The Maranjab desert, located near Kashan city is one of the ancient desert cities of Isfahan province. It is named after a castle around there from Safavid dynasty. It has a typical climate of hot and dry in summer, and cold and dry in winte, and very little rainfall during the year.
Maranjab desert is one of the most beautiful parts of the Iranian deserts. High dunes and forests arch are the attractions of this region. Most of the vegetation consists of Halophyte plants such as Tamarix trees, Haloxylon trees and Zygophyllum bushes. Animal coverage area consists of animals such as wolf, jackal, hyena, sand fox, 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. 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. Other attractions 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 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 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 desert. 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 restuarant that serves food. The around area of Maranjab Caravanserai is safe, and is a great place for camping.
Another attraction of Maranjab desert is the sand dunes. The tallest sand dunes on east, are about 70 meters. On the southern side of Maranjab Caravanserai there is a mountain, known as “Kolang Mountain” surrounded by sand hills. If you are looking for a little adventure, Within 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 around noon it’s better to walk on the moving sand dunes in the early morning or late afternoon.
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 its 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