Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province-stān-e Chahār-Mahāl-o Bakhtiyārī-Chahar Mahal-o-Bakhtiari province.
Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province has a unique environment for promoting ecotourism in lights of its mountains, wetlands, plains, forests, and rivers.
There are natural wetlands across this province which are home to migratory birds during winters and summers.
Also, fish species such as carp and salmon exist in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari wetlands.
Choghakhor Wetland is located 65 km off Shahr-e Kord, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province. Kelar Mountain Ranges are at the southwest of this wetland.
Spread over 11,500 hectares, it is one of the largest wetlands of Iran. It is at height of 2,000 meters.
Thousands of indigenous and migratory birds exist in this natural habitat annually.
Choghakhor is a place for reproduction of waterfowls particularly Mallard Duck and Pochard.
It has mountainous and moderate climate. It is considered a summer resort. The wetland water is supplied from rain and snow as well as springs surrounding Kelar Mount. The vegetation includes wet species which are adapted to waterlogged conditions.
The no-hunting zone of the wetland extends over 2,500 hectares. Five rangers prevent poachers from illegal hunting.
Gandoman Wetland is located near Ghoghakhor Wetland. A portion of Gandoman water pours into Ghoghakhor Wetland.
The surrounding vegetation of the wetland is good for grazing livestock.
Birds such as duck and ruddy shelduck exist in the wetland.
This beautiful wetland is located 70 km off Shahr-e Kord en route to Izeh. It has a beautiful ecosystem.
This spring flows from Zardkooh slopes and pours into reservoir of Koohrang Dam. It enters Zayandehroud River from Koohrang’s first tunnel.
Moula and Sardab springs are located near Alikooh and Rostamabad villages, Ardal city. They draw hundreds of tourists from various regions everyday particularly holidays.
Darreh Eshq Waterfall is located in Mashayekh Region, Ardal, 130 km off Shahr-e Kord city.
The waterfall, which cuts through the heart of mountain, has the height of 100 meters.
Many rivers flow through Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, making the province one of the most fertile lands of Iran.
The world’s most important civilizations have been formed alongside these rivers, particularly Karoun and Zayandehroud.
According to archeological findings, pre-Islamic civilization in Iran was formed in the perimeter of Karoun River while Zayandehroud has been the cradle of Islamic civilization in Iran.
The Middle East’s biggest historical area, which dates back to Stone Age, has been found in Kouhrang in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province.
With an antiquity of 4,000 years, this site is 2,700 meters above sea-level.
One of the most wonderful water systems in the world is “Shoushtar Waterfalls”, which is registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Shoushtar Waterfalls, which feature several mills dating back to Achaemenid era, are built over Karoun River.
Karoun River flows toward the Persian Gulf, forking into two primary branches on its delta: Bahmanshir and Haffar that join the Arvandroud before emptying into the Persian Gulf.
The important island of Abadan is located between these two branches of Karoun. The port city of Khorramshahr is separated from Abadan by the Haffar branch.
In Biblical tradition, Karoun is to be identified with Pishon, one of the four rivers of paradise. The others being Tigris, Euphrates and Karkheh (Jeyhoun of the Biblical story).
The Elamite civilization was established in Karoun River Valley about 2,700 BC.
At several points in history, Mesopotamian civilizations such as Ur and Babylon overthrew the Elamites and gained control of Karoun and its surroundings in modern Khuzestan. However, the Elamite Empire lasted until about 640 BC when the Assyrians overran it.
The first known major bridge was built over Karoun River by the Roman captives, included Emperor Valerian, from which the name of the bridge, namely Band-e Kaisar or Caesar’s Dam”, is derived.
Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari: Historical Attractions
Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province has many historical and cultural attractions.
The most important monuments of the province are religious shrines and historical castles, ISTTA.ir wrote.
This mosque was built in Shahr-e Kord during the Atabakan Era in 605 AH (after hegira). It is built of brick and was registered as a cultural heritage site in 1972.
Imamzadeh Baba Pir
Imamzadeh Baba Pir is Seyyed Bahaeddin Mohammad’s son. His shrine is located in Cham Jangal Village. It includes a dome and two verandas. Interior parts have been adorned with Qur’anic verses and paintings of flower, shrub and religious symbols.
