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Bandar Turkmen, also called Bandar Torkaman, is the capital city of Torkaman County, in northwest Golestan Province. Located in a plain, this place offers a wonderful opportunity to commune with nature and watch ancient nomadic tribes up close. The city is a beautiful blend of culture and tradition and offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in Iran. If you are looking for a Bandar Turkmen tourism attraction, you will not be disappointed.
Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Bandar Torkaman is about 373 km from Tehran. On the north, is Turkmenistan; Kordkuy and Gorgan are located to the south; Aq-Qal’a to the east and the Gulf of Gorgan and the Caspian Sea are to the west.
The city located in a plain, but due to rising sea levels, increased sedimentation and climate change, its weather patterns have changed tremendously. Bandar Torkaman has semi-dry climate, but the breeze and moisture from the Caspian Sea makes the heat bearable. The city does not get too much precipitation and boasts an average temperature of 17.8 deg Celsius.
It is believed from archeological evidence that the city was first inhabited by the Turkmens during the reign of the Seljuk Turks. Though the region already had nomadic kingdoms right from early Massager era.
When Reza Khan unified Iran, the Turkmen from Bandar Turkmen and other regions of Turkmenistan resisted the king. However, this resistance was overcome in the early part of 1920, and the Turkmen had to reconcile to their fate.
A majority of the people in Bandar Torkaman is fishermen and farmers, though there are some who work for the Iranian government. Nearly 70 per cent of the population speaks Turken while the remaining 30 per cent speaks Farsi and Kazakh. The people of Bandar Torkaman practice Islam.
Carpet weaving is a major occupation in the city. The weavers are renowned for weaving aesthetically pleasing cushions, prayer mats, Turkmen rugs and carpets, and felt mats. The carpets and rugs come with motifs and designs that beautifully depict the historical past of the region.
If you are looking for Bandar Torkaman tourism attraction, try to get invited to a Turkmen wedding. You will find that the practice of kalim is still prevalent among the tribal nomads. Kalim is paying a price for the bride and can work out to be very expensive for the groom. Hence, bridal kidnapping is quite prevalent among young tribal men, who cannot offer kalim.
People in Bandar Torkaman celebrate Ramadan with a lot of joy and fervor. It is common for the people to bake oily bread and distributed it in mosques and to their neighbors. Women often indulge in Laleh singing. This tradition dates back to centuries, when young brides were taken away from their tribes by their husbands to far off lands. The melancholic songs sing about the sadness and loneliness that the brides used to experience in those days.
During the sacrifice holidays of five days, Turkmen feast and celebrate. This is the time when they open the doors of their homes to strangers, inviting them to join the festivities.
Circumcision is another interesting ritual that the Turkmen follow. It is a huge event and the household hosts a gala feast. Bulamaq, a dish cooked using rice and oil and sweetened with sugar, is served to guests in the feast.
You can visit a restaurant that the locals frequently visit to eat Check Dilmah and Soozh. Other local dishes that you can eat is Choroba, a meat and vegetable stew; Oonash, a soup made from vermicelli; Qaqlasht, a type of soup made with garlic, rice and yogurt; and Qatoorqa, a dish of ground and smoked wheat, rice and sugar.
Bandar Torkaman has an ancient history and this comes out best with Radkan Tower. It is nearly thousand years old. It houses the tomb of a general from Mazandaran.
Another Bandar Turkmen tourism attraction is Ashourzadeh Island in the Caspian Sea. This is the only Iranian island in the sea, and is famous for its eco-tourism opportunities in fall when the island becomes a nesting ground for migratory birds.
If you are looking for quality handicraft at competitive prices, head out to Doshanbeh Bazaar. You can enjoy visiting the bazaar every Monday. You will be able to pick up vibrantly colored silk clothes, carpets, felt outfits, agricultural produce and even livestock.
Bandar Torkaman regularly hosts horseback riding competitions, and they attract people from far and wide. These competitions are exciting, fun and entertaining to watch. It is definitely an experience of a lifetime. This city is also one of the most popular tourist destination among tourists in Iran. You should definitely visit this place once in your lifetime.