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Hamadan

Hamadan

05/7/13

Geography and History

The province of Hamadan covers an area of 19,368 sq. km. and is located to the west of Iran. Asad Abad, Towiserkan, Bahar, Razan, Kabudrahang, Malayer, Nahavand and Hamadan are the townships of this province. In the year 2006, Hamadan province had a population of approximately 1.7 million, of which about 42.34 % resided in urban areas, and about 57.58% in the rural areas. The province lies in an elevated region, with the ‘Alvand’ mountains, running from the north west to the south west. This mountainous area is to the south west and east of the Hamadan city. To the east of Hamadan, and east of the heights of Alvand, that is in between the mountains of ‘Alvand’ and ‘Gerou’ or (Gerin), in the south, are the plains.

Climate

Hamadan province lies in a temperate mountainous region to the east of Zagross. The vast plains of the north and northeast of the province are influenced by strong winds, that almost last throughout the year. The various air currents of this region are: the north and north west winds of the spring and winter seasons, which are usually humid and bring about rainfall. The west-east air currents that blow in the autumn, and the local winds that develop due to difference in air-pressure between the elevated areas and the plains, like the blind wind of the Asad Abad region. Taking into consideration the environmental conditions, the ideal period to travel to this province is from mid May to mid October, which proves to be excellent as regards sunshine and temperature, besides the natural surroundings. The higher regions of the province experience a cold, mountainous climate in general, whilst the regions to the south of which, have a temperate, mountainous climate.

History and Culture

Hamadan province can be said to be one of the historical and extremely ancient parts of Iran and its civilization. Relics of this area confirm this fact. Hamadan township being in the vicinity of the Alvand mountains has a cold, mountainous climate, with snowy winters and short mild summers. The city of Hamadan is the center of the province and is at a distance of 337 km. from Tehran. The structures of city is related to ‘Diya Aku’ one of the monarchs of the Medes, about (700 BC.). According to the records of a reputed Greek historian, this territory was called ‘Ekbatan’ and ‘Hegmataneh’ by this monarch . Thus being transformed into a huge capital, which was later repaired by Darius The Great. During the Parthian era, ‘Teesfoon was the capital of the country, and Hamadan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamadan. In the year 23 AH. when the war of Nahavand took place and Hamadan came into the hands of the Arabs, at times it thrived and at times witnessed poverty. In the times of the Deylamites (319 AH.) , it suffered plenty of damages. In the 6th century AH., the Seleucidians shifted their capital from Baqdad to Hamadan. The city of Hamadan which was always assaulted by the rise and fall of powers, was completely destroyed during the Teimooride invasion. During the Safavid era the city thrived. Thereafter, in the year 1138 AH., Hamadan surrendered to the Ottomans, but due to the courage and chivalry of Nader Shah Afshar, Hamadan was cleared off the invaders and according to the peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans , it was returned to Iran. The city of Hamadan lay on the ‘Silk Road’ and even in the last centuries enjoyed good prospects in commerce and trade being on the main road network in the western region of the country.

Hamadan Province Townships

Asad Abad, Bahar, Hamadan, Kabudrahang, Malayer, Nahavand, Razan,Towiserkan.

Asad Abad

The township of Asad Abad is to the west of Hamadan and in the neighborhood of the Kermanshah province. This township lies 52 km. west of Hamadan and 480 km. from Tehran. It has a cold, mountainous type of climate with fertile plains surrounding it. The famous ‘Pass of Asad Abad’ in the vicinity of Asad Abad is snow-bound dung winter. Asad Abad is also the birth place of the reputed leader of the anti-exploitation movement in contemporary Iran, by the name of ‘Seyed Jamal Asad Abadi’.

Bahar

It is located to the north east of Hamadan, and in the fertile plains of Bahar. This area is famous for its potato cultivation, which is distributed to other parts of the country. Bahar is situated 30 km. from Hamadan and has a cold mountainous climate, with snowy winters and short mild summers. The city of ‘Lalehjin’ in this township is famous for its ceramics in Iran.

