What do you imagine when you hear about a lake? You most probably think about a blue scenery in your mind. Surprisingly, the lake we want to talk about is not blue. You may only think it’s in a cartoon or a fantasy, but it does exist in real life, right here in Iran. Maharlou Lake in pink colour is located in Fars Province, close to Shiraz.
When you search about city of Shiraz, you’ll see lots of dazzling views and valuable monuments such as Passargard and Persepolis, but apart from ancient places, we shouldn’t ignore the glorious nature. Let’s not miss a miraculous site in the southeast of Shiraz, where many ecotourists visit it and take wonderfully distinct photos.
The lake has got its name from a village next to it. This village lies in the southern foot of Zagros mountains. It also has lots of tourist attractions… the houses with high roofs and arched windows are just stupendous. You can see many orchards full of almond, pomegranate and fig trees around a generous spring, which has created a wonderful scene. Lots of village people believe that the spring is curative especially for skin diseases.
If you’re interested in historical places, there’s also a caravanserai called Shah Abbasi nearby which goes back to Safavid time, but the weirdest phenomenon of this area attracts many outgoing and incoming tourists every year. Several springs and rivers join together and form this marvelous lake.
The water is saline and the evaporation is high. The lake used to be wider before but recently the lack of rain and water has affected it. By applying some precautions, the water level increased a little bit, but still some parts have become dry and full of salt. It’s actually the main source of edible salt which people use in Shiraz.
The Lake depth differs in various areas, which is approximately 0.5-3 meters. In summers, a large area in the lake gets dried and in autumn, the water level increases due to the rains. The best time to visit is April-May. Anyway, it needs to be preserved more than any time as it got dried fully few years ago and got back to mother nature again in recent years.
The reason for the lake’s color is simply a kind of seaweed which is called Cochlodinium. Because it propagates a lot, the lake has turned into pink. Due to the existence of this seaweed and salt, no fish can live in such water. Only some reptiles like lizards, crocodiles, snakes and turtles live around the lake. It’s also a habitat for many local or passage birds like swallows, storks, pelicans, flamingos and ducks.
Although the pinkness of lake creates a splendid landscape, but the existence of this seaweed also threatens animals and plants’ lives. We hope the seaweed propagation gets under control and the lake never gets dried in the future. So, it will remain a permanent attraction for its fans and the environment.
Pasargad, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Karim Khan Citadel, District 8, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Tange Reghaz, Fars Province, Iran