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Kerman

Kerman

05/11/13

Geography and History

The province of Kerman covers an area of 180,836 sq. km. and is located in the south east of Iran. The said province is the second largest after Khorassan, and includes 11% of the total area of the country. The main townships of the province are as follows: Baft, Bardseer, Bam, Jiroft, Rafsanjan, Zarand, Sirjan, Shahr-e-Babak, Kerman and Kahnooj. In the year 2006, the province of Kerman had a population of approximately 2,652,413 of which 58.53% dwelled in the urban areas, and 41.08% in the rural vicinities, the remaining 0.39% accounted as non residents. The city of Kerman is the provincial capital, and embraces about 80% of the urban population, being one of the most developed and largest cities of the province.
The altitudes and heights of the province are a part or the continuation of the central mountain ranges of the country. The same prolong from the volcanic folds beginning in Azarbayjan, and by branching out in the central plateau of Iran, and terminating in Baluchestan. These mountain ranges have brought about vast plains in the province of Kerman. The Bashagard and Koohbanan Mountains are the highest in this region, and include peaks such as, Toqrol, Aljerd, Palvar, Sirach, Abareq and Tahrood. Other ranges that stretch out from Yazd to Kerman and Challeh-ye-Jazmoorian, include peaks like Medvar, Shahr-e-Babak, Kooh Panj, Chehel Tan, Lalezar, Hezarbahr, Aseman and … that rise majestically upwards.

Climate

The climate in the province varies in different regions depending on the relief of the land. The north, northwest and central areas experience a dry and moderate climate, whereas in the south and southeast, the weather is warm and relatively humid. The city of Kerman and the surrounding regions have a semi-moderate and dry climate, with a maximum and minimum temperature of 39.6° C, and -7° C respectively. The average temperature during the months of March – June has been recorded as 20° – 25° C. These months are the most suitable period for travel to the said region.

History and Culture

The history of human settlements in the territory of Kerman dates back to the 4th millennium BC. This vicinity can be considered as one of the ancient regions of Iran, and with the passage of time, valuable historical vestiges have in turn amassed here. The same throwing light on the culture, history, mode of living and governing powers of the past. In regards to natural attractions, this region boasts of sites such as, thermal and mineral springs, recreational areas, verdant spaces, altitudes and peaks, lakes, pools, protected areas and the special desert features which can be spell -binding! Tourism centers can aid at demonstrating the potentials entailed in the province.

Kerman Province Townships

Baft, Bam, Bardseer, Jiroft, Kahnooj, Kerman, Rafsanjan, Shahr-e-Babak, Sirjan, Zarand.

Baft

The township of Baft is situated in the south of the province, and is at a distance of 1,240 km. from Tehran. To its north is Bardseer, in the west lies Sirjan, the province of Hormozgan is located to its south, and to the east it is within the limits of Jiroft. The rivers take their sources in the northern heights of this region, before running east and entering Jiroft with the name of the Halil River. Baft has moderate winters and warm summers. It is not clearly known as to how this city originated, but in the past, a region called (Dasht Ab) which lay at a farther point, was inhabited.

Bam

The township of Bam is located to the east of the province, and lies at a distance of 1,283 km. from Tehran. To its north is the township of Kerman, to its west Bardseer, in the east is Jiroft and to the south lies the province of Sistan Va Baluchestan. The city of Bam is the main city of this township, and is located in a vast plain between the two mountain ranges of Barez and Kabudi. In the plains it experiences a warm climate, whereas in the higher altitudes, moderate weather prevails. Regarding its ancient history, this city intermingles with that of the old Bam citadel, which accounts as the largest city of the world that is made of sun dried bricks. Unfortunatly Bam City had been ruined in an earthquake in Dec.2003. But it is going to reconstruction by people, Government and International Organizations.

Bardseer

The township of Bardseer is located such that to its east are Bam and Kerman, to the south is Baft, and in the west and north are the townships of Sirjan and Rafsanjan respectively. It has a temperate and mountainous climate, with cold winters and moderate summers. After Sirjan, Bardseer was the second capital of Kerman. Though this city was not considered a seat of power in the early Islamic period, it held a vital position during the Sassanide era.
According to a famous historian, Ardeshir Babakan, (the first king of the Sassanide Dynasty) erected this city and named it ‘Vayeh Artakhshir’ which meant that ‘Ardeshir had performed a good deed’. Vayeh Artakhshir was the center of the township. It was thus located that caravans crossed this area en route from the ports of the Persian Gulf to the north western territories of the country. But later in the Sassanide rule, when Kerman was governed by margraves and its capital was moved to Sirjan, ‘Vayeh Artakhshir’ was converted into an army base. Today, Bardseer enjoys an important position as one of the main cities in the province of Kerman.

