Kaluts – Desert of Sand-Castles

Dasht-e Lut - Iran

Within a corner of the vast Dasht-e Lut, I could forgive you for wondering if you’ve stumbled into a lost city – as miles of eroded sand towers, walls, forts, blocks stick out of the desert.

Girl with kite amid Kaluts of Iran.
The ruins of an ancient fortress? Girl with kite amid the weird Dash-e Lut landscape.

A ruined city – so, it seems.

Centuries of extreme water and soil erosion shaped these strange desert formations of the Kaluts.

barren kaluts desert mountains in kerman province of iran
The barren but shapely landscape is mesmerizing.

The Kaluts range 145 km across the desert province of Kerman

collage of kaluts desert landscape in Iran
BOTTOM-LEFT: Guy from nearby oasis village beside crumbling mud-fort and oasis on route.

Sitting only at 56 meters above sea level, this is the lowest region in Iran.

Apparently, the Kaluts Desert is the hottest place in Iran

And also the world.

Iranian family having a picnic in the shade of this vast landscape of weird dirt formations in Kerman province.

The temperature in the Lut Desert can exceed 65 degrees centigrade in the shade in summer.

So don’t visit in summer, okay?

Kaluts desert Iran collage
BOTTOM-LEFT: Note the guy sliding down – that trail of dust.

I was there in early winter, and it was still boiling at mid-day.

There were a lot of Iranian families having picnics out there this day.

… And I kept hanging out for the impossible dream of an ice-cold 6-pack.

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INFORMATION: I was in the Kaluts Desert some years ago, so for recent info about getting there, etc, read this post on the Kaluts from 2019.

Sunset over Kaluts Lut desert Iran
Sunset over the Lut Desert in Iran.

Travels in Iran – 2011

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