A great number of those people traveling to Iran, have had memorable days of their visits to Kerman and its tourist attractions. Kerman is the largest province of Iran and has got several ancient sights to offer. On the other hand, it is growing into a large industrial center in Iran and preparing for much better services for those who stay there as travelers. Fabulous architecture, a lot of local culture, Zoroastrian faith and fire temples, traditional handicrafts and beautiful landscape are some of the highlights this province offers to its visitors.
General Information about Kerman
The city is the capital of the largest province of Iran by the same name. With an altitude of 1760 m above sea level and a population of approximately 750,000 people, it rests on a flat area between sets of local mountains.They are particularly on its eastern side where a set of high mountains separate it from Kavir-e-Lut, the southern desert pit of Iran. Kerman is of moderate climate and of hot summer days. In spring, there are cases of strong winds and sand storms.
Kerman’s location has made certain journeys possible from the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea to Khorasan at the north east of Iran for trade. Also, it has been on the spice road, a branch of Silk route going to India. Therefore, the location of the city has had some vital benefits to the merchants and trade people.
Travelers visit Kerman tourist attractions that are different from other parts of Iran. There are several instances of vernacular architecture in this town too. Kerman has a long history and rich cultural heritage.
Farming is still the main source of income for this province. When you travel to Kerman from Yazd, you see a lot of pistachio gardens stretched across the desert for tens of kilometers. Also, it has the second largest copper mine of the world in Sarcheshmeh. Carpet weaving is also another craft that has made this city quite famous among Iranians and the people of the world since long time ago.
Also, the word Pateh reminds every traveler of this city in Iran and nowhere else. It is an embroidered piece of cloth traditionally made in this province from wool in traditional colors and with patterns. Kerman was well-known for the production of Cashmere wool shawls and other textiles during 8th century, but you do not find them produced there anymore.
History of Kerman
Many take a tour to Iran and visit Kerman province to explore its rich history and learn more about how it has gone through several hard stages of ups and downs. According to some sources, since the time of Elamites when Sumerians traveled from the Mesopotamia to India for trade, they had to go through the mentioned mountains.
The location of Kerman is in the middle of them making it the only safe passageway to travel through. Therefore, Elamites, who had taken the responsibility of safeguarding the caravan routes, had made defensive outposts here. This is how it first turn into a settlement.
Kerman has been the subject of attacks and destruction 14 times during its history. The founder of Sassanians, Ardeshir I, gave particular attention to the city, but it underwent some destructive invasion by Arabs. Several local and national rulers dominated the city throughout the history. Abbasid caliphs did not have much power to exert in Kerman. During 11th and 12th centuries, Kerman was under Seljuk rulers.
Under Safavids, Kerman expanded rapidly and largely. The business thrived and the city exported its carpets and rugs to England and Germany. Following that prosperous period, there came a sad era when the people of the city supported Lotfali Khan Zand disliked by the next ruler, Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of Qajar dynasty. The innocent people of Kerman paid a big price for this support as the brutal new ruler made lots of male inhabitant’s blind, sold women and children for slavery and destroyed the city. Historians say that an amount of approximately 20kg of eyes were taken out in one day.
Under Qajars, there was not much done to help the city recover from this catastrophic event. However, 20th century brought much better result for the welfare of the people. The city is growing into an industrialized center manufacturing various product and continuing the production of its main agricultural crop, pistachio.
Shahzadeh Garden, located at 35 km southeast of Kerman city, has been constructed in Qajar dynasty during 11-year old sovereignty of Abdolhamid Mirza Naseroldoleh. Shahzadeh Garden is the ninth Iranian garden that has been registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Shazdeh Garden meaning Prince’s Garden is a historical Persian garden located near (6km away from) Mahan in Kerman province, Iran. Shahzadeh Garden is 5.5 hectares with a rectangular shape and a wall around it. It consists of an entrance structure and gate at the lower end and a two-floor residential structure at the upper end. The distance between these two is ornamented with water fountains that are engined by the natural incline of the land.
The garden is a fine example of Persian gardens that take advantage of suitable natural climate. The garden was built originally for Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar Sardari Iravani ca.1850 and was extended ca.1870 by Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodolleh and during the eleven years of his governorship in the Qajar dynasty. The construction was left unfinished, due to the death of Abdolhamid Mirza in the early 1890s.