Jiroft

This township is situated in the southern sector of the province and lies at a distance of 1,375 km. from Tehran. Jiroft is one of the most fertile townships of Kerman. To the north-east of which is Bam, to its south stands the township of Kahnooj and in the west is in the limits of Baft. The city of Jiroft is located between two rivers, in a vast plain and on the southern skirts of the Barez Mountain Ranges. It is obvious that in the higher regions Jiroft experiences a cold climate, whereas in the low-lying areas it is warm.The ruins of the old city of Jiroft (known as Sabzvaran) are at a distance of 1 km. from its present location. The origin of the former is said to be from times immemorial.

Kahnooj

The township of Kahnooj is so located that to its north is Jiroft, to the east is within the limits of the vicinity of Jazmoorian in the province of Sistan Va Baluchestan, and to its western and southern sections is the province of Hormozgan. Kahnooj experiences hot weather with scanty rainfall, which is mostly in the form of thunder squalls. The Halil Rood River is the only permanent river in this township. Due to the presence of underground waters around the Hamoon Jazmoorian, and fertile soil, animal husbandry and cultivation are vital factors here.

Kerman

The township of Kerman is at a distance of 1,076 km. from Tehran, and lies in a vast plain, which is divided by a chain of mountains into two, the northern and southern sectors. The former is the desert area, whereas the latter comprises of the inhabited region (both urban and rural) due to its moderate, and suitable climatic conditions. Kerman is the provincial capital and is one of the ancient and historical cities of Iran. In the Greek language, Kerman was known as ‘Karamani’, and there is a strong possibility that Ardeshir Babakan was the founder of this city, and therefore was reputedly known as Ardeshir Khoreh. The Arabs called it Bardseer or Bardsheer, and to the Iranians it was known as Guasheer. Kerman is a beautiful city with many historical and religious sites.

Rafsanjan

The township of Rafsanjan is located in the north of the province, and at a distance of 949 km. from Tehran. To the east are the townships of Kerman and Zarand, and from the south and west the townships of Bardseer and Shahr-e-Babak respectively. In the northwest it has common borders with the province of Yazd. In the mountainous regions, Rafsanjan witnesses cold weather, but in the low-lying areas, such as the plains it is moderately warm. From architectural point of view, this city displays spectacular features and has many ancient houses in its vicinity.

Shahr-e-Babak

Shahr-e-Babak is located in the west of the province. To its east is Rafsanjan, in its southern limits is Sirjan, and to the north and west has common borders with the province of Yazd. Shahr-e-Babak is one of the ancient cities of Iran, and its founder is said to be Babak, ( the father of Ardeshir Babakan). Such that ancient geographers have mentioned this city in their records, and others have related its historical past with that of Kerman.

Sirjan

This township is located at a distance of 1,099 km. from Tehran, and lies in the west of the province. In its eastern sector are the townships of Bardseer and Baft and to its northern limits Shahr-e-Babak. The provinces of Fars and Hormozgan stand to its west and south respectively. Sirjan is in the plains, with the peaks of the Panj Tan mountains to the north, the Beed Khan or Chahar Gonbad in the central sector, and the Lalezar in the east. Sirjan witnesses warm and dry weather in the summer, with moderate climate in winter. The ruins of the old city of Sirjan have been discovered near Sa’eed Abad, en route to Baft. These finds prove that this city was one of the oldest territories of the province and Iran.

Zarand

The township of Zarand is located to the northwest of the city of Kerman. The province of Yazd is to its northern and western limits. In the east is the township of Kerman, and to its south and west the township of Rafsanjan. Climatically, this township can be divided into two, the north with a desert like climate, and the mountainous region experiencing moderate mountainous weather. In the 4th century AH., Zarand was a comparatively large city with six gateways. According to historians, Kerman came under assault of the Turkman tribe in the year 583 AH., and this led to heavy damage in this vicinity. The city of Zarand was then claimed as capital temporarily. Due to the weakening of the Saljuqi dynasty in 619 AH., the Qarakhata’yan took over the rule for a short while in Kerman. Today, this township has turned into one of the mining and industrial areas of the province.

