Ecotourism and Natural Attractions of Markazi Province
The Markazi province occupies a central position in Iran and borders the provinces of Teheran, Ghazvin, Hamedan, Lorestan, Qom and Isfahan. At the geological level, the formation of its uneven and porous earth crust dates back to the Quaternary or Anthropozoic era.
The Markazi province occupies a central position in Iran and borders the provinces of Teheran, Ghazvin, Hamedan, Lorestan, Qom and Isfahan. At the geological level, the formation of its uneven and porous earth crust dates back to the Quaternary or Anthropozoic era. It runs along the central desert of Iran known as Dasht-e Kavir, and lies at the foot of the folds of the mountain ranges of Alborz and Zagos. It is precisely this strategic position that explains the irregularities of its bark. The lowest level of its surface is at Dasht-e Massileh in Saveh (950 meters), and its highest peak is called Shahbaz and belongs to the mountain ranges of Rasvand (which rises to 3388 meters high). The Markazi province is a globally mountainous region, marked more by its famous mountains and summits, like those of Zarand in the north, from Intcheh-Ghareh, which continue to Saveh, like the mountain ranges of Ghareh-Chai that accompany all their length a river of the same name, as Rasvand and Sefid-khani in the south-east, Alvand-lakan in the west of Khomeyn, Haftad-Gholleh (seventy peaks) in Arak and Koujeh in Tafresh.
If the Markazi province enjoys a rich climate diversity, it is precisely because of its particular geographical location that it is at the same time at the edge of the mountain, the desert and the salt lake, Hoz-e Soltan. This marriage of semi-desert, temperate and cold mountain climate has generated a singular vegetable and animal biodiversity. Moreover, in addition to these interior elements, winds from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and the high-pressure air masses of the Indian Ocean represent marginal causes that, despite everything, reinforce climate change, and therefore, ecological of the region. Given the remarkable difference in the region, precipitation changes dramatically from one point to another. They often occur as snow in mountainous areas and rainfall in lower regions. However, the main suppliers of the water needed by the province are the sources of Emarat, Abbas-Abad, Panjali, Eskan, Mahallat, Sangestan and Bolagh, which provide two and a half billion square meters. drinking water to the province. It should be noted that rivers like Ghareh-Chai, Gom-roud and Shahrab also provide two billion square meters of water to the cities in the region.
As for vegetation cover, the province is home to desert steppes rich in wild plants and medicinal herbs such as santonine, chicory, astragalus, rhubarb and wild spinach. The more mountainous regions benefit from green meadows (about 1.9 million hectares) suitable for the grazing of nomadic herds, particularly those of the Ghashghai tribe. Unlike the wild steppes, the forest cover of the Markazi province (except two hectares of wild oaks) is due to the artificial planting of fir, acacia and tamarisk, and this over several years and close to cities and industrial areas .
Markazi province also has a rich animal, domestic and wild life. The breeding of domestic animals, including sheep, beef, buffalo, camel, donkey, mule and poultry, is carried out by the indigenous peasants. Wild animals, for their part, naturally inhabit intact areas of the region, and usually live in the steppes and nature reserves that abound in the region. Among these, the presence of the gazelle, the bunch, the jackal, the fox, the wolf, the hare, the brown bear, the leopard, the marten, the turtle, the partridge, gray partridge, and migratory birds such as the heron and goose, to which adaptation with the ecology and climate of the Markazi province offered morphology and singular abilities.
Despite its small share in the field of ecotourism, the Markazi province holds great potential for the possible exploitation of natural resources, precisely because of its geological situation and the fusion of its different animal and vegetable lifestyles. This is why, beyond cultural and historical attractions, it can offer new opportunities for nature lovers by investing more seriously in this branch of tourism. The province offers extraordinary landscapes such as the Meyghan desert, the heights of Shazand, Astana, Sarband, Komijan and Hendoudar, the Haftad-Ghollehs Reserve (seventy peaks), the mountains, the vast steppes, the stone mines, the swamps and the natural springs which are really worth seeing. Among these, the desert or Lake Meyghan deserves special mention. Indeed, this lake of salt and clay, located northeast of the city of Arak, in the region of Farahan-Sofla, fills with water thanks to the abundant rainfall of the wet season, thus offering a green image of itself, which disappears however from the arrival of the hot season (because of the excessive vaporization of the water). Thus, in summer, it turns into salt marsh, revealing bleached hills of salt that shine at dawn and dusk under the golden rays of the sun. Around the lake have also grown extraordinary native plants, such as the ghareh-dagh, whose twigs spread over the sands protecting them against the strong winds. The Meyghan Desert also has one of the world's largest sodium sulphate mines, which is estimated to have a total of forty-five million tons when fully exploited.
At the southern point of the crossing of the cities of Arak, Malayer and Shazand and over a vast green valley flows a clear and fresh spring of water always ready to revive tired travelers. According to the inhabitants of the region, the water from this spring, known as Chepeghli, is so pleasant to drink and healthy for the body that it should be called "Holy Source" without hesitation. Rich in calcium and fluoride, it has the ability to cure diseases of the liver, kidneys and skin, and would be a cure for osteoporosis and cavities. Travelers often stop for a few hours and enjoy the fresh air, greenery and calm of the valley and fill their bottles with the water that springs from the heart of the mountain, before getting back on the road. Thanks to its location at the foot of the mountain ranges of Alborz and Zagos, the province Markazi also benefits from mineral springs that welcome tourists from Iran, and are prized especially for their effects against joint and muscular aches. These sources include Hakim, Gavar, Eskan, Soleimani, Shafa and Mahallat hot water.The Hizdadj cave is located near the village of Hizdadj, northwest of Ghouzi-Gheshlagh Mountain, and 6 km from Djough Fortress. The entrance to the cave overlooks an abandoned fortress. What makes this cave a unique place are its amazingly smooth stalactites.In addition to this cave, there is also another cave on the heights of the summit Shahzand, itself belonging to the mountain range of Rasvand, which bears the name of Keykhosrow in honor of the great Iranian mythical king, son of Siavash and grandson of Afrasiab, mentioned extensively in the Shah-Nameh (Book of Kings) of Ferdowsi. Due to its mythical and religious importance, it is sacred to the Zoroastrians who travel to Iran and India every year to complete their pilgrimage. The names of Iranian mythical heroes such as archer Poulad and Siavash Shahryar have also been engraved on the walls of the cave.
According to some believers in the Zoroastrian religion, this cave has a spiritual connection with the exact location of the "Azar-Goshtasb" Fire Temple, the world's largest fire temple, which is believed to have been located somewhere near Cave. Other caves in the Markazi province are also worthy of mention and visitation, including the artificial cave of Ghal'eh-Djough (jough fortress) near Chehr-Ghan village, the Souleh-khounza cave, with two entrances, located near the Shams-Abad village, the Sefid-Khani cave and ice box in the south-west of Arak and the Assili limestone cave in the Aman-Abad village.This density of animal, plant, historical, traditional and cultural presence is not unique to Markazi province. Iran, thanks to its history, contains innumerable natural and cultural "surprises". Fortunately, cultural tourism partly helps to protect and expose these historical treasures to Iranians and the world. Unfortunately, we do not know enough about the natural resources of this country, and if not, they are not valued as much as they deserve. Their presentation is one of the heavy tasks of Iranian ecotourism.