Imamzadeh Baba Pir is one of the important shrines in the region dating back to Safavid Era.
Shalil Caravansary is located 140 km to the southwest of Ardal. There are relics dating back to hundreds of years. This caravansary is built near Shalil and Morvarid bridges. It has had economic, social and military uses.
Imamzadeh Bath is one of the historical buildings located opposite Atabakan Mosque in Shahr-e Kord. It has been constructed in Atabakan Era and has been repaired in Safavid, Zandi and Qajarid eras. It has a large roofed changing room.
Zaman Khan Bridge
This bridge is constructed on Zayandehroud River 29 km northeast of Shahr-e Kord. It was built by one of the tribal chieftains named Zaman Khan.
Zayandehroud Dam is one of the big dams of Iran, which has been constructed in 1969. In the lake of this dam, fishermen can trawl. Fishes such as carp, Zardak and rainbow fish abound in this lake.
Imamieh Theological School
It has been constructed by Mir Seyyed Mohammad in Shahr-e Kord. This building includes various rooms and a large yard. Many students have graduated from this school. The school and its paraphernalia were registered in 1312 AH.
Dehqan-e Samani Tomb
It is located about 28 km to the north of Shahr-e Kord city near Zaman Khan Bridge. Abolfath Dehqan-e Samani or Seyf Al Shoara was a theosophist who lived in Bakhtiari tribe. The tomb has an attractive architecture.
Cemetery of Hajiabad Village
It is 45 km far from Shahr-e Kord city and in the northwest of Hajiabad Village. There are about 300 tombs here. On the tombs, texts in Armenian language are carved.
Sirk Armenian Cemetery
It is located 17 km from Shahr-e Kord on the left side of Sirk-Taqanak Road. There are about 400 tombs here and dates refer to 1900 AD and earlier.
Rokh Inscription is one of the famous stone inscriptions. It belongs to the Islamic era. Its date refers to the era of Shah Abbas II (1062 AH). Poems carved on this inscription praise Shah Abbas II. It is located in Shahr-e Kord city.
This castle is in the vicinity of Jahan Bin Mountains and overlooks the courtyard of a castle in Shahr-e Kord.
This city is 15 km from Boroujen city and 75 km from Shahr-e Kord. It was one of the four main regions in the province. Archeologists believe that the ancient inscription of this region refers to 7th millennium BC.
This tunnel is located near Chelgard City. It was constructed so as to channel the waters of Kouhrang to Zayandehroud River. Construction of the tunnel began during the Sassanid Era.
It maintains a huge capacity for attraction of tourists, given its ample water sources, fertile ground, mild climate, beautiful nature, numerous lakes and streams, pretty marshes, and thick oak forests. When one speaks of Iran’s tourist attraction sites, generally cities such as Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Yazd, Kerman, and a number of other cities in northern Iran are referred to. Meanwhile, one of the main tourist attraction sites is located 110 kilometers from the city of Isfahan. In the view of a number of tourists, this province glitters like a gem in the Zagros Mountain Range region, in western Iran. This province covers an area of nearly 16000 sq km. it borders Isfahan Province from the north and east, Khuzestan Province and Kouhkilouyeh va Boyerahmad Province from the west and the south, and Lorestan Province from northwest. This province contains seven towns with an overall population of more than 850,000 people. Shahr-e Kord is the center of Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari Province, which is situated at 2026 meters above the sea level.
This province is a mountainous region. Its highest altitude is the pinnacle of Zardkouh Mountain, which measures 4548 meters above the sea level and is always blanketed with snow. The snow-covered altitudes of this province are the source of numerous streams and currents and many permanent rivers. These currents join and make numerous rivers, including Zayandeh Roud River and Karoon River, which are destined from Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari province to Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces.
The Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari Province maintains diverse climates in different regions and highly different altitudes. Parts of this province maintain a mild climate in summer season and chilly winters, while other parts maintain mild climate in winter. Due to diversity of climate and temperature in different seasons of the year, this province has a scenic landscape. Throughout the summer season, when the weather is warm and humid in southern regions of Iran; the appropriate weather conditions and tourist attraction sites in this province attract many tourists. The snow fall in this province creates an appropriate bedding for winter sports such as skiing. Meanwhile, the amount of snow fall is such that the conditions are appropriate for winter sports even in summer. The rain and snow falls mainly result from Mediterranean currents which influence this region for a period of eight months. The snow and rainfall start as of early fall. The height of snow across Zardkouh Mount foothill measures several meters, while the altitudes measuring more than 3500 meters above the sea level are permanently blanketed with snow, setting the stage for skiing throughout the year. The residents of mountainous regions, especially the nomads, turn to skiing, and this sport has established an age-old bond with their lives.
Given the immense water sources, Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari, maintains a mainly green landscape, while parts of it are thick forests covered with oak and almond trees. Given the variety of plant species in this province, it is covered with herbs which have long been consumed by locals and non-locals for treatment of ailments. The mountainous regions, green scenery, and vast forests, in addition to a number of marshes and streams have all turned this province into an appropriate habitat of different animal species. The wild life in this region includes adult male goats, rams, ewes, leopards, grizzly bears, boars, and other species of animals and birds.
There are many reminders of the past in this historical province. According to archeologists, this region is home to one of the ancient civilizations, which dates back to 4,000 BC. Based on the remaining inscriptions, this province has been of paramount commercial and military importance, but was isolated in the 9th Century AH. This province is located between two important and vital regions of Iran; being the industrial poles of Isfahan and Khuzestan. Isfahan is a historical and fertile land which is today considered as one of the industrial centers and tourist attraction sites of Iran, while Khuzestan sits on huge oil deposits.
The people of Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari have long been bonded to the two provinces of Isfahan and Khuzestan. Parts of Khuzestan have long been the winter quarters of Bakhtiari nomads. Moreover, ever since the discovery of oil deposits in Khuzestan Province as of early 20th Century AD, the people of Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari have mainly contributed to oil industry’s work force.
The Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari Province is made up of two regions:
Chaharmahal region is home to urbanites and rural dwellers and covers the regions of Laar, Kiaar, Mizdej, and Gandomaan. Bakhtiari is a mountainous region, home to Bakhtiari nomads. Bakhtiari nomads are part of “Lor” ethnicity. The term “Lor” means a high-altitude region covered with trees. Currently in the Bakhtiari region and Lorestan Province, the hills covered with trees are referred to as “Lor”. The Bakhtiari nomads live on animal husbandry, which is a rather complicated task. Meanwhile, a number of tribal traditions play an effective role in the cultural development of the region.
These marshes are stretched like a chain from the southern region of the city of Broojen toward the west of this region, creating a unique habitat for immigrating birds and different types of fish. This valuable collection of marshes has turned this province into one of the routes for migration of birds from European countries, Russia, and northern Iranian provinces to the Persian Gulf littoral states.
The Choghaakhor marsh covers an area of over 2300 hectares and is one of the most beautiful and largest marshes of this region, which is situated sixty kilometers from the provincial capital, Shahr-e Kord, and en route Shahr-e Kord to Khuzestan Province. This marsh is home to rare animal species and has been declared as a protected region by the Environment Protection Organization as of the year 1999. The “Kalaar” Mountain is located in southwest region of this province and looms over this marsh. The pinnacle of this mountain measures 3820 meters above the sea level. The marsh is coupled with a meadow, which covers an area of almost 700 hectares. This region maintains a humid weather, with moderate summers and chilly winters, and is considered as a summer quarter in this province. Fifty-Eight different plant and animal species exist in this marsh, which is environmentally of paramount importance, while its coastlines turn into a tourist attraction site in the summer season. The Holy Shrine of Imamzadeh Hamzeh Ali, one of the venerable descendants of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), 35 kilometers from Broojen, is every year host to thousands of pilgrims from the neighboring regions.
