Main Townships: Bam, Jiroft, Kerman, Rafsanjan, Sirjan, Zarand, etc. Main Attractions: Bam Citadel, Ganj Ali Khan Mosque and Museum, Jabaliyeh Dome, Kavir-e-Loot Desert, Mahan Garden, Moshtaqiyeh Dome, Shah Nematollah-e-Vali Tomb, Vakil Traditional Tea House or Bath, etc
The township of Baft is situated in the south of the province, and is at a distance of 1,240 km. from Tehran. To its north is Bardseer, in the west lies Sirjan, the province of Hormozgan is located to its south, and to the east it is within the limits of Jiroft. The rivers take their sources in the northern heights of this region, before running east and entering Jiroft with the name of the Halil River. Baft has moderate winters and warm summers. It is not clearly known as to how this city originated, but in the past, a region called (Dasht Ab) which lay at a farther point, was inhabited.
The township of Bam is located to the east of the province, and lies at a distance of 1,283 km. from Tehran. To its north is the township of Kerman, to its west Bardseer, in the east is Jiroft and to the south lies the province of Sistan Va Baluchestan. The city of Bam is the main city of this township, and is located in a vast plain between the two mountain ranges of Barez and Kabudi. In the plains it experiences a warm climate, whereas in the higher altitudes, moderate weather prevails. Regarding its ancient history, this city intermingles with that of the old Bam citadel, which accounts as the largest city of the world that is made of sun dried bricks.
The township of Bardseer is located such that to its east are Bam and Kerman, to the south is Baft, and in the west and north are the townships of Sirjan and Rafsanjan respectively. It has a temperate and mountainous climate, with cold winters and moderate summers. After Sirjan, Bardseer was the second capital of Kerman. Though this city was not consider a seat of power in the early Islamic period, it held a vital position during the Sassanide era.
According to a famous historian, Ardeshir Babakan, (the first king of the Sassanide Dynasty) erected this city and named it 'Vayeh Artakhshir' which meant that 'Ardeshir had performed a good deed'. Vayeh Artakhshir was the center of the township. It was thus located that caravans crossed this area en route from the ports of the Persian Gulf to the north western territories of the country. But later in the Sassanide rule, when Kerman was governed by margraves and its capital was moved to Sirjan, 'Vayeh Artakhshir' was converted into an army base. Today, Bardseer enjoys an important position as one of the main cities in the province of Kerman.
This township is situated in the southern sector of the province and lies at a distance of 1,375 km. from Tehran. Jiroft is one of the most fertile townships of Kerman. To the north-east of which is Bam, to its south stands the township of Kahnooj and in the west is in the limits of Baft.
The city of Jiroft is located between two rivers, in a vast plain and on the southern skirts of the Barez Mountain Ranges. It is obvious that in the higher regions Jiroft experiences a cold climate, whereas in the low-lying areas it is warm.The ruins of the old city of Jiroft (known as Sabzvaran) are at a distance of 1 km. from its present location. The origin of the former is said to be from times immemorial.
The township of Kahnooj is so located that to its north is Jiroft, to the east is within the limits of the vicinity of Jazmoorian in the province of Sistan Va Baluchestan, and to its western and southern sections is the province of Hormozgan. Kahnooj experiences hot weather with scanty rainfall, which is mostly in the form of thunder squalls. The Halil Rood River is the only permanent river in this township. Due to the presence of underground waters around the Hamoon Jazmoorian, and fertile soil, animal husbandry and cultivation are vital factors here.
The township of Kerman is at a distance of 1,076 km. from Tehran, and lies in a vast plain, which is divided by a chain of mountains into two, the northern and southern sectors. The former is the desert area, whereas the latter comprises of the inhabited region (both urban and rural) due to its moderate, and suitable climatic conditions. Kerman is the provincial capital and is one of the ancient and historical cities of Iran.