Hamadan 

Hamadan township being in the vicinity of the Alvand mountains has a cold, mountainous climate, with snowy winters and short mild summers. The city of Hamadan is the center of the province and is at a distance of 337 km. from Tehran. The structures of city is related to ‘Diya Aku’ one of the monarchs of the Medes, about (700 BC.). According to the records of a reputed Greek historian, this territory was called ‘Ekbatan’ and ‘Hegmataneh’ by this monarch . Thus being transformed into a huge capital, which was later repaired by Darius The Great. During the Parthian era, ‘Teesfoon was the capital of the country, and Hamadan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamadan. In the year 23 AH. when the war of Nahavand took place and Hamadan came into the hands of the Arabs, at times it thrived and at times witnessed poverty. In the times of the Deylamites (319 AH.) , it suffered plenty of damages. In the 6th century AH., the Seleucidians shifted their capital from Baqdad to Hamadan. The city of Hamadan which was always assaulted by the rise and fall of powers, was completely destroyed during the Teimooride invasion. During the Safavid era the city thrived. Thereafter, in the year 1138 AH., Hamadan surrendered to the Ottomans, but due to the courage and chivalry of Nader Shah Afshar, Hamadan was cleared off the invaders and according to the peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans , it was returned to Iran. The city of Hamadan lay on the ‘Silk Road’ and even in the last centuries enjoyed good prospects in commerce and trade being on the main road network in the western region of the country.

Kabudrahang

This township lies in the vast plains north of the province. It has a cold mountainous climate. The city of Kabudrahang is the center of this township which lies 62 km. from Hamadan. Kabudrahang was a part of Hamadan township, but today it is a separate township.

Malayer

Malayer is one of the southern townships of Hamadan province, with a temperate and mountainous climate. Mostowfi narrates that Nahavand comprised of 100 villages divided into three portions named as, Malayer, Esfidhan and Jeyqooq. The city of Malayer stands 83 km. south east of Hamadan, and 418 km. from Tehran. There are many versions as to its name. It is said that during the time of the Medes, fire would be lighted on the hills to send out information to other parts of the territory from here. This area was therefore known as Mel Agar, which meant ‘fire hill.’ This is the current township of Malayer, which thrived from long past. Fathali Shah was responsible for the construction of what is now the city of Malayer today. It was in the year 1188 AH. that this place was inaugurated by Mohammad Ali Mirza Daulat Shah, and in honor of the founder was called Daulat Abad. But later on during the Pahlavi rule was changed to Malayer.

Nahavand

Nahavand is one of the southern townships of Hamadan province, with a temperate mountainous climate and heavy rainfall during the spring. The city of Nahavand lies 152 km. south of Hamadan, and about 460 km. from Tehran. Studies and archeological researches conducted by Prof. Grishman in the ‘Geyan Hill’, reveals that approximately 3,700 years BC. the inhabitants of this region had a similar civilization to that of Mesopotamia. But this civilization crumbled due to the presence of Asians and Europeans. At the time of the invasion of Alexander to Iran, during the Achaemenian period, Nahavand was destroyed, though not much is known of this period. The Seleucidians also attacked this city and remained there for some time. In the Sassanide period however, Nahavand held a strategic position. During the Arab invasion, the Iranian soldiers were forced to surrender. Naseredin Shah (Qajar dynasty), visited Nahavand, and ordered the castle of the city, which was an important historical monument, to be completely destroyed. The township of Nahavand is one of the ancient seats of civilization in Iran.

Razan

The township of Razan is in the extreme north eastern part of the province and is the neighborhood of the Qazvin province. To the east and north of this township span the mountains of Noubaran, and the famous snow-bound Avaj Gorge is located in these mountains. This is the reason why this township has cold winters and mild, short summers. The city of Razan lies en route between Hamadan and Tehran, 83 km. from Hamadan and 250 km. from Tehran.Razan which was a part of Hamadan township, in the recent years has become itself a township.

