Known as one of the most impassable deserts of the world, the Rig e Jenn is located between Isfahan and Semnan provinces (central Iran) in the west of the Dasht-e Kavir which is one of the two main deserts of Iran and is becoming a unique destination among the eco-tourists and nature lovers in Iran. Rig e Jenn is a 3,800 kilometers in square and is the third vast sandy desert of Iran and one of the most stunning and mysterious natural wonders that someone can witness. because of being a strange and dangerous place for a long time, Rig e Jenn was known as the Bermuda Triangle of Iran. Rig in Persian means shifting sands and the word Jenn means elf or invisible creatures.
Rig e Jenn is an area full of barchan (crescent-shaped dunes), pyramid dunes, and salt marsh, with no signs of life, and since there is no vegetation here the sands move constantly by the wind and the shape of dunes change easily. There is no water spring or water well in this desert and the Vargi River, which originates from the Sulphur Mount and has a salty water, is the only river passing through this desert, however some other salty rivers are located beside Rig e Jenn.
Rig e Jenn Desert - Iran
Mythical beliefs about the Rig e Jenn Desert
The strange sound created as a result of wind blowing through the dunes and the sound of rocks cracking because of day and night temperature difference, make the atmosphere of this desert even more spooky, and the locals of the villages located by the village call this sound “the cry of stone” and relate such sounds to metaphysical powers and legendary creatures. They also used to believe that the Jinns and dark ghosts take all the travelers of desert this desert, and also claimed that camels refuse to step in to Rig e Jenn and stop walking by arriving at the edge of the desert!
A local myth says that there is a lost paradise at the heart of this desert with a mystic lake surrounded by dense trees, where Jinns keep a treasury and anyone reaches it will become rich.
There is an area at the heart of Rig e Jenn where there are black rocks scattered. Actually, these rocks are impurities that have been extracted from the metal ores while melting metals by Haloxylon shrubs. According to this, it is believed that many years ago there were people or creatures who accessed this far way spot and melted metals.
Rig e Jenn Desert - Iran
Exploring the Rig e Jenn in History
Since Rig e Jenn is an impassable place where no one managed to explore because of its dangerous deep marshes sucking everything inside, it was not even mentioned on most of the old maps of Iran. Many years ago, people didn’t have any logic reason for the incidents happening in Rig e Jenn as its salt pans were burial places of people and other living beings, therefore no one ever passed this desert and the secret about it remained unrevealed. For many years Rig e Jenn was only mentioned on two travelouges written by desertologists. In 1900 Mr. Sven Hedin who was a Swedish geographer and explorer mentined Rige Jenn for the first time and then explored some parts of it, and then in 1930 Mr. Alfons Gabriel an Austrian geographer and traveler explored this desert but never passed through it, however passing this land was like a dream for desertologists and adventurers for many years. Finally, in 2005 Mr. Ali parsa an Iranian desertologist and Mr. Miran Zadeh the manager of the National Desert Park, accompanied by his professional team made it to the other side of the Rig e Jenn after 8 failures. A year later, Mr. Ali Parsa passed the desert by his car and then many desertologists and adventurers started to explore this unknown and stunning land.
Visiting the Rig e Jenn Desert
- Although none of the mythical stories and mysterious beliefs seem reasonable today and there are logical reasons for every incident, Rig e Jenn remains a wonderful and stunning desert, which has become an amazing destination for desert lovers. This desert offers a scenic sky during sunrise, sunset and during night when you can see millions of stars and many meteorites.
- Although there is no risk of being taken away by Jinns, Rig e Jenn is still an adventurous desert visiting the Rig e Jenn, you need to be accompanied by a professional and equipped tour operator in order to have a safe and pleasant experience. You can also enjoy activities like riding motorbikes, and sandboarding on the dunes.
- The best time of year for visiting Rig e Jenn or other deserts of Iran is from late September to late November, when the weather is mild.
- If you are going to stay at Rig e Jenn for the night, make sure to have enough warm clothes, sunglasses, suitable shoes, compass, tent, enough food and water, first aid kit, flashlights, and enough fuel.
- You also have the option to stay in one of the cozy ecolodges of Anarak or Jandagh villages located near the desert.
Rig e Jenn Desert - Iran