Iran City Guides - Kerman
- ancient city dating to the 3rd century AD
- a world center of Persian carpet manufacture
- located in the foothills of the Payeh mountains
- mixed population of Persians and Baluchis
- population around 500,000
- the city lies at 1754m above sea level
- situated over 1000km south east of Tehran
- capital of Kerman province
Situated in the foothills of the Payeh mountains on the edge of the Dasht e Lut desert, Kerman survives on water brought to the city by an intricate system of qanat water channels.
Dating back to the Sassanian period of the third century AD, Kerman is best known today for its world-famous, elaborately designed carpets, including kelims (goats hair carpets), jajims (silk and wool rugs) and shawls, which are hand-woven in hundreds of small workshops dotted around the city.
The city was the main stop-over for visitors on their way to the ancient citadel of Bam to the south east, but is an interesting destination in its own right.
Desert landscape near Kerman, Iran
Gonbad-e Jabaliye dome, on the eastern edge of Kerman city, Iran
Things to see in Kerman
Kerman's attractions include the now restored 17th century bath-house - the Hamum-e Ganj Ali Khan with its wonderful frescoes depicting people and animals. The large, historic Bazar-e Vakil, parts of which date back to the Safavid period, is an interesting area to shop and admire the architecture.
The nearby Jameh Mosque dates back to the early 14th century and is noted for its splendid blue tiling. The Imam Mosque, built in the Seljuk period is also worth a visit for its intricate reliefs. The Moshtari-ye Mostaq Ali Shah mausoleum is the resting place of a noted Sufi mystic and was constructed in the Qajar period with fine stucco and tiles. The Sheketeh Farsh carpet factory can be visited and is a good place to see the techniques of carpet weaving at first hand.
On the outskirts of town is the mysterious Gonbad-e Jabaliye stone dome, which puzzles experts as to its origins but may date to the second century CE and be either a tomb or an observatory.
Access - how to travel to Kerman
There are flights to Esfahan, Zahedan and Tehran.
Buses run to many destinations including Bam (3 hours), Bandar-e Abbas (8 hours), Tehran (15 hours), Mashhad (16 hours), Esfahan (12 hours) and Yazd (6 hours).
A daily train to Tehran (approximately 13 hours) goes via Yazd, Kashan and Qom.
Will Yong and Kazem Vafadari