As mentioned in previous posts of our blog (read here), Iran is a mountainous country with four main mountain ranges of north, west, center and east. We have written about the north mountain ranges of Iran (read here). Now we want to talk about the western mountain range of Iran that is more famous as Zagros.
Zagros mountain range starts from the mountains of Azerbaijan in northwest of Iran and continues down to south and southeast. In this part, Zagros reaches Makran Mountains of Baluchistan. Therefore, it has a northwest to southeast axis. It is a sedimentary mountain belonging to the third geological period. The formation and the style of the rocks changes from west to east. Furthermore, this mountain range has an estimated length of around 1800 kilometers and an estimated width of around 250 kilometers. Intense erosion has given Zagros strange and yet interesting shapes. These mountains are a combination of almost regulated high mountains and deep valleys. Vast plains of Kermanshah and Shiraz divides this mountain range into north, center and west section.
The north Zagros starts from south Azerbaijan. This section has less of an altitude compared to the other two parts. However, it has narrow valleys and difficult routes. From East, the rivers of this section join Sefid Rood and pour into Caspian Sea. From West, they add to Alvand and enter the neighboring country of Iraq.
The central Zagros, just like Alborz, has many +3000m mountains. In fact, the central Zagros is the mountains between the two plains of Kermanshah and Shiraz. The mountains in this region are usually snowy. Moreover, the central Zagros is famous for its oak and elm jungles. The highlight of the area however, is the Bakhtiary nomads. A group of still migratory tribe that are also the biggest tribe of Iran. The river of Gamasb divids central Zagros to east and west sides.
Iranian know the west part as Poshtkuh which literary can be translated as back of the mountain. This section continues to Khuzestan and includes important peaks such as Kabirkuh. However, the highest mountain of the area is Zarinkuh with 3062m altitude. The mountain is partly covered by oak and walnut jungle.
The eastern part of Zagros is Pishkuh among Iranian and its word-by-word translation would be the front of the mountain. This part is famous for its deep valley that have many rivers. Because of the rivers and the fertile soil of the area, there are many villages there.
Naturally, the vast mountain has many notable peaks. Here are some of these peaks:
- Alvand in Hamedan with 3746m of altitude
- Bisotun in Kermanshah with 2760m of altitude
- Oshtrankuh in Lorestan with 4326m of altitude
- Zardkuh in Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari with 4571m of altitude
- Haftanan in Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari with 4180m of altitude
- Dena in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad
Zagros Mountain or the eastern mountain range of Iran is one of the main destination of Iran. Oak, walnut and elm jungle, high mountains, beautiful plains, Bakhtiary nomads and the magnificent cultural remnant of old Persia attract many to these regions.