Shahdad Kalout is one of the most beautiful and amazing attractions in the city of Kerman. Most of the attractions in this province consist of historical buildings and ancient architecture from different periods of Iran. However, Shahdad Kalout is one of the most important and largest attractions in Kerman, attracting many travelers from around the world to Kerman every year. This Kalout is one of the most astonishing Kalouts in the world and has many remarkable sights. If you plan to visit Kerman this year and have unique and exciting experiences, we recommend that you not miss reading this article. In the following article from Eligasht Travel magazine, all the necessary information about Shahdad Kalout and the importance of this area is discussed.
Introduction to Shahdad Kalout
Shahdad Kalout is located at an altitude of 430 meters above sea level in the heart of Lut Desert. This Kalout, also known as the City of Spirits, is one of the most beautiful and astonishing natural phenomena in Iran. Its history dates back more than 20,000 years and can undoubtedly be considered one of the oldest natural attractions in Kerman and Iran. To access this ancient and beautiful Kalout, one must travel to Kerman province and the Shahdad road.
In recent years, during archaeological research conducted in this area, traces of hidden rock formations in this desert have been exposed. This very fact has led many archaeologists to claim that in the past, there was an ancient human civilization in this region. Most likely, due to climate change, this civilization has disappeared. Many local folklore and legends in Kerman believe that there was a city named “Lut” in this area during ancient times.
The importance of Shahdad Kalout
Perhaps you sometimes wonder where the hottest point on Earth is. In response to this question, it should be noted that NASA declared Shahdad Kalout as the hottest point on Earth in 2005, with a temperature of 70.7 degrees Celsius. This fact itself adds to the importance of Shahdad Kalout from a tourist perspective. Many natural structures in this Kalout, which have naturally formed in the heart of Lut Desert in previous years, have been registered in UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
In addition to all these points and the importance of Shahdad Kalout as a natural attraction, many ancient artifacts and pottery have been found in this area. As mentioned earlier, according to some archaeologists, there was a human civilization in this Kalout during ancient times. When this civilization disappeared, many of their artifacts and jewelry remained in the heart of Shahdad Kalout and have now been added to the ancient artifacts of Iran.
Beyond its geological marvels, Shahdad Kalout holds great cultural significance. The region has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with evidence of human settlement and ancient civilizations. Archaeological excavations in the area have uncovered artifacts and remnants of ancient buildings, providing insights into the lives of past societies that thrived in this unforgiving environment.
Furthermore, Shahdad Kalout is home to one of the world’s oldest known ziggurats, a stepped pyramid-like structure that served as a religious or administrative center in ancient times. The remains of this ziggurat, known as the Rig-e Jenn, stand as a testament to the advanced civilizations that once flourished in this arid land.
The Shoor River is the hottest point in the country
One of the miracles that can be seen in the heart of the hottest point on Earth is the passage of the Shoor River through Shahdad Kalout. The source of this brackish river is from South Khorasan and the mountains outside Kerman province. This river follows a long path and eventually flows into the marshes of Kalouts. Ultimately, the spring where the Shoor River descends is known as “Gowd-e Namak” or “Chaleh Shoor,” which itself is one of the tourist attractions of Lut Desert and Shahdad Kalout. The passage of this river through the heart of Lut Desert and Shahdad Kalout has created one of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes in the world.
The salinity of this river is so high that sometimes salt crystals block the waterway and make the passage of water difficult. Just tasting a small amount of this water can keep your mouth salty for a long time.
Features and Vegetation Coverage
As mentioned earlier, this region is known as the City of Spirits, primarily due to the distant view of the cliffs. When you look at these cliffs from a distance, the landscape resembles a city full of tall buildings. However, in reality, this city is uninhabited and can even appear very eerie in certain terrifying situations. Another reason why the cliffs of Shahdad are called the City of Spirits is the ancient human civilization that once lived in this area, leaving only their artifacts behind. The legends and titles given to this region make it one of the most terrifying natural attractions in the country, alongside its beauty.
The vegetation coverage of the Shahdad Cliffs begins with scattered shrubs and then progresses to scattered Astragalus bushes as you move forward. However, as you get closer to the main area, even the Astragalus bushes disappear from your view, and this area becomes completely devoid of any vegetation coverage. The soil of Shahdad is similar to the soil of many deserts, and although its salinity is high, it is not enough to prevent plant growth.
