About Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan province with the centrality of Ahvaz is located in the southwest of Iran at the coast of Persian gulf and is considered to be the center of oil and gas production in Iran. In terms of having different subcultures, Khuzestan province is the most diverse in Iran. Bakhtiaris, native Arabs, Persians, Lurs and etc reside in Khuzestan. Khuzestan province is the richest province of Iran in terms of oil and gas reservoirs, exports of which are the main source of revenue for the country at the moment. Khuzestan is of the provinces that suffered so much damage during the eight years of war and has lost much both socially and economically. Kuzestan province, due to its ancient history and being the cradle of civilization has many historical monuments. Chogha Zanbil, which is registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage is only one of these precious monuments. Also the Shushtar Hydraulic System which is world renowned and is also registered by UNESCO, is another of these important historical monuments which is quite rare in terms of its engineering. Elamite civilization is a part of this ancient territory.

The seat of the province has for the most of its history been in the northern reaches of the land, first at Susa (Shush) and then at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardasher, founded over the foundation of the ancient Hoorpahir by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty in the 3rd century CE. This town is now known as Ahvaz. However, later in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzistan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital. The River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz (above which, it flows through rapids). The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar quickly declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day.

Currently, Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, and 6 representatives in the Assembly of Experts. Khuzestan is known for its ethnic diversity; the population of Khuzestan consists of Lurs, Iranian Arabs, Qashqai people, Afshar tribe, indigenous Persians and Iranian Armenians.Khuzestan’s population is predominantly Shia Muslim, but there are small Christian, Jewish and Sunni minorities.Half of Khuzestan’s population is Lurs. Since the 1920s, tensions on religious and ethnic grounds have often resulted in violence and attempted separatism, including an uprising in 1979, unrest in 2005, bombings in 2005–06 and protests in 2011, drawing much criticism of Iran by international human rights organizations.

Most Popular Tourist Attractions Of Khuzestan Province

Prophet Hezqil's Shrine

People of Dezful call the Prophet Zul-Kifl "Baba Ezekiel". Ezekiel was Buzzi's (the kohen) son and was born in Judea. Nebuchadnezzar II took him captive and resided him in Chaldea lands. He served as a prophet for 22 years between 595 and 573 BC. He was appreciated and respected by Jewish people and all major sheikhs obeyed him. As well as serving as a prophet and having high level of science, he was fairly skillful in construction work. According to Matn-ol-Akhbar, Ezekiel is the Prophet Daniel's father, but not the one known as Danial Akbar. The tomb of Ezekiel is located in the center of Dezful in Shariati Street's parking lot.
Jameh Mosque of Dezful

Jameh Mosque of Dezful is the second important historical monument after the Ancient Dezful Bridge and due to its architectural features and having bedchambers and stone columns, it is on the list of the first Islamic mosques that were established in the third hijri century. The building is inspired by the architectural principles of Eyvan Palace in Karkheh and its current form (with four porches) goes back to the early Safavid era (1050 hijri year). The special architecture style of the mosque is followed by Sassanid era and is a combination of local Dezful architecture that has made the moque an exquisite one. Jameh Mosque of Dezful was registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments with registration number 287.
Apadana Palace of Shush

The palace is in the ancient city, Shush and is located in Shush Castle area. Shush in Khuzestan Province is one of the oldest habitats known in the world. The primary signs of a residential village in the city dates back to 7000 years BC. Based on archeological documents, Shush is one of the most important and magnificent ancient cities in Ian and the world and archeological activities still continue inside it. Apadana is not the name of a castle but the ancient name of buildings that were known as halls with columns. The best examples of Apadanas can be seen in Persepolis and Shush Palace. Apadana palace in Shush which is undoubtedly one of the sights in Khuzestan Province was established to the order of Dariush the great archaemenid king in about 515-521 BC on Elamite remains. This palace was the winter palance of Archaemenid kings. Apadana palace in Shush with an area of 10434 meters is comprised of different units such as Bar-e Am Hall, harem, gate and catering palace as well as three central yards. The interior walls are designed by glazed bricks and shapes of eternal army, winged lion and blue lpomoea and remains of them are kept in domestic and foreign museums. The palace was brought out of soil during excavations of 1311 up to 1314. It was registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments in 1380 with registration number 3981. It was also registered in the world list in 2015.
Rangoonis Mosque

