busiest port of Iran, oversees the strategic Strait of Hurmuz and has gorgeous sunsets over the sea.
The capital of Hormozgan province, Bandar Abbas is placed at the entry of the Persian Gulf and oversees the Strait of Hormuz. Bandar Abbas also called as “Bandar” by the locals is the busiest port in Iran. Bandar Abbas might not contain many major attractions itself but is a noteworthy stop to the Island of Hormuz and Qeshm. The spirited city of Bandar Abbas is famous for its fish market and great bazaar and has its own unique culture among the cities of Iran.
History of Bandar Abbas
A significant source of Bandar Abbas’ importance during these past 500 years has been due to European countries present in the religion and a reaction to that presence. Bandar Abbas was originally named Gamerun which at that time was a small village that relied mostly on fishing for its revenue. The village of Gamerun was chosen by Shah Abbas the Great as a strategic location to defeat the nearby Portuguese who resided on the Island of Hormuz in 1622, thus the port was renamed to honor him as it translates as “Abbas’ Port” from Persian. In the 18th Century, this city had become the foremost Port in Iran and the key exporter of Kermani made carpets. This economic boom was due to a trading allowance that permitted British (through their East India Company), French and Dutch merchants to trade freely in the city and the area surrounding it.
The fall of the Safavid Empire in 1793 and later on with the withdrawal of the East India Company in 1759 lead to the plummet of Bandar Abbas. In 1793 the ruler of Oman took possession of the port until it was taken back in 1868. As other ports were constructed in this area due to the tactical value of the Persian Gulf, Bandar Abbas’ importance decreased even more. However, during the Iran-Iraq war (1980 – 1988) Bandar Abbas regained some of its prominences as Iran’s other major ports like Khorramshahr, Bandar-e Imam and Bushehr became either too risky for transport or captured. Today Bandar Abbas is a relatively thriving city due to the aid of railway and road systems which connect it to Central Asia and Tehran.
Located in Imam Khomeini St. in front of the local marketplace, the Hindu Temple is among the noteworthy historic sites in Bandar Abbas. The temple was built in 1892 under the local ruler of Bandar Abbas, Mohammad Hasan Khan. The Temple was built from donations collected by Hindu merchants.
The Temple consists of a main square hall and a dome above it. The architectural design of the temple and in particular is unique among other structures in the city, the Persian Gulf and indeed the whole of Iran. The distinctive Indian style of this temple marks it as one of the significant sites to behold in Bandar Abbas.
This rather tiny stone temple with its narrowed Indian style dome was indeed erected to oblige the Indians at work for of East India Company, though we have mentioned that the temple is distinctive in its Indian architectural design, still an absence of the vibrant colors that are typically seen in other Indian Temples can be felt here.
The port city of Bandar Abbas is well-known for its active fishing manufacture. The vibrant fish market, near the shore, is considered to be one of its main attractions. The ideal time to visit this extremely picturesque fish market is in the morning when the local fishmongers exhibition wide assortments of seafood for potential buyers and tourist looking to take photos.
This Marketplace in Bandar Abbas stretches across two blocks near the shorefront and is perhaps the most vibrant section of the city.
The Persian Gulf
When tourists plan their journey through Iran they usually consider cities like Shiraz, Esfahan, Yazd Hamedan etc. which are considered to the most prominent sites to see with grand and ancient histories and cultures. However, an alternative to these cities also exists in the Persian Gulf with its neighboring and yet widely distinctive cities and islands. The islands of Hormuz, Kish, and Qeshm are near and easily accessible to one another. Hormuz and Qeshm with their geographical wonders are satisfyingly annulled of extensive modernization and provide an opportunity to take a glimpse at a more old-style mode of life. This is while Kish, an important tourist, and trade haven, is significantly more modernized and trendy, full of luxurious hotels and leisurely sites. Along the shores of the Persian Gulf, you can also visit the energetic and musical city of Bandar Abbas or the historical center of the town of Kong with its old houses and edifices.
Bandar Abbas Grand Museum
The three-storied Grand Museum was founded in 2007 to celebrate Bandar Abbas’ rich culture and history. The foremost level of this museum contains a gallery and library that focuses on the historical artwork and attractions of the city. The second level of the Museum is devoted to the anthropology of the city including a history of the bazaar, the reinvention of the city by Shah Abbas the Great and capturing of the Portuguese stronghold in Hormuz in addition to exhibitions of the fishing culture that has existed within the city from long ago. The Third level of the Museum is devoted to the archeological findings in the area displaying an array of items and coins from the areas prehistoric to Islamic eras.
Delgosha Jame Mosque
This mosque was initially constructed in the 8th century however it was entirely rebuilt in 1975. The building was built surrounding an inner altar called the “Shabistan”. The Shabistan consisted of three columned Iwans (an enclosed room with one end entirely exposed) on its southern, western and eastern fronts. The Shabistan’s 12 columns in total, are placed upon square platforms.
This bathhouse was constructed by Sheikh Galedari during the Qajar dynasties rule from 1785 to 1925. The bathhouse was donated by Sheikh Galedari for the peoples use. The Bathhouse includes a “Khazine” or hot water room, a “sarbineh” or changing chamber and a “garm khaneh” or hot chamber room, over which five small and large domes preside. A small lobby called a “hashti” exists that controlled the dampness and heat of the bathhouse. The mentioned Sabrineh formed in the shape of an octagon provides seats on four of its rims where on people used to sit to remove and store their possessions in slots beneath the seats.