Difference between revisions of "Na'in"
Revision as of 06:37, 16 November 2012
Na'in is a pre-Islamic town, more than 2000 years old, on the edge of the Central Desert of Iran. Na’in (also known as Naein and Naeen) lies 170km north of Yazd and 140km east of Esfahan and the current population is about 75,000.
With an area of almost 35,000 km², Naein lies at an altitude of 1545 m above sea level. It has a desert climate, with a maximum temperature of 41°C in summer, and a minimum of -9°C in winter.
Unique to Naein are some of the most outstanding monuments in all of Iran: the Jame Mosque, one of the first four mosques built in Iran after the Arab invasion; the Pre-Islamic Narej Fortress; a Pirnia traditional house; the Old Bazaar; Rigareh, a qanat-based watermill; and a Zurkhaneh (a place for traditional sport).
Besides its magnificent monuments, Naein is also famous for high-quality carpets and wool textiles.
Some linguists believe the word Naein may have been derived from the name of one of the descendants of the prophet Noah, who was called "Naen". Many local people speak an ancient Pahlavi Sasani dialect, the same dialect that is spoken by the Zoroastrians in Yazd today. Other linguists state that the word Naein is derived from the word "Nei"(“straw” in English) which is a marshy plant.
From Esfahan, travellers can use the Jay terminal and take the Naein bus or mini bus (20,000 to 25,000 rial). An alternative is the Esfahan-Yazd bus, which leaves the terminal once every hour, if they inform the driver that Naein is their final destination and the fare is 35,000 rial.
From Yazd, travellers can take the Yazd - Esfahan buses from Yazd terminal and ask the driver to stop in Naein which costs 40,000 rial.
From Tehran, there are two terminals available: Jonub terminal, with buses leaving at 10:00 and 17:00; Beihaghi (Arjantin) Terminal, with one bus departing at 23:00. The ticket price is 10,0000 rial.
In Naein, there is a regular bus to Esfahan almost every half hour, from the only bus station in town. Private taxis are available 24 hours a day at the "Falake Esfahan." Departing the town to Yazd is possible by waiting for the buses to Yazd at "Falake Esfahan," or by taking a taxi to the Yazd Road police station.
The initial construction of Jame Mosque dates back to the 8th Century CE, but the whole of the complex has been constructed incrementally.
One of the oldest mosques in Iran, its magnificent plasterwork over the niche, the marvellous brickwork around the yard, and its silent basement--which may have been used as a fire temple before the mosque was built here—are only a few of the remarkable features of this mosque.
This mosque has no Iwan and dome as do the other famous mosques in Esfahan and Yazd. A 28 m tall octagonal minaret was added to the mosque almost 700 years ago.
If you stand in the middle of the yard, you will find yourself surrounded by fourteen columns, each one adorned with a unique and intricate pattern of brickwork.
You might also be interested in the alabaster stonework which reflects sunlight throughout the basement.
One of the most exquisite pieces of artwork inside the mosque is the wooden marquetry pulpit (“menbar” in Persian). The carpenter matched the wooden parts together like a pieces of a puzzle.
The pulpit is decorated with organic geometrical designs. According to the wooden inscription on the left side of the pulpit, it was created about 700 years ago.
An underground water channel runs underneath the mosque. There is a stairway that connects the mosque to the water channel and to chambers above the pool. In the past, people used the water for ablutions before prayers.
The basement used to be a prayer chamber in hot summers and cold winters. The temperature in the basement is always moderate, never varying more than 10 to 15 degrees.
The basement wasn’t actually built; it was dug into the ground, which means no materials were used to construct it.
The entrance fee is 5000 rial. The mosque is open Tu-Su 08:00-21:00 in summer or 08:00-17:30 in winter.
The ancient Rigareh--a qanat-based water mill--is located in the Mohammadieh neighbourhood.
The age of this engineering masterpiece is unknown; however, some historians believe that it dates back to the pre-Islamic era.
The water is supplied by the "Keykhosrow" qanat channel.
The mill is placed almost 28 meters underground. The access corridor to the mill is about 133 meters long.
A qanat channel crosses 12 meters above the mill and fills the huge 8-meter water tank. When enough pressure is provided, the water is released and rotates the turbine.
The waste water flows out along the channel and joins the main qanat channel with a gradual slope 12 m further down.
Since the advent of electricity to grind the wheat and barley, this water mill has become a part of history.
The mill is closed most of the time, except Noruz (the Persian New Year holiday). But, visits can be arranged through the man who rents bicycles. See [[Na'in#Do| section below] . The fee is US$4 per person and includes a guide.
The Pirnia traditional house is a perfect example of this regions desert houses in terms of architecture and art and was constructed in the Safavid Period. The house consists of an exterior, an interior, a deep garden, a silo room and all of the facilities that a lord’s house needed to have.
