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Bandar Chabahar, capital of Chah Bahar County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, has recently been in the spotlight owing to the agreement between India and Iran regarding the development of the Chahbahar port. The word Chahbahar means ‘four springs’ and it happens to be present in the southernmost part of Iran. Host to phenomenal tourist attractions ranging from forests, lagoons to castles, the city derives its name from the fact that it experiences the glorious spring season almost throughout the year.
Located on the Makran Coast of the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran, Chabahar is designated as a Free Trade and Industrial Zone by the government of Iran. Hence the city is highly significant when it comes to international trade.
Under the influence of the monsoon winds which originate in the Indian subcontinent, Chabahar happens to be the coolest port in southern Iran during summers while the warmest port in winter. With temperatures ranging from a maximum to 34 degree Celsius to a minimum of 21 degree Celsius, it is more or less pleasant, which makes it attractive to tourist at all times.
Acording to the historian Alberuni, modern Chabahar which was originally known as Tiz marks the commencement of the Indian sea coast. Tis used to be an active commercial port before it was destroyed by the Mongols. The Portuguese, under Afonso de Albuquerque acquired control over the regions of Chabahar and Tis, ruling till 1621. Chabahar was a major port during the Iraq-Iran war.
Sunni Baluch is the predominant religion to which the people of Chahbahar are affiliated. The societal structure is hierarchical. The superior tribes known as Hakom are at the top. Some of the influential tribes are Hoot and Mir. The language spoken is mostly Persian. Weaving is a common practice followed by the people and has resulted in beautiful hand-crafted tablecloths made from a material called Termeh.
Apart from the succulent, fall-off-the-bone kebabs that Chabahar is famous for, you can sample tempting items such as Khoresht Gheimeh (beef and pea stew usually made during Muharram) and Zereshk Polo Morgh (a pretty rice dish made with saffron and service with a chicken and tomato stew).
There is a Mangrove forest beside the Gwater Gulf with a variety of wildlife to feast your eyes upon. This includes a variety of seabirds like eagles, herons and flamingos. Beaches in Chabahar have plenty of options for water sports like snorkeling and canoeing.
Architecture aficionados fill in the Tis Fortress. It has numerous rooms and ramparts, known to have been used as lighthouses and watch-towers. The Gwater castle is an architectural wonder and contains potsherds and earthenware dated back to the third millennium B.C.
The Tis village is also home to the Banmasity Caves, which we used for religious and official ceremonies. The port village of Tis a small but highly flourishing port which used to be the commercial center of wheat and sugar in ancient times.
The Lipar hotel has an attractive view of sea and also its own private beach which is pretty clean. It offers great service and is located conveniently, quite near to shopping arcades. The Chabahar Laleh International is another great hotel with spacious rooms and commendable facilities. It is a 4-star hotel and provides good local food as well.
Baluch restaurant serve up some mean Persian delicacies comprising chicken, meat and fish. Bam-e Chabahar is another restaurant which deserves special mention for its good food.