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—  City  —
Kerman, Iran
Kerman is located in Iran
Coordinates: 30°17′13″N 57°04′09″E / 30.28694°N 57.06917°E / 30.28694; 57.06917
Country  Iran
Province Kerman
Elevation 1,755 m (5,758 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 750,000
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 - Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)

Kerman (Persian: کرمان) is a city in Iran. It is the center of Kerman province. Located in a large and flat plain, this city is located 1,076 km (669 mi) south of Tehran, capital of Iran.

Kerman city had an estimated population of 533,799 in 2005.[1]



Kerman was founded as a defense outpost, with the name Behdesīr, by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanid Empire, in the 3rd century AD. After the Battle of Nahāvand in 642, the city came under Muslim rule. At first the city's isolation allowed Kharijites and Zoroastrians to thrive there, but the Kharijites were wiped out in 698, and the population was mostly Muslim by 725. Already in the eighth century the city was famous for its manufacture of cashmere wool shawls and other textiles. The Abbasid Caliphate's authority over the region was weak, and power passed in the tenth century to the Buyid dynasty, which maintained control even when the region and city fell to Mahmud of Ghazna in the late tenth century. The name Kerman was adopted at some point in the tenth century.[2]

The Masjid gate through which Agha Mohammad Khan entered the city.

Kerman was under the Seljuk Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries, but remained virtually independent, conquering Oman and Fars.[3] When Marco Polo visited the city in 1271 it had become a major trade emporium linking the Persian Gulf with Khorasan and Central Asia.[4] Subsequently, however, the city was sacked many times by various invaders. Kerman expanded rapidly during the Safavid Dynasty. Carpets and rugs were exported to England and Germany during this period.[5]

In 1793 Lotf Ali Khan defeated the Qajars and in 1794 captured Kerman. But soon, he was besieged in Kerman for six months by Agha Mohammad Khan. When the city fell to Agha Mohammad Khan, angered by the popular support that Lotf Ali Khan had received, all the male inhabitants were killed or blinded, and a pile was made out of 20,000 detached eyeballs and poured in front of the victorious Agha Muhammad Khan.[6] The women and children were sold into slavery, and the city was destroyed over ninety days.

The present city of Kerman was rebuilt in the 19th century to the northwest of the old city, but the city did not recover to its former size until the 20th century.


Kerman is located on a high margin of Kavir-e Lut (Lut Desert) in the central south of Iran.



The city's many districts are surrounded by mountains which bring variety to Kerman's year round weather pattern, thus the northern part of the city is located in an arid desert area, while the highland of the southern part of the city enjoys a more moderate climate. The mean elevation of the city is about 1755 m above sea level.

Kerman city has a moderate climate and the average annual rainfall is 135 mm. Because it is located close to the Kavir-e lut, Kerman has hot summers and in the spring it often has violent sand storms. Otherwise, its climate is relatively cool.[5]

Sassanid era horse head Found in Kerman

Geological Characteristics

For the Iranian Paleontologists, Kerman has always been considered a fossil paradise. Finding new dinosaur footprints in 2005 has now revealed new hopes for Paleontologists to better understand the history of this area.[7][8]


Pistachio is the most source of economy in Kerman. Kerman Province is the biggest producer of pistachio in Iran or maybe all over the world. In kerman province Rafsanjan hast the most garden of pistachio, Rafsanjan is a small city in the North of Kerman city.

Carpet weaving is one of the main industries of the city, and the carpets produced there are renowned internationally.[4] Carpet weaving is a very old tradition in Kerman. The oldest carpet discovered in Kerman, belongs to about 500 years ago, which proves the precedence of weaving in this city.[9] Cotton textiles and goats-wool shawls are also manufactured.[10]

A number of modern establishments such as textile mills and brickworks also have been constructed. The province's mineral wealth includes copper and coal.[4]


The archeological ancient city of Jiroft is located south of Kerman.

Historical "Shazdeh Garden" ("Prince Garden") in Mahan near Kerman
Kerman has an abundance of architectural relics of antiquity.


Most of the population of Kerman are Shi'a Muslims. But Kerman also has a small but culturally significant Zoroastrian minority.

The population of the city in 1996 was 385,000 and the current population is 533,799.[1]


Politics in Kerman are influenced by the former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, his brother and Vice President Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hossein Marashi, both from the nearby Rafsanjan.

Colleges and universities

Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman is one of Iran's leading technological institutions. Other universities are:


Kerman is on the Tehran, Bandar Abbas and Zahedan route. Kerman Airport is counted as one of the main airports which has daily & weekly flights to Tehran, Ahwaz, Yazd, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas, Mashhad and Shiraz.[5] Also the Trans-Iranian Railway passes through this city.[5]

Famous people from Kerman


  1. ^ a b Cities in Iran: 2005 Population Estimates
  2. ^ A.H.T. Levi, "Kerman," in International Dictionary of Historic Places, ed. Trudy Ring, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1995-1996, vol. 4, p. 413.
  3. ^ "Kerman". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press. 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Pourshariati, Parvaneh. "Kerman". Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Gale Group, Inc. 
  5. ^ a b c d Iranian Cities: Kerman
  6. ^ Hasan Pir Nia, A. Eghbal Ashtiani, History of Persia (Tarikh-i Iran), ISBN 964-6895-16-6, Tehran, 2003, p.655
  7. ^ Dinosaur Footprints Moulded In Kerman
  8. ^ Iran Daily
  9. ^ Kerman Rug (Iran): History
  10. ^ Travel in Kerman - Iran - History -

External links

Masjed-e Jā'meh-e Kerman: (1)
Moshtāgh-Ali Shāh: (1), (2), (3)
Gonbad-e Jabalieh: (1)
Shāh Ne'matollah Vali (in Māhān): (1), (2)
Bāgh-e Shāzdeh (in Māhān): (1)

Coordinates: 30°17′13″N 57°04′09″E / 30.28694°N 57.06917°E / 30.28694; 57.06917

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