Mount Damavand: An Epic Adventure Awaits
But Damavand’s significance isn’t limited to its geological marvels, which have, over eons, carved fertile valleys and niches. Its presence is deeply rooted in Iranian literature, myths, and legends. It’s told that the hero Fereydun imprisoned the malevolent Zahhak within this mountain, destined to break free only at the world’s end, where Garshasp will ultimately defeat him.
It is located northeast of Tehran. Mount Damavand’s volcanic past dates back 1.8 million years. Its name, believed to be derived from the combination of “dam” (steam, vapor) and “avand,” points to a place filled with smoke and steam, a testament to its fiery history. Even in the cold of winter, when temperatures plummet to -60°C, a unique ice waterfall stands frozen. Stretching 7 meters in height and 3 meters in width, this perpetual frozen cascade, even in the heart of summer, is a world rarity.
The mountain’s verdant cloak is equally enchanting. The lower slopes of Damavand boast the unique Lar tulip, unparalleled worldwide. Other botanical jewels include alpine pine, rock jasmine, Persian oak, bitter plantain, golden immortelle, silver-leaved pot marjoram, and violet hyacinth.
Nature enthusiasts would also be delighted by Damavand’s rich wildlife. The mountain shelters iconic Iranian species like foxes, jackals, bears, sheep, deer, goats, lynx, and hares. During summer, some of these creatures venture as high as 4,000 meters. And for those who cherish cultural experiences, every year on the 13th of Aban, the “Tirgan Festival” is celebrated by the Iranian mountaineering community at the foot of Damavand in the town of Rineh Larrijan. This day is recognized as the national day of Damavand, with the festival having secured federal registration.