Kerman is the largest province of Iran, located in the southeast region of the country, bordering Southern Khorasan, Yazd, Hormozgan, Sistan & Baluchistan, and Fars. From an industrial, political, cultural and scientific perspective, Kerman is the most important province in the region.
Kerman is historically significant because the city of Kerman is one of the oldest cities in the Iranian plateau and the history of human residence in this area goes back to 4000 B.C. For history aficionados, Kerman has numerous tourist attractions and abundant fossils from different geological eras. Kerman also has many natural attractions like thermal and mineral springs, beautiful green scenery, mountainous areas, lakes, pools and special desert areas for adventurers.
For those who are interested in Zoroastrianism, the official religion of Iran before Islam, Kerman is imbued with its culture, from the small but vocal Zoroastrian minority who still celebrate traditional Zoroastrian festivals to a handicraft named after the religion: Zartoshti-Bafi (which roughly translates to Zoroaster-sewing)
Kerman on map
Major location suitable for touring in Kerman:
The capital of Kerman is the city of Kerman. Other major cities considerable for a tour includes Baft, Bardsir, Jiroft, Rafsanjan, Zarand, Sirjan, Shahr-e-Babak.
When to go to Kerman and how to get there?
Kerman is a big province, so its climate varies in different parts. The northern regions are close to the desert, so the climate s dry, but in southern regions, the climate is mild and pleasant. Generally, Kerman has cold winters (especially after sunset) and warm summers, so the best time to visit is during spring.
To reach Kerman, you can use the bus from all major cities to Kerman. Kerman also has 5 airports, the most important one being Kerman’s International Airport. There are regular flies from Tehran, Mashhad, Sari, Shiraz, Zahedan, Tabriz and Kish to this airport. Travel by train is also possible. If you’re in the capital, the distance between Tehran and Kerman is almost 1000 KM, so although it’s possible to go there by car, but it would be a long and tiresome drive.
Accommodations in Kerman :
Jomhoori Eslami Boulevard
Jomhoori Eslami Boulevard
Shahid Sadoughi Boulevard
Where to go and what to explore in Kerman:
Kerman has been ravaged many times throughout its history and its dark past lingers on the psyche of its people, the most notable case being the butchering of Kermani people by Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, but they have managed to stay kind and warm and put the adversity behind them. Kerman is considered to be one of the top 5 historical regions in Iran to visit. So for anyone interested in Iran’s rich past, this province has much to offer. Below are some of the better-known places to visit in Kerman province:
Ganjali Khan Complex, a Safavid Era Masterpiece
Ganjali Khan governed Kerman from 1596 to 1621 under Safavid Shah Abbas I. Thanks to his patronage, this huge and varied complex was built, which consists of numerous beautiful constructions around the square-shaped Ganjali square.
Ganjali Bazar, like other traditional bazaars in Iran, has a beautiful architecture, so much in fact that simply by walking in it, you will be soaked in its beauty. The Ganjali Hamam (bathhouse), now turned to Kerman’s Museum of Anthropology, provides another window into top-notch Safavid architecture. Ganjali Mint, now turned to Coinage Museum, presents a collection of old coins for public viewing.
The complex also includes a reservoir, Madrasa (school), caravansary and Ganjali hall, which are open to public viewing.
Arg e Bam, a Relic of the Past
If you wonder why Kerman is considered to be a historical relic for Iran, visit Arge e Bam (Bam Citadel) in the city of Bam. Arg e Bam is the largest adobe construction in the world and it is one of the most important historical masterpieces of Iran. This ancient construction is built on a high rock and it is surrounded by other tourist attractions, like the Prophet Mosque and Dokhtar castle. The date of construction is not clear, but the general consensus is that it was built during the Achaemenid era.
Arg e Bam’s significance is well-documented in history, even among kings and conquerors like Ya’qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar, the founder of the Saffarid dynasty, who exiled one of his opponents to the Arg back in the 9th century. Lotf-Ali Khan Zand, the last king of the Zand dynasty, fled to Arg when he was being chased by Agha Mohammad Khan, but tragically, when Agha Mohammad Khan arrived in Kerman, he killed 600 slaves and sent their heads with 300 other slaves to Bam. The ruler of Bam killed 300 other people and erected a Minaret with all the severed heads.
