0749 GMT October 17, 2021
Gahar Lake in the western Iranian province of Lorestan, situated at an altitude of over 3,000 meters above sea level, is one of the geological wonders of the country, said director general of the province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Seyyed Amin Qassemi said that efforts are underway by the Iranian Department of the Environment (DoE), the Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran (GSI), and the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Ministry to register the lake on UNESCO’s Natural Heritage List.
He added that the existence of a lake, full of water, at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, which is considered a geopark, is of great significance.
He said that an agreement was signed between the DoE and GSI to prepare the conditions for the global registration of the lake, noting that the necessary studies are presently underway.
He harbored hope that the results of the studies would be compiled by mid-March 2022, to pave the way for the Cultural Heritage Ministry to prepare the dossier of the lake for world registration.
Referring to the geographical position of Gahar Lake on the heights of Oshtorankuh Mountain, he said that on the way to the lake, a ranger’s station is the farthest place to which one can travel by car.
“From the station to the lake, a distance of 17km, there is no car route because the area is under the protection of DoE.
Qassemi noted that between 250,000 and 300,000 nature lovers visit Gahar Lake every year. They usually spend one to three nights there.
The official observed that since the area is under the protection of DoE, it is not possible to build any accommodation centers for tourists, pointing out that several platforms were built in the area for nature lovers to rest.
“Travelers can only be accommodated in tent camps,” he said.
The official said that since the trail to Gahar Lake is difficult to cross, we tried to pave the path to some extent and establish facilities for tourists.
Qassemi said that the bridges, which were destroyed by floods in 2019, were rebuilt. He noted that local materials were used to reconstruct the damaged dams and the walls of the river flowing in the area.
He said a camping site was established for tourists near the lake, noting that some bathrooms were restored and a number of platforms were built for tourists.
“In addition to a drinking water reservoir, a 30kw power plant was established in the vicinity of the lake to provide electricity and lighting needed by tourists,” he concluded.