Dasht-e-Havij or Gor Chal plain, at an altitude of 2,700 m, is situated 400 meters above Afjeh village. It is one of the most famous attractions in the Lavasanat district, (northeast of Tehran in central Alborz Mountains). Havij means Carrot and Dasht-e Havij means literally a ‘big carrot field’. There are various legends about this name’s origin, which probably indicate that large parts of this vast land were sown with carrot seeds. Today, there’s no sign of anything left to reinforce this.
Gor Chal in ancient Persian means fireplace, being the combination of two words; Gor means fire and Chal means place. It’s said that it got its name for it being so very hot compared to the surrounding places being so cold, but there is no evidence to support this assertion.
Dasht-e Havij is surrounded by a cluster of high-altitude peaks between 3,000 – 4,000 m which protect this area from the wind. During the Safavid dynasty, (400 years ago), it was an important hunting area with some beautiful cascades called Passchoobak, Saboosetan, and Charand. A couple are still in existence, depending very much on the snowfall of that year. In addition, there are numerous maple trees and, of course, a variety of fruit trees in this unspoilt region.
The remains of Safavid Caravansaries can be seen along the path at the end of the valley, near the rock wall. There is also an old bath dating back to the Safavid era which is, surprisingly, still in use and is presently enjoyed by rural people. The Qajar dynasty, (200 years ago), used this path to reach the Lar National Park going through the countryside. From Lar there was an ancient mule road stretching towards the Caspian Sea.
3 Peaks in one hiking trip in Central Alborz mountains is one of Adventure Iran’s trekking tours which is perfect for spring and autumn. For those who would like to have an active excursion around Tehran, Iran’s capital city, this tour is ideal. We will camp in Dasht-e Havij for the night then climb a mountain each day.