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Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiyari

Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiyari


Geography and History

The province of Chahar Mahal and Bakhteyari is located in the center of the mountain chains of Zagros mountains by two mountain chains of the interior Zagros mountains and the province of Isfahan. It is formed of two main regions, Chahar Mahal and Bakhteyari. It is consisted of five districts, each is named by the name of its main town, which is its administrative center.The Province of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari covers an area of 16,332 sq km, and is situated in the Zagros Mountain Ranges, between the inner ranges and the province of Esfahan. The following five townships such as Ardal, Brujen, Shahr-e-Kord, Farsan, and Lordegan come under the Jurisdiction of this province; Shahr-e-Kord being the capital. In the year 2006, the said province had a population of approximately 857,910 of which about 51.5% resided in urban areas, 48.32% rural areas and the remaining were non-resident tribes.


Nesting in the center of the Zagross Mountain Ranges, which span over an area from the northwest of the country to the southeast, this province has a difference in altitude due to the mountainous terrain. The highest part being in the western segment with an altitude of 4,548 m. and the lower most vicinity being in the eastern sector of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari. Rivers such as Zayandeh Rood and Karoon originate from the mountains of this province. These mountains due to the relief of the land are snow clad throughout the year, and bear and influence over the climate of the province which experiences a cold climate generally. In the higher altitudes, that is over 2000 mt. and forms a major part of this province, rainfall and snowfalls are from mid-autumn and continue till spring about the month of March/April. But in the lower areas hot summers with temperate areas soaring over 40° C and scanty precipitation are experienced. Winter beginning usually in the end of Autumn and continues over a period of 4-5 months. The coldest time being December/January with temperatures bearing an average of approximately 10° C, the maximum temperature being 35° C and the minimum dropping to – 15° C. The annual rainfall recorded at 426 mm and the coldest ‘Snow bound’ days being 127 days on the whole. From around the month of May till October the weather is usually dry.

History and Culture

The historical background of the province of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari intermingles with that of the Bakhtiyari Tribe that comes from a branch of the Lur Clan or Tribe, who were known as Lor-e-Bozorg (Great Lor) in the history of Iran. The Bakhtiyari Tribe can be divided into two tribes (branches), Haft Lang and Chahar Lang. The summer quarters of the Chahar Lang being in the vicinity of the province of Lurestan and generally the Haft Lang Tribe form their jurisdiction in the townships of Brujen, Lordegan, Farsan, Ardal and Shahr-e-Kord. The Bakhtiyari territory at times came under the hands of the province of Fars and was also a part of the Khuzestan province.Due to their special nomadic life style, very little historical evidences have come to light in this area. But this fact does not take away from the natural scenery beauty such as forestry, wetlands, gushing streams and rivers, waterfalls, thermal and natural springs all enveloped in a cool mountainous climate enhance the natural beauty, beside other interests such as winter sports.The province of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari can be said to be one of the most interesting areas in Iran regarding special traditions or rituals, relative to their ‘tribal’ lifestyle and having a special connection with the national, religious, mourning and wedding ceremonies performed here. Besides which the form of music, dance and apparel (both men and women) can be made special mention of. Thus culturally this vicinity can be named as having features holding its own.



Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari Province Townships

Ardal, Brujen ,Farsan,Lordegan,Shahr-e-Kord.


In recent years, this township due to expansion has turned into a city, and is one of the smallest cities of the province of Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiyari. It is a place full of natural beauty having cool summers and cold winters.


Brujen is located on the plains surrounded by mountains. The capital of which is Shahr-e-Brujen which is 571 km from Tehran. Standing at an attitude of 1,980 m. it has moderately a cold climate, along with greenery and natural beauty in abundance – having cold winters and cool summers.


This township is situated in the mountainous region of the north and northwest segment of this province. The capital city being Farsan located 35 km from Shahr-e-Kord, and 578 km from Tehran. The city of Farsan is one of the important summer residing places for Bakhtiyari Tribe, which has excellent weather conditions due to resting in the midst of the inner ranges of the Zagross Mountains.


Lordegan is situated to the south of this province neighboring the province of Kohkiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad and Khuzestan. The capital city of which is Lordegan, 81 km south of Shahr-e-Kord and at a distance of 624 km from Tehran. This town forms the area of the Haft Lang Tribe of the Bakhtiyari and most probably takes its name from the old city of Larjan, according to ancient geographers.


