Sistan and Baluchestan Province
After Kerman, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, is the second largest province among the 31 provinces of Iran. Spreading over, 180,726 km with 2.5 million population, it is the second largest province located in the southeast of the country. It borders Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as its capital is Zahedan.
The population of the places includes of the Baloch forming a majority of the population in the province, followed by relatively large community Sistani Persians.
Smaller communities of Kurds in the eastern highlands and close to Iranshahr the emigrant Brahui on the Iran and Pakistan border and other resident and wandering ethnic groups like the Gypsies are also located in the province.
Geography and Culture
The province includes two sections, Sistan in the north and Baluchestan in the south. Sistan and Baluchestan together combines one of the driest districts of Iran with a minor increase in the rainfall from east to west, and an obvious rise in dampness in the coastal regions.
The people in the south, east and west of Sistān and Balūchestān, are generally Balōch who speak in the Baluchi language, although there also among them a small community of speakers of the Indo-Aryan language. In the far north of Sistān and Balūchestān, the people are generally Persians and speak a dialect of the Persian known as similar to the Dari Persian language in Afghanistan. Many scholars, orators, and literary personalities have come into existence from this part of Iran.
Baluchis are predominantly Sunni Muslims. The biggest Sunni religious University in Iran, Jamiah Darul Uloom Zahedan, is located in the province. Ethnic Persian Sistanis, however, are predominantly Shia Muslims.
Sistan and Baluchestan today
Sistan and Baluchestan is the poorest of Iran’s 31 provinces. The government of Iran has implemented new plans for the development of the place by creating a Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone, new industries, factories to enhance the economy of the place.
Perhaps so remote to Iranians, the worthwhile, yet not crowded destination southeast of the country is an unexplored site. Travelers, who have seen India, on their arrival might feel like they are visiting India in south of Iran. Undoubtedly, the incredibly similar atmosphere and nature besides the clothing and appearance of Sistani dwellers spontaneously remind you of temples land.
There are many interesting sites in the province; from Zarabad, an amazing site where palm groves, deserts, and lakes are placed together, as well as bananas and mangoes gardens, a habitat for animals like monkeys, to oceanic Chabahar Port, a family resort in early spring, here you will experience a great journey. Just remember to visit the village of Kalporgan and see its artistic pottery products for some take-home. Pottery arts, recently registered on the UNESCO list, are as old as 7,000 years here. Creative women make exquisite pottery items to offer tourists and help their families financially. Times to visit are Nowruz holidays and springtime with delightful weather and many gorgeous landscapes around in Kalporgan. You can even go further, if time allows, to Khash and enjoy strolling around Taftan slopes. Vividly-colored flowers are a main draw. Lots of photos possible. Saravan County is also a nice, adjacent place for women tourists who adore elegant embroidery works.
Maritan Mountain along with Taftan Mountains are other highlights which shouldn’t be missed especially for mount lovers.
The province is also rich in history and architecture; main must-do options include Nasseri Castle, Rostam Castle, Bampour Castle, Tis Castle and the list doesn’t seem to stop.
And last but not least, to wrap off my writing, I am happy to talk willingly of warm, hospitable Baluchi inhabitants who are no way shy to share with you whatever they have; from their tasty, mouthwatering dishes to juicy fruits and produce of their own gardens.
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