Orumieh Lake, East AzarbaijanOrumieh Lake, East Azarbaijan
Orumieh Lake, East Azarbaijan
Lake Orumieh is one of the largest and permanent lakes of Iran and has characteristics of its own. This lake is located to the northwest of the province and stretches from north to south, thereby dividing this territory into two that is East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan. It is one of the most magnificent lakes of the world. It is saturated with salt which is said to help in treatment of some kinds of remedies. Regarding the size, depth, chemical composition, sedimentation, ecology, water currents and wild species, this lake bears special characteristics. This lake has been recorded as a National Park by the Department of the Environment as well as internationally as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
A number of ports have been set up along the coasts of the Lake Orumieh in order to transport passengers and cargo. The most important of these is the port of Sharaf Khaneh. The said is on the eastern coast of the lake within the limits of Shabestar. It has full port facilities including large warehouses. In the summer months the place swarms with visitors who come for leisure and therapeutic purposes, both by mineral springs and the “sludge” present in the region. The port of Aq Gonbad is also another important port. The others namely, Rahmanloo, Danaloo, Qobadloo and Zeenatloo ports are on the eastern coast of the lake.
The Orumieh Lake has about 102 islands both large and small. Five of these islands can be noted here such as the Islands of Islami (Shahi), Kaboodan, (Qoyoon Daqi), Ashk Daqi, Espir and Arezoo. The said come under the political and commercial sectors of the province.
Islami (Shahi) Island: This island is the only habitable island in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh. It spans over an area of 27 sq. km. Its lush beauty, together with ‘fresh water’ which is a wonder of wonders in the midst of this lake is saturated with salt. Species of birds such as flamingos and pelicans can be noted in the swampy areas. The remnants of the castle and prison of Hollakoo Khan can be observed on one of the heights of the Islands, a sight seeing spot for tourists.
Kaboodan (Qoyoon Daqi) Island: This is one of the most beautiful islands which stretches over an area of 36 sq. km. This island is on the eastern coast of the lake and is 12 km. far from the port of Sharaf Khaneh. A variety of water fowls can be obscured on this island. Moreover species of wildlife, i.e., wild sheep and wild goat are also present which further enhances the characteristics of this Island. There is also another unique and rare wild species, i.e., Iranian follow deer.
As it was mentioned the three Islands of Ashk Daqi, Espeer and Arezoo of Lake Orumieh are also in the vicinity of the province of East Azarbaijan.
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