Introduction to the Lut Desert
Lut Plain or Lut Desert, which is popularly known as “Plain Desert” or “Lut Desert” due to its similarities, is the first large desert plain in southeastern Persia and the most arid deserts in the world. This desert is located among the three provinces of South Khorasan, Sistan-Baluchistan and Kerman that have expanded and occupied about 10% of Persia land area. Lut Desert is located in the Earth’s thermal pole in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 as the hottest point on Earth. In 2005, with temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius, it set a record for the warmest temperature on Earth and was added to the UNESCO list. Lut Desert is divided into three geographical units:
1) North Lut, which consists of elements and irregularities of sand, gravel.
2) Central Lut, the most amazing part of the Lut Plain, which is one of the most unique phenomena in the world such as Kaluts (natural features with various shapes created by the mechanism of water and wind and erosion of the earth) as well as masses and hills. The giant has created sand.
3) South Lut, which has the richest vegetation in the desert.
Lut Desert Existence
In addition to its natural features, the Lut Plain has ancient values. Explorations in Shahdad, 7 km from the Lut Plain, have uncovered tombs containing pottery and metal vessels from the third and fourth millennia B.C. These vessels are similar to the ones from the civilizations discovered in Sistan. On these dishes, there are decorations on which the eagle design is most prominent. Among the discovered dishes, there are colorful marble ones which look like samples discovered in Susa. In the past, the area was thought to be of no vital importance and its name is rooted in the same subject, but biological studies in this area of Persia suggest that between 30 and 40 species of animals and plant collections are found in the area. These include sand foxes, sand cats, and turquoise bipeds. The largest population area of Lut plain is Shahdad, which was also called Khabis in the distant past.
Name of Lut Desert
The word Lut means naked and without any clothes. This plain is named after Lut, because in some places no living thing is found because of its unfavorable weather conditions. Lut is called a plain or a desert, not a sahara. Many people believe that Lut is also called the Desert, along with the Lut Plain which is scientifically incorrect. The desert is the name of a salt marsh where the soil is very salty and lowlands have been cut down. But Lut is a plain; Lut consists many areas and is made up of many parts, of which the salt marshes make up only a small part. Since this mistake has become turned into a habit, we also use the word “dessert” to name this area. Even in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Lut is registered as the Lut Desert.
The Lut Plain consisted of many wonders, and these incredible attractions paved the way for UNESCO World Heritage List. Kalut or Lut means hills with different shapes of clay. These completely natural features cover the western surface of the Central Lut, amazing clouds formed by wind and blue erosion, and two important factors are the 120-day winds of Sistan and the Shoor River, and it is interesting to know that many earthquakes occur in the plains. But these Kaluts are still there, and they are one of the main tourist attractions of the Lut Plain.
To the east of Lut there is an area where there are sand dunes. The hills that are constantly deformed by the wind. These hills are such that the flowing sands on the surface of the earth have stopped because of the wind blowing and after reaching obstacles such as plants and rocks have gathered in one part. Due to not having much wind in this area to disperse everything, sand dunes have been created. The interesting thing to know is that the largest and highest sand pyramids in the world in Libya, but the height of the Lut pyramids from this amount is even higher and reaches up to five hundred meters. The largest and highest desert sand dune in the deserts of the world is gathered in the Lut Desert, in Persia. In the Lut Desert, in the region of Shahdad, there is a place that shrubs are trapped in the soil. Trees in this region have made a pot out of the plain. These Desert- which are mostly turmeric shrubs – are rarely seen in the Lut Desert, but they are the largest pots in the world. These pots have a special name and are called Nebka. The largest Nebka in the world is ten meters long and belongs to the Lut Desert. The Nebka shrubs in the African Desert are not as tall as Nebkas in Lut Desert.
Lut Desert As a Natural UNESCO World Heritage
Lut, with an area of 184,000 square kilometers, is one of several large deserts in the world, which has amazing surprises. This desert is the first natural monument of Persia to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016 at the UNESCO World Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Persia natural monument.
Unesco Wold Heritage Criteria of Lut Desert
Criterion (vii): Lut is a scorching desert of global value that is one of the hottest spots on earth. The Lut Desert is best known for its special Kaluts on its west and sandy sea on the east part of this plain. The Kaluts are so large and interesting that they can be seen from space. Another importance of Lut is due to the variety of geological forms in a relatively small area, and that the beauty of this natural work lies in the stunning colors created by the diversity of the scale and shape of the geological structures. There are also unparalleled views along the diverse sandy system of the Lut Desert, which extends to vast desert areas.
Criterion (viii): This work is a very special example of geological processes that occur due to erosion and subsidence in the hot desert environment. Lute Desert Cloths are the best example of their kind in the world in terms of range, height and health. The desert sands of the Lut Desert are some of the best active sandy lands in the world, with a variety of sand particles, including crystalline sands, stellar sands, intricate linear sands, and funnel sands, making it the most diverse in the world. The height of the Nebuchadnezzar, which is a sandy structure around desert plants, is higher in the Lut Desert than anywhere else in the world. The salt flats in the Lut Desert are found in a variety of shapes and colors, including salt from desert-rivers, salt surfaces with multi-faceted cracked shells, and salt cracked shells due to pressure changes, gypsum domes, and stains. There are also salty carnations included.
