Lar is one of the southern cities of Fars Province in Iran. Some Lar tourist attractions are Ejdeha Peikar Castle, Neshat Garden, and Qeysarieh Bazaar, located in the city center. Lar is the only city without alleys in the Middle East.
Other spectacular sites of this city are Imamzadeh Mir Ali bin Hussein, Tomb of Nader Shah’s Mother, Charou Castle, and Ghadamgah of Lar. The local souvenir of Larestan is Muscat Halva. Due to the warm and dry climate of the city, there are plenty of palm groves and water reservoirs.
Geography of Lar
Lar County reaches Darab and Jahrom counties on the north, Firoozabad and Kangan counties (in Bushehr Province) on the west, and Lamerd, Gerash cities as well as Hormozgan province on the south.
The city is 806 meters above sea level. The average annual temperature is 23°C and the average annual precipitation is 203 mm. Larestan has a warm and dry climate. The winter is mild and the summer is very dry. Therefore, the best season to travel to Lar is fall, late winter, and early spring.
There are different ways of traveling to Lar:
- By car
Lar is located 330 km southeast of Shiraz City and 190 km northwest of Bandar Abbas. The distance between Lar and Tehran is about 1,300 km and it takes about 18 hours to travel by car. It is better to have a stopover in Abadeh City in order to reduce travel fatigue.
In terms of access to the sea, the shortest route from Lar is 160 km connecting it to Bandar-e Pol, but the distance decreases to 97 km if we consider it as a straight line.
- By bus
For traveling to Larestan by Bus, there are direct buses leaving from the cities of Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Jahrom, and Qeshm.
- By airplane
Larestan Airport has flights to Tehran, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Dubai, Kuwait, Doha, and Sharjah. Generally, the airline companies such as flydubai, Air Arabia, and some Iranian companies are cooperating with Larestan Airport.
Population and Economy of Lar
According to the 2016 Iranian census, the population of Lar was 213,920 people. Local people are mainly engaged in economic activities in Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman.
With four industrial towns and two industrial districts, Larestan has the highest number of industrial centers in Fars Province. The main activity of the towns is the production of food, industrial and mechanical components, and cellulosic materials.
There are also several salt, gypsum, and limestone mines in Larestan. Larestan Cement Factory is one of the major projects of the province.
History of Lar
During the Sassanid period, Lar had an important situation because of the construction of fire temples in the city. It was the center of mintage since the late 14th century. Coin of Lar (Larbon) has been common in the Persian Gulf and Indian coasts.
Larestan has been an important and widespread province in southern Fars during the Safavid era. The city dates back to the period of Gorgin, an Iranian hero. The ancient roads that went from Firoozabad and Estakhr through Khanj, Marvdasht, Fal, and Asir, to Siraf Ancient Port and the south, and the remnants on this way, are indications of the pre-Islam era’s culture and civilization in the region.
Today, Lar consists of two nearby parts. Built after the earthquake of 1960, the new section is linked to the old town via highway. It is located six kilometers away from the old town.
Historical Attractions inside the City
Here is the list of Lar historical attractions inside the city:
Ejdeha Peykar Castle
This is one of the national heritage sites in Iran, a memorial from pre-Islam Iran. The monument located on a high mound in the north of Lar is visible from all the entrance and exit points of the city.
Tomb of Nader Shah’s Mother (Naneh Nader Tower)
The monument is located near Ejdeha Peykar Castle. Based on the stone used in the building, it dates back to the Timurid and Safavid periods. The name of this monument derives from local history.
New and Golshan Caravansaries
In the old towns, villages, and roads of Larestan, there are the remnants of caravansaries of various periods, especially the Safavid era. The most important caravanserais are New, Golshan, and Motamed Caravanserais located in the historic complex of Lar and in the old neighborhoods of the city.
This monument is a valuable and full-of-diversity complex of ancient Iranian architecture dating back to 1300 years ago. One can see the manifestation of architectural style from the pre-Safavid to the Qajar period in this historical complex. The most interesting part of the Qeysarieh Bazaar of Larestan is its Chaharsuq design.
According to cultural heritage experts, in the construction of the Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz and the Qeysarieh Bazaar of Isfahan, the architects had adopted the model of the Qeysarieh Bazaar of Larestan.
Due to the warm weather in the summer as well as the lack of water in Larestan County, since a long time ago, the people of this area have constructed water reservoirs, Mouth of Lion (a sort of water reservoir that looks like a lion’s mouth) and Qanats. So, they fought against the hot weather and, in addition, created beautiful monuments.
Some characteristics of the traditional architecture of Lar City are found in more than 1500 water reservoirs in different shapes and sizes, as well as the unique canals for transferring the rainwater into the reservoirs.
Dating back to the Afsharid era, Neshat Garden is located in the old town of Lar. It has an area of one hectare. The garden had been the headquarters of Lar since the Safavid era.
To better introduce the culture and customs of the Larestan people, the Iranian government has launched museums including the Anthropology Museum of Lar in the Neshat Garden, the Anthropology Museum of Evaz District, and the Anthropology Museum of Karishki Village of Beyram District.
Pir-e Sorkh Tomb
The tomb is located southwest of the old town of Lar. It belongs to the Safavid period. There are paintings on some of the walls of this monument, as well as many old stone works.
Historical Attractions outside the City
Here is a list of Lar historical attractions outside the city:
Azar Farnabagh-e Karyan Fire Temple
With an approximate height of 20 meters, this monument is on the way to Karyan, from Heram Village, in Juyom District of Larestan. It is located 42 km southwest of Juyom, halfway to Bandar-e Siraf and Darabgerd City.
Farnbagh or Karyan Fire Temple of Larestan was one of the largest and major fire temples in Iran during the Sassanid era. An important fire of triad sacred fires of Zoroastrianism was burning here.
Shah Abbasi Bridge
The bridge dates back to the period of Shah Abbas I. It is about 20 meters long and 5 meters high. This bridge is located on the Shur River. The remnants of the bridge were completely destroyed during the construction of the new concrete bridge.
Natural Attractions of the City
Here are some of the most outstanding Lar natural attractions:
Salt Domes of Larestan
Salt deposits have created salt domes reaching the earth’s surface for millions of years and are constantly growing. These domes contain mineral deposits of sulfur, uranium, iron, sulfate, and granite. Here are the most famous domes:
- Karmostaj Salt Dome, located 20 km from Lar;
- Barkh Salt Dome, located 25 km from Lar, in Karmostaj Village;
- Gach Salt Dome, located on a gypsum anticline, 15 km from Lar;
- Aliabad Salt Dome, located 20 km from Lar;
- Badani Salt Dome, located in Shur Mountain of Karmostaj, 35 km from Lar;
- Beriz Salt Dome (famous for Sineh Sefid), located 35 km from Lar;
- Shah Qeyb Salt Dome;
- Benow Salt Dome;
- Paskhand Salt Dome;
- Gavbast Salt Dome.
Hormoud Protected Area
The area is located between Fars and Hormozgan provinces. It has an area of 201,625 hectares. Due to the special conditions of the habitat, this region is one of the remarkable areas of excursion and research in terms of plant and animal species, especially the mouflon, of tropical areas of Larestan.