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SEMNAN Province Plain of Kalpoush Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest) Tari-khaneh Mosque Kavir National Park Rig-e Jenn (Dune of the Jinn) Semnan Arg Gate Bayazid Bastami Complex Tomb of Sheikh Abol-Hasan Kharqani Darband Cave Garmsar Salt Mine

SEMNAN Province

Semnan Province (Persian: Ostan-e Semnan) is one of the 31 provinces, in the north of Iran, with Semnan city as capital. The province of Semnan covers an area of 96,816 square km and stretches along the Alborz mountain range to Dasht-e Kavir desert in southern parts. Semnan is located 216 km east of Tehran. It is home to Semnan languages and is known as Seman locally. The city offers various recreational activities, historical and religious sites, festivals, gardens, parks, universities, and Semnani culture.

Plain of Kalpoush

Kalpoush is located in Meyami county, Shahroud city. This district is located in an approximate distance of 140 km from north east of Meyami and its meadows are covered with sunflowers in midsummer and poppy flowers in the spring. The nearest tourist attraction to the plain is Golestan National Park.

Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest)

Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest), a spectacular natural site in Shahroud, could be a good holiday destination for those who need a change of scenery. Abr in Persian means “cloud” and Abr forest is mostly covered by clouds. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of fogs covering the ground and vegetation. These forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains. A few hours before the sunset, when temperatures fall, clouds rush into the forest. The settling clouds are so thick that it seems you are walking on them. Jungles veiled in clouds provide visitors with a golden opportunity to enjoy, explore, and learn about these wonderful ecosystems. Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest) is among the most beautiful natural scenery of Iran and the entire world. Iran's Cloud Forest is located 45 km north of Shahrood, between Shahroud and Azad-Shahr. Leaving behind the gardens in Bastam (a city in Shahroud County), you will see clouds over far-off mountains and along the 4,000-meter Shahvar Mount as if they have been trapped in the sharp claws of the mountain, a scene which promises you are getting closer to the dreamy cloud forest. The Forest which stretches on an expanse 35,000 hectares in area is part of the ancient forests which have encircled the northern hillsides of the Alborz Mountain like a belt, covering the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea.

Tari-khaneh Mosque

Tari-khaneh, which means “House of God”, is one of the Damghan’s ancient monuments which, based on the Department of Archeology, used to be a temple before theArabs’ dominance in Iran and was later changed to a mosque. According to some books, it was built during the reign of the first Abbasid caliph, i.e. Saffah, in 749, and that of Haroun al-Rashid in 768. The mosque was reconstructed in 8th Century according to Sassanid architecture style. Over centuries, Damghan's Tari-khaneh has been refurbished many times. A brick minaret was added to this monument in Seljuk period which is currently 26 meters high and the body is decorated with brickwork. The monument was registered in the list of Iran's National Heritage in January 6, 1932. The nearest tourist attraction to the mosque is Jame Mosque of Damghan.

Kavir National Park

Kavir National Park is a protected ecological zone in northern Iran. The park is located 120 km from Tehran and 100 km from Qom. The park includes flat to undulating desert and steppe landscapes reminiscent those of Africa or Australin. Siah-Kouh, a large semi-circular rocky outcrop, is rough at the center, and presents a sanctunry for wild ungulates and carnivores. Kavir National Park, in Semnan Province, spreads over an area of 440,000 hectares. Cultural and historical monuments such as Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai, Nahr-e Sangi and Sang-Farsh are also located there. Due to its unique features, this park is among the biosphere reserves of the world mainly, there is no human habitat in the park. Kavir National Park is home to important wildlife species such as Persian onager, Asiatic cheetah, leopard, striped hyena, caracal, beech marten, flamingo and even ruddy shelduck. This protected ecological zone (also known as the Little Africa) has below the minimum rainfall in the country. Therefore, its rare vegetation is adapted to the drought. Namak Lake (Salt Lake) sits outside the park’s boundaries. This is actually a salt marsh and water flows into the lake from the north of Qom River, which also flows through the northern part of kavir National Park. Qom River is one of the very few perennial rivers in the entire desert expanse in Iran.

Rig-e Jenn (Dune of the Jinn)

The Rig-e Jenn (Dune of the Jinn) is a vast area of sand dunes in the middle of Dasht-e Kavir, Iran's central desert in the border region of the Semnan and Isfahan provinces. It was not visited by the old caravan travelers, who believed it was a place where evil spirits live. Even today some neighboring towns and villages believe this. Sven Hedin, the famous desert explorer avoided this area in his 1900s explorations to Iran deserts. The Austrian geographer Alfons Gabriel crossed the southern “tail” of it on his way from Ashin to Arousan in the 1930s.

Semnan Arg Gate

Semnān Arg Gate is located in Semnān City. The monument is the northern gate and the only remaining part of Semnān Arg which was built at the time of Bahman Mirza Baha al-Dowleh, son of Fath-Ali Shah. The inscription on it shows that the building was finished in 1302 at the time of Naser al-Din Shah reign and governance of Anoushiravan Mirza, the governor of Semnān, Dāmghān, Shāhroud and Bastām. The most important feature of the monument is the historical painting of the battle of Rostam and the White Beast on the seven-colored tiles of the entrance portal. The nearest tourist attraction to the gate is Jäme mosque of Semnān.

Bayazid Bastami Complex

Bayazid Bastami is the greatest mystic of 10th century. It is said that Bayazid came back to Bastam, spending most of his life in exploration and asceticism, and died there. Kashaneh tower and Jame Mosque of Bastam are located in this complex.

Tomb of Sheikh Abol-Hasan Kharqani

Abol-Hasan Ali Kharqani (963-1033) was an Iranian mystic and Sufi. Apparently, he was born in 963 in Kharaqan Qumes Village. He was follower of Bayazid Bastami and as Abu Saeed Abol-Kheir and received his cloak from Ahmad Ebn-e Abdol-Karim Qassab. The nearest tourist attraction to the tomb is Bayazid Bastami Complex.

Darband Cave

Darband Cave is one of the greatest limestone caves in Iran that is located 2 km from the north of Darband Tourist Area in Mahdi-Shahr, the center of Mahdi-Shahr County in Semnan province. Mahdi-Shahr Darband Cave with 140 million years of age is the greatest limestone cave in Iran. The nearest tourist attractions to the cave are Roudbarak Forest, Siah-Darreh (Karkouh), Fenesk Forest, Parvar Protected Area, Rosier Spring and Canyon and Molla-Deh (Sorkh-Deh).

Garmsar Salt Mine

Garmsar Salt Mine is of the busiest tourist attractions in Iran that has heathbenefits. The salt therapy of this mine is effective in treating neural headaches, digestive problems, and skin disorders.