In the middle of the Zagros foothills, there is a city called Dezful with several tourist attractions. The historical background of this city dates back to the Sassanid era. However, before the Sassanid dynasty, it was also a populous city and was a part of the territory of the Ilam and Achaemenid Empires.
The culture of Dezful people is an amalgamation of the ancient cultures of Khuzestan areas. There have been human settlements in the surrounding areas of this city since 5,000 years ago. Therefore, you should expect lots of historical attractions in and around Dezful.
Dezful tourist attractions are plentiful and include:
- Shahyoun Lake, Dez Forest, Water Mills, Shevi Waterfalls, Dezful Mosque, Dezful Cinematic Cultural Complex, Anthropology Museum (Carnation Bath), Old Bridge (Sassani), Leeves Village and Shah Rokneddin Tomb.
As you can see at the list above, there are lots of natural attractions in this area to explore as well.
Meanwhile, handcrafted wooden tools such as hookah, candlestick, hanger, salt shaker, etc. are among Dezful handicrafts.
Geography of Dezful
Dezful is a city in the southwest of Iran located along the Dez River and in the plains of Khuzestan Province. The city is limited from north to Lorestan Province, from the east to Masjed Soleyman City and Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari Province, from the northwest to Andimeshk City, from the south to Shooshtar City and from the west to Shush City.
Dezful is situated at an altitude of 143 meters above sea level. It is one of the northern cities of Khuzestan Province. The city is 300 kilometers far from the sea, with an average annual temperature of 26˚C and an average annual rainfall of 400 mm.
Like most of Khuzestan cities, Dezful has a warm and sultry weather and Mediterranean winter. The best season to travel to this city is spring, autumn, and winter.
There are different options for traveling to Dezful:
- By private car
If anyone likes to travel by car and enjoy looking at the beautiful scenery on the way, Dezful is located 721 km from Tehran and 155 km from Ahvaz. It is 400 km from Khorramabad to Dezful and 530 km from Shahrekord to this city.
- By bus
Dezful has a large passenger terminal in the east of the city and a local bus terminal in the south of the city. Access to Dezful from the surrounding counties is through the following highways:
- Dezful-Andimeshk Highway, 5 km long
- Dezful-Shush Highway, 25 km long
- Asphalt road of Dezful – Shahyoun, 55 km long
- Asphalt road of Dezful – Shushtar, 67 km long
- Asphalt road of Dezful – Lali, 85 km long
- By airplane
Dezful has an airport, which is the only airport in northern Khuzestan Province, with daily flights to Tehran and Mashhad. The flight time from Tehran to Dezful is one hour.
No matter how you reach there, Dezful tourist attractions are plentiful and waiting for you to discover them.
Population and Economy of Dezful City
According to the 2016 census in Iran, the population of Dezful was 444,000 people. Dezful is an important agricultural center in Iran. Fertile soil and adequate water have provided good conditions for the cultivation of citrus fruits, cucurbits, and greenery.
The products that have earned reputation for this city are the citrus fruits, especially oranges. Also the cultivation and production of rose and tuberose flowers in this city are quite well-known.
Local people export most of these products to other countries. Farmers produce most of their crops using a modern style of agriculture. Their products are wheat, barley, rice, oilseeds, beetroots, citrus, seafood, and ornamental plants. Also, they raises and breed livestock, poultry and aquatic animals.
History of Dezful
Today, you can find lots of historical attractions in Dezful and around it. This means that this city has seen lots of historical developments since antiquity.
According to historians, the history of Dezful dates back to several thousand years. Based on the findings of explorers such as Walter Hinz, a German specialist in the history of Iran, Avan, the capital of the first large empire in the Elam Country, was at the current Dezful.
The ancient mounds of Chogamish, dating back to 4,000 BC, represent the events of ancient times from the 7th millennium BC to the flourishing time of Susa civilization.
Arabs conquered Iran and entered Khuzestan during the reign of the second caliph of Muslims. Their forces seized Ahvaz and Shushtar.
For almost two centuries, all the Arab rulers dominated Dezful and captured Khuzestan Province entirely. In the mid-7th century, Yaqub-e Leith-e Safari established the first Iranian independent state and nationalist movement against the Arab invaders. He transformed Khuzestan into the center of the freedom advocates of Iran. An unexpected death stopped him from putting an end to the Arabs’ occupation and control of Iran.
During the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, Shushtar and Dezful were under the command of the rulers of Kermanshah.
