Home > Iran > Articles
Lurestan

Lurestan

05/15/13

Geography and History

Lurestan province situated to the west of Iran covers an area of 28,294 sq. km. The townships of this province are as follows: Khoram Abad, Borujerd, Aligoodarz, Dorood, Koohdasht, Azna, Delfan, Selseleh and Pol-e-Dokhtar. Khoram Abad is the center of the province. To the north it has common borders with the Markazil province and Hamadan province, to the south is Khuzestan province, to the east is Esfahan province and to the west are the provinces of Kermanshah and Ilam.In the year 2006, this province had a population of approximately 1.7 million, of which about 59.43% resided in the urban areas, 40.28% in the rural areas and the rest were non-residents. Lurestan province is a mountainous region. The highest most area is the ‘Oshtoran Kooh’ region at an altitude of 4,050 m. The low-lying areas being in the southern most sector of the province, approximately 500 m. above sea-level.

Climate

Climatically, the province can be divided into three parts : the mountainous regions, such as Borujerd, Dorood, Azna, Noor Abad and Alishtar experience cold winters and moderate summers. In the central region, the spring season begins from mid-February and lasts till about mid May. The township of Khoram Abad is in this realm. The southern area is under the influence of the warm air currents of Khuzestan, have hot summers and relatively moderate winters. For example, Pol-e-Dokhtar and Papi.

History and Culture

Lurestan province is one of the oldest territories of Iran. In the third and fourth millennium BC. immigrant tribes settled down in the mountainous area of the Zagross and the region of ‘Bain-ol-Nahrain’ (the current Dorood area). According to the records, the said tribes were the ‘Lulubi’, ‘Mana’ie’, ‘Kasie’, ‘Gootie’, ‘Amada’ and ‘Parsoa’ tribes or clans. In the second millennium BC. the Kasie tribe were made extinct due to the attack of the forceful government of Ilam. During the conquest of Alexander to Iran, this territory came under their jurisdiction. During the Sassanian reign, the ‘Pasth Kooh’ and ‘Pisht Kooh’ territories came under the rule of one of the members of the reputed ‘Hormozan’ family. In the year 21 AH. after the conquest of ‘Halvan’, the Arabs ruled over the northern area and Nahavand and parts of southern Lurestan. In the year 22 AH ‘Hossnooyeh-e-Kord’ brought this territory under his own jurisdiction, till the year 500 AH. On Mongols gaining control in Iran, Lurestan was divided into two parts. ‘Lor-e-Bozorg’ and ‘Lor-e-Koochak’ (greater and smaller Lurestan). The ‘Attabakan’ or ‘Lords’ of the ‘Lor-e-Bozorg’ ruled in this area from about the first half of the 8th century AH. till the first half of the 9th century. The ‘Attabakan of the ‘Lor-e-Koochak’ ruled here from 508-1006 AH. till the Safavid era, when Shah Abbas proved victorious and Lurestan came under the hands of an ‘Amir’ named ‘Hossain’ which lasted till the ‘Qajar dynasty’. After which Lurestan at times came under the rulers of both Borujerd and Shooshtar.In Iran, Lurestan province, from the earliest times holds its own in respect to culture . Some researchers claim that the Lorans are a branch of the Iranian race who migrated to this region from east of Caspian Sea in the beginning of the first millennium BC. The current inhabitants of Lurestan have intermingled with the Bakhtiaris and the Kords. The language of the inhabitants of the province being ‘lori’ and ‘laki’. The Lakas have mainly settled in Koohdasht and Alishtar and the Lurs around Khoram Abad. Their ‘dialect’ being special in grammar and words.

Lurestan Province Townships

Aligoodarz, Azna, Borujerd, Delfan, Dorood, Khoram Abad, Koohdasht, Pol-e-Dokhtar, Selseleh.

Aligoodarz
The township of Aligoodarz situated in the plains and the slopes of the mountains, experiences a temperate climate. It is 503 km. from Tehran and the Oshtoran Kooh Mountain Ranges and the Aligoodarz River are in this region. In the same vicinity of this current city, another city by the same name existed , but due to unknown reasons is no more. In the past, the Khaneqah or a sort of monastery, was a seat of theology for the Qizelbash and Dervish. Relics such as rectangular bricks and earthenware related to the7th century AH. have been discovered here in mountains and hillocks.

