Rave's blog

... snapshots of my life...

Monday, February 22, 2010

On the way to Esfahan - Abyaneh

Posted by Rave

It was cloudy day in Tehran, our bags were packed, and the three of us set off towards Esfahan (nesfe jahan - half the world - specifically, half the world's beauty). Maryam was driving, I was navigating and aunty (Maryam's mom) was feeding us :)

Open roads, very little traffic, we were lucky, soon we touched the highway with even less traffic and were speeding towards our destination almost 350km south of Tehran. On either side there were small hills but mainly desert area.
After crossing Qom, I took the wheel while Maryam was clicking away. We decided to visit Abyaneh which is on the way and quite famous for its beauty and history.

On one of the check points just before Abyaneh we were stopped by cops, who seemed very interested in my license. Had a little chat and we were off once again with directions to turn right after - Aga Ali Abbass (whatever that meant). After another 20-30 km we finally saw a sign for Abyaneh and took it.

Ah! Abyaneh, what a place !!!! The word Abyaneh has been derived from the word "viona" which means "willow grove". (In the local dialect "vey" means willow - yeah I did my research thoroughly ;))
Did I mention that it was AUTUMN, well now you know. From desert hills and now clear skies, we entered a land full of colours, actually COLOURS !!!!!!!!!

We were shocked by the beauty of this place. These pictures do not do any justice to what we saw there.
I was stopping the car every 2 seconds to take as many pictures as possible, and boy did I shoot away. After taking a million pictures, we slowly drove off the winding roads to "Abyaneh village", the real reason why this place is famous.

With a unique reddish hue, the village is one of the
oldest in Iran, attracting numerous native and foreign tourists year-round, especially during traditional feasts and ceremonies.

High up in the Karkas mountains, the village is based along a river at 2500m. There are some archeological sites there, that date back to 550 BC.

Abyaneh has been called an entrance to Iranian history.
Abyaneh also resisted conversion to Islam throughout the ages, and stayed Zoroastrian until it was forced to convert to Islam in the time of the Saffavid Shahs, as were many other villages and towns that had held onto the Zoroastrian religion until then. Many people living there still follow Zoroastrian religion.

One of the most interesting thing about this place were its people, they all seemed around 4ft tall. Unfortunately taking photos of the locals is prohibited so I don't have much to show except a few blurry shots.

Here's Maryam standing next to one of their passages.

Well that's it for Abyaneh, next stop Esfahan...


Narges said...


Fantastic as allways. Though I'm an Iranian but I found the information you've provided here really interesting.

Best of luck