irman3 Khuzistan
The Land Of  Palms

Situated in the south-west of Iran, this province covers an area of 64236 sq kms. It is bounded on the north by Lorestan, on the east by Chahar Mahal and Kohgilooyeh, in the west by Iraq and on the south by the Persian Gulf. Khtizistan consists of mountainous regions in the north and east, and also plateau regions in the south, stretching from the southern parts of the towns of Dezfool, Masjed-e Soleyman, Ramhormoz and  Behbahan to the river of Arvand and the Persian Gulf. The climate is dry and semi-dry, save in few regions. The largest rivers are the Karoon, Karkheh, Dez, Maroon and Arvand. The  reedy marshes called Hoors are numerous, the most important of which are Hoor OL-Azim and those located in Dasht-e Azadegan  and Shadegan regions. The wildlife in these areas is of high significance to biologists. The natural beauty of the marshes has endless  fascination for many. The plant life of the province includes konar (Jerusalem thorn), oak, almond and palm trees. Archaeological finds indicate that Khuzistan has been the borne of man ftom palaeolithic. Elamite civilization coincided  roughly in area with this province. The ethnic groups are the Kurds, Arabs, Lors and Azerbaijanis. The Arab tribes such as Bani Taraf and Bani Ka’b as well as  Bakhtiyari and Boyr Ahmadi tribes dwell in Khuzistan. Persian and Arabic are predominant languages spoken with local accents. The vast majority of the people are Muslims, mostly of the Shi’ite sect.

Being bounded on the south by the Persian Gulf, this province, the seaports of which were primarily used for trade with  India, was an important centre for commercial activities in the past. Today, in addition to important seaports used for  trade, Khuzistan’ s highways and roads play an important role in the economy of Iran. The Trans-Iranian Railway spanning the  distance of 1391 kms between the two seaports of Bandar-e Torkman on the Caspian sea and Bandar-e Imam Khomeyni on the  Persian Gulf, has spur lines to many of the provincial capitals. There are two airports in the cities of Ahvaz and Abadan; the latter one is  international.Agricultural products are rich in variety, the most important of which are wheat, barley, cotton, sugar beet, sugarcane, and melons. The dams of Dez, Karoon and Karkheh provide water for irrigation. Animal husbandry —particularly sheep, goat and buffalo husbandry — and fishing are of high importance. Being an industrial centre, this province has both light and heavy industries, including large refineries, petroleum  industry, rolling mill, ironworks, sugar and paper mills and cementworks. Lime, chalk, phosphate and sulphur mines are of  high significance. Due to the fertility of the soil , thriving industries and oil resources it is figuratively called the  Gold-bearing province. Khuzistan consists of 15 cities. Ahvaz is the provincial capital and the following are the other cities:Abadan, Andimeshk, Izeh, Baghmalek, Bandar-e Mahshahr, Behbahan, Dezfool, Dasht-e-Azadegan, Khorramshahr, Masjed-e Soleyman, Ramhormoz, Shadegan, Shoosh, and Shooshtar.

Dating back to the second millennium BC, Ahvaz, the largest city of the province, is one of the most ancient cities of Iran. The historical monuments are numerous, of which the remains of a bridge, near the present suspension bridge and the catacombs in the eastern part of Abvaz belong to the pre-Islamic period. The mausoleum of All ebn-e Mahziyar-e Ahvazi in Khorratn Kooshk and the mausoleum of Hazrat-e Abbas in the village of Seyyed Abbas-e Abd oI-Khan having two lofty minarets and a dome covered with beautiful tiles are among historical Islamic monuments.The Karoon, the largest and the only navigable river in Iran flows through the city and divides it into eastern and western districts. The governmental and business sectors are largely centered in the western district.Having a mild climate in winter and in early spring, Ahvaz attracts a large number of visitors each year. There are recreational facilities such as rowing and motor boats on the Karoon. Bazaar, beautiful banks of the Karoon and palm groves are among places worthwhile seeing.
 Situated 115 kms south-west of Ahvaz on the Arvand Rood (Arvand River), Abadan is a leading economical centre in Iran. Rich mineral resources contribute to the importance of this major port. At night, the lights mirrored in the water of the river afford an impressive sight.