The township of Shahr-e-Kord is located to the northeast of this province, Shahr-e-Kord being its capital city and situated 543 km from Tehran. Shahr-e-Kord is in the midst of a plain surrounded by mountains. In the 7th Century AH Shahr-e-Kord and its outskirts came under the rule of the Atabakan-e-Fars and Lurestan. It was in this area that a sentry post was set up to control both passenger traffic and see to their need. The Kords formed the guard of this post, thereby this vicinity was known as Dehkord. After many decades due to its expansion Dehkord was named Shahr-e-Kord and is reputed for its fine weather and natural beauty.

Historical Monuments

Chaloshtor Castle, Shahr-e-Kord

Chaloshtor is situated 10 km northwest of Shahr-e-Kord. This castle had been the ruling center much long before Shahr-e-Kord gained importance. The castle belonged to Khoda Rahim Khan Bakhtiyari and at present except for a small portion, the rest of the castle is ruined.



Jonaqan Castle, Shahr-e-Kord

Jonaqan or Joneqoon is a small city, situated at 38 km southwest of Shahr-e-Kord which was the residential quarter of the Khans of the Bakhtiyari Tribe . In the year 1939 AH, Ali Qoli Khan Sardar As’ad built this castle or palace, covering an area of 14,000 sq. m. for his own residential purposes which had a different outlook.




Kooh Rang Tunnel, Chelgerd, Farsan

This tunnel is situated near Chelgerd city. The said tunnel was constructed so as to annex the waters of Koohrang to that of the Zayandeh Rood. It is said that construction of the tunnel began during the Sassanide period and approximately from the time of Shah Abbas I. At that time they planned to make a vertical crevice right at the vertical axis of Karkonan Mountain and by means of a dam which crosses the same axis, to increase the water level in Karoon River, thus leading the water through the crevice made in the mountain.
The difference in distance from the peak to the river bed was measured 300 m. The height of the dam was 50 m. and the height of the crevice 250 m. so as to allow a water flow. For this aim fifteen years of construction work took place and even now a days many effects have been left which include: Shah Cut (Tarasheh).It is said that for this much of cut which was made at the time of Shah Abbas approximately 5 million workers were required and for 15 years these workers labored at excavating free of charge.





Zaman Khan Bridge, Shahr-e-Kord

This bridge has been constructed on the Zayandeh Rood River at the distance of 29 km northeast of Shahr-e-Kord. This bridge has been built by one of the tribal chieftains named Zaman Khan.





Culture and Art

Different kinds of handicrafts and souvenirs of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari province are as follows: the famous Chalshotori carpet, tribal carpets and rugs, Chukha, felt, Giveh or a type of local foot ware, Khorjeen or Saddlebags, Jajeem (a loosely woven woolen cloths), Kilim (a coarse carpet), satchels, table cloths and salt cellars, Khor, Jol, Palas, Kachmehdan and Gazz.





The Governmental universities in Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari province

Shahrekord University, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences.

The Islamic Azad universities in  Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari province

Islamic Azad University(Shahrekord Branch), Islamic Azad University of Borujen.

Local Music and Dances, Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari

Music and poetry in Bakhtiyari Tribes have an ever lasting links to their lives. Bakhtiyari music tunes, are known as verses, which are 20-25 in numbers. Each clan has their own special group of musicians that are called “Tooshmal”. Tooshmals have seperate clans and residing places. They gain their annual income by participating in various festivals and ceremonies such as wedding or mourning rituals. Farming and animal husbandry are considered to be their second occupational activities. One of the rigid customs that prevail is that they do not allow their women folk to marry out of their clan or visa versa (endogamy).





Tooshmals being musicians and poetic in nature usually spend most of their times conjuring verses, anecdotes, riddles and proverbs. They contribute a great deal to the literature of Bakhtiyari Tribe.The musical instruments of Bakhtiyaries includes kettle drum, cymbals, flute, horn, drums and dulcimer.In the province of Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiyari, a variety of local dances are performed at festivals and other ceremonies. The famous dances are named as stick dance, wedding dance, handkerchief dance, Slow and fast dances as well as statue dance. The method of performance of such dances is breifly described as follows:
In marriage ceremonies usually men and women dance all together and although custom of Hejab or Islamic veil is strictly observed (only for strangers) by women, the fanasticism of clan is to that extend that girls, fearing their father and brothers, never dare to talk to a stranger man; and if under suspicion, they will be punished; still in marriage ceremonies, girls are allowed to participate in group dances and hold the other dancer’s hands.