Towiserkan

Situated in the south eastern slopes of the Alvand Mountains, and to the south of Hamadan on elevated land, it experiences cold winters, and moderate summers. The city of Towiserkan lies at a distance of 395 km. from Tehran and 93 km. from Hamadan. The old city of ‘Rood Avar’ formerly comprised of three villages called ‘Tu’ie’, ‘Serkan’, and ‘Shekan’. After the invasion of the Mongols this city lost its importance, and the inhabitants flocked to ‘Tu’ie’.
The current Towiserkan is the former Tu’ie. Serkan is 10 km. north west of Towiserkan. Even today it is one of the cities of the Towiserkan township. The Habaqooq-e-Nabi Mausoleum is near this city. This prophet lived here in 700 BC. Archeological excavations made around this mausoleum reveal the flouridment of this area during that time.

Historical Monuments

Alavian (Gonbad-e-Alavian)  Tomb, Hamadan

This four-sided structure houses the tombs of two of the members of the Alavian family, related to the Saljuqi period. The dome of this structure had been artistically worked with plaster, but through the ages is no more. The tombs are situated under the domed ceiling of the cellar, and worked in blue tiles. Externally, the structure has been decoratively inlaid with bricks placed in a diamond pattern. The remains of a beautiful inscription, also in embossed brick, written in the ‘kufic’ script can be observed on the outer wall and columns. The entrance to this tomb is also worth attention.

 

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Avecina Tomb, Hamadan

‘Avecina’, or (Hojjat-ol-Haq Sheikh-ol-Rais Sharaf-ol-Molk Abu Ali Hossein Ebne Abdollah Ebne Sina), was the great philosopher, scholar, physician of Iran (370-428 AH.). This tomb is located in Bu Ali Sq. Hamadan. The present structure was constructed in the years 1946-1951 and since then has been repaired and renovated thrice. Located in an area of 3,090 sq. m. the area under foundation is 1,792 sq. m. The facade of the tomb is of hard stone. Three wide steps lead to the porch where there are ten stone columns. Each of these columns depict a century from the time of the birth of this great man upto date.
The wide wooden doors of the porch, open to reveal the interior with its stone walls and flooring. The main area is square in shape and the twelve base pillars supporting the tower of the tomb are situated here. The tomb of Avecina is between the tower and the tomb of his bosom friend ‘Abu Saied’. On both these graves are marble tablets and inscriptions with nine lines in the ‘Sols’ script. On two sides of this vicinity, are two halls, one a conference hall and the other a library. The tower of the tomb has been constructed with cement and pieces of hard stone. In the midst of the twelve panels of the tower, is a cubical bronze or ‘gun metal’ chest conical at the top. On the four sides of which are engravings in the ‘Sols’ script.
In the year 1949, a portrait of Bu Ali was drawn by Master Abol Hassan Sadiqi, based on particulars obtained from records. In accordance with this portrait, the statue of Bu Ali Sina was sculptured in white marble and affixed in Bu Ali square of Hamadan.

 

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Baba Taher Oryan Tomb, Hamadan

This memorial is tomb of the great Gnostic and poet of the late 4th and early 5th centuries AH. The tomb is located on a hill in the north west of Hamadan. The structure was constructed in the years 1967-1970. This tomb is on the basis of an octagon. Eight pillars of the tower, stone slabs of the tomb and its base, together with the steps and the surrounding paved area, are all of sculptured granite.The main structure is to the dimensions of 10m. x10 m. and has entrances along with light sutures. The facade and flooring of the structure is of stone, and inscriptions are worked with tiles. Within the internal area are 24 pieces of marble affixed, each having a verse from the poems of this reputed personality.

 

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Esteroo Mord Khay (Ester and Mord Khay) Tomb, Hamadan 

Located in the city center, the structure has been constructed of brick and stone. This is the tomb of Ester the Queen of Shoosh (the wife of Khashayar Shah of Iran). Mordecai (Mord Khay) was her uncle. The structure was originally constructed about 11 centuries ago, by the Jewish community in order to pay homage to these two personalities. There is a probability that the current structure has been built on the original site in the 7th century AH.
On the two graves, valuable and antique chests have been affixed. Inscriptions embossed with plaster in the Hebrew script can be noted on the upper wall. This vicinity is a place for pilgrimage of the Jewish sect, and is also held in respect by the Moslems too.