The tourist attractions of this province are not just restricted to marshes and springs. The rivers of this province have created a potential means for development of tourism industry in this region. The Zayandeh Roud River is one of the main tourist attraction sites of this province. All along its path which stretches 40 kilometers in a valley, scenic fruit orchards can be observed with are covered with different trees such as white poplar and willow trees, while other regions along its path are paddy fields and green pastures. Due to its moderate and mild climate in summer season, this region is host to thousands of tourists every year. Also, “Zamankhan” Bridge, which is a valuable ancient monument, adds to beauty of this region. This historical bridge is 22 meters in length and 13 meters in height and was built over Zayandeh Roud River, in the vicinity of city of Saman. The first idea for constructing this bridge took shape during the Sassanid era. But, the current bridge was built by the leader of one of Qashqai nomadic tribes, “Zamankhan”, over the rocks. This bridge has been renovated on several occasions.
Natural caves also exist in this province, displaying a magnificent phenomenon of the region to lovers of nature. More than seventy caves have been identified in this province; the most important of which are “Pir Gaar” and “Saraab Gaar”. Pir Gaar is significantly important due to its historical inscriptions. Meanwhile, six kilometers from the city of Farsan, and 38 kilometers southwest of the city of Shahr-e Kord, there is a beautiful resort. On the side of a hill, looming toward this resort, there are three inscriptions, which have been engraved upon the order of the Bakhtiari commander, Khosrow Khan. These inscriptions state the deployment of Bakhtiari troops to the cities of Isfahan and Tehran and the role played by Bakhtiari commanders in countering The Minor Despotism and toppling the Qajarid King, Mohammad Ali Shah, throughout the Constitutional Movement. Next to inscriptions of Pir Gaar Cave, there is huge spring. Although experts have not managed to gather enough information about the length of this cave and the terms of its shaping, this cave is host to thousands of eco-tourists and holidaymakers.
This province maintains a relatively high level of rainfall, which threatens the historical monuments in the province. Nonetheless, there are artistic and architectural works in this region that are truly praiseworthy. Up to now, 460 historical monuments have been discovered and identified in this region, seventeen of which have been registered as Iran’s national monuments. They include shrines, inscriptions, ancient homes and castles.
Archeological explorations have proved the existence of civilizations in some regions of this province, in millenniums BC. For instance, the historical monument of “Gorkani Tappeh”, which is located 5 kilometers south of the city of Shahr-e Kord, proves the presence of mankind in this region throughout 4th millennium BC. The discovery of an inscription, belonging to 4th millennium BC manifests part of this province’s history. Next to this inscription which has been engraved over the rocky “Jahanbin” Mountain, in the vicinity of city of Shahr-e Kord, there exist the remains of a path. According to experts, this path is probably the remains of the first route for transference of the culture and civilization of the plain of Khuzestan, in southwestern Iran, to this region. Moreover, the presence of pre-Islamic historical monuments; and discovery of numerous coins from the Samanid era, proves the existence of an age-old civilization in this region. Several coins from the Islamic era, belonging to 5th Century AH, have been discovered in some parts of this region. Hence, experts believe that at a time coins were minted in parts of this province.
The historical monuments of this region mainly belong to the Islamic era, especially the Qajarid era. Part of these historical monuments are religious sites, including mosques and holy shrines, the most ancient of which is Ataabakaan Mosque in the city of Shahr-e Kord, which belongs to 7th Century AH. The other historical monuments of this region include castles, aristocrats’ homes, public bathrooms, and bridges. Numerous historical castles existed in this province, of which fourteen remain to this day, including the “Amir Mafkham Bakhtiari” Castle in Dezak Village, located 35 kilometers south of the city of Shahr-e Kord, which maintains a beautiful façade and an interesting architecture. This castle is a two-storey building with northern and southern balconies. This castle is highly important in regard to its architecture, art, and history. It has been witness to numerous incidents. The construction of this castle dates back to 100 years ago.
In the last section of today’s program, we intend to brief you on the handicrafts of this province, which includes carpet and rug weaving. The rugs woven in this region are popularly known as Bakhtiari rugs, which are original in color and design. In some parts of this province, rugs are woven which only use wool and natural dyes. Meanwhile, the rugs woven in “Chaleshtor” region are highly popular, given the precision maintained in their weaving, and the original dye and design of these rugs.