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Bushehr

Bushehr

05/1/13

Geography and History

Bushehr province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, with a long coastline onto the Persian Gulf. Its center is Bandar-e-Bushehr, the provincial capital.
The Bushehr province covers an area of 22,743 sq km. of dry land and 600 km. of coastal area. The province is located in the south of Iran and to the north of the Persian Gulf, enjoying a strategic and sound economical position. The townships of this province are the followings: Bushehr, Tangestan (Ahram), Dashtestan (Burazjan), Dashti (Khormoj), Dayer, Daylam, Kangan and Genaveh. The political and economic center being ‘Bandar-e- Bushehr’ or the ‘Port of Bushehr’. In the year 2006, the above mentioned province had a population of approximately 886,267, of which nearly 64.15 % resided in urban areas, 34.23 % accounted for rural regions and the remaining were non-residents.According to the natural relief, the Bushehr province can be divided into two segments: one being the plains and the other mountainous regions. The former extending along the coast of the Persian Gulf, where majority of the cities (of this province) as well as the inhabitants are settled. The other regions are named as the two mountain ranges of  ‘Gach Torsh’   and ‘Nokand’ which run parallel to each other throughout the length of this province.

Climate

In the coastal region, the weather is warm and humid, and in the internal areas warm dry and a desert like climate is experienced. Generally two specific seasons are prevalent, i.e., comparatively cool winters during the months of November to March and the rest account for the hot, dry summer months. The autumn and spring seasons being of short duration. The average temperature ranges between 50° C in summer and 6° C for the winter season. Whereas the average annual temperature is recorded at 24° C. It is worth mentioning that from the end of April to end September, for approximately 140 days temperatures rise to more than 40° C.

History and Culture

Due to its suitable and strategic position the province formed a sea-base and port from the older times that is during the period when the Elamite monarchs ruled over the region. During the Achaemenian era, the territory of Bushehr was governed by the officials of ‘Pars’.
The Greeks knew of Bushehr by Mezambria during the battles of Nearchus. A French excavating team however in 1913 determined the origin of Bushehr to date back to the Elamite Empire. A city there, known as Lyan, contained a temple that was designed to protect the compound from naval attacks. Its remains can still be seen today 10 kilometers south of the present city of Bushehr.(Marco Polo describes this region as part of the Persian province of Shabankareh.)A key turning point in the history event of significance is known to have taken place in this region until the arrival of the European colonialists in the 16th century. In the past, the Persian Gulf region which encompassed the Bushehr province was always a seat of the exchange of scholarly activities as well as wealth and the rise of political power, which also included the economic and commercial aspects. These formed the main principles which attracted foreign powers. The first of which being the rampage of the European governments to the coasts of the Persian Gulf. Such as the Portuguese attack in the year 1506 AD.(The Portuguese, invaded the city of Bushehr in 1506 and remained there until Shah Abbas Safavi defeated and liberated the Persian Gulf region of their presence. By 1734, Bushehr had once again risen to prominence due to Nadir Shah of the Afsharid dynasty, and his military policies in The Persian Gulf). Bushehr was selected by Nadir to be the central base of Nadir’s Naval fleet in the Persian Gulf. He thus changed the name of the city to Bandar e Nadiriyeh (Nadir’s Port). He hired an Englishman by the name of John Elton to help build his fleet. By the Qajar era, Britain, Norway, Russia, Italy, France, Germany, and the Ottomans had diplomatic and commercial offices there, with Britain steadily gaining a foothold in the area. Close to 100 British ships are reported to have docked at the port city every year during the Qajar era. In order to gain supremacy over the Egyptian and Venetian traders who held the ropes in this area. In the year (1031 AH.) Shah Abbas Safavid aligned with Britain and expelled the Portuguese from this region. It was during the reign of Nader Shah (1148 AH.) that Bushehr which was no more than a village gained importance and was transformed into a port with a jetty. At the end of the reign of Nader Shah, Iran possessed 23-25 ships in the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, during the Zandiyeh and Qajar eras, this territory witnessed more political upheavals, such as during the rule of the latter whose influence diminished over this area. Leaving the same in the hands of the British rule, who acquired dominance over Oman Sea as well. Great Britain have dominated the scene over the Persian Gulf for a period of twenty years. Britain retained power till ever after the year 1913 as they were victorious in their battles with Nasereddin Shah Qajar in 1857. As well as in 1913 when the freedom movement under the leadership of ‘Rais Ali Delvari’ proved unsuccessful against the British aggressors.

Bushehr Province Townships

Bushehr, Daylam, Dashtestan, Genaveh , Dashti , Kangan , Dayer , Tangestan.

Bushehr 

The township of Bushehr is located in a vast plain running along the coastal region. The capital city being Bandar-e-Bushehr or the ‘Port of Bushehr’. This port is at a distance of 1,218 km. from Tehran, and has a hot, humid climate. Since the past, this port has been one of the important ones in Persian Gulf which has an international airport too. During the 1st and 2nd Millennium BC., the Peninsula of Bushehr was a thriving and flourishing seat of civilization called ‘Rey Shahr’.Many relics have been found in this regard related to the Elamite era and the civilization of Shoosh. These structures of “Rey Shahr’ are said to be related to Ardeshir Sassanide and Rey Shahr was formerly known by the name of Ram Ardeshir. Thereby through the passage of time came to be called Rey Shahr and thence Bushehr.