 

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Hafez Abol Ala’  (Qorban Tower) Tomb, Hamadan

This tomb is located in the city of Hamadan near the Ebne Sina Junior School. This is the resting abode of ‘Sheikh-ol-Islam Hassan Ebne Attar Hafez Abol Ala’ and a group of the commanders of the Saljuqi period. It was built in the 7th and 8th centuries AH., comprises of a brick tower with twelve sides and a brick pyramid shaped dome consisting of twelve (brick) panels. The external part of the building is composed of arches of unique and spectacular design. In the center of the tower is a simple grave, the tomb-stone of which is related to the Safavid period. It is said, that a person by the name of ‘Qorban’ constructed a trench in this area to safe-guard the people of this locality against the Afqan invasion. Thence the name of this tower. The Qorban tower is on record by The Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran.

 

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Mir Razieddin Artimany Tomb, Towiserkan

The tomb of Mohammad Razieddin Artimany, is located on a hill in the village of Artiman ( the township of Towiserkan). The facade of the structure is of brick, and has three tall arches. Behind these arches, there is an arched doorway with tile works. The structure is square in shape, with three chambers or rooms on each side externally. The mausoleum has four arched entrances, done in beautiful tile work on each side. Within the structure, the tomb has been made of hard stone.

 

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Seyed Jamaleddin Asad Abadi Tomb, Asad Abad

A man of great repute, a contemplating social reformer of the east was born in the year 1254 AH. in Asad Abad, (Hamadan). He was poisoned to death in Turkey in 1314 AH. A memorial has been constructed at his residence in Asad Abad.

 

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Ganj Nameh Inscriptions, Hamadan 

These inscriptions are relics from the period of ‘Darius’ and ‘Khashayar Shah’ of the Achaemenian era. The said are located 5 km. west of Hamadan at the end of the ‘Dareh-ye-Abbas Abad’ or Abbas Abad Valley, and have been engraved on a mountain. Each of these inscriptions have been segregated into three columns with twenty lines, and in three languages of ancient ‘Parsi’, ‘Baboli’ and ‘Ilami’. The Parsi text is to the left of these two inscriptions, the Baboli text is in the center followed by the Ilami text to the right of the engravings. The engraved tablet to the left is related to Darius the Great, under which is the engraving related to the period of Khashayar Shah.

 

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Nooshijan Castle (Atashkadeh Fort), Malayer

This castle lies 20 km. west of Malayer, in the district of Shurkat. In this region three cycles of civilizations have been distinct. The first of which being in the second half of the 8th to the beginning of 6th century BC. and related to the Medes. The architectural relics in this connection are, the fire-temple or (Atashkadeh) on the western side of the hill, the pillared hall or ‘Apadana’, the main hall or temple used for worship, chambers, store-rooms, tunnel and ramparts of the castle. The civilizations to follow that is the second and third cycles have not been clarified.

 

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Other castles worth mentioning is the ‘Oshtoran Castle’ located in the village of Oshtoran of Hamadan province.

 

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Religious Monuments

Habaqooq-e-Nabi Mausoleum, Towiserkan

This tomb is located near the city of Towiserkan and is related to the 7th century AH. Habaqooq Nabi was one of the prophets of the Israelites, the keeper of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. This structure is tower-like and made of brick. Externally the dome is a cone shaped one, but internally it is spherical. In its facade, this octagonal structure has shallow arches with tile work on the top. Between these arches are plain panels. The tomb is in the center of the structure.

 

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Imamzadeh Azhar-ebne Ali, Razan

This structure is in the village of Darjezin, in Razan district. The said is a cylindrically shaped tower 20 m. in height and with 19 panels. It has a dome made of flat brick. Within the structure which is spherical, is the tomb. On this tomb is a wooden chest with inscriptions from versus of the Holy Qoran. The chest was constructed in the year 1056 AH. under the orders of Shah Abbas Safavid II. The actual tomb however, is in the basement. The said structure dates back to the Mongol period (7th century AH.). During the reign of Shah Abbas II (1056 AH.) it was repaired.