Historical Monuments

Bam Citadel, Bam

To the north east of the Bam city, in the skirts of a gigantic rock is the foundations of a fortified castle, reputedly known as the Bam Citadel. This citadel was actually the old city of Bam. The city comprised of four sections and 38 watch towers. In the southern side of this structure there were four ramparts and to the north-eastern section there was also another colossal rampart. The citadel has been constructed of sun baked bricks, argyle and straw, but in some parts stone, brick and the barks of date palms have been utilized. The said citadel comprises of the entrance gate-way, a public sector, a military base and the central section or seat of power.

 

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The public dwellings were constructed alongside the elevated areas and on the ground level. Regarding the city construction planning its a complete aggregate. Its distinguished areas are the main passage or bazaar, Hosseiniyeh (or place for public religious rituals and mourning), mosque (fire-temple), gymnasium for traditional sports, public bath and a religious sector pertaining to the Jews. Most of the common houses were constructed in such a manner that they were connected to each other and usually had interconnections. In some houses, private baths are seen. A few of these buildings are two storeyed structures which were most probabely constructed due to increased population.

 

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After the gateway entrance there is a main passage which leads to the second gate-way. A part of this route was the city bazaar. Remenance of a bakery, an oil extraction area and the mud made shelves of bazaar reveals the splendour of the city in that time. Running parallel to the main passage there were two other paths leading to the second gateway. The Hosseiniyeh or place for religious mourning comprised of a large area with a two storeyed symmetrical porch, a few chambers and three pulpits of sun baked bricks. The traditional gymnasium consisted of four porches, a dome and a low-lying area, surrounded by a higher platform. The Bam citadel has two mosques, one is the Jame’ Mosque and the other the Hazrat Mohammad (AS) Mosque. There was also used to be a public bath in public section, which is unfortunately in a ruined state at present. After the second gate-way are the stables, rampart and the sentry picket. The third gate-way led to the garrison, the commanders residence and a wind mill. In the midst of the citadel, a three storyed edifice remains which was used to be the seat of the ruling power. Alongside this structure was a private bath of the commander, and a drainage conduit. This citadel was constructed by Bahman Esfandiyar, and dates back to the pre-Islamic period. The Bam Citadel has undergone several repairs. Unfortunately Bam Castle had been ruined in an earthquake in Dec.2003. But it is going to reconstruction by people, Government and International Organizations.

 

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Ganj Ali Khan Bath, Kerman

This bath has been decoratively adorned with arches, tile and plaster work and also paintings. The entrance of this bath has been artistically painted with ornaments of the Safavid era, and its architectural facets were performed by Ostad Mohammad Sultan Yazdi. The bath consists of two sections named as, cloak room and the hot bath itself. The most interesting feature of its architectural finish is that the sculptured stones of the ceiling coincides with that of the flooring.

 

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Tile Work of Ganj Ali Khan Bath

 

The cloak room of the bath has been divided into six sections and each pertains to a special category of society or guild. Currently in each one of these sections, two statues portray this scene. The main bath comprises of a cold water pool with a ceiling similar to that of a tent supported by eight beautiful pillars. Its water inlets and fountains of the bath have been so meticulously designed that its strange phenomena is astonishing.

Moayedi Ice-Pit, Kerman

This is a circular structure made of sun baked bricks and clay. The same resembles a huge dome. This structure located in the city of Kerman, is surrounded by lush greenery and is a site for tourists.

 

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Naderi Tower, Fahraj, Bam

This structure is constructed and beautifully adorned with bricks. The same was a land mark of the times, so as to guide the caravans in the region of Bam and Fahraj en route Zahedan to Kerman. It is said that the same was constructed under the orders of Nader Shah in the years 1149-1160 AH.

 

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Shah Nematollah-e-Vali Tomb, Kerman

Shah Nematollah-e-Vali was the head of the Ellahiyeh (730-834 AH.), and was one of the reputed Gnostics of the first half of the 9th century AH. His tomb and Khaneqah (or a kind of monastery) is located in the town of Mahan (Kerman). The Hezar Shah structure is the axis of this aggregate, and its primary construction dates back to the year 840 AH. Ahmad Shah Bahmani (of the Bahmaniyeh Dynasty) was responsible for the expenditure. Sections were added to this in later periods. The Vakil-ol-Molk court-yard is opposite this mausoleum, and was constructed in the Qajar era. The structure displays a Mongol type of architecture (of the Eilkhani and pre-Safavid periods) and its porch pertains to the Esfahani mode of architecture, and is one of the wonderful pieces of art works in desert area of Iran.

