Discover Iran’s valley of the jinn!

December 22, 2020 - 20:50

TEHRAN - Kal- e Jeni (“canyon of jinn”) is still unexplored by many potential travelers and adventurers who may not even know such a wonderful attraction exists on Earth!

Most visitors slowly drive towards the canyon in Tabas, east-central Iran, and stop at all of the same viewpoints, taking some photos, but doing little else. With a landscape so vast, it seems like it would take a serious investment of time and effort to experience what it has to offer and get away from the crowds.

Located some 30 kilometers northward of Tabas, a bunch of palm trees and marches in a wide valley, mark the scenic start of the journey, however, romance mixes with horror as the trip continues.

Walking in the deep valley in around the middle of the way, you will see some holes in the walls. One may think that they are also the product of erosion at the first glance. But finding the courage to enter the bottom hole, which is some two meters above ground level, you will be amazed.

This is a vertical path to a group of chambers built by men some 8 meters above. The trace of ax can still be seen and felt. You have to climb these eight meters by placing your hands and feet on special steps devised on the wall to reach a hall. Here is another world; calm and relaxing. There are many rooms carved on both sides of the hall.

Some historians say that the chambers go back to the Sassanid era and have been carved by the followers of Zoroastrianism to do religious seclusion, known as Cheleh.

Where the jinn comes from?

This name consists of two parts: Kal + Jinn. ‘Kal’ is referred to any valley which has been formed by a water stream in the long run. There are many reasons to attribute this 16-kilometer-long valley to jinns. First, there are many mysterious-looking arcs, columns, and walls in the canyon which are made by erosion but local people could not find a better constructor than jinn for them.

The next reason is related to wind. When the wind sweeps through the valley, it makes strange sounds due to the structure of walls which can make you think that supernatural entities are living around. Also, pebbles will hit your face as you walk in the valley in windy weather; locals believed that jinns are throwing the pebbles to defend their territory.

Modest temperature amid barren desert

Setting aside the horrifying part, one can enjoy the fresh and modest air temperature in the middle of a desert. There is water flowing in the valley in most sections; the water originates from Azmighan rural district and joins the aquifers later in the path. The depth of water reaches some two meters in some areas and you find no way than swimming to continue your wonderful adventure.

The canyon takes the shape of V in some areas and U in others, and even sometimes just resembles /\ when you cannot even see the sky.

The site is also part of Tabas Geopark which is being studied to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Best time to visit

Although the region has its special beauties in every season, autumn is considered the best time for visiting Kal-e Jenni since the weather is mild and the sun will not burn your skin. There is normally little precipitation in the region but in springs, seasonal floods are waiting in ambush. It is better to fully review the weather forecast before starting the trip.

After all, it’s better to start the journey in the morning and finish it before the sunset or have all the required camping equipment at your disposal.


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