Geographical Position, Hamedan
The province of Hamedan covers an area of 19,546 sq. km. and is located to the west of Iran. Asad Abad, Towiserkan, Bahar, Razan, Kabudrahang, Malayer, Nahavand and Hamedan are the townships of this province. In the year 1996, Hamedan province had a population of approximately 1.7 million, of which about 48.3 % resided in urban areas, and about 51.7% in the rural areas. The province lies in an elevated region, with the ‘Alvand’ mountains, running from the north west to the south west. This mountainous area is to the south west and east of the Hamedan city. To the east of Hamadan, and east of the heights of Alvand, that is in between the mountains of ‘Alvand’ and ‘Gerou’ or (Gerin), in the south, are the plains.
Hamedan province lies in a temperate mountainous region to the east of Zagross. The vast plains of the north and northeast of the province are influenced by strong winds, that almost last throughout the year. The various air currents of this region are: the north and north west winds of the spring and winter seasons, which are usually humid and bring about rainfall. The west-east air currents that blow in the autumn, and the local winds that develop due to difference in air-pressure between the elevated areas and the plains, like the blind wind of the Asad Abad region.
Taking into consideration the environmental conditions, the ideal period to travel to this province is from mid May to mid October, which proves to be excellent as regards sunshine and temperature, besides the natural surroundings. The higher regions of the province experience a cold, mountainous climate in general, whilst the regions to the south of which, have a temperate, mountainous climate.
History and Culture, Hamedan
Hamedan province can be said to be one of the historical and extremely ancient parts of Iran and its civilization. Relics of this area confirm this fact. Hamedan township being in the vicinity of the Alvand mountains has a cold, mountainous climate, with snowy winters and short mild summers. The city of Hamedan is the center of the province and is at a distance of 337 km. from Tehran. The structures of city is related to ‘Diya Aku’ one of the monarchs of the Medes, about (700 BC.). According to the records of a reputed Greek historian, this territory was called ‘Ekbatan’ and ‘Hegmataneh’ by this monarch . Thus being transformed into a huge capital, which was later repaired by Darius The Great.
During the Parthian era, ‘Teesfoon was the capital of the country, and Hamedan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamadan. In the year 23 AH. when the war of Nahavand took place and Hamedan came into the hands of the Arabs, at times it thrived and at times witnessed poverty. In the times of the Deylamites (319 AH.) , it suffered plenty of damages. In the 6th century AH., the Seleucidians shifted their capital from Baqdad to Hamadan.
The city of Hamedan which was always assaulted by the rise and fall of powers, was completely destroyed during the Teimooride invasion. During the Safavid era the city thrived. Thereafter, in the year 1138 AH., Hamedan surrendered to the Ottomans, but due to the courage and chivalry of Nader Shah Afshar, Hamedan was cleared off the invaders and according to the peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans , it was returned to Iran. The city of Hamedan lay on the ‘Silk Road’ and even in the last centuries enjoyed good prospects in commerce and trade being on the main road network in the western region of the country.
Arian Hotel: At this inviting midrange hotel, each floor has a different, gently appealing style of décor with modernist lamps on the 3rd floor and a more opulent period look on the 4th. Check out the 2nd floor to see what they consider ‘British style’. The lobby has a couple of gratuitous Persepolis-aping columns. Some English is spoken.
Baba Taher Hotel: The mirror-tiled lobby and restaurant offer a dazzlingly garish festival of Las Vegas kitsch while corridors test out the full palate of pastel colours. The reasonably well-appointed rooms are thankfully somewhat more subdued, but barely justify the discounted price, let alone rack-rates. English spoken.
Buali Hotel: The standard rooms have fridge, BBC World TV and floral pseudo-silk fabrics, but the bathrooms are rather outdated. Suites are a considerable step up.
Farshchi Guest House: By mosaferkhaneh standards the Farshchi is a cosy, friendly place with something of a family atmosphere, plastic flowers and samovars giving vague touches of humanity to the area of shared squat toilets and washbasins. Most rooms are four-bedded.
Hamadan Guest House: This large, confusing and male-dominated place has four- and six-bed dorms for which locals pay around IR20,000 per person. Foreigners pay IR60,000 per person, but will usually get the whole room between them. It’s a fairly long walk to the shared toilets whose doors don’t lock. There’s no English sign: take the green-framed stairway beyond the first alley-yard as you walk down Ekbatan St from the meydan. Ask for help as there’s no reception desk.
Hotel Eram: Behind a swishly upgraded lobby, rooms are less impressively renovated with aging bed-boxes and half-length baths. It’s at the southwest edge of town. Some English spoken.
Hotel Yass: With an excellent location and some early 20th-century features, the Yass could be a pleasant choice given some TLC. But for now the rooms are dreary with institutional beds, aging showers and feeble-flush Western toilets. The building is marked in Latin letters but no English is spoken. Reception is on the 3rd floor.
Marmar Hotel: In Japanese, mar-mar would translate as ‘so-so’. Very apt. A creaky glass elevator takes you to rooms where crimson curtains and bedspreads are lit by bright unshaded lamps. The bathrooms could be cleaner and there’s no shower curtain.
