Damavand Mt. History

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Damāvand during winter

Damāvand location in Iran


Elevation: 5,610 m (18,410 ft.)

Prominence: 4,667 m (15,312 ft.) - Ranked 12th

Geology Type: Strato volcano

Last eruption: 5350 BCE ± 200 years

Location: Amol, Māzandarān, Iran

Range: Alborz

Coordinates: 35°57′20″N 52°06′36″E

First ascent: 905 by Mr. Abu Dolaf Kazraji




Mount Damāvand (Persian: دماوند [dćmävćnd] ), a potentially active volcano, is a stratovolcano which is the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East as well as the highest volcano in Asia.[7][8][9] It has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. This peak is located in the middle Alborz Range, adjacent to Varārū, Sesang, Gol-e Zard and Mīānrūd. The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, in Āmol county,Māzandarān, 66 kilometers (41 miles) northeast of Tehran.

Symbolism and mythology

  Damavand is a significant mountain in Persian mythology. It 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 byKāveh and Fereydūn. Persian poet Ferdowsi depicts this event in his masterpiece, the Shahnameh:

بیاورد ضحاک را چون نوند

به کوه دماوند کردش ببند

He brings Zahhak, himself a mountain

to the peak of Damavand and binds his neck.

  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:

ای دیو سپید پای در بند

Ay dīve sepīde pāī dar band,

Oh white giant with feet in chains

ای گنبد گیتی، ای دماوند

Ay gonbade gītī, ay Damāvand

Oh dome of the world, Oh Mount Damāvand

Mount Damavand is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 10,000 rials banknote.


  Mount Damavand first erupted in the Pleistocene almost 1.78 million years ago. After several known eruptions around 600,000 and 280,000 years ago, it finally erupted about 7300 years ago in the Holocene. Its steep cone is formed of ash and lava flows that are mainly made of trachyte, andesite and basalt. The Quaternary lavas are directly located on the Jurassic sediments. The volcano is crowned by a small crater with sulfuric deposits. There are also fumaroles, hot springs, and mineral deposits of travertine. Mount Damavand could be considered as a potentially active volcano, since there are fumaroles near the summit crater emitting sulfur, which were known to be active on July 6, 2007.

Thermal springs

  Mt Damavand has some thermal springs (Abe Garm Larijan) 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 fumarole sand solfatara near the summit, indicate a hot or cooling magma body still present beneath the volcano.

  The most important of these hot springs are located in Abe Garm Larijan in a village by the name Larijan in the district of Larijan in Lar Valley. The water from this spring is useful in the treatment of chronic wounds and skin diseases. Near these springs there are public baths with small pools for public use.

Routes to the summit

  There are at least 16 known routes to the summit which have different difficulties. Some of them are very dangerous and require rock climbing. The most popular route is the Southern Route which has step stamps and also a camp midway called Bargah Sevom Camp/Shelter at 4220 m (about 13,845 ft). The longest route is the Northeastern and it takes two whole days to reach the summit starting from downhill village of Nāndal and a night stay at Takht-e Fereydoun (elevation 4300 m - about 13,000 ft), a two-story shelter. The western route is famous for its sunset view. Sīmorgh shelter in this route at 4100 m (about 13,500 ft) is a newly constructed shelter with two stories. There is a frozen waterfall/Icefall[ (Persian name Ābshār Yakhī) about 12 m tall and the elevation of 5100 m is the highest fall in Iran and Middle East.




Geographical location


Map of Māzandarān province showing the location of mount Damāvand in the south

Map of central Alborz


1 `Alam Kūh


  -25 to 500 m

  500 to 1500 m

  1500 to 2500 m

  2500 to 3500 m

  3500 to 4500 m

  4500 to 5671 m

2 Āzād Kūh

3 Damāvand

4 Do Berar

5 Do Khaharan

6 Ghal`eh Gardan

7 Gorg

8 Kholeno

9 Mehr Chal

10 Mīšīneh Marg

11 Naz

12 Shah Alborz

13 Sīālān

14 Tochal

15 Varavašt



1 Alamūt

2 Chālūs

3 Do Hezār

4 Harāz

5 Jājrūd

6 Karaj

7 Kojūr

8 Lār

9 Nūr

10 Sardāb

11 Seh Hazār

12 Shāh Rūd


1 Āmol

2 Chālūs

3 Karaj


D Dīzīn

E Emāmzādeh Hāšem

K Kandovān Tunnel

* Latīān Dam

** Lār Dam


  Damavand rivers and slopes are famous for the beautiful Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), Red Sheep (Ovis orientalis), Wild Goats (Capra aegagrus), and many singing native and migratory birds. Leopard (Panthera pardus) and Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) live in this region. Some smaller mammals are Snow Vole (Chionomys nivalis), Mouse-like Hamster (Calomyscus bailwardi) and Rufesent Pika (Ochoton rufescens). The very attractive and unreachable Caspian Snowcock (Tetragallus caspius) lives in high altitudes. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) breeds in this are. Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) are common. Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) has a high population and nests between stone and shrubs. Gold-fronted Serin (Serinus pusillus), Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), Snow finch (Montifringilla nivalis), Rock sparrow (Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) and Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) are native; in winter they come to the lower hill sides. In each spring Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis), and Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) come from Africa for breeding. Grey-necked Bunting (Emberiza buchanani), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) and Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) come from India.[22] Lots of Marsh Frogs (Rana ridibunda) lives in Lar riversides. Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii), Blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera lebetina), Iranian Valley Viper (Vipera latifii) and Caucasian Agama (Laudakia caucasia) are among the reptiles of this mountainous region. In the southern slope of Damavand, there are remnants of Wild Pistachia Tree (Pistacia atlantica) ; In its riversides different kind of Salix trees like Willow (Salix acomphylla) and Oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia) are found . Greek Juniper (Juniperus excelsa) is common all over the higher altitudes. In Northern slopes, because of higher humidity there are wild oak, beech and hazel trees like: Persian Oak (Quercus macranthera), Eastern Hornbean (Carpinus orientalis), and Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis). There are also many beautiful wild flowers like: Mountain Tulip (Tulipa montana) and Stone cress (Aethionema grandiflorum). In higher altitudes, shrubs tend to be sphere and cushion like, examples are: Astragalus species (like Astragalus microcephalus), Mountain Sainfoin (Onobrychis cornuta) and Prickly (Acantholimon erinaceum); Different kind of grasses between them, complete this alpine scene .

Nomination as National Heritage Site

  An anthropologist of Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, Touba Osanlou, has said that a proposal has been made by a group of Iranian mountaineers to register the highest peak in the Middle East, Mount Damavand as a national heritage site. Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department has accepted the proposal, the Persian daily Jam-e Jam reported. Osanlou noted that the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization is presently in the process of renaming an upcoming ancient festivity after Mount Damavand. "We have proposed Tirgan Festivity, Tabari Nowruz, to be named as Damavand National Day," he added. Tirgan Festivity is held in Amol County’s Rineh region in Mazandaran province.