Kermanshah is a city rich in history and culture. Its scenic and historical attractions have always attracted tourists' attention. You will perhaps find it interesting to know that the city of Kermanshah is considered one of the first human settlements in Iran and has flourished in different historical periods. Having numerous tourist attractions and beautiful nature, Kermanshah has always been regarded as one of the most popular Iranian cities for tourists. In case you are interested in traveling to Kermanshah but are not quite convinced yet, stay with us in this Navaran Magazine article to give you reasons why you should travel to Kermanshah.
Where is Kermanshah located?
Kermanshah is among the most beautiful cities in Kermanshah province in the west of Iran. This city has been called the cradle of civilization and the jewel of Iranian tourism. That is because it has an ancient culture and a rich nature to offer. This city is one of Iran's major cities, famous as Sweet City since ancient times. The distance from Tehran to Kermanshah is 530 kilometers.
Kermanshah city is located on a large plain surrounded by mountains in the north and south. The northern mountains hold a special place in the historical memory of the inhabitants of this city. Three mountains, Goharshad, Taq Bostan, and Paraw Mountain, are especially important among the northern ranges, making each of them the narrator of a part of the history and mythological culture of the people of Kermanshah.
Ancient civilization and history of Kermanshah
Like other parts of our ancient country, the historical province of Kermanshah has retained traces of the glory and greatness of Iran in its mountains and vast plains. This is unlike other parts of Iran which were inhabited only occasionally. The archaeological findings prove that this area was considered one of the first habitats of early man and one of the most important population hubs in the Middle Zagros.
Every stage and period of human life, from the Stone Age to prehistoric civilizations and the creation of large states, unfolded in this area. Therefore, the Shekarchian-Bistoon Cave reflects an interesting light on the history of human life in the Paleolithic period in Iran.
It was after this period, about 9 thousand years ago, that people left the cave due to the warming of the air and started to settle in the area, leading to the establishment of villages in the area. Among them, we can name Ganj Dareh Harsin, Gakieh, and Tapeh Sarab. The ancient people of Ganj Dareh were among the first to invent pottery and start industrial activity in Iran.
During the 4th millennium BC, Kermanshah province was considered one of the most important trade centers, and their merchants traded and exchanged goods with traders from Shushi and Mesopotamia. The existence of markets in Godin Kangavar and Chaghagawane Islamabad from this period is proof of this claim.
According to the Babylonian and Assyrian inscriptions, the people of Zagros were Lulubi and Goti. For the protection of this region, these dynamic and brave people fought regular wars with the Mesopotamians and won significant victories. From then on, the Zagros valleys were the center of Iranian and Mesopotamian civilizations and governments for centuries. In the end, the Iranian elements of civilization prevailed in this region. This is evidenced by the carvings of these tribes in Sarpol Zahab, which is considered one of the oldest reliefs in the Middle East.
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Delicious food and sweets of Kermanshah
Kermanshah has an interesting and varied climate, and the people here have a wonderful and unique diet. It is a diet that is full of original and traditional foods and sweets, and for centuries, each of these delicious foods is still being prepared and cooked by the skillful and hardworking women and mothers of this region. This city also has a unique variety of foods that are both interesting and amazing in their way.
Traditional and native dishes of this province, such as Kermanshahi Badam Khoresht, Kermanshah Kufteh, Rizeh Kufteh, and Sibpolo are among the most famous and abundant dishes that are native and special to this city and are well-known and popular all over Iran. In the following, we will introduce you to some of the best dishes of this city as well as the city's sweets and many things to eat in Kermanshah.
Kermanshah Khoresht Khelal
Kermanshah Khoresht Khelal Badam is a traditional dish of Kermanshah, which is one of the most famous, delicious, and at the same time most widely spread traditional dishes of this region of Iran. After visiting the amazing historical monuments left over from ancient times, a lot of tourists from all over Iran and the world who travel to this ancient province usually try the wonderful and delicious taste of this local dish on their daily menu. A hearty, aromatic food, in which the artistry of Kermanshah's cooks is expressed, making it one of the reasons for its fame and popularity. We recommend you try this dish on your travel to Kermanshah.