Also, in this area, we witness rainfall and floods during the autumn and winter seasons, which means the lack of water has not prevented the growth of plants. The only reason for the absence of vegetation in this area is the heavy winds that uproot all the bushes and carry them away. These winds have caused erosion and the gradual formation of the Shahdad Cliffs.
Recreational Activities and Attractions of Shahdad Kalout
The Shoor River is one of the most famous and largest attractions of Shahdad Kalout. Many people visit Shahdad to see this river and the salt marsh that flows into it. The polygonal salt structures that form alongside the water in this area, known as “Poli Gon” or hexagonal salt formations, are another attraction of Shahdad. In addition to the Shoor River, the natural and ancient structures, as well as the salt marsh of Shahdad, are considered another fascinating attraction in the heart of the Loot Desert. This salt marsh covers about 100 hectares and is one of the most astonishing natural attractions of the Loot Desert.
There are also many recreational activities in Shahdad Kalout, and many travelers and off-road groups come to this area. In addition to activities such as off-roading and stargazing in the night sky, camel riding and safari tours are also available in this area. If you are not familiar with this region and desert activities, the best option is to visit Shahdad with professional tour guides or travel groups. Driving off-road vehicles and walking in these areas can be very dangerous.
Visiting and Accommodation in Shahdad Kalout
The best time to visit Shahdad Kalout is during the cooler seasons of the year, such as autumn and winter. It is strongly advised against traveling to this region during the hotter seasons, especially in the summer. As mentioned earlier, this area is the hottest place on Earth, and it is not sustainable to stay here during the hot seasons. Therefore, people should travel to this area during the cooler seasons, preferably accompanied by a tour or professional guides.
Accommodation in Shahdad Kalout is possible at Shahdad Camp. In Star Kavir Lot Camp, also known as Shahdad Camp, there are 35 accommodation units available. These units are relatively well-equipped and built with natural materials. The camp offers a restaurant, café, tour guide services, and other facilities such as heating and cooling systems. It is worth mentioning that this camp is the only camp in the Lut desert and can provide one of the best travel experiences for you.
Other Points about Shahdad Kalout
As previously mentioned, touring alone in Shahdad Kalout can be dangerous for newcomers. Therefore, it is essential to travel with a tour or professional group. The desert is divided into three sections: green, orange, and red. Individuals who are newcomers and do not have professional guides are not allowed to enter the orange and red sections. Entry to these sections is only possible with permits given to professional guides.
It is recommended to bring enough food and water before traveling and exploring Shahdad Kalout. The desert is extremely hot, and if you do not have essential supplies such as first aid kits and sufficient food and water, your life may be at risk. Additionally, always stay with professional guides and other tour members so that you can seek their help in case of any problems. To organize a camp in the Lut desert and stay in Shahdad Kalout, it is crucial to be accompanied by professional guides. Otherwise, make sure to rent accommodation at Shahdad Camp.
In this article, we introduced Shahdad Kalout and became familiar with its tourist attractions. This region is known as the hottest point on Earth and is considered one of the most valuable natural attractions in the country. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of and strive to preserve it for all travelers. There are many recreational facilities in this desert, and one of the most enjoyable experiences is observing the clear sky and starry nights.
However, travelers must remember that traveling to Shahdad Kalout alone and without the presence of professional guides is not possible. For this reason, it is always necessary to travel to this area with a tour or professional guides who have permission to enter the orange and red sections. If you have also experienced a trip to Shahdad Kalout, feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments section.
Frequently Asked Questions
1- Where is Shahdad Kalout located?
Shahdad Kalout is located in Kerman Province and at the heart of the Lut Desert. To travel to this area, you need to go to Kerman and then take the Shahdad road. Further information is provided in this article.
2- What are the tourist attractions of Shahdad Kalout?
The tourist attractions of Shahdad Kalout include natural structures, the salty river, polygons, and salt domes in this area. For more information, refer to this article.
3- How is accommodation in Shahdad Kalout arranged?
Travelers who come with professional tours can either set up a camp in Kavir Lot or choose to stay at Shahdad Camp if they wish. Shahdad Camp is introduced in this article.