Tabas, A Jewel in the Desert:
Tabas is a small town in the central desert of Iran with a great culture and history. The city, which has a population of about 40,000, is located in the province of South Khorasan. Tabas is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Iran, which is one of the best tourist destinations due to its unique historical and natural attractions. In this city, in addition to the historical monuments left, there are also unique desert attractions that can make your trip even more attractive. Tabas is an adventurous city. It has lived since the beginning of history and has gone through many ups and downs.
History of Tabas:
The city of Tabas is the first vast city in Iran and according to historians dates back to the Achaemenid period. Due to the evidence in history, some have said that the word Tabas was a combination of the two words: Tab (fever) and Bas (end) and, thus its meaning is the end of the fever which points out its geographical location and weather. Furthermore, some have linked its name to the Seleucid languages, and finally, in his travelogue, Naser Khosrow (famous Persian poet and traveler) surprisingly called Tabas a Gilaki (the common language of northern Iran) word.
The language of the people of Tabas is Persian, except for the few villagers who still speak Crete, which is an ancient language and is a remnant of the Pahlavi language (Middle Persian). Many historians and engineers believe that a city with such antiquity and glory in the heart of a great desert is a sign of the greatness and wonders of Iranian civilization. Consequently, it is 220 km far from its nearest city.
Geographical features of Tabas:
Tabas is located in the northeast of Yazd province and southwest of South Khorasan province. Despite located in the middle of the desert, the city of Tabas is home to Iran’s largest wildlife sanctuary. Naybandan Wildlife Sanctuary is an almost inaccessible place in the center of the desert plain where the location of two relatively high mountains has provided the water needed for the region’s wildlife. Naybandan is the habitat of some rare species of Iran. The shelter, home to a wide range of species in Iran’s central plateau, is now home to the Iranian (Asian) cheetah, which appears to have become extinct for many years, and is now considered to be a safe haven for increasing the population of the Iranian cheetah. There are also three other rare species, including the hyenas, the foxes, and a kind of deer named Jabir at the Naybandan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tabas is geologically very special. Given the abundance of coal mines in Tabas, it can be understood that in the past this whole area was a forest. Also, due to its hot springs and various sedimentary rocks and mountains, Tabas city is a paradise for geologists who love nature.
Local food of Tabas:
Tabas has a variety of local cuisine that reflects the good taste of the people of this city. Josh-e-Pureh, Ash-e-Lakhshk, Ash-e-Qaliyeh, Ash-e-Anar, Ash-e-Amaj, and Ash-e-Borsh are just some of the local soups of this city. The most famous dishes of Tabas include bulgur broth, wheat broth, goat broth, and curd broth. Qorut is a type of curd that has many fans among the people of Tabas. The people of this city use Qorut in the preparation of local food, which gives a delicious taste to the food.
Tabas tourist attractions:
Haderbash tower or watchtower, formerly used to protect and care for groves of wild animals or predators, is now one of the tourist attractions of Tabas.
Shah Abbasi Dam:
One of the features that distinguish Shah Abbasi barrier from other dams is its special and unique design. The dam is designed in such a way that no sediment is stored behind the dam and it can be expected that for thousands of years, this unique structure will perform its main function without the need for maintenance and management. Shah Abbasi Dam was built to prevent flooding during the seasonal rains in the region. The architecture of Shah Abbasi Dam is similar to the architecture of Azadi Tower, except that it is built on a narrow gorge between two mountains and is 60 meters high. The locals call the Abbasi Dam the Abbasi Arch. This unique arch is 700 years old.
One of the unique features of the Crete Dam is its arch. This old dam can hold a volume of more than one million cubic meters of water. From time immemorial, the dam has been responsible for supplying water to downstream villages. In fact, it can be said that the livelihood of the people of Tabas throughout history has depended on the Crete Dam. It should be noted that this dam was registered in the list of national monuments in 2000.
The Ismaili fortress belongs to the Seljuk period. The castle is surrounded on four sides by mountains. Historical books state that it took 12 years to build this castle so that it would be safe in every way and the enemy would not find a way to it. There are also four water reservoirs inside the castle, the healthiest of which is at the highest level of the mountain.
The architectural style of Tabas Castle indicates the antiquity of this building. The east, west, and north of the castle are surrounded by mountains, and there is nothing but the tops of the mountains. But to the south of the castle, there is a large bright place called Tabas Plain. Due to the proximity of the castle to this plain, the Ismailis called it “Tabas Castle”.
Kal Jenni (Cal Jenny):
Cal Jenny is a very old valley in Tabas. It is also called the valley of the jinn. Cal Jenny Valley is located in the north of Tabas, near the village of Azmighan, and is a mysterious land. The ancient natives consider Cal Jenny to be the realm of the jinn. They warn people not to go to Cal Jenny alone. This valley is a scary place. You’ll be amazed to know that many people have lived there in the past! Cal Jenny is a small sample of the Grand Canyon in the United States. In the distant past, erosion caused by the passage of roaring rivers has dug the earth to a depth of 50 meters, and this feature has created unique geology.
This beautiful and lush garden is located in the heart of the Iranian desert and at the end of Golshan Boulevard in Tabas, and its construction dates back to the Afshari period. The factor that makes this garden special is not its age, but its architecture and structure. Golshan Garden is one of the leading examples of Iranian gardens and is a good example of Iranian architecture, art, and design. In the middle of this garden, there is a flowing river, the water of which is connected by several aqueducts around the city of Tabas. In the past, the water from these Qanats (Persian aqueducts) first reached the Golshan Garden and then flowed to other parts of the city, indicating the precision of the garden’s location above the city, which is like a gateway to the desert city.
The architectural features of this caravanserai are the spatial body of the windbreak complex and the royal dome. This caravanserai is located on the old Tabas-Yazd road.
Helvan Cave is located 75 km west of Tabas city. Helwan Cave is one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Tabas. It is worth mentioning that this cave dates back to 160 million years ago, that is, the Middle Jurassic period. In this cave, many remains of animal bones such as sheep, camels, donkeys, and birds have been seen, based on the available evidence, it can be said that this cave was once a shelter for predators.