Country: IRAN
State: Isfahan


Anarak City, an Ancient Region on the Edge of the Desert

Anarak City, dating back to the Sassanid era, was officially flourished in the reign of Shah Abbas I. The city, located on the southern edge of Dasht-e Kavir, is a division of Isfahan Province. There are different narrations about the name of this city (Anarak literally means small pomegranate). According to a narration a spring next to which there was a pomegranate tree, was a resting place for passengers before the city had been formed. Another narration is that this city was named after the pomegranate orchids in this region. In the past, the city was named Narsineh which means a pomegranate in the chest.

Historical part of Anarak City and its castles reflect an era in the history of Iran. It seems that the historical buildings were built by architects from Yazd and Ardakan. In addition to the historical houses which has formed the structure of this city, historical caravanserais stand out there.

According to the abundant mines in this city, most of locals occupy mining. In contrast, agriculture is not prosperous because of the desert nature of Anarak City. Nakhlak Mine, one of the oldest historical monuments in the city, is currently where the staff of lead mines settle. In fact, it is not permanently inhabited.

People in this area speak in local dialect and still use many ancient Persian and Pahlavi words. However, this dialect is being forgotten due to the domination of Persian language and immigration. Today, the youth rarely speak in this dialect.

Historical Part of Anarak City

The historical part of Anarak City, located on the route to Nakhlak lead and silver mine, was considered an oasis in the Sassanid era. Nakhlak Mine is one of the oldest historical buildings of this city. The exploitation history of this mine dates back to pre-Islamic era. Therefore, this city, which is home to more than 40 mines, is also known as the city of mines.

Due to the desert nature of this city, wind catchers are the main part of the region in order to deal with the hot weather. In fact, the wind catchers is very efficient in ventilating and cooling the building in the hot desert. In addition, the domed roofs of the houses ventilate the space and prevent heat to penetrate. The materials used in their construction is also a factor to moderate the temperature in these houses.

The most significant building in the historical part of Anarak City is Sarab Mountain Tower or White Tower. This tower is located on the tallest and largest hill of the city. In the past, it was protected by fortifications in order to protect it from looters and wild animals. The city also enjoyed high guards in the shape of gates and castles. Today, several ancient walls and castles, one of which is the Lead Mountain Tower, has remained. These castles overlook the city.

It is noteworthy that the historical part of Anarak City has been listed in Iran National Heritage.

Attractions of Anarak city

The caravanserai of Anarak City

The caravanserai, belonging to the Qajar era, is the most prominent building of this region. This construction, built in 4-iwan style, stands out in the historical part of Anarak City. Anarak Caravanserai, which was remarkable in Qajar era, still welcomes travelers and tourists from all over the world. This building has also been registered on Iran National Heritage List.

Jameh Mosque of Anarak is another monument which forms the historical part of Anarak. This mosque, located next to Anarak Spring, is one of the relics of Zandieh era. This magnificent construction has also been registered on Iran National Heritage List, and it is worth a visit.

Anthropology Museum of Anarak City

The anthropology museum was established in 2006 to introduce the handicrafts, customs and mines of the city to the public. In this museum, the mines and stones of this region as well as botany, entomology and livestock are studied. In addition, some examples of costume are displayed. Among other exhibits, we can mention written records and lifestyles of people living in the past. Most importantly, all the objects displayed in this museum have been donated by locals. This museum was launched in this area by renovating a bath in the historical part of Anarak City.

Anarak Protected Area

Kouh Bozorgi hunting prohibited region, located in the heights of the city, is the best habitat for some animal indicator species. A protected area, called Abbas Abad, is located within the city of Nain (Choopanan-Anarak and Bayazeh Route). This region is considered as a bridge connecting the habitats of Asian cheetahs in the central plateau of Iran. This is the habitat of some animals including Bustard, Pleske's ground jay, Blanford's fox and felines such as Sand Cat, Caracal and Wildcat. There is also the possibility of encountering Pallas's cat in the Abbas Abad Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the area is the habitat of the ungulates such as ewes, rams, goats and wild goat.

The Nights of Anarak

In Anarak Desert City, you observe the sky embracing the earth so that you feel so close to other planets. It gives you the feeling that you can reach your hand and pick the stars. As a result, the pristine sky of this city can be one of the best places to observe the stars.

Visiting Anarak City Prior to Desert Touring

One of the routes towards Dasht-e Kavir (the central desert of Iran), from the southern face, passes through Anarak city. The caravanserai of this city is still a place for resting and providing the necessities of the tourists. In fact, the generations staying in this caravanserai has changed more than anything.

Due to being located close to Dasht-e Kavir, this city is a place to provide the requirements of desert tours such as food, fuel and desert safety appliances. This city is a southern gate of Dasht-e Kavir, where you can travel to mysterious desert of Rig-e Jen, called the Bermuda Triangle of Iran.

1001 Nights Tours has organized special desert tours. If you enter Dasht-e Kavir from the southern face, you will definitely visit Anarak City. It is also possible to visit this city in cultural tours and combined tours. To view the tours which include visiting or staying in this city, just click here.