Kerman

Kerman, The Culturally Rich City of Iran

Kerman, also called Carmania, is the capital of the Iranian province, Kerman Province. The city is the largest as well as the most developed city in the province and containing many tourist attractions. It is also renowned for its history and cultural heritage. The numerous Zoroastrian Fire Temples are spellbinding and awe-inspiring as are the bazaars, mosques and museums.

Geographical Location

The city of Kerman is located in southeast Iran, about 1,036 km from Tehran. It is situated on a flat plain along the Sahib Al Zaman Mountain, about 5,758 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by mountains and this has an effect on the climate.

The northern part of Kerman city is located in a dry desert and this means that this part of the city has an arid desert climate. On the other hand, the southern part of the city is in the highlands, and hence, it has a more moderate climate. On the whole, Kerman has a moderate climate compared to rest of Iran. Since it is located in the vicinity of Kavir-e Lut desert, the summers are hot and dry. In spring, you can expect severe sandstorms. However, for the rest of the year, Kerman enjoys a cool, salubrious climate.

History of Kerman

Kerman was founded in the 3rd century by Ardeshir I and was known as Veh-Ardashir. Ardashir I was responsible for founding the Sassanid Empire. However, in 642 AD, the Muslims started ruling the area. Initially, the city was quite isolated and this allowed Zoroastrians and Kharijites to practice their religion in peace. By 698 AD, unfortunately, the Kharijites were wiped out from the city, and by 725 AD, most of the people of Kerman were practicing Islam.

In the 10th century, Buyid Dynasty ruled Kerman and this reign stayed intact even when Mahmud of Ghazna took over the region. It was around this time that the name of the city changed to Kerman.

Even the Seljuk Turks ruled over Kerman in the 11th and 12th centuries. However, this had no impact on the city as it maintained its independence. By the 13th century, Kerman was a major trading hub, connecting the region to Central Asia and Khorasan. It was during the Safavid Dynasty that Kerman expanded and grew rapidly.

In 1793, the Qajar dynasty fell to Lotf Ali Khan and he conquered Kerman in 1794. He won a lot of support from the people and this angered Agha Mohammad Khan, who waged misery on the residents. The city was destroyed significantly, but the people rallied to rebuild it in the 19th century, a little towards the northwest of the original city.

Demographics of Kerman

Like the rest of Iran, a majority of the population in Kerman is Persian and they practice Shia Islam. However, the city still has a small by strong Zoroastrian minority. The total population of the city is approximately 621,374.

If you are looking for Kerman tourism attraction, you should make it a point to visit the city on July 1 when it celebrates Jashne Tirgan, an ancient rain festival. The festival honors Tir, an archangel, who the locals believe is responsible for thunder and lightning which bring the much-needed rain to the region.

Another ancient festival that goes back to the Achaemenid Empire is Sadeh. It is a winter festival that honors fire, which local belief says can defeat darkness, cold and frost.

Kerman has long been a hub for carpet manufacturing. You will love the red color of the Kerman carpets that have a broad floral patterned border. The weavers design these lush carpets with animal, figural and trees motifs.

However, no trip to Kerman is complete without tasting some of the local delicacies. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love Kolompeh, a pastry filled with minced dates, cardamom powder and other flavorings. It is rich, satiating and delicious.

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Faloodeh-e-Kermani is a refreshing sorbet that you will love. It is a beautiful combination of  fragrant rose water, droplets of starch, vermicelli and sugar syrup. Another famous thing to try in Kerman is Doogh. The Iranians have been consuming Doogh from ancient times, and Kerman is no different. Doogh is a nourishing and refreshing yogurt-based drink. The ice and the flavor of fresh mint leaves used in this drink are just wonderful.

Recreation and Tourism Places

You will find more than one Kerman tourism attraction when you visit the city. Start your sightseeing from Bazar-e Sartasari, one of Iran’s oldest trading hubs. This is a thoroughfare with four bazaars and you will have a fun time browsing through the shops and roadside stalls. One of the bazaars, Bazar-e Ganj Ali Khan, built in the 17th century. It is close to Hamam-e Ganj Ali Khan, an ancient Persian bathhouse which is now a stunning museum.

Then there is the Bazar-e Mesgari Shomali which is a coppersmith’s bazaar. It is a home to many antique stores. And, the third bazaar is Bazar-e Zargaran, the gold bazaar. This bazaar is located to a functional men’s bathhouse, the Hamam-e Ebrahim Khan.

Gonbad-e Jabaliye is another Kerman tourism attraction which is an octagonal structure observatory. Today, it is a museum with old tombstones.

Those who love anything mystical can visit Moshtari-ye Moshtaq Ali Shah. It is a mausoleum of a Sufi saint, Moshtaq Ali Shah. If you want to learn more about the eight-year war that Iran fought with Iraq, visit the Museum of Holy Defence. Here, you can see tanks, missile launchers and bunkers out in front of the museum. You can also find many weapons, images of the war, documents and letters inside the museum.




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