When you enter the house and pass the first corridor, you reach an octagonal room called “hashti”, which used to be a waiting room for clients and visitors.
Beautiful paintings, amazing plasterwork of Qur’anic stories, a book of famous poems and exquisite calligraphy decorate the living room.
First, a judge of Na'in lived there. During the Qajar Period, the house belonged to a governor of Na'in.
A few decades ago, the house was purchased by the Ministry of Culture and Art. After renovation in 1994, the house was converted into the desert ethnology museum.
The entrance fee is 5000 rial. The museum is open Tu-Su 08:00-21:00 in summer and 08:00-17:30 in winter.
The Mosallah is another remarkable monument to see in Na'in. Its vast garden used to be a popular recreational area until a few years ago.
The mausoleum inside the Mosallah was a pilgrimage site for visitors. The dome of the Mosallah is opposite the dome of the shrine of Emamzadeh Sultan Seyyed Ali and these two are connected by a street.
There is a water reservoir on one side of the garden, which can be accessed by people inside and outside the garden through a stairway on each side. Water in this reservoir was cooled by two wind towers.
The water reservoir or in perian "ab-anbar" was in use until a few years ago.
The architectural style of Na'in's Mosallah is characteristic of the Qajar dynasty and a number of literary, political and religious figures are buried at this site.
“Mosallah” is an Arabic word for a place of prayer but, no one knows if any praying was ever done at this location. The Mosallah is an octagonal mausoleum of dervishes and Qajar and Pahlavi political figures.
It is encompassed by a Qajar-era military fort with a high wall thick enough for a horse to be ridden along the top. The pistachio trees around the turquoise-domed mausoleum and two tall wind towers make the complex very photogenic.
The entrance fee is 5000 rial and the site is open to the public 08:00-12:-00 and again 15:00-17:00.
The Castle of Narenj (Narenj Qal'e)
it's the remnant of a structure that was also known as Narin castle. The construction materials used in the castle, as well as its style of architecture support the idea that it was built in the pre-Islamic era. According to surveys and evidences, this monument might belongs to Partiyan period. The exact application of the castle is not known, however it is thought to have been part of the military and official compounds of the city.
Many researchers of the Safavid era have spoken of numerous castles known as Narikh Qalae, which were used for military purposes.
Hence, it can be concluded that Naeen's Narikh Qalae was also a military establishment. The famous historian and researcher, Estakhri mentioned there was a moat with 3000 feet perimeter dug around the castle.
The Bazaar of Naein is another of Naeen's remarkable, historical attractions. The bazaar extends 340 meters in a curved line from the Gate of Chehel Dokhtaran to the mosque of Khajeh Khezr.
The bazaar is connected by main alleys, as well as by tributary passages to centers of neighborhoods.
The bazaar has two crossroads or “chahar su”. Parts of the bazaar have been renovated.
The many and varied shops in the bazaar were active until a few years ago. The bazaar has been almost deserted since the economic district was moved to streets.
A number of Naein's important monuments, such as the mosque of Sheikh Maghrebi, the mosque of Khajeh, and the Hosseinieh of Chehel Dokhtaran are still noteworthy facets of Naein’s extraordinary bazaar.
Fatemi the traditional house
Fatemi House is the grandest traditional house in Naein. It is located in front of Narenj Castle, beside the old bazaar of Naein. The house was originally the possession of one of the most influential families in Naein. Fatemi House consist of a large number of sections, each one with a different function: winter living rooms, summer living rooms, stable, resting rooms, silos, corridors, dining rooms for guests, and other facilities. Most of the rooms are furnished with stained glass windows, inlaid wooden doors, and plasterwork. The house is now the property of a cultural heritage organization.
Aba bafi" man made caves,Cloak weaving
In Muhammadieh there are some man-made caves. Locals call them "sardab" and "aba bafi". Evidence shows that they were dug by the Zoroastrian inhabitants who used to live there because the cave entrances open to the east where the sun rises. After they were abandoned by the Zoroastrians, Muslim inhabitants used them as loom workshops to weave cloaks and rugs. (Some photos are shown.) There is an ancient fort over the hill, 150 yards away, with a small entrance at the back. There a visitor can enjoy a beautiful perspective of the village and the desert around it. There is no fee for visiting the caves or the fort. The caves are open dawn to dusk, with a short break from noon to 1:30 P.M. Weaving cloaks by hand is one of the most valuable handicrafts and historical arts of Naein. Some of the workshops are 700 years old. The production center of this industry, Muhammadieh, is a precinct of Naein. Naein’s winter textiles are very famous and are produced by two types of sheep and camel wools. Clothing styles have changed, but the cloaks are still quite famous in some Arab countries.