Being one of the oldest and most famous local dishes of Kermanshah province, Hulukebab or the famous Kermanshah Kufteh has gained many fans in the province and even in the whole country. The people of Kermanshah province cook this traditional and local dish with meat, split peas, Kermanshahi oil, half-cooked potatoes, eggs, walnuts, raisins, fried onions, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and tomato paste. Preparing this dish may take some time, however, you can be sure that its taste and aroma will be so delicious and pleasant that you will not regret cooking and tasting this delightful dish.
Using all kinds of vegetables and spices to cook and prepare a unique variety of Iranian rice dishes is a common practice all over the country. People in Kermanshah province use potatoes, known as one of the most useful and commonly used ingredients in Iranian cuisine, and make a sort of traditional and local food they call Sibpolo. The taste of potatoes with a mixture of basic ingredients such as rice, minced meat, raisins, onions, dates, butter, saffron, and salt turns out to be nice and pleasant. We recommend you try this dish on your travel to Kermanshah.
One of the other regular and popular dishes in the cuisine of the people of Kermanshah province is the famous Kufteh Rizeh. This dish is very much popular among the families of this historical province of Iran and is often prepared and cooked. The artistic women and mothers of Kermanshah province cook Kufteh Rizeh using cooked chickpeas, minced meat, flour, salt, turmeric, onions, and aromatic herbs such as parsley, mint, savory, tarragon, and walnuts. Many people consider Kufteh Rizeh the best food in Kermanshah.
For a long time, all Iranians have been familiar with Nun Khormayi, a delicious and nutritious sweet that originates from this city. Considered one of the traditional and local sweets of Kermanshah province, this delicious and lovely sweet is very nutritious and useful because of the dates. Having a cup of hot tea with delicious Nun Khormayi is very pleasant and beneficial. After traveling to this historical city of Iran, few tourists will not try its special and wonderful Nun Khormayi. Kermanshahi people make this traditional sweet from dates, wheat flour, yogurt, baking powder, rose water, butter, walnut kernels, and egg yolk.
One more traditional Kermanshahi sweet that is delicious is called Kak. This sweet comes from Kermanshah province and has many fans. It is very tasty, light, and energetic, and it is wonderful to have it with a cup of tea. The people of Kermanshah prepare Kak by combining ingredients such as wheat flour, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, oil, cardamom, pistachio powder, coconut powder, sliced almonds, and water. We recommend you try this sweet on your travel to Kermanshah.
Kurds make up a large part of the population of Kermanshah; besides, other ethnic groups such as Armenians, Turks, Arabs, Lers, and Laks have also inhabited this city and province and have immigrated to this region. Kurdish (Kalhori Kurdish) is the most widely spoken language by the people of Kermanshah, which is followed by Kermanshahi Persian (a mixture of Kalhori Kurdish and Persian) and Laki language.
Needless to say, the Kurdish spoken by the people of Kermanshah in this city and province is quite varied in terms of dialects, and the most widely spoken are the Kurdish Kalhori dialect, the Kurdish Orami dialect, and the Kurdish Sorani dialect. Besides these two languages and several dialects, Armenian, Turkish, Arabic, and Lori are also widely spoken by other ethnic groups. The majority of Kermanshah's residents are Muslims, both Sunni, and Shia.
In addition, a small number of people follow religions such as Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Judaism. Kurds and the other tribes in Kermanshah, like other authentic and deep-rooted Iranian tribes, have varied and attractive customs and rituals for different days and times of the year, and various occasions and events in their lives. Interacting with the people of this city can be one of your best memories on your travel to Kermanshah.
Natural attractions of Kermanshah
The tourist attractions of any city and province are among the main reasons for drawing travelers. Kermanshah province and city, just like other cities in the country, have historical, recreational, and beautiful natural attractions which attract many tourists from all over Iran and all over the world every year. While it is not enough to cover all the Kermanshah attractions in a single section of our article about travel to Kermanshah, we highly recommend you visit the following places if you are looking for things to do in Kermanshah.
Taq-e Bostan historical and recreational area and Koohestan Park
Taq-e Bostan is a collection of rock carvings and inscriptions dating back to the Sassanid period, located northwest of the city of Kermanshah. This collection has great artistic and historical value, including two large and small arches and several inscribed stones. The mountains and springs in this place have turned it into an interesting destination for excursions, which has been of interest since ancient times until today. You are recommended to visit the Taq-e Bostan Museum as well. There is an ancient tree next to the historical site. Locals estimate that this tree is more than 600 years old.
