Baluchistan is a fascinating region in southeast of Iran and it’s one of the most intact areas anyone could visit. For many travellers, Baluchistan is a big no-go place as it’s close to the Pakistani border and often portrayed negatively in the media. Those who have travelled here, however, say something different. Baluchistan is extraordinary in all kinds of way. Whether you’re looking for stunning untouched nature, or the warmest people and long history, Baluchistan has plenty to offer. Baluchistan is located close to the equator, just north of the Oman sea. You can enjoy a great variety of climates and attractions in the region. Living alongside with Baluch people and witnessing their daily routines and rituals is also another interesting part of traveling to Baluchistan.
Where is Baluchistan?
Baluchistan is the name of a wide land which is the home to Baluch people. Baluchistan is expanded in the southeastern parts of the Iranian plateau, in countries of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Baluchistan in Iran is currently located in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan. This province is in the southeast edge of Iran, beside the Sea of Oman and Iran-Pakistan borderline. The province has two main regions with separate nationalities, Sistan is located in the north of the province and Baluchistan in the south.
Who are Baluch people?
The Baluch people are Iranians and their originality goes back to the Sasanian Empire around two thousand years ago. Many of Baluch people have immigrated to other lands like Khorasan, northern regions of Iran and even other countries. However the majority of Baluchis live in Sistan and Baluchistan province. The Baluch nation are Sunni Muslims and they speak their own language which is called Baluchi.
Top places to visit in Baluchistan
Top places to visit in Baluchistan Sistan and Baluchistan has many places you can visit. Here we will give you a brief introduction of the top places you should not miss during your visit.
#1 Shahr-e Sukhte (the Burnt City)
The remaining of one of the most advanced ancient cities is now open for visitors. The civilisation of Shahr-e Sukhte goes back to the bronze age, about five thousand years ago. Unlike its name, there no fire or war has the reason for the destruction of this civilisation. In fact the city was an industrial region with many ovens and the trash ashes stored around the city. When this region was discovered for the first time, these ashes made the excavators to wrongly name the area Shahr-e Sukhte or Burnt city. The Burnt City is located near Zabol in the northern parts of the province. You can see many stunning remnants from this civilisation. These objects can give you a hint of how their life used to be and how advanced they were. The civilisation of Shahr-e Sukhte were the creators of amazing things like the first example of animation and artificial eyes. To get to Shahr-e Sukhte you need a one hour ride from the city of Zabol.
#2 Jame mosque of Makki
One of the biggest mosques in the world and the most famous mosque of Sunni Muslims is located in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province. This mosque is built with the properties of Iranian architecture. The instruction is also inspired by Sultan Ahmed mosque in Istanbul and the prophet’s mosque in the city of Medina. This mosque was built by the voluntary help of the natives. Many of its expenses were also supplied by the people of the region.
#2 The Martian Mountains, Chabahar
These mountains, located near Chabahar, are named Martian due of their special appearance which looks like the surface of Mars. These mountains have been formed due to sedimentary processes. The main elements of these mountains are the remains of marine life and sands. The Martian mountains are a special geological structure with delicate designs and beautiful colors.
#3 The Beach of Beris
One of the most beautiful beaches of southern Iran is located in Chabahar, in Sistan and Baluchistan. Beris is harbour with colourful fishing boats floating over turquoise blue waters of the Oman Sea. Is it by far, the most popular scenery witnessed by tourists.
#4 Lipar pond, Chabahar
The pond of Lipar is one of the few of its kind in the world. Lipar is a pink pond in Sistan and Baluchistan. Due to the presence of phytoplanctons this pond has a special pink color. The area has a great variety of plant and animal life and is a great destination for every geology enthusiast.
#5 Darak beach
An enchanting place where the desert meets the sea. Darak is one of the most special coastal regions in Iran with the most fascinating views. You can spend a night at one of the local residences and wake up early in the morning to witness the beautiful view of the sunrise over the deserted beach.
#6 Gwadar Bay
Gwadar region is located at the most terminal part of Iran, right at the borderline. This region has a fishing port and many natural wonders. Just like other parts of the southern coastal regions, there is a mangrove forest in Baluchistan, at the Gwadar region. You can ride a boat among the trees and witness the unique ecosystem of the region. This area is also home to special species of reptiles, like the mugger crocodile. This native specie of crocodile lives in Iran and Pakistan and the locals have found a way to peacefully live with it. Watching the villagers feed them is one of the attractions of visiting Baluchistan.
Top things to do in Baluchistan
People of Baluchistan have a very unique culture of their own. There are many interesting aspects about their ceremonies, costumes, cuisine and even the handicrafts.
#1 The handicrafts of Baluchistan
The most famous handicraft of Baluchistan is needlework. Soozan-Doozi or needlework is the art of making patterns on textiles by knitting special shapes using a needle. Although needlework is done in many parts of Iran, but the one done by Baluchis is most intricate and valuable one. You can see many needlework fabrics used in the daily attires of Baluchi people and it’s not only priceless souvenir to buy, but also a great way to help the local women to continue preserving this labour laboursome art. Needlework has been taught by mothers to their daughters during centuries.
#2 Baluchi Folk dance
The people of Baluchistan have their own musical instruments and they play special songs for different ceremonies. Weather it is a happy occasion or a mourning, different kinds of music is played by Baluchi people. The dance, however, mostly takes place in happy gatherings like weddings or social ceremonies. Baluchi folk dance provides a state were all the people regardless of their social class can gather and enjoy the ceremony together.