During the war between Iran and Iraq, Dezful was one of the cities which Saddam Hussain hit by missiles more than 160 times. Iraq’s attack on Iran during the eight-year war killed about 2,600 people of Dezful. After the war, due to the resistance of Dezful people, this city was recognized as an exemplary city resisting against the tough war conditions.
Historical Attractions inside the City
Here’s a list of the interesting places inside Dezful:
Dezful Water Mills
Ancient people had built this complex of water structures including water dams and watermills. The reason for the construction of such structures in the riverbed is because of the permanent flow of Dez River and the simultaneous formation of the Sassanid era settlement in the city. Therefore, the construction of these relics dates back to the Sassanid era.
Friday Mosque of Dezful
This building is an early post-Islam structure built in the 8th century AD. In the construction, the architects used their inspiration from the architectural principles of the Eyvan-e Karkheh Palace.
The present formation of Friday Mosque of Dezful with four eyvans dates back to the middle of the Safavid period. However, it was in the Qajar period that Iranian architects created most of decorations one can see today.
Anthropology Museum (Kornasian Bath)
This is one of the national heritage sites of Iran belonging to the Qajar period. By visiting it, you can learn a lot about the variety of occupations of Dezful people in the past.
This is a Sassanid bridge that connects the two eastern and western parts of the city. In fact, it has been one of the connecting roads between Gondishapur area and Mesopotamia. Shapur I, the Sassanid king, ordered the construction of this road using the Roman prisoners’ labor in 263 AD after the victory over the Roman emperor.
Tomb of Shah Rokneddin
This building is located in the city center of Dezful and near the current Taleghani Street, in the old part of the city.
Shah Rokneddin was the mystic of the 14th century AD. This tomb has a blue dome beautifully decorated with tile works. There is an old and spectacular religious school near this monument.
This is the burial site of one of Imam Reza’s brothers. The foundation of this tomb belongs to the Timurid and Seljuk periods, which has recently undergone some changes and developments.
Historical Attractions outside the City
Here’s a list of interesting places to visit outside Dezful:
This village is located 73 km north of Dezful County in Sardasht district. This village has got quite a long history. Therefore, we can find a completely traditional way of livelihood, culture and traditions, dialect, customs, and pursuing various ceremonies in its traditional styles.
In addition to the historical architectural beauty of the houses, this village has natural and pristine attractions, including mountains, beautiful pastures, fruit gardens, rivers, and waterfalls.
The Tomb of Ya’qub Leyth Saffari
It is located in the eastern side of Dezful. Ya’qub was a prominent patriot who defended Iran against Arabs’ invasion. He started gaining control over several territories occupied by the foreign invaders in the early post-Islam era.
He was the pioneer of reviving the Persian Language and declaring it as the official language of the country again after the Arabs’ prohibition order.
His burial place is very close to the ancient territories of Gondishapur. The building of this monument requires serious restoration.
Chogamish Ancient Mounds
Chogamish is an ancient city dating back to the era before the invention of writing, about 5000 BC. Chogamish is the first center in Iran where the writing and books appeared first. This valuable mound is a treasure accommodating several civilizations’ relics. Therefore, it is inscribed as a National Iranian Heritage Site.
The Natural Attractions of Dezful City
Here’s a list of natural wonders to visit outside Dezful:
This area has got one of the most beautiful lakes in Iran. It has been formed in the northwest of Dezful and behind Shadab and Tangovan mountains. The lake has created a favorable environment for water sports such as boating, water skiing, swimming, etc.
This village is part of Shahyoun County, around 35 km away from Dezful. It overlooks the beautiful Zagros Mountain Range and the lake of Dez water dam at the north of Dezful. There are various natural-cultural landscapes around Pamenar Village.
The city of Dezful has many different natural attractions and varieties. In the south of the city, there are a great number of amazing natural settings with huge environmental diversity. The height of Dez region is varied between 40 and 80 meters above sea level and is located on two sides of the Dez River in the form of two green stripes.
Shevi Waterfall of Dezful
With 85 meters high and 70 meters wide, Shevi Waterfall is the largest waterfall in the Middle East. The waterfall is up in the Zagros Mountains and in the Shevi Village, near the city of Dezful, and close to Salon Mountain. This area has a very beautiful environmental diversity, especially in the spring.
Dez Beach Resort (Ali Kaleh Park)
In the southern part of Dez Dam and north of Dezful City, the beautiful and spectacular beach resort of Dez, called Ali Kaleh, is one of the most spectacular recreational centers of Khuzestan Province in the spring and winter.
Shaghayegh Forest Park
This park has a beautiful and intact landscape. There is also Shaghayegh Waterfall in the park that is a natural attraction for visitors.