 

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Religious Monuments

Chehel Sotune Mosque, Kerman

This mosque belongs to the Sheikhiyeh sect, and was completed in the year 1286 AH. by Haj Aqa Ali Rafsanjani. The same has 40 pillars each sculptured from one piece of stone. Its surrounding areas also add to the beauty of the said mosque.

 

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Kerman Jame’ Mosque, Kerman

This mosque is a part of the Mozaffari aggregate and was completed in 750 AH., by Amir Mobarezeddin Mohammad-e-Mozaffari-e-Meybodi Yazdi . The mosque is one of the most ancient structures of the country, and a remnant of the Iranian monarchs after the Al-e-Booyeh dynasty. The mosque has a tall gate-way in its eastern sector, and the same has been adorned with beautiful tile work. A clock tower aids in the enhancement of this entrance. The structure has been constructed in a symmetrical fashion and has a winter and summer porch.

 

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Natural Attractions

Plains and Deserts , Kerman

The province of Kerman in respect to its relief and natural terrain, encompasses elevated plains and vast desert spaces. Some of these such as the plains and summer residing quarters are taken advantage of as recreational areas. The plains of Shahdad, Bam and Jiroft are low-lying plains, and reach a maximum elevation of 2,100 – 1,300 m. The extensive Loot Desert and its salt marshes occupy the major extent of the north east of the province, salt marshes also form a large section of the northwest of the province. The deserts of Iran bear spectacular and interesting features, with a tolerable climate for at least six months of the year. A star lit sky, which is a wonderful and breathless sight, a pregnant silence, panoramic views, mirages, the black and white sands, and salty earth are some of the characteristics that one can witness only in desert regions. Furthermore, this mystic hold increases in the other facets that the desert upholds. These are the historical vestiges, such as the caravansaries or ancient and traditional inns, palaces, water reservoirs, water conduits, pilgrimage and religious sites have all amassed in these extensive, mysterious sands revealing the life-style of man in the past.

 

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Mahan Summer Residing Places, Kerman

The city of Mahan is located in the southeast of Kerman. At a distance of 6 km. from the south of Mahan, is a beautiful and large garden with a spectacular structure in the premises. The same is called ‘Shazdeh Baq’.

 

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The structure is relative to the Qajar era. There are various pools constructed in the garden that is sheltered with fine trees. In the year 1991, the premises was completely renovated because of the commemoration ceremony of Khaju Kermani. A traditional guest house has been constructed in the city center for the use of tourists and visitors.

 

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Mahan Summer Residing Places

 

Culture and Art

Anthrpological Museum (Ganj Ali Khan Bath), Kerman

The Ganj Ali Khan Bath is situated to the south of the Ganj Ali Khan Aggregate. The same was constructed in the year 1020 AH., under the orders of Ganj Ali Khan the governor of the time. After necessary renovations, this bath was converted into an anthropological museum in the year 1971. Here statues are on exhibit, so as to display the various rituals in connection to the bath, such as cupping, shaving of the head and… besides other implements to do with an ancient and traditional bath.

 

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Universities

The Governmental universities in Kerman province

Kerman University of Medical Sciences,Rafsanjan University of Vali Asr,Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman,Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences,Kerman Khaje-Nasir Higher Education Center.

The Islamic Azad universities in Kerman province

Islamic Azad University of Baft,Islamic Azad University of Zarand,Islamic Azad University of Kerman,Islamic Azad University of Jiroft,Islamic Azad University of Bam,Islamic Azad University of Bardsir,Islamic Azad University of Kahnuj.

Handicrafts and Souvenirs, Kerman

The handicrafts and souvenirs of the province of Kerman are as follows:
A traditional embroidery known as patteh, carpets, rugs, jajeems, Kilims (a coarse carpet), satchels, and other hand woven articles. Caraway seeds and pistachio of Rafsanjan and Kerman are best of the main items of this province.

 

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Pateh Doozi

 

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Moshiry Kilim

 

Local and Regional Foods, Kerman

Dishes prepared in this region are of a colorful array such as types of Aash (or a traditional kind of broth), various kinds of side dishes, and curries accompanied with rice.