(Persia Digest) - The salt dome in Bushehr Province is the largest and most beautiful salt dome in Iran and the Middle East.
The salt dome of Bushehr province is located 144 kilometers southeast of Bushehr Port and 64 kilometers from Khormoj city; it is considered to be the largest and most beautiful salt dome in the world. The area of the dome is about 3,666 hectares, the height of the summit is 1,490 meters above sea level, and its minimum height from the sea level is 70 meters.
The formation of the dome is from the northwest to the southeast and westward to Gonakhk village and Jashak village, and extends eastward from Baghan village to Darvishi village. The access road to the dome is from the eastern side, three kilometers after the Gonakhk village, through the dirt road of the old salt mine that was operating in the region, and from the eastern side of the dome, after the bridge of Kerdelan village, you take the dirt road toward the dome to reach the dome's foothills.
Regarding vegetation, almost in most places there is no growth due to the high salt levels on the surface area of Dashti salt dome. However, in some parts of the dome there are large and small limestone areas, which on these surfaces, plants such as Astragalus, Periploca and Zygophyllum grow. A variety of annual plants also covers the limy surface of the dome in the winter and spring which gives a spectacular beauty to the area.
Regarding wildlife, in the summer season, which is usually from mid-May to mid-October, with the exception of several species of lizards and bats, which are permanent residents of the dome, there are no other animals. Due to its location on the path of the Zagros mountain range and between two mountains with fresh water springs, the salt dome has a great potential as a tourist attraction. These include salt waterfalls, salt caves, namak chals, salt glaciers, hoodoo or fairy chimney, Valley of Gol Kalam (cauliflower), salt springs, namak shar, and namak feshan, and the beautiful and colorful surface of the dome.
Natural waterfalls in the natural course of the water paths of the dome and below the foothills in different shapes and sizes have given a rich beauty to the region. In the hot season due to the high levels of water evaporation, thick salt crystals are formed on the path to the waterfalls, and the water sliding on the salt crystals and the sunlight create a stunning view.
Salt glaciers are some of prominent attractions of Dashti salt dome, which are formed on sloping surfaces by the gravitational motion of the masses of salt in the direction of the slope in the form of steps, and have created beautiful shapes and amazing colors on their surface. The Valley of Gol Kalam (cauliflower) is the most amazing part of the dome that is coated evenly with the salt that comes in the form of cauliflowers. The salts are arranged in the form of beautiful open buds. Dashti salt dome has been registered as a National Natural Phenomenon in the Department of Environment in February 2008, and through the efforts of Dashti Mountain Climbing Club was inscribed on the country's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization list in 2010.
Photographer: Mahmoud Sadeghi / Jaam-e-Jam