Hand woven carpets
Handmade products in Naein are very important. Weaving carpets, a fine art, began in Naein about the time of World War II. Because carpet weavers from Naein worked with thinner wools, they began to weave rugs of much higher quality. Since the number of carpets produced was low and the quality of carpets was exceptionally high, the weavers found a profitable market. Carpet-weaving in Naein has a history of applying non-Iranian wools and of using local, traditional designs with unique coloring, thus drawing the attention of the world market to Naein. Naein’s carpets are woven in diverse places in Iran, thanks to the advent of technology. Weavers throughout Iran can weave any kind of carpet. But a prospective carpet buyer should consider that the quality of the same kind of carpet, in different places, is different. Using natural and traditional colors and dying techniques peculiar to the region around Naein, carpet weavers in Naein can easily profess that they are some of the best producers of handwoven carpet in all of Iran, and the world.
The act of coloring or dying in this region is done by natural and traditional colors which has a little difference with other carpet weaving centers in Iran and in spite of some chemical colors which are use as an aid, The natural colors are still dominant in the region.
The number of colors which are used in weaving carpet are 11 main colors and 4 subsidiary colors.
Carpet structure relies on mixture and traditional style which are very accurate. Some deficiencies such as curving, not applying stamen, starching, color mixing and wrong weaving in Naeen carpet are very little and the quality of production is very high and it has a top standard. Weaving devices are mostly made of wood and attempts has been done to change the wood devices in to metal devices. Naeen can easily claim that it is one of the best producer of hand woven carpets in Iran
Muhammadieh is a village located about 2km east of Naein. The village name means “the ones who follow the Prophet of Islam.” There are some important cultural and economic factors that cause this village to stand out among the other villages in the region: the beautiful Jameh Mosque and the Sar Kuche Mosque, the glorious fortress, the ancient Rigareh watermill, and the cloak workshops.
The Mosque of Mohammadieh
This mosque was built in the late 10th and early 11th Centuries A.D. The altar of the mosque and the ceilings on the two sides of the mosque's nocturnal prayer hall or “Shabestan” bear much resemblance to the Jameh Mosque of Naein.
Desert trekking is one of the exceptional possibilities for sightseers in this desert town, since a desert with moving sand dunes surrounds Naein. There is no regular desert transport, so a private taxi or car should be rented. The same man who rents bicycles can also organize the budget tours to the desert.
There is an internet cafe owner who is a local guide. He also has bicycles to rent. Contact him at +913 923 0520.
Naein’s carpets and cloaks are famous and reasonably priced. Woolen textiles are available in Muhammadieh. You can buy the handicrafts directly from the producers.
Lale Sahra "لاله صحرا" Restaurant, located on Motahari Street, has some typical but high-quality Persian food, with the good service. There is a place for having traditional “abgusht” in front of Masjid Al-Reza. Also, “del'o jigar” is available in a small shop front of Laleh Park. You can have a delicious meal for just 2$. Mirza traditional restaurant is scheduled to open soon.
If you want to taste a good yogurt drink, you can find it at Del'o Jigar . Doogh (دوغ) is a sour drink made from yogurt, salt, and water, sometimes carbonated and sometimes flavoured with mint or other plants. It is an acquired taste but will rehydrate you quickly in the heat of Iran's summer. It is the same as Turkish “ayran.”
Jahangardi hhotel (ITTO) and Gholami Inn are available for both budget and midrange travelers. The government-run, excellent Jahangardi Hotel is south of Imam Square, toward Isfahan Road. It has stylish, split-level, apartment-style rooms. (0323 225 3088)
Budget travelers can find good value at Mosaferkhaneh Gholami, about 300m east of Imam Square, toward the Imamzadeh. There is no English sign, but it's a three-story building placed above a bakery. (0323 225 2441) There is a free, quiet, secure place for camping for those who like to stay outdoors. It is popular among cyclists, bikers and backpackers. It's the historical complex of Babol Masjid, where the Jameh Mosque is located. The camping area is the open part of Hussainieh. The public rest room is always open. The locals are very friendly and helpful. The Hussainieh is off-limits only during religious ceremonies. Two hotels are going to be open within two years in the historical part of town. One hotel will be traditional; the other, in the mid-range class. Naein has two other hotels. Rooms at all four hotels can be reserved in advance and at a discount, depending on the season. Each hotel is staffed by an English-speaking hotel manager. Room discounts can also be acquired by calling 0323 225 7930.
0323 is the town code.
There is regular bus To Esfahan almost every half an hours is available in the only bus station of the town. also private Taxi would be available 24 hours a day on the "Falake Esfahan" , Esfahan roundabout. departing the town to Yazd is possible by waiting for the buses to yazd in "Falake Esfahan" , Esfahan aroundabout or taking a taxi to the Yazd road police station.