The largest inland water body in Iran, Lake Orumieh 20 km to the east of the town, with an area of 5,000 square kilometers and an average depth of 5 meters, is so full of salt ( though less so than the Dead Sea) that it cannot support any animal or vegetable life. However, because of containing natural salts and mud, the same water is used by patients who suffer from dermal and rheumatic troubles. At Golmankhaneh harbor, there are coastal beaches ready to welcome the travelers. It is almost 140 km long and 40 km wide; and there are several uninhabited but environmentally protected beautiful islands in the southern parts, where wild beasts and animals live. Kabudan (formerly Shahi), occasionally a peninsula when a strip of mud dries long enough to connect it to the shore, is the second largest island of the lake after the inhabited Eslami Island. Its surface area is 3170 hectare; 12 km in length and 25 km in width, it has an altitude of 1275 m. A large number of birds such as flamingos, pelicans, wild geese, and gulls are living on and around the island. Hunting is prohibited here and entrance therein is subject to authorization given by the Environment Protection Department of the Province.
Apart from a road under construction across the Lake, there are some boat facilities for passengers between the Eastern and Western Azarbaijans as well. The Kabudan Island is the place where Hulagu Khan was buried together with his concubines and a legendary store of riches. Kabudan is the prototype of the “Treasure Island.”
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