Jandaq, two thousand years old city
Translator: Hasti Tavakoli
Extracted from Rasekhoon
Jandaq is a small town in the southern margin of the central desert of Iran in the northeast of Isfahan province and is a function of the city of Na'in. The term Jandaq is derived from the two words of Janb (next to) and Daq (plain, desert, and ground).
We know the poet of the twelfth century "Yaghma Jandaqi". But little information is available on the city of Jandaq and the desert region of Iran. Jandaq is a familiar name for domestic and foreign tourists, astronomers, historians and cultural heritage lovers. Despite its small size, it has many positive features that we can say it is city of thousands of figures and a thousand of goodness.
● In the heart of the desert
Jandaq is a small town in the southern margin of the central desert of Iran in the northeast of Isfahan province and is a function of the city of Na'in. The term Jandaq is derived from the two words of Janb (next to) and Daq (plain, desert, and ground). It is located in the heart of the desert, and it is natural that it will be hard to go there, but many domestic and foreign tourists go to the city every year. The tourist attractions of this small town are varied and we will describe them in detail.
● The only residential castle of Iran
The history of the city of Jandaq is based on the remains of the past two thousand years. It is a city on the edge of the famous historical Silk Road and it used to be a harbor of the desert as a resting place for passing caravans.
Anoushirvan Castle is in Jandaq which is the only castle in our country that people still inhabit in. Anoushirvan Castle is one of the country's largest historical castles, which consists of a four-wall building that in every corner it has a tower.
This historic and spectacular castle has a gate that has two towers in 22 meters high that open to the east.
Anoushirvan Castle has its own unique architecture within the historical context of Jandaq, with its special features. If you pass Anoushirovan Castle in the middle of the summer when is the warmest in Jandaq, you will experience a cool nice climate and if you walk in the castle's alleys in winter, you will experience a relatively warm weather.
This castle has very beautiful and old houses, in which still people of Jandaq inhabit, but despite its unique features, it has been neglected.
Ali Etebari, the mayor of Jandaq, tells Iran about this: Anushirvan Castle of Jandaq is the only residential castle in Iran waiting for the representatives of the cultural heritage and tourism. The castle is demolished due to lack of protection and restoration, and last year the Cultural Heritage Organization funded 10 million Tomans for the restoration of the Anoushiran Castle, which we could not even repair the entrance. This great castle can be restored to be one of the attractions of the country's tourism and cultural heritage.
Religious Jandaqi People
At Anushirvan Castle, there are Jandaq Jame Mosque and the historic home of Yaghma Jandaqi, poet of Iran. Jandaq Jame Mosque has been a gathering place for believers since 960 AH and has a field that is currently used in the month of Muharram for the mourning of the martyrs of Imam Hussein (AS).
All the people of Jandaq believe in twelve Imams and they are all religious. Despite the small population (about 6,000 people), every year we see the religious caravans going to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria.
Also, among the houses of Anoushiravan castle, Yaghma Jandaqi’s house has a special architecture. This historic house has a beautiful alcove which, according to officials, can be one of Jandaq's tourist attractions.
There is also Neyze Gah Sofe in Jandaq which is one parasang southeast of the city over a farm hill with a dome porch and cob walls, which is a shrine for Jandaqi people, because it has been heard that one day in this place people have visited Imam Mahdi.
The people of Jandaq also praise themselves that when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was appointed for prophetic mission, elders of this city went to the Prophet of Allah and presented him the gifts of the Jandaqi people. The mayor of Jandaq says: In the book “Hadighat Al-Shi'a”, by Ardabili, a narration is mentioned in which a group of Jandaqi people go to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and gave the prophet a gift of the silk carpet woven in Jandaq.
This hadith, known as the Basat hadith, is written on pages 381 to 384 of the Hedighat al-Shi'a.
"Etebari" says about handmade carpets of Jandaq: Jandaq carpet is one of the most beautiful handmade carpets in Iran and Na’in, but it has stopped flourishing due to lack of profit.
● Egypt in Iran
The Egyptian tourist village, which hosts many domestic and foreign tourists, is located 40 km from Jandaq.
The village was founded 150 years ago by a person called Yusuf and was named after the country where Yusuf (AS) ruled, Egypt. The Egyptian countryside is considered by the nature lovers and deserter due to its geographical location and the presence of beautiful sandstone hills. In this village, camel rides are available to be used by tourists.
Passing through the hills of sandstones is a beautiful experience that will be unforgettable with the presence in Jandaq and the village of Egypt.
Egyptian tourist camps also spend the night in the middle of the desert to experience the most prestigious nights. The stars on the nights of the desert are so beautiful and close to the viewer that they open their hands for many times to catch them. Foreign tourists visiting this point of the desert are excited to see all these wonders.
● Red Gold in Jandaq
Saffron is one of the important products of Jandaq. The city has the most desirable saffron in the country, but due to water shortages in the area, this product is only for native use. Etebari says: The people of Jandaq are eager to send Iran's best-selling saffron to other locations, which is why a few dams for water supply have been proposed for agricultural development in the area. If they approve with these plans, the city's agriculture will rebound. Apart from saffron, garlic, peppermint and pomegranate are other crops in this area.
Jandaq’s mayor continues: "The most desirable carpets of Na’in and Iran are woven in this city, but for some reasons, such as a lack of funds it has stopped flourishing. Jandaq carpet was one of the most famous carpets in Iran during ancient times. Due to the large distance and lack of facilities, employment is one of the biggest problems in the area. Jandaq people live by agriculture, working in brick kilns and Na’ini carpet weaving.
There are also many mines around Jandaq where young people are involved.
The Jandaqi people expect to see the city becoming more prominent with the prosperity of tourism and the creation of a tourism hub in the desert.
Jandaq Will Develop
One of the plans that was adopted at the time of the presence of the government in the province of Isfahan and delighted the people of the area was approval of the construction of the Jandaq-Garmsar road. Etebari says: one of the problems of Jandaq is being distant from the capital city and the big cities, it is 230 km from the center of Nain and 370 km from the center of Isfahan province. That is why we presented a plan to the government that includes constructing a road from Jandaq to Garmsar in the middle of the desert, and the 300-kilometer distance from Jandaq to Tehran will be reduced. The plan was approved by the government in 2006 and is in the study. By implementing this project, Jandaq distance to Tehran will reach less than 350 km and will provide a good communication link for the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, Yazd, Kerman and South Khorasan to the capital. Also on the orders of the president, the south-to-north gas pipeline will pass through Jandaq to benefit the people of this region.
● Warm and hospitable
The people of Jandaq are very warm, hardworking, hospitable, and satisfied with a rich Islamic and religious culture. The history of Jandaq and the people of this region are present in the works of historians and writers like Naser Khosrow, in the book of travelogue, Hamdollah Mostofi, in the book of Nizhat Alqoloub, Moghaddasi in the book of Ahsan al-Taghasim and Hekmat Yaghmayi in the book “on the beach of Salt Desert”.
Jandaq became the owner of the checkpoint in 1320, but in 1350 this outpost was thrown out because in the past thirty years there was not even a single conflict or crime file. The Jandaq checkpoint has been reopened for 5 years, but it is due to road accidents.
The residents of Jandaq have hearts as large as the desert and welcome the tourists who enter the city from the beginning of autumn to mid-spring every year, when there is a pleasant weather; tourists who want to enjoy everything, from the heritage of nature to the historical heritage.