Location of The Lut
To reach Lut Desert, enter the Kerman-Bam road from Kerman and do not forget the world’s largest brick structure in the middle of the Bam Citadel, and after visiting this large castle, continue on your way to Sirch. Don’t miss Mahan, a city with one of the best Persian gardens, the garden of Prince Mahan registered in UNESCO and the tomb of the famous Shah Nematullah Vali Aref, famous near Kerman. After about 35 km, it reached the village of Sirch. After reaching this village, go to Shahdad road. After a few kilometers, it reached the crossroads of Shahdad and Golbaf.
The further you go, the cooler the air becomes; but when you enter Shahdad Road, you will be surprised by the warmer and warmer weather. On the way from Kerman to Shahdad, there is a long tunnel between the tropical part of Kerman and the summer resort of Sirch, which is known as the longest road tunnel in Persia. The climate on both sides of the tunnel is different, and this difference in temperature is especially noticeable in winter.
If you are a professional desert climber, have in mind Brian wheat, which is part of the Lut Desert in Shahdad, which is free of any vegetation and animals due to its very high temperature. The area is about 450 km wide and is located in the eastern part of the Kal Shoor River.
Shahdad Desert has three green, orange, and red areas:
Green Zone: It is open to tourists and extends from Shahdad-Nehbandan road to a depth of 2 km in the desert. If you are planning to visit the Kaluts and you do not want to travel in the desert, this green area is enough for you.
Orange and red area: These two areas start immediately after the green area. It is not possible for tourists to enter these areas without guidance and coordination with the relevant agencies. Due to the difficulty in identifying the route, tourists are likely to get lost.
*One piece of advice
Do not enter the Shahdad Desert Center without having a local guide and information about the relevant devices, and the best way to visit this place is to accompany the tourist tours.
Don’t forget sunscreen, non-perishable food, drinking water, hats and compasses, and other desert climbing equipment.
When to visit the Lut Desert
The Lut Desert does not have a good or bad time to travel to, but most of desert trips are handled in autumn and winter and the second half of March. To travel to the Lut Desert in the spring, the heat in this area begins, which can bring you problems if you are not physically fit.
Where to stay near Lut Desert
Nabka Desert Ecotourism Residence
Near the clouds of Shahdad desert in Kerman, another eco-tourism resort is on the list of Persian desert ecotourism resorts called Nebka. This eco-lodge is taken from a sandy spot that is one of the beauties of the desert. Nebka is a large garden house with a stream of water and towering palm trees, which is the largest eco-tourism resort in the Shahdad region. The residence welcomes its guests with traditional syrups and sweets of this region so that the sweetness of this stay will stay in the hearts of travelers for a long time. The exciting part of the stay is a carriage ride to explore the city such as the Zayd Shrine, the water reservoir, the stone mill, and the historic site. Nebka has five rooms that can accommodate a total of 40 people.
Shahdad Desert Camp
Located on the western edge of the Lut Desert in Kerman Province, is a safe haven for those who want to experience life in the desert. This camp can be recognized by the beautiful capers built with palm leaves. It should be noted that visiting and staying in Shahdad Desert Camp is possible only in winter and early spring. Eco Camp Star Lut is a recreational complex in this lovely village of Malek Abad in the heart of the Lut Desert in Kerman province. These units are mainly in the form of tents and a small number of concrete structures similar to tents, which are located in a delightful grove. Eco Camp has made it unique in its kind.
Where to eat near to Lut
Makoush Traditional Restaurant is one of the good restaurants in Kerman, whose menu includes traditional Kermani dishes. The pleasant atmosphere, good quality and delicious taste of the food are the features of this restaurant and it is one of the local dishes that is served in the paused restaurant “Bazgharmeh”.
The One Thousand and One Night Dining room is a traditional place with a warm and pleasant atmosphere, and as the name of this restaurant suggests, the menu of the dining room includes traditional dishes, all of which are of good quality. Marigold Restaurant is one of the old restaurants in Kerman. The atmosphere of the restaurant and even the way it is served is still old and therefore very lovable. Remember that you can only go to spring forever to have lunch.
How to visit in Lut Desert
Lut Plain is a large world, and Kalut is only a part of its beauty. Lut is vaster than you can walk safely and claim to have heard all of its secrets.
If you want to experience car rides in the middle of Kalut, Safari and Off-road cars are the best choice for you.
As a piece of advice, go on a four-wheeled motor (ATV) ride to see the rocky outcrops of the Lut Plain.
Camel riding in the desert is one of those experiences you should not miss to find out how humans have traveled the endless distances of Lut in the past.
Desert Sky at night is different from what you see in your city. So put the camera aside and capture the dance of stars.
How to go to Lut
One of the ways to reach Kerman is by air. This route takes 50 minutes to an hour from Tehran and Mehrabad Airport. To get to Kerman, travelers can also book a train ticket to get to the city in 14 hours or take a bus to it and be there for 11 hours. To get to the Lut Desert, you drive to Shahdad and from there you have to drive a little further, this road passes right through the Lut plain. Or even better, find one of the desert guides in Kerman and go there with off-road vehicles, so you can go to the heart of the Lut desert.