In southeasternmost Iran, there lies Sistan & Baluchistan, a land of myths: only the 11th realm Ahura-Mazda has created, where Zarathustra was born and Rostam ruled. It is said that Saoshyant, the world’s savior, would rise from Hamoun lake here in Sistan. It is said that despite all the calamities and miseries, from Sistan & Baluchistan new happiness would bloom someday. It’s time you visit this almost forgotten land in Iran.
after Kerman Province, Sistan & Baluchistan is the second largest province of Iran. It borders Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as South Khorasan Province in the north, Kerman Province and Hormozgan Province in the west and the Gulf of Oman in the south, and its capital is Zahedan.
The population comprises the Baloch who form a majority in the province, followed by the relatively large minority, the Sistani Persians. The province itself also comprises two sections, Sistan in the north and Baluchestan in the south.
Sistan and Baluchistan are one of the driest regions of Iran. The province is subject to seasonal winds, the most important of which are the 120-day wind of Sistan known as Levar, the Qousse wind, the seventh (Gav-Kosh) wind, the Nambi or south wind, the Hooshak wind, the humid and seasonal winds of the Indian Ocean, the North or Gurich wind and the western Gard wind.
Best time to visit, how to get there
Due to these situations and wuthering, the best time to visit Sistan and Baluchistan is in the late winter and early spring. A tour to Sistan and Baluchistan like the province itself must be divided into two different phase, one with the centrality of the City of Zabol in the north, the other way down into southern regions with the centrality of Chabahar.
Chabahar has an international airport of its own and is a major port on the southern coast of the country. So you wouldn’t have any problem reaching it. There are daily flights to and from the capital Tehran, three weekly flights to Zahedan, Mashhad, Shiraz, and Bandar Abbas. You can also book a flight from abroad. International flights are arriving from Doha and Dubai and a biweekly flight from Muscat.
Zabol, though, is a different story. Relatively a poorer city, you need to get to Zahedan (the capital of the province) first and from there travel to Zabol. There is an international airport in Zahedan, so with regards to great dry distances between Sistan and other Provinces in Iran, the best way to get to Zabol is fist booking a flight from everywhere in Iran to Zahedan, and from there boarding another short flight to Zabol’s regional airport.
Ferdows Hotel – Chabahar
Address: Tejarat St Chabahr Free Port
Laleh International Hotel – Chabahar
Address: Imam Khomeini Blvd opposite Alghadir Park
Lipar Hotel – Chabahar
Address: Industrial & Commercial Free Zone of Chabahar
Serra de Baluchi – Chabahar
Address: The Seventh Figure Of Chabahar Free Zone. End Of Abkan Street
Esteghlal Grand Hotel – Zahedan
Address: Azadi Square
Aram Hotel – Zabol
Address: Yaghoub Leis Square
The southern tour, Baluchistan:
The port city of Chabahar in Sistan and Baluchestan province with its beautiful attractions always has many tourists. Situated in southeastern Iran, it is the only oceanic port in Iran located on the coast of the Makran Sea and the Indian Ocean. From its shores and harbors, you can watch the most beautiful sunset over the shoreline cliffs, spectacular views all around you. But there are numerous other attractions suitable for your visit to Chabahar, here we briefly introduce some of them:
The miniature mountains, a Mars on Earth:
One of the most stunning views of the Chabahar is the miniature mountains that lie just off the coast from the Kechu area to the Gowater Bay. You will see mountains on the left side of the road from Chabahar 50 km to Gowater. These mountains facing the sea are one of the most unique mountains in Iran. The special erosion on these mountains has created beautiful grooves and cuts that seem to have been drawn by skilled painters.
The mountains are almost white in color and have no vegetation on them. Despite the difference in color (grey-white of these mountains Vs. Red terrain of Mars), if you don’t have enough money to enlist for Musk’s plan for Mars, you can take e budget tour to Chabahar and go to visit this region instead.
Liar Lake, whose blood is it anyway?
On the Chabahar coastal road to Gowter, 15 kilometers east of Chabahar near the village of Remin, you will find a beautiful wetland, also known as the Pink Lake of Chabahar, or Lipar lake. It is one of the most important attractions in the region with its stunning views. Planktons are working here, turn everything to pink. Although the candy-colorer water may beckon to you to drink it, but please don’t, it’s the blood of gods, and so, extremely salty. In one of the driest regions of Iran, the area surrounding Lipar lake has a wonderful ecosystem. When you visit this lagoon, you will find birds such as eagles, hawks, flamingos, herbivores, peacocks, etc.
there is a simple tourist complex in the area equipped with camps, toilets, 6 suites, a lounge, a star observation platform. And other amenities for tourists. Also If you travel to Lipar during high season, you may see local people who are willing to take you on a camel ride along the coast.
