Sistan and Baluchestan province: Paradise Lost of nature tourism

Zahedan, Sept 27, IRNA – Sistan and Balouchestan province located on southeastern Iran bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan is the 'Paradise Lost' of nature tourism due to its unique tourist attractions for domestic and foreign tourists with ancient monuments and numerous tourist resorts.

As of 1980, World Tourism Day is celebrated annually across the world on September 27. It was on this day in 1970 when the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted as a milestone of global tourism. UNWTO celebrated the first World Tourism Day as an international observance on September 27, 1980.

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the importance of tourism in affecting the social, cultural, political, and economic values of the international community.

In current times, it is important to raise awareness about the tourism sector given that 90% of World Heritages Sites closed as protective measures to contain the pandemic and young people in rural communities are three times more likely to be unemployed.

However, domestic tourism is expected to return before international tourism, as per UNWTO foresight. This could benefit rural communities if managed well.

Sistan-Baluchestan province is located in the east and southeast of Iran. It is Iran’s vastest province with an area approximately equal to that of Syria but is less populous. Sistan includes Zabol and the cities around it and Baluchestan encompasses the rest of the cities from Zahedan to Chabahar.

This province has special significance in the region because of being located in a strategic and transit location; especially Chabahar which is the only ocean in Iran and the best and easiest access route of the middle Asian countries to free waters.

Zahedan city as the center of Sistan-Baluchestan is the neighborhood of Khorasan province in the north, the province of Kerman in the west, and in the south is within the limits of the townships of Iran Shahr and Khash. To its east are the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The city of Zahedan is the center of the province and lies at a distance of 1,605 km. from Tehran.

Zahedan is the center of this province, which is also connected to Mirjaveh of Pakistan through the railroad. Sistan and Baluchestan province is considered to be the rainbow of the country’s mines. This province has unparalleled natural and historical attractions and the Chabahar port has also added to its beauty. Share Sukhteh, listed at UNESCO World Heritage is world-renowned. 

Zahedan experiences a tropical type of climate in the south, but to the north, it is comparatively moderate. In the early period of the reign of Fathali Shah Qajar, there was a well in the vicinity of Zahedan which was used by highway robbers. But in the year 1315 AH., a subterranean canal (Qanat) was dug by one of the inhabitants which caused the formation of a small village named 'Dozdab'. After the Belgians antiblack in this area, in order to install a customs office, it gradually developed and thereby its population increased. The name Dozdab was renamed Zahedan in the year 1935, after which it rapidly expanded and became the center of the province.

*** Chabahar beauties; The Pearl of Southeastern Iran

Chabahar, south of Sistan-Baluchistan province, with a clean coastline free of contamination in eight months of the year, is suitable for shrimp farming, which has prompted experts in the area to regard it as the aquaculture paradise to Iran.In addition to its commercial position, Chabahar has many historical and natural attractions. The climate of this city and its surroundings is always spring and temperate, the reason it is called Chabahar or Chaharbahar.

Chabahar is situated on the Makran Coast of Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran and is officially designated as a Free Trade and Industrial Zone by the government. Declaring the city as the free trade and industrial zone helped promote the status of the city for international trade and foreign investment. The overwhelming majority of the city's inhabitants are ethnic Baluch of Iran, who speak their native Baluchi language in addition to Persian.

Chabahar is Iran's closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean. For this reason, Chabahar is the focal point of Iranian development of the east of the country through expansion and enhancement of transit routes among countries situated in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.

The hope is that with the development of transit routes, and better security and transit services, the benefits will reach the local residents. Chabahar's economic sectors are fish industries and commercial sector, fishery with the largest amount of country's fish catch, mainly located out of the Chabahar Free Trade and Industrial Zone.

*** Martin Mountains

 Martian Mountains (also known as Merrikhi Mountains), situated 40 to 50km from the port city of Chabahar, in Iran's southeastern Sistan and Balouchestan province is one of the famous tourist attractions of the country.The Martian Mountain is one of them, just try visiting it and you would surely get amazed by its eye-catching scenic view.