Shah Nematollah vali Mausoleum
The tomb of Shah Nur-eddin Nematollah Vali, poet, sage, Sufi and founder of an order of dervishes, has twin minarets covered with turquoise tiles from the bottom up to the cupola. The mausoleum was built by Ahmad Shah Kani; the rest of the building was constructed during the reigns of Shah Abbas I, Mohammad Shah Qajar and Nasser-al-Din Shah. Shah Nematallah Vali spent many years wandering through central Asia perfecting his spiritual gifts before finally settling at Mahan, twenty miles south-east of Kerman, where he passed the last twenty-five years of his life. He died in 1431, having founded a Darvish order which continues to be an active spiritual force today. The central domed burial vault at Mahan, completed in 1437 was erected by Ahmad Shah Bahmani, king of the Deccan, and one of Shah Nematallah’s most devoted disciples.
The central Lut is the vast part in the Lut desert that contains the lowest part of the desert. There are several Kaluts in this region that are extended from the center Lut to the west. They are the most beautiful natural phenomena. They are unique and can’t be found in any desert of the world.
Rayen castle, or Arg-e Rayen is an adobe castle in Rayen town in Kerman, you can visit the medieval mud brick city of Rayen is similar to the Arg-e Bam. Rayen displays all the architectural elements of a deserted citadel. It appears extremely well preserved, considering the numerous natural disasters that have been destroying similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting historical sites in Iran. The fortress at Rayen is similar in outlook and construction to the fortress at Bam, while been younger in age. It is thought to be a Sassanian era (224 CE – 649 CE) fortress. Like Bam, Rayen fortress was in use until about 150 years ago.
Rayen Citadelis a historical site situated in the south-west of Rayen city and is considered the biggest earthen structure of Kerman province after Bam Citadel which was destroyed in an earthquake on 2003. The monument dates back to the Sassanid era and covers a 20,000-square-meter area, remaining a symbol of the residential fortresses during the ancient times. Just like other fortresses, it consists of the public quarter and the aristocratic zone. The essential sectors such as Zoor khaneh (gymnasium for a traditional Persian sport), mosque, and stable can be seen in the citadel. Adobe is the main material used in its construction.
Meymand (also spelt Maymand and Meimand) is a village of troglodytes – cave dwellers – located in the south-eastern Iranian province of Kerman. Meymand (Maymand, Maimand) village has been continuously inhabited for 2,000 to 3,000 years making it one of Iran’s four oldest surviving villages. Some claim that Meymand / Maymand village has been inhabited for 12,000 years, that is, since the “middle stone ages”, making it a Mesolithic village. Reportedly, 10,000-year-old stone engravings and 6,000-year-old pottery have been discovered at the site.
The village is a UNESCO world heritage site and was awarded UNESCO’s 2005 Melina Mercury prize.
Meymand village is located some 35 kilometres northeast of the town of Babak (Shahr-e Babak), a Kermani town on the road that runs between Tehran in the north and the port of Bandar Abbas in the south. Shahr-e Babak means Babak’s city and Shahr-e Babak is said to be the birthplace of the founder of the Persian Sassanian dynasty c.200 CE The road from Shahr-e Babak rises into the surrounding mountains until it reaches Meymand at an elevation of 2240 metres.
The Arg-e Bam (Bam Citadel) was the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in the Kermān Province of southeastern Iran. It is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the 7th to 11th centuries, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments.
The entire building was a large fortress in whose heart the citadel itself was located, but because of the impressive look of the citadel, which forms the highest point, the entire fortress is named the Bam Citadel.On December 26, 2003, the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, along with much of the rest of Bam and its environs.
Fathabad Garden is located 16 km North West of Kerman, according to historians, this pattern has been used to constructing Shazdeh Garden in Mahan. The history of the construction of the garden is around the year 1255 (Hijri-Shamsi), In Qajar period. Fathabad memorial garden “Fazl Ali Khan Biglarbeygi” was the ruler of Kerman. That is why it is also called Biglarbeygi Garden. The Fathabad Qanat water passed through fathabad Garden in the past, and it was so refreshing and lovely.The Fathabad Garden with its old and valuable history, for a long time had been abandoned and damaged and most of the trees have dried up.