Daylam

This township is located to the north of the province and near the coast of Persian Gulf. Its center is the historical city of Daylam. Evidence of two ancient ports in this area, such as Mahruban located 24 km. north of Daylam and ‘Bandar-e-Si’ 20 km. from Daylam throw light on the ancient and historical past of this vicinity, which intermingles with that of ‘Bandar-e-Genaveh’.

Dashtestan

This township is in the north of Bushehr, its center being ‘Burazjan’, which lies at a distance of 1,147 km. from Tehran. Dashtestan experiences an extremely warm climate and in past was known as ‘Shabankareh’ its center is the ancient city of ‘Eij’. Burazjan was one of its basis, where there are the remnants of an ancient castle.

Genaveh

Bandar-e-Genaveh lies on the coastal waters of The Persian Gulf, between Bandar-e-Bushehr and Daylam. The current city of Genaveh has been constructed in the southern segment of the old city. Relics such as stone arches are evident in the ancient city.

Dashti

This township is in the south of the province its capital city being ‘Khormoj’. Kaki was the center of the Dashti block and it was used to be called Mandestan. The relics of this vicinity are a temple and an ancient tower, but the natural attractions of the area can draw numerous sightseeing visitors.

Kangan

This township lies in the extreme south eastern region of the province on the coast of Persian Gulf. Bandar-e-Taheri being one of its districts, was an important center of trade and commerce in the 4th century AH. The Port of Siraf or ‘Bandar-e-Siraf’, west of this region was one of the largest ports of Iran in the Persian Gulf and after Shiraz it ranked as the second city of the province of ‘Ardeshir Khoreh’. The Thermal spring of ‘Mianloo’ north of Kangan is a place worth seeing.

Dayer

Dayer is located on the coast of Persian Gulf, its center being ‘Bandar-e-Dayer’. The same is 50 km. south west of ‘Bandar-e-Taheri’. The ‘Jalal Khan Hakem’ castle (which is more than 200 years old) is in this city. Imamzadeh Shah Mohammad is also located in this area.

Tangestan

Tangestan is yet another townships of Bushehr the center of which is ‘Ahram’. The famous fort of Tangestan lies in this township, the inhabitants of which are distinct for their loyalty to the country and chivalry. It is believed that the vicinity of ‘Tedumari’ in Tangestan is a reminder of a trading clan reputedly from central Asia ,i.e., the ancient ‘Tedmer’ and ‘Palmir’ tribes. It is evident that the coastal region of the Persian Gulf was an important trading and commercial center for traders belonging to different areas in the past.

Historical Monuments

Ardeshir Palace, Dashtestan (Tang-e-Eram)

This structure was constructed in the vicinity of ‘Tang-e-Eram’ and holds strong possibility of being a resting place or hunting location of lodge. The Remainder of Ardeshir Palace shown in the 2 pictures below :

 

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Bardak Siyah Achaemenid Palace, Dashtestan

The winter palace of Dariush or ‘Darius’ located 12 km. north of the current city of Burazjan is known as the ‘Bardak Siyah (palace). This palace has 10 pillars in two rows and is architectured according to Achaemenian design. Black stone is used as a foundation of these pillars. Pillar Remainder of Bardak Siyah Palace shown in the picture below :

 

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Chehel Khaneh Historical Caves, Dashtestan

In the north of ‘Sa’dabad’ (district of Burazjan), the ‘Shapour River’ flows through the rocky, stony and layers of heaped sand. The two sides and within these rocks, there are numerous crypts (similar to tiny ‘dug out’ chambers or rooms). Chehel Khaneh is in keeping with the meaning of 40 rooms or houses that are located here. Another concept of it being Cheleh Khaneh where the ‘devout’ and ‘Yogis’ existed. There is a possibility that these crypts were burial places during the period of ‘Medes’ and ‘Sassanids’.

 

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Goor Dokhtar, Dasht-e-Arjan, Dashtestan

The structure of ‘Goor Dokhtar’ is very similar to the mausoleum of Koorush the great in Pasargadae (about 600 BC.). This structure is made of 24 slabs of stones, according to the ‘Orartoie’ and Elamite principles such as the ziggurat of Choqazanbil.This valuable monument is registered on the records of the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran.

 

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Qavam Water Reservoir, Bushehr

This water reservoir is near Khalij-e-Fars Avenue, it was constructed during the Qajar era and dates back to more than 150 years ago.