Abadan Refinary began its activities in 1291 solar Hijri year as the first oil refining unit in Iran and the main center of exporting oil products in the Eastern Hemisphere. Abadn getting to be known as one of the industrial cities, thousands of English, Indian and Pakistanian citizens migrated to this city. One of the first groups that migrated to Abadan included employees of Rangoon Refinery from current Myanmar country (previously Burma) and majority of them were originally from Rangoon and Muslims. To this end, they decided to establish a place for praying on the lands of Oil Company. Finally by the consent of this company, the mosque started to be built by Pakistanian employees of Abadan Refinery and its foundation was took place in 1300 solar Hijri year (1921). This mosque dates back to the late Qajar period and early Pahlavid era. Rangoonis Mosque was in Indian subcontinent architecture style with elegant and outstanding moldings and unique cement symbols. It is now used as the museum of historical documents and manuscripts. Rangoonis Mosque was registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments by the Cultural Heritage Organization on 9th of Farvardin 1378 with registration number 2289.
Shushtar Jameh Mosque

Construction of the central mosque in the ancient city of Shushtar started after the conquer of Muslims and peoples’ conversion to Islam in 859 during the 13th Abbasi Khalifa “Al-Mo’tez Bellah Al-Motevakel” who used to reign at the time of Imam Hassan Askari(praise be upon her) and it was finished in during the Mestershed Bellah reign. Shushtar central mosque was frequently renovated and repaired in the following centuries. It is noteworthy that Shushtar central mosque is considered the oldest central mosque of Iran after Yazd central mosque, and it has an age of 1200 years (since 859), it has various and interesting inscriptions such as the inscription in which the Yasin verse is carved all around the wall facing Kiblah, or there is an ancient tribune which is the oldest tribune in Iran, moreover, it has two spectacular altars full of interesting patterns. This mosque was registered in the list of national relics with the registration number of 286 and it is owned by the Endowments department.
Shushtar Castle

One of the most important elements constituting the initial core of each ancient city is its military castle or fortress. The fortress of each city is usually where the king or rulers reside. Shushtar was of utmost importance as the capital of Khuzestan Povince due to its historical values. As well as its political function, Shushtar Castle had a role in monitoring the efficiency of Shushtar Hydraulic Systems. Shushtar Salasel Castle is a huge fortress containing several yards, barracks, stables, bathrooms, shabestans, towers, gardens, armory, Naghare Khaneh (Timpani House), harem, kitchen, several قاپی ها, large pools, fence and moat. Salasel Castle has been refurbished over and over, and the ruins which can be seen now go back to Qajar dynasty castle. Unfortunately, all of the mansions of this castle have been destroyed and nothing has remained except underground rooms, Shavadans and داریون tunnels. This castle as well as other 15 monuments of Shushtar was registered in UNESCO World Heritage as the tenth Iranian monument on June, 26, 2009 by fulfilling criteria 1, 2, and 5 under the name of Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System and under the registration number of 1315.
Susan Plain of Izeh (Lily meadow)

Lily meadow is a field filled with all natural and historical beauties, located in the 35 kilometer distance of Izeh town of Khuzestan. It has a distinct and unique nature which stimulates the emotions of any nature loving tourist in Nowrooz. It is a green meadow filled with red poppies which Karun River divides this field in half. Lily meadow is the name of a vast field encompassing several villages. Fertile field, abundant water and suitable climate have provide all necessary conditions for cultivation and gardening of the warm-blooded Bakhtiari people of this land.
St. Garapet Armenian Church of Abadan

Armenian Church of Holy Garapet is one of the national monuments and attractions in Abadan that has always received many tourists and domestic visitors. This church is acting under the supervision of Caliphate Council of Armenians in the south and Isfahan and its building was registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments on ninth of Ordibehesht 1382 with registration number 8352. Armenian Gregory Church in Abadan established in 1958 (1336 solar Hijri year) was considered the greatest amphitheater of resident Armenians in Abadn. The church was damaged during the war but it was repaired by the organization of reconstructing conflict zones. Abadan Church has a hall in which there are tables for worshipers and one of the Armenian women with good reputation is managing it at the moment. Abadan Church is registered as an invaluable national monument.
Shevi Waterfall

Shevi or Tale Zang Waterfall is one of the greatest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iran which is located in Zagros Mountains and in Sardash Area of Dezful licated in Khuzestan Province with a little distance from Lorestan Province and between Sartang Shevi Mountains, 10 kilometers from Tale Zang Rail station and on Tehran-South Railroad which is the easiest way to Loeestan Rail Station. This waterfall which is the most beautiful waterfall in Iran in some people’s idea is a beautiful and pleasant waterfall which comes from a cave outside and flows in a high defile downwards. This waterfall was registered as one of the national monuments of Iran on 29th of Dey 1393. Shevi Waterfall that is located in a valley between the forty first mountain and mountain hall has green and beautiful natures in spring. The best time to visit this waterfall in spring, especially Farvardin when the weather is fresher and the nature is greener. Shevi in Bakhtiari Lori language means tenderness and most of the residents of this waterfall are Lor people and Bakhtiari. It is also noteworthy that Lorestani salamander that used to live in this waterfall has recently been extinct due to contraband of these salamanders which were known as Iranian Salamander
Protected Forest Area of Shimbar

