Ahvaz or Ahwaz is the capital of Khuzsestan Provine in the south west of Iran, and is located on the banks of Karoun River, which is the only navigable river in Iran. With a population of about 1.5 million, Ahwaz is home to Persians, Iranian Arabs, Bakhtiaris and etc. Ahvaz lies on 19 meters over the sea level.
Khuseztan region is one of the oldest parts of Iran! Duo to the ancient Elamite civilization (2700 – 539 BC) with Susa as their capital the region can be called as on of the cradles of Iranian civilization. But the city of Ahwaz history dates back to Achaemenid period. During Sassanid period the city was rebuilt by Ardashir I (224-241 CE), the founder of the dynasty and it was called Hormuzd Ardashir. After the conquest of Iran by Muslim Arabs the city was renamed to Suq al Ahwaz. The discovery of oil in Khuzestan region in early 20th century brought new prosperity to Ahwaz. Because of its location near the boarder of Iraq it was bombarded badly during Iraq-Iran war in 1980s.
Ahvaz has a desert and hot climate with a very litte amount of rainfall during the year. At 12.4 °C on average, January is the coldest month of the year, while June is the hottest month of the year with average temperature of 36.2 °C.
What to see in Ahwaz and around the city?
Located 116 kilometers from Ahvaz, Shush or Susa is one of the oldest human settlements with 6000 years of antiquity and is registered as a world UNESCO heritage. The ancient city of Susa was the capital of the Elamite Civilization (2700- 539 BC) and later it was the capital of the Achaemenid king Darius I and his successors (521- 330 BC). The remnants of ancient Susa (archeological mounds) and the ruins of Apadana Palace left from the kingdom of Darius 1 are what must be seen in Susa. The ancient city of Susa is registered as a World Heritage by UNESCO.
Tomb of Daniel the Prophet
Although different places have been introduced as the burial place of Daniel the biblical and Islamic prophet, the one located in the city of Susa is the most accepted one. This mausoleum is known for the unique construction of its dome which is known as conical or pineapple dome.
Chogha Zanbil Temple
The ancient Chogha Zanbil Temple (Ziggurat) was constructed 1250 BC by the Elamite king, Untash Gal and was dedicated to Inshushinak the main god of Susa. The phrase Choghazanbil literally means “basket mound” and this ancient heritage, which is 133 kilometers away from Ahvaz, was the first place registered as a UNESCO world heritage in Iran.
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
Being inscribed as a masterpiece of creative engineering, Shushtar Hydraulic System was constructed during the Sassanid Period (3rd to 7th century) but most probably on an older base, which can be traced back to the reign of the King Darius I (521- 486 BC). This genius complex which is another UNESCO world heritage in this region includes, water mills, dams, tunnels, and canals.