 

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Siraf Ancient City, Bushehr

Siraf is located south east of the port of Bushehr near the small port of Taheri. This ancient city encompasses the three ports of ‘Bandar-e-Taheri’, ‘Bandar-e-Kangan’ and ‘Bandar-e-Dayer’. Siraf dates back to the Sassanian period and originally was known as ‘Ardeshir Aab’ due to the fact that Ardeshir Babakan set up a waterway network here in order to facilitate port activities for which he was responsible. Ancient relics in this region are :
Parts of a defense fort related to the end of the Sassanian era and the Siraf Jame’ mosque related to the end of the (2nd century AH.).A part of the locality where the wealthy people resided including several small mosque of the (3rd and 4th century AH.). A number of (mass) graves or tombs, a palace-like edifice and few other buildings.

 

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Zar Khezer Khan Castle, Tangestan

This castle is to the north of Ahram and belongs to Zar Khezer Khan Tangestani and at present is the residence of his descendants. The castle includes four towers and rampart apart from the private facilities for use of the residents.

 

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Religious Monuments

Haji Mohammad Ebrahim Esfahani Tomb, Khark Island 

This tomb is octagonal and is similar to Mongol architecture. There is a strong possibility that Haji Mohammad Ebrahim Esfahani was burried here in the year (1170 AH.).

 

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Sheikh Sa’dune Mosque, Bushehr

This mosque is also known as the Masjed Shah and Masjed Kufi, constructed by an Arab called Sheikh and at present religious mourning ceremonies are held here. The  Entrance of Sheikh Sa’dune Mosque shown in the picture below :

 

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Natural Attractions

Khark Island, Bushehr

The Khark Island has a population of more than 10.000 and is located 57 km. north west of Bushehr and 38 km. from Genaveh. This coral reef island has a length of 8 km. and is 4-5 km. in breadth. It has native trees, and thence to a small extent fruits like banana, citrus and dates are cultivated here. This Island having some historical relics is one of the oldest in the vicinity .The picture below shows a Natural landscape of Khark Island:

 

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Persian Gulf Coast, Bushehr

The coast of this province is of two types,i.e., sandy and rocky. The latter in itself is a wonderful sight worth seeing. Being of limestone and due to the active water erosion, leaving beautiful and natural impressions behind. The sandy shores, however, provide recreational areas for water sports. Bushehr being close to the cities of Abadan, Bandar-e-Abbas, Shiraz in Iran; including other countries of Persian Gulf such as Kuwait and Bahrain, attracts many tourists and visitors during the winter season.

 

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Culture and Art

Bushehr Museum, Delvar, Bushehr

This museum has a collection of exhibits and is also the museum of Anthropology. This museum is in the historic mansion of Rais Ali Delvari.

Universities

The Governmental universities in Bushehr province

Persian Gulf University, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences , Iran Nuclear Energy College. Payame Noor University of Bushehr.

The Islamic Azad universities in Bushehr province

Islamic Azad University of Bushehr,  Islamic Azad University of Borazjan, Islamic Azad University of Shabankare, Islamic Azad University of Khormuj, Islamic Azad University of Khark.

Galin (Qebleh Doa) Ceremony, Bushehr

This ritual is performed during a drought. The ritual is in such a way that the inhabitants of a village select a person and call him ‘Galin’. Galin is then changes into Shepherds clothing along with a beard made of sheep wool and a straw hat with two horns. A bell is also hung round his neck. Then along with the others of this village, Galin is taken from house to house and from each house he receives some wheat, barley or a few eggs.Ultimately Galin divides that which he has acquired into segments and in one of these segments adds a small piece of sand (apart from the eyes of others). Then these segments are distributed and the one who receive the part inclusive of sand, escapes the scene making the others run behind him in order to beat him. Finally he finds refuge in one of the houses and the household plead with the others not to hunt him for 3-7 days and that within this duration the rains would come. ‘Galin’ is allotted more two or three days if the rain fail to come, but ultimately if the rains do not come Galin is entailed for a beating. People believe that by performing this ritual the almighty feels pity on them and the rain begins.

Zaar (Leava) Ceremony, Bushehr

This ritual is usually performed on Wednesday nights. People (both men and women) adorn themselves with special attire and shower themselves with special perfume in order to get ready for this occasion, which also entails dancing.A week before this event a particular concoction (which is a type of medicine) is prepared for the person who is ill and is to be treated by this ritual. Baba Zaar, or the person in charge of the patient keeps the person out of sight of others for one week, rubs the concoction on the patients body besides giving a little to be drunk, and vaporizing a portion of the same around the patient. At the dancing ceremony, Baba Zaar beats the patient carefully and before the festivity begins various types of food are prepared and laid out including blood from the sacrifice of an animal for the ill person. The patient is compelled to drink a tile of this blood before being allowed to speak.
During the dancing and ecstasy , the patient by rhythmic movement goes into a state of hallucination and in this condition only ‘Baba Zaar’ can communicate or talk to the patient who asks the former to relieve him of that which has possessed him. After the period of hallucination is over the patient always has to dress in white and clean clothing and always scented with perfumes, and is compelled to keep away from doing wrong or else he’d be troubled again by ‘Zaar’. Another ritual is the ‘Dum-Dum Sahri’ ritual taking place during the fasting month of Ramadan.