Caves of Ban Masiti, the temple of the Hermit:
Near the historic village of Tis, there are three ancient caves known as the Tis Triple Caves. Locals call these caves Ban Masiti. In Baluchi, Ban means a righteous and godly man, and Masiti means a temple. The archaeological and architectural pieces of evidence imply that these caves were as temples in the past.
Tis’ triple caves consist of a natural cave and two handmade and artificial ones. Inside the natural cave is a tomb with white plaster walls. On the tomb walls, some lines and signs resemble the Gujarati and Indian script. Amongst Iranian temples, the architectural structures of these caves are most peculiar. The artificial caves were probably linked to each other through an underground passage which also served as the access way to underground wells where the dead were buried.
If you were to go to these caves, don’t forget that in the vicinity is a mystical cemetery, called the cemetery of Jinns, it’s a must-see.
Apart from these attractions, maybe the most interesting feature of Chabahar is its magnificent beaches. There is also a Mud Volcano Mountain, an ancient mosque, an anthropologic museum, the protected areas of Gandu with its incredible crocodiles, etc, etc… So, go to Chabahar and have the time of your life. If you can help it, go there during the Nowruz celebration, that would be some journey I tell you.
The Northern tour, Sistan:
The northern areas of the province are the ancient territories of Zabulistan, where great Kings and Heroes of the distant past sat on glorious thrones, historical and fictional alike. So there are innumerable historic attractions for tourists voyaging Iran’s east. in the more recent history, this region has fallen into oblivion and is suffering financial and ecological hardships. Despite all this, this is still an enchanting land, a visit to which can satisfy your inner mystic a lot. These are some of the best-known places to visit in Sistan:
Shahr-e-Sukhte, one of the most ancient megapolises on earth:
More than 5 thousand years ago, on the banks of Hirman River and Hamoun Lake, there lied a glorious city. They say it was one of the most advanced cities on earth once. Its people practiced various industries such as textile, masonry, jewelry, etc.
Among the ruins of Shahr-e-sukhteh (which translate to English as The Burnt City), 12 types of fabric have been found that indicate the successful textile industry of the city. Also, There was an aqueduct system for water supply and managing sewage.
Other highlights of this city’s sophistication include the discovery of an artificial eye and a backgammon-like game among the ruins. What was going on there in the ancient days, won’t you want to find out?
Shahr-e-sukhte is located 56 Km from the City of Zabol and can be accessed early from there by many different means, including local taxis.
Hamoun Lake, the eye of the apocalypse:
In the Avestan myths, the seed of the messiah is drifting in the Hamoun lake for millennia and someday the mothers of Sistan would drink from this kale and get pregnant with the embryo of Soashyant, the demi-god that would rescue the world from the evils at the end of time. So maybe this is appropriate that today this once-lush-and-green region is succumbing to desertification and apocalyptic climate. But that being said, it is still a beautiful and sacred region and we strongly recommend you to visit it. It is located 30 Km southwest of Zabol.
On an island of black basaltic rocks in the lake, there stands an ancient structure which is called Kuh-e-Khajwa today. It is actually an ancient castle known as “The Mud Persepolis”. They say here Zarathustra received the holy scripture from Ahura-Mazda. Don’t forget to sail on the lake and visit this sacred place for yourself.
The Sistan and Baluchistan cuisine:
Changal: this is the iranian food habits that the natives of Sistan and Baluchistan province usually set for guests and for the best taste must be consumed with Dugh. This dish is also a kind of sweets found in the Iftar tables of the people of Sistan and Baluchestan province. Make sure you try this at the local restaurants.
Kashk-e-Zard (Yellow Whey): mostly cooked and used for breakfasts on cold and autumnal days, Yellow whey is a heavy, tasty food that is served as a full meal.
It is made from cereal yogurt products and is considered one of the most popular local foods of the people of Sistan and Baluchistan province. Yellow whey is an effective treatment for gastritis, constipation, diarrhea, hypertension, memory strengthening, osteoporosis prevention. Ingredients for yellow curd; yellow curd, onion, water or meat juice.
Like most southern areas of Iran, Sistan and Baluchistan is famous for its wicker works and other coastal handicrafts.
Apart from that, there are numerous kinds of seasoning not unlike the spices of India.
Tropical fruits are also abundant here.