1. What is a Kalut?
2. How to get to Kaluts
3. When to go to KalutsDown below we are going to explain when is the best time of year and when is the best time of day to go to Kaluts of Lut Desert: 1. The best times of year to see the Kaluots are early autumn and spring; precisely from mid-October till the end of November and from early April till the end of May. This is when it’s neither too hot nor too cold to enjoining the desert and camping. Moreover, we have to mention that the weather is perfect in winter and you can go for a hike in the day time and enjoy camping at night if you have good equipment. But, in summers it will be too hot to camp and it’s better to go there only for the sunset. 2. The best time of day to be in Kaluts is for the sunset and it’s better to check the sunset and to leave Kerman about 3-4 hours before that for sightseeing, stops and to be there on time.
4. What Attractions to See on The Way to Kaluts
Mahan:If you have time and if you have seen Kerman city already; maybe, it’s better to leave Kerman earlier that we mentioned (3 hours before sunset) and spend couple of hours on the way to see town of Mahan where you can have a cool experience seeing the Shazdeh Garden of Mahan, Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine and Mahan town (the name of Mahan Air airlines derives from the name on this town).
Sirch:For getting to the Lut desert you have to cross Palvar mountains; and, to do so you have to go up! This will result in very cold weather and it’s surprising that on the way to one of the hottest places on earth you will experience such a great differential in temperature; some times this differential is more than 25ºC. The next destination on your road trip would be the most beautiful village by the name of Sirch where you can easily fall in love (of course with nature :D). Sirch is located in a valley, full of high trees and a huge river is running through it. As a result, it gives the passengers who are crossing the road at the top; a landscape which they will never forget. There is a cypress tree in this village that is believed to has more than 1000 years and along with 2 others in other places are the most important trees in Iran.
Shahdad:After passing Sirch and the surrounding mountains you are officially in Lut desert. The first major city that you will cross is Shahdad (Shah + dad: given by king) which is an ancient city with a 6000 years old civilization; there have been many excavations near Shahdad and many believe that this region was once the legendary civilization of Arrata. The cistern of Shahdad which we strongly recommend every visitor to go and have a look at is a touristic site with an advanced system of 6 windcatchers, dated back to 200 years ago.
Flag of Shahdad is the oldest in the world.
Nebka Mounds:Neba is a natural vase for tamarisks trees which is formed by wind erosion. At first there were only scattered groups of tamarisks trees in a sandy land and since the roots of these trees keep the soil a little damp and hold the soil together; after strong wind all the sands will wash away except the ones around these trees and this phenomenon leads to making hills with trees at top which we call Nebka.
Shafi Abad:Shafi Abad, like many other villages near Kaluts is there as a result of qanat technology. In almost all of these villages, you can easily trace the qanats and see how the inhabitants can make a living in a dry desert. There are a couple of interesting locations in each of these settlements; locations like old-style houses, caravanserai, palm groves, farms and ruins, and Shafi Abad is famous for its qanat entrance, caravanserai and ecolodges.
Qanat:As you may know by now, most of central Iran is an arid place with little amount of rainfall; therefore, finding water was always a crucial task and many lives depended on it. Iranians came up with a solution about 5000 years ago; qanats! Qanats are a system of underground canals for taking water from point A (e.g. a well on hillside of a mountain) to point B ( e.g. a village in Kavir of Lut). In 2016 UNESCO enlisted The Persian Qanat as an intangible world heritage of Iran. We will post an article about this system soon. Just before the village of Shafi Abad you can reach an entrance to a qanat (although it’s not amoung the 11 qanats that are enlisted by UNESCO) which still has pure running water. Down there, there are two narrow passages that lead to couple of connected galleries and you will be astound by the humidity of that place in midst of a desert.
Castle or Maybe Caravanserai:Another place to visit in Shafi-Abad is its immense castle. Being built in about 200 years ago this place was actually a massive caravanserai where the travelers (or caravans) came to for sleeping. However, the villagers were allowed to take shelter over there in times of threat or attack and that’s why this place has defensive parts such as 4 watchtowers, high walls and a fortified gate.
The huge Castle/ Caravanserai in Lut
Entrance of the caravanserai