Khuzestan is a province in southwestern Iran, located on the shores of the Persian Gulf and is known as the center of Iran’s oil and gas production. The Khuzestan province has an area of 64,057 square kilometers and with a population of 4,710,506 people (2016), it is the fifth most populous province in Iran. In 1303 AH, the center of Khuzestan province was moved from Shushtar to Ahvaz. Since then, the city of Ahvaz has been the center of the province. Among the moast famous mountains of Khuzestan, we can mention Kuh-e Chour, Zardkooh, Shavish, Ab-bandan, Mamazad, Kuh-e Siah and Kuh-e Chal.
Khuzestan means the land of the Khuzi or Huzi people. According to some beliefs, the word “Khuz” is the name of a tribe that lived in Khuzestan. From another group’s point of view, “Khuz” means “sugar” and “sugarcane”, which is due to the fertile soil of Khuzestan, which is proper for the growth of this plant and has produced the best sugarcane crop. Historically, Khuzestan is the oldest plateau in Iran, with a history of human settlement dating back to 2,700 BC and the formation of the Elamite civilization in the third millennium BC. The inscriptions of Darius I and Xerxes Shah show a very clear history of Khuzestan province in the Achaemenid period and the tourists and travelers can see the magnificent monuments of the Achaemenid period in different parts of this province.
The Sassanid period is also one of the most important and glorious periods in the history of Khuzestan province, and today you can see the objects and antiques of this period in many museums of this province. The proximity of Khuzestan province on the Silk Road has caused many traders and merchants to visit Khuzestan province during these times and have made this province prosperous and famous. Khuzestan was also one of the first provinces to turn to Islamism, and this has led to the Islamic period being one of the most important and unique periods in the history of Khuzestan province.
Khuzestan is one of the most important and valuable regions of Iran, with tourist attractions are unique in natural, historical, architectural, social and cultural fields. Choghazanbil ziggurats and Shushtar water structures have been inscribed on UNESCO. Shadegan Wetland is also one of the few wetlands on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has great value.
The largest river in the province, the Karun River, has been the largest and most water-rich river in Iran and the only navigable river in Iran since the Achaemenid period.
Khuzestan province is the richest province in the country in terms of oil and gas resources. Ahvaz is the center of the oil and gas distribution industry in Khuzestan and all oil-rich regions in southern, western and eastern Iran. The world’s first oil well has been drilled in Masjed Soleyman of Khuzestan. Abadan Refinery, the country’s largest refinery, was the world’s largest refinery before suffering much damage during the Iraq invasion. Abadan Refinery and Bandar Imam Petrochemical center and Mahshahr Petrochemical center are among the oil-dependent industries in this province.
Choghazanbil Ziggurat Temple is the most famous and important historical and architectural monument of Shush city, which is more than 3200 years old. This monument was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as Iran’s first national monument. The historic city of Shush itself is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Akruppel, Apadana and the Shahre shahi (royal city) are also remnants of the ancient cities of the Shush region. Other important monuments in the ancient region of Shush include the tomb of Daniel the Prophet and several ancient castles, each of which reflects the region’s brilliant art and history.
One of the beautiful manifestations of the culture of the Iranian ethnic groups is their local costumes, which show the historical antiquity, cultural richness and their identity. Khuzestan is the home of various Iranian tribes, which as a result has a great variety of local costumes. Khuzestan Arab men’s clothing consists of Dashdasheh, Basht or Khachieh, Chafieh or Kofieh and Aqal. The clothing of Arab women is also made up of abaya or aba (Arabic chador), shilleh, chellab, ussabeh or cherghadiyah, nefnof, albas, tawb and bushiyah.
Dates, Kelicheh, Halva-shekari and citrus of Dezfoul are among the most important souvenirs of Khuzestan. Kapobafi, Afshar kilim of Khuzestan, Ababafi and Qalam -ney are special handicrafts of this province.
Khuzestan is one of the oldest provinces in Iran in shaping the history of human civilization in the world. There are so many historical monuments and natural attractions in Khuzestan province. Diverse nature, along with ethnic and religious diversity, has made this region of Iran a significant tourist destination. The best time to travel to this province is late September to mid-May.
Archaeological site of Choghaznabil ziggurat in Shush, Shushtar water structures, Shush Apadana Palace, Shush Castle, the Salasel Castle, Kaveh Bazaar of Ahvaz, Daniel Nabi Tomb in Shush, Shushtar Grand Mosque, Shushtar Kulah-pahlavi Tower, the ancient site of Ashk-farah in Izeh, Tomb of Yaqub Laith Saffari in Dezfoul, Tashkuh in Ramhormoz, the ancient region of Eshkaft-e Salman of Izeh, the Armenian Church of Abadan, the Abadan Museum and the old Dezfoul Bridge are some of the most important historical tourist sites in the Khuzestan province. The Dezfoul Bridge is the oldest bridge in the world, which is also known as the Sasani Bridge and is still open to the public today.
Khuzestan’s food is often spicy. Adjacent to the sea puts delicious fish in the food basket of these people who cook it in various ways such as grilling or with pilaf. Famous and favorable samosas and falafel have also made their way to other cities of the country and even other parts of the world. Spicy Indian food and delicious food of the Arab people are also very popular in Khuzestan and can be seen on the table of people all over the province.
Along with the historical attractions of this province, there are also beautiful natural attractions, such as Ahvaz Karun River, Hoveyzeh or Hur al-Azim Wetland, Shadegan International Wetland, Masjed Soleiman Kushk Island, Dez River and Kaleh Ali Dezfoul Beach Resort, Dezfoul kats, Dezfoul’s Shevi Waterfall mentioned the tallest natural waterfall in the Middle East, Susan Izeh plain, Shahyoun lake or Dāryācheh-ye Sādd-e Dez in Dezfoul and Arvandrud in Abadan.