Arg e Bam is a great fortress, with the Arg standing at the center of it. It is mostly constructed with adobe, clay bricks and straw, but the stone is also used in some parts, although rarely.
The Arg is divided into 2 parts, both unique in their own way: one for government officials and one for peasants. The government section contained luxuries such as a military fortress, four-season mansion, barracks, a deep water well, and a large stable. The peasant section is located around the government section and it contains the city’s main gate, public institutions such as school and gymnasium, a bazar and around 400 houses. The houses with 3 or 4 rooms and bigger size were designed for middle-class people.
Arg e Bam is a shining example of Iranian architecture and genius, skill and creativity behind its construction is awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, around 80% of the construction was destroyed in the devastating 2003 Bam earthquake. Countries like Japan, Italy, and France came to Iran’s aid and Arg e Bam was ultimately repaired and restored.
Fathabad Garden, a Shining Diamond in the Treasury of Iranian Gardens
Iranians have a long history of constructing elaborate gardens. These gardens were usually constructed close to qanats and springheads for water management and the provided mirth for the people and beauty for the city. Fathabad Garden, constructed during the Qajar era, is a brilliant example of such gardens.
This garden was once prosperous, but the qanat near it dried up and it was ultimately abandoned. However, the garden was restored to its former glory recently and water is running through its vein again. There are also 400 different kinds of Kermani herbs planted near its irrigated fields, so the garden has the potential to become one of the most prominent plant banks in the country in the near future.
Many of Iran’s historical sites have been ruined due to negligence and wrong management. Fathabad could have easily suffered the same fate, but it didn’t. That’s what makes it special. Not only the garden has been revived itself, but it’s also helping the development and irrigation of the dry area around it and it has established itself as an increasingly lucrative tourist attraction site. The greenery in the backdrop of the two beautiful mansions of Fathabad Garden is a beauty to behold.
What to Eat in Kerman (Kerman foods):
Kerman is a cultured place and foods play a pivotal role in enriching this old culture. Bouillon (Abgoosht) is one of the most famous Kermani foods. Eggplant bouillon and whey is one of the most popular variations. It’s not an easy meal to cook; the peas and beans should be put in water the night before and the process of cooking is difficult. But considering how delicious it is, it’s worth the effort.
Zire bouillon is another popular Kermani meal. Zire is an aromatic herb that is useful both in medicine and Iranian cuisine. Zire bouillon is different from the traditional Iranian bouillons because it doesn’t contain peas, beans or potato. If you want to know what an authentic Iranian bouillon tastes like, don’t miss the chance to eat this great Kermani food.
If you’re a fan of Iranian cuisine, you have surely heard of Ash. Ashe Gandom Shir is one of its Kermani variations. This meal is like the usual ash, but wheat is one of its main components. Oomach Ash is another variation and it’s considered to be one of the oldest, most delicious and most nutritious Kermani meals. Oomach Ash is so nutritious that it can actually help cure sicknesses such as a simple cold, influenza, anemia, etc.
Kermani stews are also worth honorary mention. Boz Ghorme stew is made with goat meat and is served with both bread and rice. It’s known to be very delicious. Aloe stew is another delicious food that is very easy to make.
Souvenirs of kerman
If you’re looking for a copper tray, plate, cauldron, flower pot or really, any handiwork made of copper, Kerman is the place for you. There’s also Ajide-doozi, which is a special type of embroidery created by putting a layer of cotton between two layers of cloth and then sewing on the cloth to create fancy embroidery.
For those who have a sweet-tooth, Kerman has much to offer. To name a few: Kamach Sen, Kolompe, Ghotto va Ghovat, Faludeh Kermani and last but not least, Ghottab. Apart from sweets, herbs and pistachios are also valuable Kermani souvenirs.