Azna

This township is located 36 km. east of Dorood and 24 km. west of Aligoodarz. It experiences cold winters and moderate summers. About 600 years ago the Armenians immigrated to this area, forming the village of Azna. Then the muslims replaced them and took over agriculture. This town ship is en route Esfahan – Khuzestan and is connected to the railway net work of the country.

Borujerd

This township is located 394 km. from Tehran and in the alluvial plains extend to the Zagross mountains in the west. It has a moderate climate in summer and experiences cold weather in winter. Borujerd is one of the oldest cities of Iran, some think it to be from the times of Firooz-e-Sassani and others claim that it existed in the period of ‘Yazd Gerd’ the third. In the Qajar era, ‘Hassam-ol-Saltaneh’, who ruled over Khuzestan and Lurestan made Borujerd the center of his rule. A moat was dug around the city. Enhancing weather conditions, alluvial plains, a permanent net work of a natural water way system, green pastures, trade and communications have attributed to the fact of drawing people to this vicinity.

Delfan 

The above mentioned, being in the mountainous area experiences cold weather . Relics discovered in this region reveal that the Kasi herdsmen and warriors were of great importance during the Achaemenian and Sassanian period.

Dorood

This township formerly known as Bain-ol-Nahrain, lies between the two rivers of Teereh and Marbareh. Dorood has cold winters and moderate summers. The nucleus of this city at first took shape in the villages where agriculture dominated. But in the recent years the scene has changed to an industrial one.

Khoram Abad

Khoram Abad lies in the mountainous area of Zagross, and this region experiences a temperate climate, where as in the south alongside the plains of Khuzestan it is warm. Khoram Abad is situated 494 km. from Tehran. The territory of Khoram Abad has a rich historical back ground and has seen the rise of many civilizations such as the Kasi, Babolian, Elamite, Sassanid, Saljuqi, Kharazmshahi and … Relics from these periods are evident in the area, such as ancient and historical castles used to safe guard the rulers against attacks.

Koohdasht

The township of Koohdasht is located to the west of the province. Archaeological studies in areas such as Sorkhdam, Lori, Hamiyan and Sartarhan have revealed that Koohdasht was one of the centers of civilization of ancient Iran. The discovery of an Assyrian temple shows that this area was inhabited even before the first millennium BC. The historian Mostowfi has also mentioned Koohdasht and Tehran in his records; and that these were extinct areas, centuries before the Arab invasion.

Pol-e-Dokhtar

The township of Pol-e-Dokhtar is located to the south west of the province. It has a hot climate due to the influence of warm air currents from Khuzestan. The history of this region intermingles with that of Khoram Abad. This township lies 100 km. from Khoram Abad.

Selseleh

Selseleh is located to the north of Khoram Abad and west of Borujerd. The city of Alishtar, 43 km. north of Khoram Abad is its center. The presence of many natural springs and rivers have provided lush green pastures in the area along with the pleasant weather conditions that envelope the same. Clans such as Hosnuvand and Qala’ie are important tribes of this region.

Historical Monuments

6th Century Inscription, Khoram Abad

Located to the south-east of the Khoram Abad – Khuzestan Road and to the north of the ruins of Shahpour Khast, are rectangular engraved blocks. These blocks date back to the 6th century AH. On the western surface of the block there are five lines engraved, on the south western surface six lines, on the north western surface four lines and on the remaining surface four lines have been embossed or sculptured in the ‘semi-kufic’ and ‘nasr’ scripts. The said engravings are related to one of the commanders of Soltan Mahmood-ebn Mohammad-ebn Malek Shah Saljuqi, by the name of Abu Sayeed Barsaq Kabir.

 

2

 

This engraving has two commandments – forbidding the use of silk apparel and permitting the grazing of beasts belonging to herdsmen. This engraving is related to the year 513 AH.

Doosheh Cave Paintings and Epigraphs, Khoram Abad

The cave mentioned above located in the mountains of Doosheh, displays paintings on its walls. These drawings relate the fact that man resided in this area. The same offer a complete picture as to the type of war-fare, that is fighting in groups, or man to man and the infantry. These paintings show the vivid imagination of artisans of the time.