In the Greek language, Kerman was known as 'Karamani', and there is a strong possibility that Ardeshir Babakan was the founder of this city, and therefore was reputedly known as Ardeshir Khoreh. The Arabs called it Bardseer or Bardsheer, and to the Iranians it was known as Guasheer. Kerman is a beautiful city with many historical and religious sites.
The township of Rafsanjan is located in the north of the province, and at a distance of 949 km. from Tehran. To the east are the townships of Kerman and Zarand, and from the south and west the townships of Bardseer and Shahr-e-Babak respectively. In the northwest it has common borders with the province of Yazd.
In the mountainous regions, Rafsanjan witnesses cold weather, but in the low-lying areas, such as the plains it is moderately warm. From architectural point of view, this city displays spectacular features and has many ancient houses in its vicinity.
Shahr-e-Babak is located in the west of the province. To its east is Rafsanjan, in its southern limits is Sirjan, and to the north and west has common borders with the province of Yazd. Shahr-e-Babak is one of the ancient cities of Iran, and its founder is said to be Babak, ( the father of Ardeshir Babakan). Such that ancient geographers have mentioned this city in their records, and others have related its historical past with that of Kerman.
This township is located at a distance of 1,099 km. from Tehran, and lies in the west of the province. In its eastern sector are the townships of Bardseer and Baft and to its northern limits Shahr-e-Babak. The provinces of Fars and Hormozgan stand to its west and south respectively.
Sirjan is in the plains, with the peaks of the Panj Tan mountains to the north, the Beed Khan or Chahar Gonbad in the central sector, and the Lalezar in the east. Sirjan witnesses warm and dry weather in the summer, with moderate climate in winter. The ruins of the old city of Sirjan have been discover near Sa'eed Abad, en route to Baft. These finds prove that this city was one of the oldest territories of the province and Iran.
The township of Zarand is located to the northwest of the city of Kerman. The province of Yazd is to its northern and western limits. In the east is the township of Kerman, and to its south and west the township of Rafsanjan. Climatically, this township can be divided into two, the north with a desert like climate, and the mountainous region experiencing moderate mountainous weather.
In the 4th century AH., Zarand was a comparatively large city with six gateways. According to historians, Kerman came under assault of the Turkman tribe in the year 583 AH., and this led to heavy damage in this vicinity. The city of Zarand was then claimed as capital temporarily. Due to the weakening of the Saljuqi dynasty in 619 AH., the Qarakhata'yan took over the rule for a short while in Kerman. Today, this township has turned into one of the mining and industrial areas of the province.
Castles and Citadels, Kerman
Bam Citadel, Bam
To the north east of the Bam city, in the skirts of a gigantic rock is the foundations of a fortified castle, reputedly known as the Bam Citadel. This citadel was actually the old city of Bam. The city comprised of four sections and 38 watch towers. In the southern side of this structure there were four ramparts and to the north-eastern section there was also another colossal rampart. The citadel has been constructed of sun baked bricks, argyle and straw, but in some parts stone, brick and the barks of date palms have been utilized. The said citadel comprises of the entrance gate-way, a public sector, a military base and the central section or seat of power.
The public dwellings were constructed alongside the elevated areas and on the ground level. Regarding the city construction planning its a complete aggregate. Its distinguished areas are the main passage or bazaar, Hosseiniyeh (or place for public religious rituals and mourning), mosque (fire-temple), gymnasium for traditional sports, public bath and a religious sector pertaining to the Jews. Most of the common houses were constructed in such a manner that they were connected to each other and usually had interconnections. In some houses, private baths are seen. A few of these buildings are two storeyed structures which were most probabely constructed due to increased population.
After the gateway entrance there is a main passage which leads to the second gate-way. A part of this route was the city bazaar. Remenance of a bakery, an oil extraction area and the mud made shelves of bazaar reveals the splendour of the city in that time. Running parallel to the main passage there were two other paths leading to the second gateway. The Hosseiniyeh or place for religious mourning comprised of a large area with a two storeyed symmetrical porch, a few chambers and three pulpits of sun baked bricks. The traditional gymnasium consisted of four porches, a dome and a low-lying area, surrounded by a higher platform.