In case you have time to climb, you should not be content with the view of the city from Koohestan Park, but rather enjoy this view from the Do-Ashkaft Cave. Located in the north of Kermanshah city, at the foot of Mioleh Mountain, and overlooking Koohestan Park, Do-Ashkaft Cave is the oldest evidence of human settlement in Kermanshah city. This cave's altitude is about 1600 meters above sea level. Comprising two adjacent caves, this ancient site is located on the southern slope of Mioleh Mountain at an altitude of about 300 meters above the plain and facing the mountain park. We recommend you visit this place on your travel to Kermanshah.
This natural and recreational complex's fame is attributed to the presence of a small lake in the area. This lake is filled with lotus flowers, and their leaves and buds rise above the water in the warm season, covering a large part of the lake and providing a spectacular sight. The facility offers all the amenities tourists and travelers will need to enjoy themselves in this natural environment. Remember to go boating on the lake. Also, you can go fishing at this place. Sarab Niloofar is located 30 km northwest of Kermanshah city.
Bisotun Historical and natural collection
The Bisotun historical complex is located 30 km northeast of Kermanshah, southwest of Bisotun city, and near the foot of the mountain of the same name on the way from Hamedan to Kermanshah. The holiness of Mount Bisotun, its convenient weather conditions, and its location along important roads, including the Silk Road, have caused many kings and rulers to give their attention to this area, and its monuments and remains have been preserved in the heart and on the slopes of the mountain.
There are 28 nationally registered monuments in this historical, cultural, and natural site, and over 150 historical monuments have been identified within its boundaries. The Behistun Inscription was also added to the UNESCO list in 2005. We recommend you visit this place on your travel to Kermanshah.
Rajab is situated 120 kilometers northwest of Kermanshah. A visit to this tourist area has to be planned. The road from Kermanshah to Rijab is a mountainous and winding road that will fascinate you with the untouched nature of this area while traveling to this part. However, you should pay special attention to the road, as it can be dangerous. You are better to leave early in the morning to have the right time to visit this area while on your travel to Kermanshah.
Kermanshah souvenirs and handicrafts
Among the most important edible souvenirs of Kermanshah city are Bezhi sweets, Nan Berenji, Nan Shekari, Nan Khormayi, Nan Roghani Kermanshahi, and Kak. It is possible to buy these sweets in the traditional market of Kermanshah. Needless to say, you should also add the famous Kermanshahi oil to this list. You can get a great Kermanshahi oil with a little research that will add a wonderful aroma and flavor to your dishes when used in cooking and on rice.
There are many items in the list of souvenirs related to the province's handicrafts, of which the most important are carpets, rugs, shoes, Jajim, moj, jewelry, and leather products. According to your liking, we recommend you choose handicrafts from Kermanshah province as a souvenir or an excellent gift for your loved ones.
Music and dance of Kermanshah people
Kurdish music and dance are widely famous in Iran. The city of Kermanshah has always been known for its attractive music and dance. Studies have proved that Kurdish music, in the beginning, was exclusively martial. The oldest composers of Kurdistan, the Beit Khans, were often illiterate, turning heroic and warlike stories into poems and ballads and playing dohol and sorna centuries ago and even today. In later years, the melodies, rhythms, and songs of Bazmi also made their way into Kurdish music.
Kurdish dance was and still is an exercise associated with entertainment. All Kurdish dance rhythms have a state of solidarity, unity, and physicality. Most Kurdish dances have the dancers' hands interlocked, the steps always go in one direction and are balanced so that it stays a parade. You will surely enjoy the music and dance of this city during your travel to Kermanshah.
In this article, we have given you several reasons why you should travel to Kermanshah. Kermanshah is one of the most attractive cities in Iran in terms of natural and historical sights, and a trip to Kermanshah can be an attractive experience for any tourist. The kind and hospitable people of Kermanshah as well as the delicious food and sweets of this city undoubtedly add to the charm of travel to Kermanshah.
For example, if you want to travel to Kermanshah by plane, you can rent a car from Navaran at Kermanshah airport or Kermanshah hotels and explore this city and its surroundings. As one of the best car rental in Iran companies, you can rent your desired vehicle from the different models of the Navaran fleet at the most favorable conditions and without presenting a check or promissory bill.
If you are looking for a road trip in Iran, you can start your journey from the Iranian capital to Kermanshah by renting a car in Tehran. Undoubtedly, such a trip can become one of your best road trip experiences throughout the year.