Sarab Changaei Inscription, Khoram Abad

The Sarab Changaei is a large and gushing spring. To the east of this spring is a large rock, on which the date of ‘lotus’ (flower) cultivation has been inscribed. This engraving has two tablets on each side. The one to the right displays four lines of embossement and the one to the left has two lines embossed on it. These tablets are to the measurement of 102 x 85 cm. on the whole. According to a record, in 1131 AH. under the orders of one of the governors of Lurestan, who had visited the Sarab of Kermanshah, likewise had the lotus flower or plant planted here. Other inscriptions are engravings or inscriptions of the Jame’ Mosque, related to the Safavid period and the paintings of Darreh Mirmelas and Hamiyan.

 

3
Safavid Inscription

 

Falakol Aflak Castle, Khoram Abad

 

1

 

This reputed and historical castle is located on a stony hillock in the midst of the city of Khoram Abad. The original date of construction of the said castle is not known. It was formerly known as ‘Shahpour Khast’, but from the Qajar era has been called by its current name. On the whole, the circumference of the castle covers a vicinity of 228.60 m. and the elevation of its tallest rampart is 22.5 m. On entering, there is a covered corridor, having two chambers on the western and one on the eastern side.

 

4

 

The corridor gives way to the court-yard (31x 22.5) sq. m. and is in a north-south direction. In the north-eastern part of the corridor, eight chambers have been constructed, which lead to a yard having a well which used to provided water of the castle. To the south of the castle is a corridor which also leads to the courtyard.The second courtyard of the castle, is rectangular with an area of (29 x 21) sq. m. This court-yard runs in an east-west direction having sixteen chambers. In the western portion which is a later construction, consists of fourteen chambers and two corridors. To the north-east of the castle is a corridor, which leads to a dark room most probably a prison cell. Steps from here give way to the roof of the structure. The scallops seen on the castle were constructed under the orders of Reza Shah. Surrounding the castle are large boulders, on which the southern towers have been built ( in all the castle has eight towers). During the pahlavi reign, the Falak-ol-Aflak castle was used as a prison for political prisoners. This important historical relic attracts tourists and today, part of it has been converted into a museum.

 

5

 

Kashgan Bridge, Koohdasht

The above mentioned bridge is situated on the old road of Tehran to the ancient city of Shahpour Khast. This bridge has been constructed on Kashgan river. At the lower end of the bridge its pillars from the Sassani era have remained. Of the 11 pillars only a part of 4 pillars are left to be seen. The length of this bridge is approximately 300 m. According to an inscription discovered on the bridge in the ‘kufic’ script; its construction began in the year 388 AH. by the orders of ‘Badr Ebne Hosnooyieh Al Hossain’. The bridge was completed in the year 398 AH. At a 100 m. distance from the said bridge, there is the remains of another bridge of the Sassanian era (pre-Islamic period). Between this bridge and the Kashgan bridge, a new bridge has been constructed.

 

6

 

Shapouri Bridge, Khoram Abad

This bridge is located 2 km. south-west of Khoram Abad, and to the west of the old city of Shahpour Khast. It is one of the master-pieces of architecture in bridge construction of the Sassanian period. The bridge comprised of 28 arches of which only 6 have been remained. Each pillar is 66 m. (11 x 6) and its current elevation is 16 m. The arches of the said bridge has been constructed of stone, whereas the bridge itself is a mixture of stone and mortar.

 

7

 

Khoram Abad Tower, Khoram Abad

 

8

 

This cylindrical and brick minaret is a relic of the 5th century AH., located near the old city of Shahpour Khast. The same is also known as the minaret of Khoram Abad as it stands to the south west of this city. The vicinity surrounding this relic has been converted into a park.

 

9

 

Religious Monuments

Borujerd Jame’ Mosque, Borujerd

According to an inscription, this mosque was constructed in the year 1068 AH. The mosque is located to the east of the city of Borujerd. The entrance door of the mosque was built in the year 1092 AH. under the command of Soltan Mohammad. In the year 1209 AH. Taqi Khan Razani was responsible for the construction of the top of two minarets called ‘gol-dasteh’.
The most beautiful part of the mosque is its pulpit which has nine steps. This pulpit is of wood and dates back to 1068 AH. To the northern side of the court-yard of the mosque is a large area with fine columns used as a place for prayers. Here there is also a carved wooden door above which is an inscription with an area of 25cm x 38 cm. This inscription is related to the reign of Shah Abbas I.