The preserved forest district of Shimbar is one of the particular samples of Iran’s beautiful reflections which include the beautiful swamp of Shimbar which is surrounded by the snowy heights of Taraz, Leler, Kino and Menar like a beautiful gem. The relatively aggregated and somehow intact forests of Zagros district form the population of trees. The springing fountains such as Sarhouni spring, Susan and Sorkhab spring and Tang Sard spring with unique plant populations including natural farms of grape, pomegranate, and wild berry inside and around the swamp have increased the beauties of this district. Existence of animals which only exist in Zagros district such as Iranian squirrel, wild goat, panther, bear, partridge and See-see partridge have created a favorable life variety in this district.
Kul-e Farah Rock Reliefs

The ancient area of Kul-e Farah is one of the sights in Khuzestan Province that annually attracts many tourists for being in one of the best climates of Khuzestan Province. Kul-e Farah petroglyph includes 6 embossing from Elamite era (the ancient Ilam) and according to the pictures on these petroglyphs and reliefs such as tombs, water channels, buildings and scouting areas remaining from people of that era, it can be stated that this place has been the temple of Narsina (one of the Elamite gods). Kul-e Farah Area was registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments in 1378 by Cultural Heritage Organization with number 2597.
Shadegan International Lagoon

Shadegan International Lagoon is one of the greatest wetlands in Iran. This Lagoon is located in the south of Shadegan County in Khuzestan Province. In the conference of wetlands held in Ramsar, it was decided that the three wetlands of Shadegan, Musa Estuary and Alamieh Estuary should be known as Shadegan lagoon. Ramsar Convention is an international contract that was signed in 1971 to protect wetlands. A list of the world’s important wetlands is provided in this convention which is known as “Ramsar List”. Britain with 164 wetlands in quantity and Canada with 130 thousand square meters of wetland in extent are pioneers in the list. The permanent headquarter of the convention is in Gland, Switzerland. It is said that building dams and not meeting wetland water needs, draining contaminated wastewaters like that in sugarcane fields, breeding fish and steel in Khuzestan, passage of oil pipes, activities of 30 petrochemical units and disposal of urban garbage have entered this unique wetland in red list of international wetlands (Montro List) since 1372. The water from this wetland which used to be in world rank five according to previous records of UNESCO is supplied by Persian Gulf tides which according the seasonality of its fresh water, the salty water of the wetland is permanent due to its attachment to the estuaries and the Persian Gulf.
Shush Castle

Jacques Jean Marie de Morgan came to Shush from France in 1897to conduct research and discoveries and construction of Shush Castle began for his and his companions’ resident and maintaining the discovered ancient monuments. To this end, the highest point on Shush hills, Acropol, was selected and a castle in the form of medieval and trapezoid was built on it. The building of the castle was mainly madeof the bricks and ancient parts of other different periods that were remaining around the ancient area of Shush. Its construction finished in 1912. The castle is still used as the center of keeping and studying ancient monuments.
Yaghoub Leys Safari Tomb

Tomb of Yaghoub Leys Safari is located in Shah Abad Village, 10 kilometers from Dezful on the right hand of Dezful-Shushtar Road. Beside this tomb, there are remains of Gundeshapur City. The white high ridged (indented) dome, the glory of the monument is totally eye-catching from distance. There is a vast graveyard around the monument in which there are old tombstones indicating the old history of the monument. Yaghou Leys, “Radman, the son of Mahak Sistani” was one of the Iranian kings and from Safari family who was ruling in Sistan. Its capital was in Zaranj which is now in Afghanistan. Since he was a coppersmith, he became known as “Safar”. Yaghoub Leys Safar was the first person who announced Persian language as the official language of Iran 200 years after the advent of Islam to Iran. After that nobody had the right to talk in his court in any language other than Persian. He attempted to overthrow Abbasi Reign and he even went forward close to Baghdad. However, he did not survive colic disease and finally he died in Gundushapur in Shavval in 265 hijri year.
Pol-e Haftom Waterfall of Ahvaz (Seventh Bridge)

The longest and most beautiful artificial waterfall of Middle East is located in Ahwaz. The authorities of Ahwaz municipality has recently established this artificial fountain on the seventh bridge of Ahwaz on Karun River so that people can enjoy seeing this waterfall while passing on this bridge. Mixture of light, color and water has given a spectacular and very beautiful reflection to this bridge. This waterfall is unique in the country and a similar waterfall with such greatness has only been established in South Korea.
Pol-e Sefid of Ahvaz (White Bridge)

