Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Akhlamad Waterfall

The Akhlamad Waterfall (آبشار اخلمد) is located in the province of Razavi Khorasan in northeastern Iran and is a popular tourist excursion. It is 2 kilometers from the Akhlamad village and 84 kilometers from Mashhad. The waterfall itself is approximately 40 meters tall and is located at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by vertical rocky cliffs measuring up to 300 meters at some points )which in turn has consistently attracts rock climbing enthusiasts). The mineral nature of the surrounding rocky terrain has caused the creation of large circular plunge pool directly under the base of the waterfall. The fossils discovered within the mineral deposits dates the area back to the Jurassic Period.  

During the first few months of the year, as a result of the heavy downpours of the area, the Akhlamand Waterfall has its most volume of water. Some of the more frequently climbed rocky walls of this valley are known as the White Wall and Eagle (Divareye Sefid and Oghab). Throughout the valley are a few seasonal waterfalls in addition to four permanent ones, the most notable amongst them being the Akhlamad Waterfall. The surroundings for the most part have very clean and fresh air and are known for the numerous apple and cherry trees.  

During the cold winters, the Akhlamad Waterfall manifests a spectacular sight as it freezes completely over. Other than the magnificent natural view that it provides onlookers, it also produces a much stiffer challenge to rock climbing enthusiasts.  

Due to the pleasant natural environment, many locals and tourists are attracted to the area to take advantage of the beautiful setting. However, unfortunately the littering and overall artificial pollution created in the vicinity of the Akhlamad Waterfall is worrisome. In spite of a fee being charged to access the Akhlamad area (separately for both admission and parking), which is explained as partially going towards litter removal, the vast amount of garbage left by visitors seems to have gone unattended to. The lack of any garbage cans has certainly not helped. Furthermore, in the areas directly on the riverbanks and adjacent to the waterfall, locals have been charging additional fees for use of the land. Whether they have such an authority, or even ownership of the said land, is not clear.


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