Band-e Rig (Maranjab) Desert

Band-e Rig (Maranjab) Desert

Maranjab Desert (Band- Rig Desert) is one of the popular destinations for desert hikers, it is a tourist attraction in Kashan, located in the north of Aran O Bidgol. Maranjab was originally the name of a caravanserai and aqueduct that was built during Abbas the Great period, and after that its surrounding areas became known as Maranjab desert. The average height of Maranjab desert is about 850 meters above the sea level. This desert is mainly covered with sand and sand dunes.

Vegetation of Band-e Rig Desert

Maranjab desert in Kashan is very rich in vegetation. The main vegetation is salt-tolerant plants, such as Tamarisk, Haloxylon, Salix alba, fire bush, Zygophyllum and Smirnovia iranica bushes, which are mostly revived by the General department of natural resources to prevent soil erosion and curb desertification.

Animal Diversity in Bande-Rig Desert

The animal diversity of the region is very rich due to the abundance of water and food. Among the current animals, these can be mentioned: wolves, jackals, hyenas, rüppell’s foxes, sand cats, monitor lizards, chameleons, lizards, snakes, scorpions, eagles, see-see partridge, and falcons.

This desert is part of the arid and semi-arid regions of the world between 20 and 45 degrees north and south latitudes, and large masses of aeolian sand  are concentrated in different places. These sand masses are called Rig or Raml in local dialect.

Where is Band-e Rig Desert?

Band-e Rig sand dune area is located in Mesile Hole, south of Namak Lake.

Band-e Rig is one of the dune systems in Iran. Marginal areas of Band-e Rig always face problems of blowing sand transfer due to erosive winds. Based on Nicholas Lancaster, the threshold speed of wind erosion was considered 12 knots. Most of the sand dunes of Band-e Rig are of “active” type, and only a small part in the north and a part in the south have “very active” sand dunes, and in the western margin, only the top of the dunes is active.

The Deserts of Band-e Rig

Band-e Rig desert has three deserts in its heart: Maranjab, Banderig and Pusht-e Rig deserts. If you move towards Maranjab desert, you will come across a wide Salt Lake, which has a special environment of silence and peace. In this lake, you can see a flat land covered with salt with geometric patterns of salt blocks, which is the result of the flow of salty water of rivers and floods over thousands of years and has created these shapes after evaporation. In this lake, you can see Sargardan (wandering) island, standing out in the heart of the desert. Sargardan Island or Sargardan Mountain is a volcanic mountain that is seen floating on the water due to vision error and mirage phenomenon. Watching it can be an interesting experience for you.

Along the way to Band-e Rig, you can see desert’s vegetation. Maranjab Caravanserai is another sight of Aran o Bidgol, which stars like a gem in Band-e Rig desert. This caravanserai was built on one of the road branches of the Silk Road during the Safavid era. In recent years, it was renovated by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage so that today we can spend a night in it.

The most attractive part of Band-e Rig desert is its amazing sand dunes, take off your shoes and step on the soft sand of Band-e Rig desert and relax under the desert’s sky. Small and large sand dunes with running sand create a fantastic view in front of your eyes that tempts you to take out your camera and spend some time taking pictures. If you are into sky and the stars, we suggest you stay one night in Band-e Rig desert and enjoy watching the starry sky on a moonlit night.

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Band-e Rig (Maranjab) Desert