 

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Imamzadeh Mohsen (Kooh), Hamadan

This Imamzadeh is located in the village of Farajin (Hamadan). Since it is situated in one of the pleasant valleys in the slopes of the Alvand Mountains it is also known as Imamzadeh Kooh. The structure dates back to the Mongol era (8th century AH.) and is rectangular in shape. In the central part, are two joint tombs with two double covered domes, besides which there are two areas for nocturnal prayers. In one are the burial sites of three disciples of Hazrat Ali (A.S.) and in the other the tomb of Imamazadeh Mohsen (a descendent of Imam Hassan P. B.) is located.

 

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Natural Attractions

Alisadr Cave, Kabudrahang

The said cave is the largest in the world, containing water and offering the use of canoes. This cave is located in the village of Alisadr, district of Kabudrahang, and was inaugurated in the year 1967. In the hills where the Alisadr cave is located, there are two other caves by the names of  Soo Bashi  and  Sarab  Caves. The water present in Alisadr Cave, takes its source from that of the Sarab Cave. The Alisadr Cave comprises of a number of small and large ‘halls’ or spaces, in a maze like fashion, connected to each other by passages.
The water within the cave is extremely cold but very clear, odorless, colorless and with an ordinary taste. It comes under the calcium bicarbonate category, is nearly neutral in PH, but unfortunately polluted. The ceiling of the cave is covered with a sedimentation of pure calcium carbonate and a mixture of other chemical compounds. Thus forming stalagmites of unique beauty and design, which draws the attention of visitors. The air within the cave is light and static. To date, all the canals of this cave have not been discovered, and only approximately 2,100 m. have been recognized. Here, the height of the ceiling is between 1-35 m. the width of the canals 2 – 15 m. and the depth of the water 1 – 17 m. Within the cave, electric power, and paddling canoes (seating 4 persons) aid visitors to see parts of this cave.

 

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Culture and Art

Avecina Tomb Museum, Hamadan

The new memorial structure of the tomb of Avecina (Bu Ali Sina), was constructed in the year 1941 right in its former location. From the architectural aspect the dome of the said structure is an inspiration from ‘The Gonbad-e-Qaboos’ in the plains of Gorgan, and ‘Persepolis’ or Takht-e-Jamshid. In the museum here, ancient relics, an anthropology section and books of Avecina are on display. Besides which exhibits such as bronze statues related to the 1st millennium BC., gourd bottles (or canteens), coins, beads and articles of silver related to the Sassanide period. The tomb of the great Gnostic ‘Qazvini’ is also located in this vicinity.

 

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Natural History Museum, Hamadan 

This museum is located in the Agricultural Faculty of Bu Ali University (Hamadan). The same was inaugurated in the year 1972. The museum has been erected in an area covering 1,800 sq.m. and with three exhibition halls. Each of these deal with a group of displays such as mammals, water species, reptiles and birds. Specimens of fossils and minerals can also be noted in this museum. Approximately, 7000 samples are on display here.

Universities

The Governmental universities in Hamadan province

Hamedan Medical University, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan University of Technology, Payam Noor University of Hamedan, Payam Noor University of Bahar, Payam Noor University of Kabootar Ahang, Payam Noor University of Toyserkan, Payam Noor University of Nahavand, Payam Noor University of razan.

The Islamic Azad universities in Hamadan province

Islamic Azad University of Hamedan, Islamic Azad University of Toyserkan, Islamic Azad University of Nahavand.

Handicrafts and Souvenirs, Hamadan 

The most important handicraft of the province is earthenware and ceramics, and a place called ‘Lalejin’ (30 km. north of Hamadan) is famous for this handicraft. Besides earthenware and ceramics, there are the followings – carpet and ‘Kilim’ weaving (or a coarse carpet), clothing (mainly to do with the nomads), ‘jajeem’ (or a loosely woven woolen material), leather work, ‘geeveh’ (a local foot-ware), sweet-meats and grape syrup.

 

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Local and Regional Foods, Hamadan

Food in this province alike others excels in variety. There are various types of ‘aash’ or a type of soup such as ash-e-dooq, aash-e-kachi, aash-e-qureh etc. A variety of a type of meat broth, called ‘abgoosht’ such as, abgoosht-e-qureh, abgoosht-e-beh, abgoosht-e-qormeh etc. There are also a variety of meat-balls, kookoos, and kababs (grills). Stuffed vegetables also form another part of the menu. Besides these are many kinds of curries and pickles.