Ordibesht Hotel: Bright and unusually airy, this no-nonsense mosaferkhaneh is compulsively cleaned and Ali speaks some English. There are separate toilet facilities for men and women and ‘free showers for foreigners’. Most rooms are quads.
Hamadan Tourist Attractions
Some of the major hamadan Tourist Attractions that you can visit during your hamadan Tours include the following
Ali Sadr Cave: The water within the cave is extremely cold but very clear, odorless, colorless and with an ordinary taste. It comes under the calcium bicarbonate category, is nearly neutral in PH, but unfortunately polluted. The ceiling of the cave is covered with a sedimentation of pure calcium carbonate and a mixture of other chemical compounds. Thus forming stalagmites of unique beauty and design, which draws the attention of visitors. The air within the cave is light and static.
To date, all the canals of this cave have not been discovered, and only approximately 2,100 m. have been recognized. Here, the height of the ceiling is between 1-35 m. the width of the canals 2 – 15 m. and the depth of the water 1 – 17 m. Within the cave, electric power, and paddling canoes (seating 4 persons) aid visitors to see parts of this cave.
Avecina Tomb Museum: In the museum here, ancient relics, an anthropology section and books of Avecina are on display. Besides which exhibits such as bronze statues related to the 1st millennium BC., gourd bottles (or canteens), coins, beads and articles of silver related to the Sassanide period. The tomb of the great Gnostic ‘Qazvini’ is also located in this vicinity.
Abbas Abad Recreational Place: This recreational area situated on the skirts of the Alvand Mountains, comprises of a little zoo. In addition to the famous ‘Abbas Abad Waterfall’, ‘Ganj Nameh Inscriptions’ (of the Achaemenian period), and the beautiful valleys around are beautiful and interesting places to visit.. Lower down is the recreational complex of Abbas Abad, situated on a hill overlooking Hamadan. There is also a game center close by.
Ganjnameh: These inscriptions are relics from the period of ‘Darius’ and ‘Khashayar Shah’ of the Achaemenian era. The said are located 5 km. west of Hamadan at the end of the ‘Dareh-ye-Abbas Abad’ or Abbas Abad Valley, and have been engraved on a mountain. Each of these inscriptions have been segregated into three columns with twenty lines, and in three languages of ancient ‘Parsi’, ‘Baboli’ and ‘Ilami’. The Parsi text is to the left of these two inscriptions, the Baboli text is in the center followed by the Ilami text to the right of the engravings. The engraved tablet to the left is related to Darius the Great, under which is the engraving related to the period of Khashayar Shah.
Ancient city of Hekmataneh: city has been inhabited since at least the 2nd millennium BC. Under Cyrus the Great, it became the Median capital in the 6th century BC, when the city was known as Ecbatana or Hegmatane (‘meeting place’). When it reached the height of its glory as the summer capital of the Aebtiemenian empire (559-330 BC), Hamadan-was described as one of the most opulent cities, with splendid palaces, building: plated with precious metals and seven layers of town walls, the inner two of which were coated in gold and silver.
These glorious riches naturally attracted hordes of invading armies. Hamadan faded in importance after the Arab Conquest in the mid-7th century but became the regional capital under the Seljuqs for some 60 years in the late 12th century he city was devastated by the Mongols in 1220 and again by Teimur in 1386 but soon returned to relative prosperity and remained so until the 18th century. Hamadan then fell into a serious decline and suffered from an invasion by the Turks, from which the city did not recover until the mid 19th century.
Bu Ali Sina (Avicenna): The great Bu Ali Sina was born in the village of Khormassin in 980,and revered during his lifetime as a philosopher and physician. He is more commonly known in the west as Avicenna, the name under which his widely respected medical encyclopedia was published in Europe. He died in Hamadan in 1037.
Ester’s Tomb: The most important Jewish pilgrimage site in Iran, this is believed to contain the bodies of Esther, the Jewish wife of Xerxes I, who is credited with organizing the first Jewish emigration to Persist in the 5th century, and her uncle Mordecai.
Alavian Dome: This well-preserved 12th century mausoleum of the Alavi family – the pre-eminent family in the town during most of the Seljuq period (1051-1220)-is probably the most noteworthy monument in Hamadan it is interesting for the outstanding quality or its stucco ornamentation, with whirling floral motifs on the exterior- walls and intricate geometric designs on its Mehrab, the tombs are in the crypt, reached by a spiral staircase.
Hamadan Tourist AttractionsLion Stone: This famous l4th century stone lion in the square of he same name in south-east Hamadan, is the only distinct, visible monument of the ancient city, Ecbatana. It originally guarded a city gate and may have been carved at the behest of Alexander the Great. Avicent a Memorial Obviously modeled on the magnificent Gonbad-e Kavus tower near Gorgltn, this dominating structure was built as recently as 1954, in memory of Bu Ali Sina.
Hekmatane Hill: Some ruins of the ancient city can be seen around this extensive plot of land. Some small items found here, and elsewhere in Hamadan, have been put on display in the museum in the centre of the site, but most are in the National Museum of Iran in Tehran. Currently undergoing extensive excavations and renovations, the complex is Alisadr Caves.