Kermanshahan City (previously known as Bakhtaran) is the capital of Kermanshah Province, in the western part of Iran. It is an important city of about half a million inhabitants which is a melting pot of Kurds, Lurs and others. Kermanshah is the largest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran. A majority of the population speaks Southern Kurdish.
The climate is pleasant for most of the year, the largely mountainous scenery is stunning and the soil is fertile. At an altitude of 1322m, the city has a beautiful setting, framed by prominently snow-clad mountains.
Kermanshah City is thought to have been founded during the reign of the Sassanid king Bahrain IV, at the end of the IV century AD. It has some of the most interesting and famous Tourist Attraction sites in this part of Iran, dating from before recorded history through the Achaemenian (559-330 BC), Parthian (190 BC-224 AD) and Sassanian (224-637) dynasties to the Arab period (637-1050).
It is home to outstanding sites such as rock reliefs of Taq-e Bostan and the inscription of Bistun – the largest one worldwide.
Regarding Music, it is also the cradle of mystic music and traditional Iranian musical instrument “Tanbur”.
Here, we mention a sample of awesome historical and natural beauties in this province:
Taq-e Bostan (“the arch of the garden”), situated in the neighborhood of modern Kermanshah city, features petroglyphs and inscriptions of Sassanid era:
• The Investiture Relief of Shapur II
• The small cave
• The large cave of Khosrow II
In front of the monuments is a little artificial lake and an ancient garden, or “paradise”. They were probably created in the Parthian age, but the reliefs are younger.
The small cave at Taq-e Bostan shows two kings, one of whom (the left one) is identified by an inscription as Shapur III (383-388). He came to power after much struggle and presents himself standing next to his grandfather Shapur II (309-379), the great conqueror who had defeated the Romans – a victory he had celebrated with a relief at Taq-e Bostan. This representation is pretty original. Usual, a king showed that he was the lawful ruler by presenting himself as receiving power from the gods.
The other relief shows the investiture of Shapur II (309-379). This is a common representation of royal power: the supreme god Ahuramazda gives the king a cydaris ring and a diadem. The king is standing on top of a defeated enemy, a bearded man who can be identified with the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate, who had been defeated by Shapur in 363 and was killed in action. (This is, of course, the terminus post quem of this monument).
The large cave at Taq-e Bostan – technically, not a cave but an iwan – is the youngest and most splendid monument. It contains artistic elements from various cultural traditions and was created by Khosrow II the Victorious (590-628), the last great king of Sasanian Persia before the arrival of Islam.
Tekyeh Mo’aven al-Molk
Most of the visitors have a common thought that Tekyeh Mo’aven ol-Molk is Iran’s finest Hosseinieh; a distinctively Shiite shrine where plays are acted out during the Islamic month of Moharram to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hossein at Karbala. Enter downstairs, through a courtyard and a domed central chamber decorated with grisly scenes from the Karbala battle.
The shrine remains very much active, with pilgrims kissing the doors and being genuinely moved by the footprint of Imam Ali (Imam Hossein’s father) on the wall of the second courtyard. This is set amid tiles depicting a wild gamut of images, from Quranic scenes to pre-Islamic motifs including Shahnameh kings, European villages and local notables in 19th-century costumes.
A part of building, in the right side, is now an ethnographic museum displaying regional costumes.
Tekyeh Biglar Beygi
The Biglar Beygi Tekyeh, Hosseinieh, is worth visiting for its dazzling mirror-tiled central dome room. With sun shining into the main room and mirrors plus the small yard and its blue pond surrounded by lots of beautiful flowers, you can witness an awesome scenery.
It also houses a fairly cursory calligraphy museum.
The extensive, much-restored covered bazaar slopes up from Modarres St. With a couple of dilapidated old caravanserai courtyards at the western end, it’s well worth exploring.
Other parts of the province
also boast a lot of monuments and Natural attractions too:
Some are the natural attractions such as the mountains of Perav, Bistun, Dalahoo, Shahoo and Dalakhani, plus a lot of valleys, jungles and springs.
It is home to mirages of Niloofar, Bistun, Sahneh, Yavari, Hashilan and Harsin.
The long caves of Quri Qaleh and Perav also fascinate visitors.
Some are among the ancient monuments category, such as Anahita Temple (Kangavar), Eshaqvand Rock Tomb (Harsin), and Anobanini bas relief (Sarpol-e Zahab) and
The Most Famous One: Bistun
Bistun is a part of the Harsin township and comprises of two villages. Overlooking the main road to Hamadan and a few kilometers east of Bistun village, are famous bas-reliefs carved out of a dramatic mountain include with religious significance in pre-Islamic times the fact that the rock was also on the ancient royal road between Iran and Iraq made it an ideal location for these tablets.
Bistun is one of the historical and ancient centers of the province. The historic site covers 116 hectares and has located within it sixteen historical monuments. Some of these monuments include the Darius reliefs and inscriptions that can be seen towering above the base of Mount Bistun. The site became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. It is an important trilingual relic that depicts the victories of Achaemenid King Darius. Historical relics and monuments of this village include the Achaemenian and Parthian drawings and inscriptions, the Safavid bridge, the Parthian arch, the stony statue of Hercules and the Shah Abbas caravansary. In respect to the historical effects, the Bistun area is evaluated as five-star region of tourism.