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Photographer's Note

Mount Damāvand is a potentially active volcano and the highest peak in Iran (5671 m), has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. It is located in the middle Alborz Range and is the highest point in the Middle East and the highest volcano in all of Asia.
The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and 66 km (41 miles) northeast of Tehran.

Damāvand is the symbol of Iranian resistance against despotism and foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka was chained within Mount Damāvand, there to remain until the end of the world. In a later version of the same legend, the tyrant Zahhāk was also chained in a cave somewhere in Mount Damāvand after being defeated by Kāveh and Fereydūn. Persian poet Ferdowsi depicts this event in his masterpiece, the Shahnameh. The mountain is said to hold magical powers in the Shahnameh. Damāvand has also been named in the Iranian legend of Arash as the location he fired his arrow to mark the Iran border. The famous poem Damāvand by Mohammad Taqī Bahār is also one fine example of the mountain's significance in Persian literature. The first verse of this poem reads:

Oh white demon with feet in chains
Oh terrestrial dome, Oh Mount Damāvand

Mt Damavand has some thermal springs with therapeutic qualities. These mineral hot springs are mainly located on the volcano's flanks and at the base, giving evidence of volcanic heat comparatively near the surface of the earth. While no historic eruptions have been recorded, hot springs at the base and on the flanks, and fumaroles and solfatara near the summit, indicate a hot or cooling magma body still present beneath the volcano, so that Damavand is a potentially active volcano.


I took the shot in Lar Valley (Lar National Park) which is 70 km east of Tehran along Haraz road. It is the biggest valley in Iran and is about 28,000 square kilometers in area and is a good place for hiking. Its lake is suitable for swimming and fishing, if relevant permits are obtained from the Department of Environment.

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Additional Photos by Atousa Taghavi (Atousa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1105 W: 57 N: 2111] (7131)
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