 

10

 

11

 

Imamzadeh Ja’far, Borujerd

This architecturally fascinating structure (mausoleum) is located in the midst of an ancient graveyard, east of Borujerd. This relic is from the Saljuqi period. The actual grave is on a lower level than its surrounding. The ‘haram’ or Imamzadeh has lost some of its ancient charm.

 

12

 

The entrance of this mausoleum faces east, and its two halls are adorned with tile work from the Safavid and Qajar periods. The intricate carvings on the doors and around the fringes are the masterpieces of the craftsmen of the Safavid era. Internally the haram is octagonal with a wooden and silver railing in the center. This structure was constructed in the year 1203 AH. There is a belief that this is the resting abode of one of the offspring of Imam Moosa Kazem, though the actual name of the person buried is Abdollah -ebnal-Hossain-al-Ma’quf…..ebnal Hossain.

 

13

 

Natural Attractions

Gahar Lake (Gol Gahar), Aligoodarz

Located in the slopes of the Oshtoran Kooh Mountains, is the permanent sweet-water lake of the upper and lower Gahar. This lake obtains its water from melting snows of the mountains, thus forming into a lake behind the mountains. The length of the main lake being 1.5 km. and the average breadth 600 m. The area it is recorded approximately 100 hectares. A variety of flora and fauna can be observed here, turning the surrounding area of the lake into a wonderful park.

 

14

 

Kiyou Lake, Khoram Abad

This lake is situated alongside a park by the same name. The Kiyou Lake gains its water from the natural springs, in addition to the beauty it has attributed to the city, it is a famous spot for tourists. Furthermore, there are a number of large and small tanks or ponds around the cities of Pol-e-Dokhtar and Borujerd, which provide a natural habitat for water species along with native and immigrant birds.

 

15

 

Oshtoran kooh Mountain, Aligoodarz

Located 50 km. within the limits of Aligoodarz and Borujerd, in a north west and south east direction, spans the ‘Oshtoran Kooh’ Mountain Range. Its natural glaciers are full of snow and ice throughout the year. This mountain range has numerous peaks, the tallest being San Boran with an altitude of 4,100 m. above sea level. This range from east to west runs in a zigzag fashion and at every bend forms into a semi-circle known as ‘chal’. At the end of each of these ‘chals’ a permanent glacier is present. The ‘chals’ of the Oshtoran Kooh are named as, Meeshan, Kabood, Boran, Panjom, Fiyal Soon, Panjom, Peyar and Homayoon.

 

16

 

Culture and Art

Falakol Aflak Castle Museum, Khoram Abad

This palace (museum) is one of the historical structures related to the Sassanian era. The said is located on a hill in the midst of the city of Khoram Abad. A section of this palace was converted into a museum in the years 1976-1977. This museum comprises of two sections named as, an archaeology and an anthropology sector. In the year 1989, after under going repairs and the addition of yet another section that exhibited engravings and earthenware, the museum was re-opened. The original museum has begun its activities by the name of , “The Anthropological and Admiralty Metals Museum of Lurestan”.

 

17

 

In the above mentioned museum, exhibits such as, tomb – stones related to the 2nd – 7th centuries AH. Inscriptions of the Kashgan Bridge and the Jame’ Mosque of the city, decrees related to the Safavid period engraved on marble, earthenware, admiralty metal, pictures and paintings of the famous personalities of Lurestan province.

 

18
Brass Goblet of Lurestan (1st Mill B.C.)

 

Universities

The Governmental universities in Lurestan province

Lurestan University of Medical Sciences, University of Lurestan, Payam Nour University of Poldokhtar, Payam Nour University of Alashtar, Payam Nour University of Borujerd, Al-ghadir Applicational Scientific Comprehensive University.

The Islamic Azad universities in Lurestan province

Islamic Azad University of Khorram Abad, Islamic Azad University of Aligudarz,Islamic Azad University of Borujerd, Islamic Azad University of Dorood.