News ID: 244
Published: 0410 GMT August 13, 2014

Kelardasht: An ecotourism hub

Kelardasht: An ecotourism hub

Kelardasht in the northern province of Mazandaran is one of the ecotourism hubs of Iran.

By Katayoon Dashti

It is very cold in winter with temperature dropping to 30 degrees Celsius below zero.

Kelardasht means a hamlet that has been established on a plain.

Promotion of health tourism is one of the development plans of Kelardasht.

The city is bound to Takht-e Soleyman Summit in south, Caspian Sea and Abbasabad city in north, Chalous, Noushahr and Kojour in east, and Qazvin and Alamout in west.

It is accessible via two roads. One takes Chalous Road from Marzanabad to reach Kelardasht. The other one starts from Abbasabad in along the Caspian coast and reaches Makaroud to the west of Kelardasht.

Kelardasht has 45 summits with a height of over 4,000 meters. Alamkouh with a height of 4,845 meters is the highest one.

It is located 170 km off Tehran. Its central part is Hassankif that has many shops.

 

Favorable destination

Iran is a favorable and affordable destination for foreign tourists, particularly Arabs from Persian Gulf littoral states, to spend a vacation.

Kelardasht annually attracts 2 million domestic and 300,000 foreign tourists.

There are many hotel apartments and villas across Kelardasht for accommodating tourists.

Foreign tourists travel from Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Iraq. They boost the city’s economy, as they spend a great deal of money during their stay.

Some of them have local guides. They are seen everywhere such as supermarkets, confectionaries, shops, groceries and playgrounds.

A shopkeeper was learning Arabic by studying a book to be able to talk with Arab customers.

It is a pity that hotel receptionists don’t know English well and cannot guide the tourists.

Kelardasht has souvenirs such as Damon cookie, honey and dolls.

In spite of its spectacular nature and many tourists, Kelardasht’s roads are in poor shape. They need to be asphalted. Also, the garbage collection system is poor.

Kelardasht has green forests, Sard Abroud River, Alamkouh and Takht-e Soleyman Mountains and mountainous villages. Sard Abroud originates from Alamkouh and Takht-e Soleyman heights and flows into Caspian Sea.

 

Ejabat Palace

 

Ejabat Palace was established in Ejabat Village, Kelardasht, during the Pahlavi era. It boasts European-style decorations and plasterworks, and has precious chandeliers.  

In 1939, golden plates, brass dishes and earthenware were unearthed from a hill on which the palace is established.

They were renowned as Ganjineh Kelardasht (Kelardasht Treasury). They were transferred to Bank Melli and later to the National Museum of Iran. One of them was a golden cup decorated with a lion’s figure.

Ganjineh Kelardasht indicates the culture and art of the region during the first and second millennia BCE and its link with Gilan, Lorestan, Azarbaijan’s Hassanlou and Kashan’s Sialk.

 

Valasht Lake

 

Valasht Lake is located in a valley in northeast Kelardasht. It is spread in an area of 15 hectares with a depth of 20 meters.  The lake has 3 million cubic meters of freshwater.

The lake is accessible via Marzanabad. It has an appropriate habitat for birds and aquatics such as pike.

Migratory birds such as wild goose and wild duck land in the lake in winters.

It is one of the most sightseeing natural heritages of the country in light of its unique Nature.

Kelardasht has beautiful carpets that are exported to Persian Gulf littoral states, Austria, France, Italy, Canada and Germany.

Also, traditional crafts such as felt making, straw plaiting, sock knitting, jajim weaving, doll making and potteries are prevalent there.

   
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Resource: iran daily
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