What lures tourists to Paris besides many remarkable museums and the spectacular Eifel Tower? Probably your answer is the Seine River. Let’s get back to Iran, to the glamorous city of Isfahan, where is somehow the same. Isfahan has a really rich history itself, but one breathtaking river, crossing the city is another aspect of its beauties. Zayandeh Rud River is the river splitting the city in half, turning Isfahan to a big great garden.
Many tribes were attracted to reside along this river and they gradually formed a great civilization. Zayandeh Rud River is one of the most well-known rivers in Iran. The river bed meets many villages, gardens, and farms. It makes all the lands fertile and that’s why they call it “Zayandeh” or “Zendeh” which literally means alive. The river gives life to wherever it passes by.
The History Of Zayandeh Rud
The Zayandeh Rud River has played a crucial role in the development of Isfahan since ancient times. According to historical records, the river was initially called “Gavkhaneh Rud” or the “river of cowsheds” since the early inhabitants of the region were cattle herders. As civilization developed along the banks of the river, it became a source of life for the inhabitants, allowing agriculture to thrive and the city to grow.
Its water was also used for irrigation, drinking, and as a source of energy to power mills and other machinery. However, due to climate change and human intervention, the river has been drying up, causing significant environmental and economic impacts. Understanding the history and significance of the Zayandeh Rud River can help us appreciate its importance and work towards preserving it for future generations. (Sources: “Water Resources and the Urban Environment in Iran” by Kaveh Madani, “The Role of the Zayandeh Rud River in the Development of Isfahan” by Farhad Najafi)
Let’s Know More About Zayandeh Rud
Zayandeh Rud River is the largest river in the Central Iranian Plateau, with a total length of approximately 400 km. It originates from the Zagros Mountains, passes through many cities including Farsan, Daran, Shahr-e Kord, Zarrin Shahr, and Isfahan, and finally ends its journey in Gavkhuni Pond.
The river played a significant role in the development of Isfahan as a city, as many tribes were attracted to settle along its banks, gradually forming a great civilization. The river’s fertile lands made agriculture possible, and it provided a source of water for irrigation, domestic use, and transportation.
The bridges built over the river, such as Sio-se-pol, Khajoo, Marnan, and Shahrestan, are historical landmarks that attest to the river’s importance to the city’s cultural and social life.
The Great River – A Reason for Building Historical Bridges
As Isfahan has been the capital city in several eras, lots of bridges and bird towers exist nearby. In Isfahan, the most famous bridges over this river are Sio-se-pol, Khajoo, Marnan, and Shahrestan.
If you want to know one of the entertainments Safavid kings had, simply go to the Khajoo Bridge. You can observe an outstanding building in the middle of the bridge which is decorated with gorgeous tiles. This is the place kings used to accommodate, relax and enjoy the playful waves. Also in the same place, they invited authorities to watch swimming or boat races.
Find Singing Talents Under the Bridge at Night
It’s been a tradition that some people who have a talent for singing started to warble under the bridge, anyone can gather around them to savor the combination of the sprightful watercourse with a pleasant rhythm. Near Sio-se-pol Bridge, many celebrations were held, people used to splash each other with water or rose water in special festivals. The kings, courtiers, and poets also used to have important meetings there.
Where Does Zayandeh Rud River End?
After passing Isfahan, the river ends its long journey in Gavkhuni Pond, but recently, due to the lack of water, Zayandeh Rud gets dry in Isfahan for long periods. This hurts any tender-hearted person who has seen the beauties of Isfahan with the river. Also, some occupations related to agriculture are affected by this tragedy. However, it’s still magnificent and can make a person amazed by its enticement.
Perfect Picnic Spot by the River
In Isfahan, there are many fabulous parks and meadows near the river. So, people usually have their picnics in the same areas at weekends. This is the time when many relatives gather and share their daily routines with each other. There are also good sites for exercising as you can see groups of people who are playing volleyball, badminton, or skating.
There’s an elegant road called the ‘Health road’, particularly for walking and cycling along the river, you can really relish the rich nature there. It is located in Nazhvan Forest Park. In addition, being in the beautiful parks around bridges are so relaxing and joyful. Finally, after a visit to the city, spending time in green areas without any urban disturbance can make you fresh and calm.