Pol-e Sefid of Ahwaz is the fourth cantilever bridge of the world and the first cantilever bridge of Iran and is one of the eight bridges established on Karun River in Ahwaz city and it connects two parts of this city together. Pol-e Sefid is one of Ahwaz landmarks. This bridge was established in 1936 on Karun River by a German Engineer and a Sweden company. This bridge has two 12 and 20 meter concrete arches. This relic was registered in November 17th, 1999 with the registration number of 2493 as one of Iran’s national relics.
Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat

Chogha Zanbil is an ancient temple belonging to Elam civilization that ruled 3500 BC. Chogha Zanbil is remained from Dur Untash City (Town of Untash), and it is located near Susa (ancient city) in Khuzestan Province. This monument lies in Khuzestan Province, southeast of Susa. It was constructed in 1250 BC by Untash-Napirisha, the great king of Elam, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak, the Susa’s guard. The monument, along with Elam Civilization, was destroyed during Assyrian Ashurbanipal’s attack an hidden under the ground until the contemporary period when Roman Ghirshman, the French archeologist who specialized in ancient Iran, excavated it. It was initially 52 meters high and consisted of 5floors. Today, it is 25 meters high and only to and a half floors of it have remained. Chogha Zanbil’s infrastructure was a 105 105 sqaure, i.e. twice as big as a soccer field. This structure is the first historical monument in Iran that was registered in UNESCO World Heritage in 1979. The world appreciates Chogha Zanbil as a valuable monument. Orientalists consider Chogha Zanbil as the first religious building in Iran. It is the biggest ziggurat in the world. Chogha Zanbil is an ancient temple belonging to Elam civilization that ruled 3500 BC. Chogha Zanbil is remained from Dur Untash City (Town of Untash), and it is located near Susa (ancient city) in Khuzestan Province. This monument lies in Khuzestan Province, southeast of Susa. It was constructed in 1250 BC by Untash-Napirisha, the great king of Elam, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak, the Susa’s guard. The monument, along with Elam Civilization,
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is a series of bridges, dams, mills, waterfalls, canals, and huge tunnels for leading water that work together. They were used from Achaemenid to Sassanid periods to take advantage of water more. In Jane Dieulafoy’s (French Archeologist) Book of Travels, this complex has been mentioned as the largest industrial complex before the Industrial Revolution. Shushtar Waterfalls and Mills Complex has been built along “the Gerger River” which is among technical and engineering masterpieces of ancient time. Gerger River has been artificially built and it is said that it was constructed at Ardeshir Babakan’s reign, the Sassanid king. Shushtar Waterfalls and Mills Complex is a technical and engineering masterpiece in the world. This engineering masterpiece is unique not only in Iran but also in the world. Shushtar Waterfalls and Mills Complex was registered in the list of Iran’s National Heritage in 1998 under the registration number of 2181. This complex was also registered in UNESCO World Heritage as the tenth Iranian monument in 2009 by fulfilling criteria 1, 2, and 5 under the name of Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System and under the registration number of 1315.
Eshkaft-e Salman Ancient Site

Eshkaft-e Salman (Tarisha Temple) has embraced the greatest cuneiform script of modern Ilam. Eshkaft-e Salman is located in the south of Izeh and includes four embossing from Elamite era and remains of a building of Atabakan. This place has been the temple of worshipping Tarisha, one of Elamite gods. Apart from inscriptions, this area includes a mineral spring and cave from the heart of a mountain. There are four embossing in Eshkaft-e Salman, two of which are inside the cave and the other two are outside the cave. The greatest cuneiform script of Elamite era exists in this cave that has been there since Elamite prince, the native king Ayapir or Ayatem. Presence of women along with men for the first time can be seen in the embossing of this cave.
Dezful Water Mills

Dezful City is in the north of Khuzestan and has 250 hectare of old structures. Dezful historical structures include precious adobe buildings with stunning and exquisite architecture. The historical mills of Dezful are an important part of the water structures in this city that are located on three parts of Dez River. The first water mill in Dezful was built in Sassanid era that was even used until Qajar and Palavid periods to pond wheat and had made city economy boom. There are about 5 to 60 mills, some of which are under the old bridge, some others are under the new bridge and some are in “Ali Kolah” area. Some of them are destroyed for being on the main coastal road and inundations. Only 20 of the mills are remaining at the moment. Landscapes were made and traditional inns were built beside the structures, one of the wheels of the mills was repaired and used for better uses. Therefore, the complex was called water museum which was warmly welcomed. The Water Mill of Dezful (the mills) being in Dez River bed and along the coastal road and Rana Coastal Park and Dezful Traditional Bridge have turned the complex to one of the tourist attractions in Dezful. Water Mills of Dezful are one of the precious historical monuments in this county and are registered in the list of Iran’s national monuments with registration number 3984. In line with world registration of water structures in Dezful along with its old structures and it historical bridge, UNESCO department was opened in Dezful.