Kerman is the last major city en route to the border with Pakistan and its historical importance cannot be underestimated. Not unlike Yazd, Kerman was spared the destruction of Mongol invasion, which gave its Zoroastrian community a breathing space and opportunity to grow. Although their numbers have since dwindled, the city still have a Zoroastrian fire temple and small functioning museum. That said, Kerman’s history is turbulent. The city has survived sieges, famine and numerous attacks by the Afghan armies. Historically a major trading and crafts centre, the Dutch had from the 17th until the mid-18th century had a trading station here and the British were becoming increasingly more interested in its strategic location.
Now, not many tourists venture this way, but Kerman has a number of very interesting places to visit and it is also the best starting point for exploring the spectacular surrounding landscape of UNESCO-listed spectacular Kalut desert or Shahzadeh garden in Mahan or simply drive the scenic road over the high-rise mountains towards to oasis town of Jiroft, a cradle of civilisation, without exaggeration.
Kerman at a glance
- Wander through the historic Bazaar-e Bozorg with its winding alleys, Qajar-period khans and sarays and stalls selling colourful Baluchi fabrics.
Enjoy a warm cup of tea and a delicious local pastry in the historic Hamam-e Vakil restaurant, whilst listening to traditional live music.
Be surprised by the magnificent works of modern art by renowned Iranian artists, such as Sohrab Sepehri, at the city’s Sanati Museum of Contemporary Art.
Learn about Iran’s captivating music history and its diverse musical instruments in the Harandi Museum.
Visit the remains of the Sasanid fort Qaleh Dokhtar, one of the many Sasanid fortresses that had once dotted the landscape of the province.