It is located in the north of the province, 150 kms distant from Ahvaz. The earliest evidence of man found on the hill of Chogha Mish, 40 kms south-east of Dezfool to the 6th millennium BC. This city was probably built in the Sassanian period. Of the monuments belonging to the Sassanian period are the palace of Karkheh, 18 kms south-west of Dezfool and the remains of a bridge across the Dez River. The architecture of the palace is of high interest to visitors. The historical monuments belonging to the Islamic period are Jame’ mosque (9th century) and the relics of ancient mills. The restaurants serving regional foods are among other attractions of Dezfool.
This town, the Biblical name of which is Shushan is located in the west of the province, 110 kms distant from Ahvaz. Being a city of great antiquity, it was the capital of EIam and during the Achaemenid period it was one of the four capitals. In the Parthian and Sassanian The historical monuments are numerous and impressive. The following are among the most important ones.The mausoleum of Daniel (a Hebrew prophet during the Babylonian captivity).The relics of the ancient temples in Haft Tappeh.The ruins of Susa, belonging to the 5th millennium BC, are of high significance to historical research. Iii the palace of Apadana, going back to the Achaemenid period, the images of the Javid (immortal) soldiers on the bricks and the image of a lion in a naturalistic style are among the masterpieces of the ancient art.The ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil is located 30 kms south-east of Shoosh. This temple has the form of a terraced pyramid of five successively receding storeys. In the fifth storey the god of Elamites was worshipped. The ruins of an Elamit city, dating back to the 13th century BC have been found near the ziggurat. The city was destroyed by order of Ashurbanipal. This ziggurat has been registered by the Unesco as a historical monument.There is a museum in the town of Shoosh in which historical objects, relics of ancient tombs and coffins belonging to different ages are displayed.
The handicrafts produced in Kbuzistan are rich in variety and famous for their delicacy. The bed sheets, abas (men’s loose sleeveless cloaks), prayer carpets, jajims (fine carpets made of wool or cotton), givehs (light cotton summer shoes), goldware, silverware and earthenware are beautiful handicrafts suitable to be kept as souvenirs.Many visitors find the taste of the regional sweets very pleasant.

This leading port which stands at the confluence of the Karoon, the Tigris and Euphrates, plays a significant role in the economy of the province. A spur line links it with the Trans-Iranian Railway. Local bazaar, vast palm groves and the fishing boats on the river are very sightly. The distance between Khorramshahr and Alivaz is 128 kms by land and 168 kms by the Karoon River. The weather is mild in winter and muggy in summer.

Located in the north-east of the province, it is a historic city that was of high significance in the Elamite civilization. The ancient monuments are numerous, indicating its greatness in the distant past and attracting a lot of tourists. The following are among the most important ancient monuments.
Eshkaft-e Salman
Situated 3 kms south-west of Izeh, it contains four reliefs dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries BC and belonging to the Elamite civilization. These reliefs represent the ritual of the people of that age. There are also epigraphs written in cuneiform characters.
KooI-e Farah
It is located in the south of Izeh. In this place there are six scenes carved on the rocks, representing the ritual of offerings to the gods and general audiences with the King. Dating back to the Elamite civilization, some of the reliefs include epigraphs written in cuneiform characters.
The village of Shami
This village, located 9 kms north Izeh, contains relics of ancient buildings. A life-size bronz statue of a Parthian commander found in the village indicates the great dexterity of the craftsmen of that age. This statue is displayed in the National Museum of Iran.
This town is situated in the east of Khuzistan. It is said that iii the early 14th century, a city called Arajan which had been built in the Sassanian period near the present town of Behbahan, was ruined, as a result of which the people moved into Behbahan. The ancient part of Arajan is located 12 kms north-east of Behbahan on the Maroon River. The following are among the important remains found in Arajan: a mausoleum in which there is a bronz coffin, a golden ring called the ring of power with beautiful designs and a brain cup, all belonging to the Elamite period. The latter, having impressive caned designs and an epigraph written in cuneiform, is world-famous.Shooshtar This town is located in the north of the province, 90 kms distant from Ahvaz. Jaine’ mosque and a bridge called Shadorvan are among historical monuments. The bridge having 16 mouths through which the river flows, goes back to the Sassanian period.ages it was among the most significant cities.
Masjed-e Soleyman
It is the easternmost town in Khuzistan. The archaeological finds suggest that it was probably the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty. The important historical monuments are as follows: Soffe-ye Soleyman and a stony monument called Bard-e Neshandeh, 25 kms north-east of the town, dating hack to the Achaemenid period. This monument is a point of interest to tourists.
Bandar-e Mahshahr
It is the second greatest port in Iran, used for the export of oil and natural gas. The petro-chemical industry has contributed to the importance of this town. The coastal area, particularly at fig ht,is very sightly.


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