Badab-e Surt is a natural wonder located in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran, 95 kilometers south of the city of Sari. In local language, badab means “sparkling water” or “fizzy water” and surt means influence or intensity”.
The site consist of a range of stepped terraces made of travertine, a sedimentary rock formed over thousands of years by deposition of carbonate minerals dissolved in water flowing from mineral hot springs.
It is at a height of 1,841 meters above sea level and just west of the village or Orost. It is believed that the spring was created during the Paleocene Era and at the same time as the latest folds in the Alborz mountain range.
Badab-e Surt’s terraces are caused by two distinct mineral springs with different natural characteristics, located at 1,840 meters above sea level.
The first spring contains very salty water that gathers in a small natural pool. Its water is considered to have medicinal properties, especially as a cure for rheumatism and some types of skin diseases and skin conditions.
The second spring has a sour taste and is predominately orange mainly due to the large iron oxide sediments at its outlet. Over the course of thousands of years the water from these two springs emanating from the mountain range have combined and resulted in a number of orange, red and yellow colored pools shaped as a naturally formed staircase. The surrounding vegetation to the north consists of pine trees forests while to the east we mainly see short trees and shrubs. To the west are rock quarries.
How to go Badab-e Surt?
The Orost village and Badab-e surt are accessible through Semnan with most of the way being paved and vehicles being capable of utilizing the dirt roads leading up to the spring.
The best time to visit the area is undoubtedly during either sunrise or sunset when the sun’s orange reflection blends in perfectly with the colored spring. The Badab Soort Spring has been registered as a national heritage site.
The Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in U.S., the White Water Terraces and Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area both in China, and the most famous of them all Pamukkale in Turkey are other smilar sites in the world.
However, unlike the aforementioned hot spring terraces, which are mostly shades of whites and blues, the travertine terraces of Badab-e Surt are bright orange and red. This is due to the presence of large amounts of iron oxide sediments.