The city is the capital of the largest province of Iran by the same name. With an altitude of 1760m above sea level and a population of approximately 750,000 people, it rests on a flat area between sets of local mountains.They are particularly on its eastern side where a set of high mountains separate it from Kavir-e-Lut, the southern desert pit of Iran. Kerman is of moderate climate and of hot summer days. In spring, there are cases of strong winds and sand storms.
Kerman’s location has made certain journeys possible from the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea to Khorasan at the north east of Iran for trade. Also, it has been on the spice road, a branch of Silk route going to India. Therefore, the location of the city has had some vital benefits to the merchants and trade people.
Travelers visit Kerman tourist attractions that are different from other parts of Iran. There are several instances of vernacular architecture in this town too. Kerman has a long history and rich cultural heritage.
Farming is still the main source of income for this province. When you travel to Kerman from Yazd, you see a lot of pistachio gardens stretched across the desert for tens of kilometers. Also, it has the second largest copper mine of the world in Sarcheshmeh. Carpet weaving is also another craft that has made this city quite famous among Iranians and the people of the world since long time ago.
Also, the word Pateh reminds every traveler of this city in Iran and nowhere else. It is an embroidered piece of cloth traditionally made in this province from wool in traditional colors and with patterns. Kerman was well-known for the production of cashmere wool shawls and other textiles during 8th century, but you do not find them produced there anymore.
History of Kerman
Many take a tour to Iran and visit Kerman province to explore its rich history and learn more about how it has gone through several hard stages of ups and downs. According to some sources, since the time of Elamites when Sumerians traveled from the Mesopotamia to India for trade, they had to go through the mentioned mountains.
The location of Kerman is in the middle of them making it the only safe passageway to travel through. Therefore, Elamites, who had taken the responsibility of safeguarding the caravan routes, had made defensive outposts here. This is how it first turn into a settlement.
Kerman has been the subject of attacks and destruction 14 times during its history. The founder of Sassanians, Ardeshir I, gave particular attention to the city, but it underwent some destructive invasion by Arabs. Several local and national rulers dominated the city throughout the history. Abbasid caliphs did not have much power to exert in Kerman. During 11th and 12th centuries, Kerman was under Seljuk rulers.
Under Safavids, Kerman expanded rapidly and largely. The business thrived and the city exported its carpets and rugs to England and Germany. Following that prosperous period, there came a sad era when the people of the city supported Lotfali Khan Zand disliked by the next ruler, Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of Qajar dynasty. The innocent people of Kerman paid a big price for this support as the brutal new ruler made lots of male inhabitants blind, sold women and children for slavery and destroyed the city. Historians say that an amount of approximately 20kg of eyes were taken out in one day.
Under Qajars, there was not much done to help the city recover from this catastrophic event. However, 20th century brought much better result for the welfare of the people. The city is growing into an industrialized center manufacturing various products and continuing the production of its main agricultural crop, pistachio.
Visit Kerman Tourist Attractions inside the City
There are several sights to explore in this city, but most of Kerman tourist attractions inside the city are the ones listed below:
Kerman Friday Mosque: Built in 14th century by Yazdi architects, it is a functional mosque with beautiful portal decorated with tiles of blue color in different shades.
Ganjali Khan Complex: This is a set of structures built at the side of Kerman Bazaar by Safavid governor, Ganjali Khan. It includes a caravansary, a bathhouse, a water reservoir, a minting house, a mosque and part of the present-day bazaar.
Kerman Bazaar: Apart from Ganjali Khan complex, the rest of the bazaar is made at Qajar period. The herb shops’ area and the open air fruit market of Kerman Bazaar are worth visiting.
Malek Mosque: Also known as Imam Mosque, this is a Seljuk mosque and is considered one of the largest in the entire country. There are three unique mehrabs in this mosque.
Jabalieh Dome: This octagonal building looks like Sassanians buildings and has interesting features. Today it accommodates tomb stones found in the province.
Visit Kerman Tourist Attractions outside the City
Taking a drive outside the city, you can visit Kerman province tourist attractions that are worth exploring. Here is the list of the highlights:
Bam Ancient Walled City: Unfortunately, as a result of the earthquake, the major part of this 2000-year-old Iranian World Heritage Site is destroyed and needs restoration.
Rayen Citadel: This is another walled town dating back to almost 2000 years ago in which the local governor of Rayen used to live. It was served as the summer residence of Bam governor too.
Shahzadeh Garden: This fabulous Persian Garden dates back to Qajar era and has got beautiful water cascade design leading the water from its mansion to the entrance.
Shah Nematollah Valy Mausoleum: This gigantic four-courtyard plan mausoleum of the 14th-century Sufi was first built and expanded in Timurid era and enlarged under Safavids. Qajars added some sections to it as well.
Shahdad Kaluts: They are natural rock formations developed and formed as a result of thousands of years of erosion and sand storms in the hottest desert of the world, Kavir-e-Lut. Nature lovers who travel to Iran, witness to its uniqueness.
Meymand Ancient Houses: These are rock-carved dwellings of the local people approximately 270km east of Kerman. These houses go back to 12000 years ago.