sky in the Maranjab Desert
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Touch the sky in the Maranjab Desert

The Maranjab desert, located near Kashan city is one of the ancient desert cities of Isfahan province. It was named after a castle around there from the Safavid dynasty. It has a typical climate of hot and dry in summer, cold and dry in winter, and very little rainfall during the year.

Maranjab desert is one of the most beautiful parts of the Iranian desert. High dunes and forest arch are the attractions of this region. Most of the vegetation consists of Halophyte plants such as Tamarix trees, Haloxylon trees, and Zygophyllum bushes. The 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. On 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. Another attraction 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 Salt LaKe


  • 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 the 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 dessert. 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 restaurant that serves food. The around the area of Maranjab Caravanserai is safe and is a great place for camping.


Maranjab caravanserai


  • Sand dunes

     Another attraction of the Maranjab desert is the sand dunes. The tallest sand dunes on the east, are about 70 meters. On the southern side of Maranjab Caravanserai, there is a mountain, known as “Kolang Mountain” surrounded by sandhills. If you are looking for a little adventure, With a 15-minute walk you can reach the top, the view of the desert from the top is just breathtaking. The moving sand dunes create a wonderful landscape in the desert. You can enjoy walking on the sand dunes with bare feet. Since the temperature rises in the desert at midday, it’s better to walk on the moving sand dunes in the early morning or late afternoon.


Maranjab sand dunes


  • Maranjab Salt Lake
    Maranjab salt lake is located approximately 100 km east of the City of Qom and 60 km of Kashan. The lake has a surface area of about 1800 km². Many people confuse the Maranjab Salt Lake with “Howz Soltan” salt lake. The lake looks like a triangle and it's 5 to 50 meters deep. The Maranjab salt lake is used for salt extraction too. The lands around the salt lake are swampy, so it’s better to visit the salt lake with a local guide who knows the area. Generally, there are two ways to get to the Maranjab desert:
  1. On the way from Aran to Maranjab route after driving about 35 km you’ll see the way through the salt lake.
  2.  Passing the Maranjab Caravanserai, after 10 km you can see the route to the salt lake.
    If you are lucky you can see flamingos too. September, October, and November, (the whole autumn) is flamingoes migration time.

Maranjab salt lake


  • What is the best time to go?
    Mid-Autumn and late November are the best times due to the dryness of the path, mild weather, and the lack of insects. Hipersia almost every week has one-day tours to visit the desert.


  • Getting there:
    There are several ways to get to the Maranjab desert. The main route is from Kashan to Aran va Bidgol to Padegan road and you have to drive around 45km on a dirt road to get to the Maranjab desert. Due to the military base that is located in this region, a leader should accompany you. The Maranjab Desert can be visited on a one day tour. From Kashan to the Maranjab Desert is about one and a half hours. Start your trip early in the morning, about 8 AM, and enjoy visiting Maranjab Caravanserai, Maranjab Salt lake, and dunes. You can spend your whole day in the Maranjab Desert and get back to Tehran after seeing the beautiful sunset. Otherwise, you can just visit the dunes and Caravansarai and get back to Tehran in the afternoon.
    Hipersia offers a 1-day trip to visit the area. Move early morning from Tehran to Kashan. After breakfast in the restaurant keep your route to Kashan and Aran va Bidgol, then go to the full of mystery Maranjab desert and salt lake. After watching polygons of a salt lake move to Abbasi caravanserai. After lunch, surf in the caravanserai and enjoy visiting the smooth dunes.



Iran Desert Tour



  More Iran deserts are listed below:

Dasht-e Kavir

Lut Desert

Mesr Desert

Varzaneh Desert



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