The mountains are not beautiful for the snowy peaks or green nature, but because of their special shapes and figures, they could not be found anywhere else in the world but they may exist in Marc. The Martian Mountains are only a part of the beauty of Chabahr which always look like it is spring.

The Martian Mountains of Chabahr probably date back to over 5 billion years ago according to historians and geologists. They are as high as 100 meters in most sections. Excavation of many fossils belonging to fish indicates that Martian Mountains were underwater in ancient times.

*** Shahr-e Sukhteh

In ancient times when human beings were practicing sedentary life, a city which archeologists considered as the world's first city in terms of urban texture, population, urban planning, etc. emerged in Sistan. The burned City and its creative and intelligent civilization, over 5,000 years old, is the largest urbanization (city-dwelling) in the eastern half of Iranian Plateau and a unique example of science, industry, and culture in ancient times of this land. 
Shahr-e Sukhteh is the remaining of an ancient city in Iran located 56 kilometers from Zabol on the side of Zabol-Zahedan Road in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Southeast of Iran. The time of this big city's construction coincides with Jiroft Culture Bronze Age. Iranians lived in this city about 6000 years ago.

This city was built on the alluvium of Helmand River estuaries to Hamun Lake. Based on discoveries made in the Burnt City during the consecutive years, it can be claimed that this city was the most important place of residence and in fact, the capital of the district during the Bronze Age. 

It is said that Shahr-e Sukhte is the most advanced city of the old world, even more, advanced than Crete City which Sinuhe has mentioned in his book. 
In the 38th convention of UNESCO on June 22, 2014, Shahr-e Sukhte was registered in UNESCO World Heritage.

*** Gwater Bay; Of the most beautiful attractions in Iran

Gwater Bay is one of the most beautiful areas of Iran and the farthest southeast of the country and its unique natural beauty attracts every tourist. Gwater Bay is known as the end of Iran's regional roads in southeastern Iran, bordering Pakistan and except for Sistan and Baluchistan province.

A small part of Sistan and Baluchestan province that makes everybody feel strange from the beginning of the road, especially if you enter its haunting road in the daylight, you will be amazed by its silence and beauty and you will get a great experience.

Gwater Bay is one of the protected areas of the environment due to its proximity to mangrove forests. According to the Chabahar Port Department of Environment, Gwater welcomes a large number of migratory birds each year in early fall. About 3 different species of birds enter the area in the form of 4 groups.

**** Lut Desert

The Lut Desert has been put on the United Nations list three years ago and is capable of flourishing as a major Iranian tourist resort. Iran's Lut Desert was registered on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) natural heritage list in 2016 when the 40th meeting of the body was underway in Istanbul.

It was the first natural resorts of the country on the list where Iran already had other 19 cultural heritage sites. The stunning desert lies on southeastern Iran, straddling the country's three South Khorasan, Sistan-Baluchestan, and Kerman provinces.

Spanning an area of 22,780 square meters, Lut is comprised of dunes, yardangs, nabkhas, hammadas, and basaltic plateau, each with unique spectacular landscapes that rarely can be found in other parts of the world.

**** Pink lake in Iran' Chabahar

Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of colored lakes around the world, but do you know that the Chabahar lagoon is one of them? Pink lake , also known as Chabahar Pink Lake, is one of Chabahar’s spectacular attractions in southern Iran. If you want to know where the lagoon is and how you can reach it, or how it came about and why it’s colorful, continue to stay in touch with us to get to know more.

Due to the special type of the soil surrounding the lake, its water surface seems shining with pink color during some five months of the year and it reportedly covers an area of 10 hectares.

The lake and a nearby lagoon of the same name boast beautiful and unique landscapes, a potential attraction for domestic tourists and foreign travelers. They are situated some 20 kilometers east of Chabahar in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Chabahar is a humid port city commonly considered as one of the warmest places in Iran.

Water levels of the seasonal lake routinely depend on the amount of rainfall. Gaz shrubs, whim, and straw are amongst its topmost vegetation. It is also home to flamingos, pelicans, white and gray hawks amongst other birds.

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