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Hamadan province is located in the western part of the country with an area of more.
Hamadan is one of the oldest cities, of not only Iran, but of the world. Its historical origins date back to several centuries before Christ. Hamadan, which was the summer capital of the Median and Achaemeidians was then called Ekbatan or Hegmataneh,meaning a place of assembly. Hamadan is one of the cradles of Oriental civilization with a legendary background.
According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (Seven Walls), which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon Tower.
Hamadan is the homeland of great scholars and men of letters like Baba Taher Orian, Avicenna, and Mirzadeh Eshghi. The tombs of Avicenna and Baba Taher are located in this city.
Outside of Hamadan one will have two choices:
Lalejin village: It has always been well known for handicrafts like leather and ceramic work as well as for its beautiful carpets. The art of carpet weaving is so significant here. The carpets and the rugs of Hamadan are famous for their quality and colors. The village of Lalejin, famous for its pottery industry, is a place worth visiting.
There are several ceramic workshops and numerous skillful artists that create the most beautiful and colorful ceramic jars in great numbers. Visiting one of these workshops is one of the best parts of a tour to Hamadan.
Baba Taher Orian
Baba Tahir Orian's mysticism, philosophy, and sentiments are reflected in his Rubaiyyat. Orian was born in Hamadan, Iran, in the early eleventh century. He was considered by his contemporaries as one of the most eminent, erudite mystics and sentimentalists of his time, a reputation he has held in the affection of his countrymen to the present day.
Baba Tahir, living in the first half of the 11th century A.D. He was one of the great gnostics of Ahl-e-Haghs Sect [a Dervish of the follower of the truth]. Songs and maxims of Baba Tahir were originally read in the Pahlavi, Lurish, Kurdish and Hamadanis dialects, which have taken their present form in the course of time.
The Achaemenian Ganjnameh [Treasure Inventory] is a lengthy inscription in cuneiform script, composed in three parts [in Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian] and carved on the face of two rocks of some two meters in height, on Mt. Alvand. These twenty line inscriptions, belonging to Darius and Xerxes, consist of a genealogical account of the Achaemenian monarchs and the adoration of Ahuramazda.
Here is the translation of the text concerning Xerxes:
"The Great God Ahuramazda, greatest of all the gods, who created the earth and the sky and the people; who made Xerxes king, and outstanding king as outstanding ruler among innumerable rulers; I [am] the great king Xerxes, king of kings, king of lands with numerous inhabitants, king of this vast kingdom with far-away territories, son of the Achaemenian monarch Darius."
It is a four-sided interesting 12th century mausoleum belonging to the late Seljuk period. On the exterior, it resembles the Gonbad-e Sorkh of Maragheh. Inside this Dervish Monastery, taken over by the powerful Alavi Family ruling Hamadan for two centuries, is decorated by the same type of gypsum moldings of the Heydarieh Mosque of Qazvin. The Alavi Family tombs (two in all) are in the crypt and can be reached by a spiral staircase inside the tower. As regards its architectural merits, the stucco ornamentation of its mihrab, with intricate geometric designs and whirling floral motifs on the exterior walls and several inscriptions in Kuffic and Thulth styles, ranks among the most beautiful of its kind in Iran.
The Tomb of Esther Mordecai
The Hamadanis most curious monument is a Jewish mausoleum reputed to contain the graves of Esther and Mordecai. Esther was a young Jewish girl who became the wife of Xerxes, who ended up protecting the people of Moses from the schemes of Haman, Xerxes Prime Minister. The present building of this mausoleum, which is visited by Jewish pilgrims from all over the world, has nothing to speak about from the architectural point of view. Under its simple brick dome there are two graves with some Hebrew inscription up on the plaster work of the wall. Two exquisite wooden tomb-boxes are also to be seen, one of which is of an earlier date and bears an inscription in Hebrew.
The original structure dates to the 7th Century A. H. [13th Century A.D.]. It might have been erected over other and more ancient tombs. The exterior form of this mausoleum, built of brick and stone, resembles Islamic constructions, and the monument consists of an entrance, a vestibule, a sanctuary and a Shah-neshin (Kings sitting place). Some believe that the mausoleum is the resting-place of Esther, the Achaemenian Queen and wife of Xerxes (Khashayarshah) and the second tomb belongs to her uncle, Mordecai.
Ali Sadr Cave
Outside Hamadan one can visit or take a boat tour round the Ali Sadr Cave, an endless network of caves full of clear water with caverns up to 40 meters high and 100 meters wide.
The cave is located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran (more accurately at 48°18E 35°18N). The cave walls can extend up to 40 meters high, and contains several large, deep lakes. It has a river flowing through it and most travel through the cave system is done with a boat.
The cave was originally discovered during the reign of Darius I (521-485 BC) which can be verified by an old inscription at the entrance of the tunnel.
You'll be surprised by the beauty of the cave because you will see breathtaking sceneries. Inside the cave there is a coffee shop where you can drink tea or coffee.
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