Fars: A Terrestrial Paradise

Fars: A Terrestrial ParadiseFars: A Terrestrial Paradise

The province of Fars is commonly known for its rich history and unique art and craft. In addition to its timeless culture, this southern province boasts one of Iran’s most scenic places. About 120 km northwest of provincial capital Shiraz lies Tang-Bostanak; a nature reserve commonly referred to as the ‘Lost Paradise’ by the locals. A green valley adorned with rolling rivers and lush trees, one can understand the reason behind the affectionate title.

  Flora and Fauna

One of Tang-Bostanak’s standout features is the green canopy formed by interwoven trees, giving travelers a refreshing break from the blazing sun of Marvdasht country while letting through soothing rays of sunshine.

The canopy is formed by almond, pistachio, oak, and China maple trees, each trying to tower over the rest for the Sun’s attention. As you continue walking down the well-shaded path, the tall trees are gradually replaced by the shorter maple, cotoneaster, and terebinth trees.

The reserve is also home to rams, wild goats, brown bears, wolves, foxes, jackals, hyenas, hares, martens, crows, partridges, cuckoos, pheasants, vultures, and a number of raptors. Replete with animal and plant life, Tang-Bostanak deserves a place on every outdoorsman’s bucket list.

Spring is the most pleasant time to visit the valley. The access road is well-maintained and clean. The area is further enhanced with landscaped sites, water display, outdoor furniture, arbors, barbecues, trash bins, and sanitary facilities.

Visitors can stay overnight; there are platforms installed over the flowing rivers, available for a fee. Of course, one can choose to set up tent instead. Those who travel heavy can hire beasts of burden.

  Dashtak Village

Over the Tang-Bostanak strait lies Dashtak village. As there is no vehicle-friendly road leading up to it, one has to reach the village on foot.  It is one of the oldest villages in Fars Province, containing ruins dating back to the Achaemenid era. Its friendly dwellers do gardening and animal husbandry for a living. They also weave Kilims (tapestry-woven rugs) and Giveh (soft, handwoven-top footwear).

The terraced village is on a mountain slope. It has vast gardens and numerous waterfalls and mineral springs, some famous for their therapeutic properties. Dashtak gardens yield walnut, grapes, pomegranate, and almond. Meat, dairy products, and traditionally-produced honey are what visitors can expect to find there.

A point of interest in the village is an old sycamore tree found in the center of the village, which it is estimated to be around 4000 years old, making it one of the oldest trees in Iran.

The village has an ancient, 1200-step stairway, which in the past was used as the main travel route within the village. The long history of the village is further highlighted by the presence of six ancient watermills.

With unremitting urbanization gripping Iran, it is not only refreshing, but thrilling to find such unspoiled areas that have managed to stand the test of time and ward off modernization. Tang-Bostanak and the adjacent Dashtak village are just two examples of the quaint beauty Iran has to offer.