The Bam citadel has two mosques, one is the Jame' Mosque and the other the Hazrat Mohammad (AS) Mosque. There was also used to be a public bath in public section, which is unfortunately in a ruined state at present. After the second gate-way are the stables, rampart and the sentry picket. The third gate-way led to the garrison, the commanders residence and a wind mill. In the midst of the citadel, a three storyed edifice remains which was used to be the seat of the ruling power. Alongside this structure was a private bath of the commander, and a drainage conduit. This citadel was constructed by Bahman Esfandiyar, and dates back to the pre-Islamic period. The Bam Citadel has undergone several repairs.
Samooran Castle, Jiroft
This castle has been built of redish marble and is located on an elevation, east to the city of Jiroft. The upper walls are approximately 1,000 sq. m. and are made of rocks and natural precipices. In parts where the enemy could have launched an attack, there are high walls with two entrances in the northern and southern sides with twelve watch towers. To an elevation of 200 m. above the castle is another stony rampart and this surrounds the castle itself. Within these walls was an area for the horses, and a relatively deep well still holds good after the passing of centuries. Its mode of construction is really marvelous.
There are also two pools in this castle which collect the rain water. The brick walls of these pools have been delicately cover with a mixture of sand and limestone. This structure is related to the pre-Islamic times, but has been repair in the early Islamic era. During the Saljuqi period, this castle was a reputed one.
Other Castles, Kerman
Other castles in the province are named as Dokhtar Castle in Kerman, The Sang Castle in Sirjan, Jashar, Sa'eed Khan, Manujan, Kohneh, Dastugan, Tal Atashi, Zakht, Gabrha and Rostam Castles and ... in Jiroft and Roodbar.
Old Public Baths and Water Reservoirs, Kerman
Ali Moradan Khan Water Reservoir, Kerman
The historical water reservoir of Ali Mardan Khan (the offspring of Ganj Ali Khan) is in the Ganj Ali Khan aggregate of Kerman. Its fantastic architecture draws the viewer's attention. An inscription affixed here notes the date 1209 AH. as the year of its construction. The entrance of the structure is worked in tile and some of the stones are sculptur. This water reservoir used to store about 2 million liters of water. The various sections of this reservoir are the reservoir, air-vent, staircase, foot bath and its decorative entrance.
Ebrahim Khan Bath, Kerman
This old bath is located in the midst of the Ebrahim Khan Bazaar in Kerman. The same consists of two sections, the cloak room and the main bath. This bath has been utilized since 1321 AH.
Ganj Ali Khan Bath, Kerman
This bath has been decoratively adorned with arches, tile and plaster work and also paintings. The entrance of this bath has been artistically painted with ornaments of the Safavid era, and its architectural facets were performed by Ostad Mohammad Sultan Yazdi. The bath consists of two sections named as, cloak room and the hot bath itself. The most interesting feature of its architectural finish is that the sculptur stones of the ceiling coincides with that of the flooring.
The cloak room of the bath has been divided into six sections and each pertains to a special category of society or guild. Currently in each one of these sections, two statues portray this scene. The main bath comprises of a cold water pool with a ceiling similar to that of a tent supported by eight beautiful pillars. Its water inlets and fountains of the bath have been so meticulously designed that its strange phenomena is astonishing!
Vakil Traditional Tea House or Bath, Kerman
The said bath was constructed in unique style and adorned just as skillfully in the year 1280 AH . Its architecture being relative to the Zandiyeh-Qajar reigns. Its walls and floorings are finished in ceramic and tiles. The bath comprises of two sections, the cloak room and the bath itself. In the recent decades this historical structure has been converted into a traditional tea-house, and its entrance was repair in 1990. A part of the hot bath today is a restaurant where regional dishes or food is being served.
Other Baths, Kerman
Other baths in Kerman province are named as Baq-e-Shazdeh Bath in Mahan, Tah-e-Baq-e-Lellah and Mirza Esmail Vazir baths in Kerman, Negar bath in the Neg