Introduction of Abarkooh:
On an altitude of 1510 meters above sea level and the population of just above one million, this desert town is located in Yazd province today. When you travel between Yazd, Shiraz and Esfahan, you will find Abarkooh, somewhere geographically located among these major cities. Historically, this town has been part of Kerman and at some point part of Fars province.
It has the architectural character of a desert town with its houses traditionally built very close to one another and made with vaulted roofs. The main construction material was sun-dried bricks. This is because the entire region around it lacks trees and ample sources of water. However, as a result of underground aqueducts (Karis system) dug by people, the town has got plenty of green patches of cultivated lands and gardens.
Although the majority of the people traveling across Iran don’t stay in Abarkooh, this doesn’t mean that this town has nothing to offer. Most of the times, like in this case, it’s the lack of sufficient accommodation units and other tourism-related facilities which leaves Abarkooh out of the main staying points in Iran.
History of Abarkooh
Up to 10th century, Abarkooh was a major city in Kerman province. Then, it was attached to Fars province. Around that time and according to various historical sources, during the reign of the Abbasids or the Buyids, Abarkooh was quite prosperous and populous. The reason is location of the town on the main route of caravans coming from the major cities referred to above. Back then, Abarkooh was strongly walled and fortified with a citadel in it. Local rulers from regional dynasties had seized and taken control of this town several times. However, the town thrived under the Seljuks and continued its financial importance under the Ilkhanids and others.
Safavids showed particular attention to Abarkooh, Biabanak, Yazd and other towns in central Iran in 17th century. Afghans’ invasion inflicted a lot of damages to the town in late 18th century. During the Qajars’ ascending to power and last Zand ruler’s battle against them, Abarkooh was the object of several military attacks and activities. In late Qajar period, the town had been led to chaotic and unstable conditions.
Today, as Abarkooh’s infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded and the town’s facilities aren’t efficiently increased, it has lost the previously status and downgraded drastically. Having said this, at least a stop through this town is highly recommended to see how the life is going on there and what monuments are still standing and attracting travelers from inside and outside Iran to Abarkooh.
Abarkooh Photo Gallery:
Places to Visit in & around Abarkooh:
This tomb tower is the oldest structure remained in the town since 11th century, Dailamite period. It’s one of the earliest tomb towers in Iran. It is located on top of a hill just at the outskirt of the town.
This is the mosque built in 14th century under the rule of Ilkhanid dynasty although certain sections of this mosque could suggest an earlier time of construction like the Seljuk period. It has been largely restored and covered with mud and straw on the exterior.
This house has been built during the time of Qajars based on the ecological condition of Abarkooh with one of the most handsome wind towers in Iran constructed on top of its roof rising some 18 meters in two stories.
Several historians have mentioned this tree in their notes. It’s still a living thing being protected by the city hall of Abarkooh. According to a Russian professor, it dates back to 4500 years ago.