Na'in

Na'in (also known as Naein and Naeen) is a pre-Islamic town, more than 2,000 years old, on the edge of the Central Desert of Iran in the Isfahan province of Central Iran.

Understand

Mohammadieh neighborhood

Na’in lies 170 km north of Yazd and 140 km east of Isfahan and the current population is about 75,000.

With an area of almost 35,000 km², Na’in lies at an altitude of 1545 m above sea level. Like much of the Iranian plateau, it has a desert climate, with a maximum temperature of about 41°C in summer, and minimums of -9°C or so in winter.

More than 3,000 years ago the Persians learned how to construct aqueducts underground (qanat or kariz) to bring water from the mountains to the plains. In the 1960's this ancient system provided more than 70 per cent of the water used in Iran and Na’in is one of the best places in all the world to see these qanats actually working as they were intended.

Unique to Na’in are some of the most outstanding monuments in all of Iran: the Jame Mosque, one of the first four mosques built in Iran after the Arab invasion; the Pre-Islamic Narej Fortress; a Pirnia traditional house; the Old Bazaar; Rigareh, a qanat-based watermill; and a Zurkhaneh (a place for traditional sport).

Besides its magnificent monuments, Na’in is also famous for high-quality carpets and wool textiles.

Some linguists believe the word Na’in may have been derived from the name of one of the descendants of the prophet Noah, who was called "Naen". Many local people speak an ancient Pahlavi Sasani dialect, the same dialect that is spoken by the Zoroastrians in Yazd today. Other linguists state that the word Na’in is derived from the word "Nei" (“straw” in English) which is a marshy plant.

Get in

From Isfahan, travellers can use the Jay terminal and take the Na'in bus or mini bus (20,000 to 25,000 rial). An alternative is the Isfahan-Yazd bus, which leaves the terminal once every hour, if they inform the driver that Na'in is their final destination and the fare is 35,000 rial.

From Yazd, travellers can take the Yazd - Isfahan buses from Yazd terminal and ask the driver to stop in Na'in which costs 40,000 rial.

From Tehran, there are two terminals available: Jonub terminal, with buses leaving at 10:00 and 17:00; Beihaghi (Arjantin) Terminal, with one bus departing at 23:00. The ticket price is 100,000 rial.

In Na'in, there is a regular bus to Isfahan almost every half hour, from the only bus station in town. Private taxis are available 24 hours a day at the "Falake Esfahan" (Isfahan roundabout). Departing the town to Yazd is possible by waiting for the buses to Yazd at the "Falake Esfahan" or by taking a taxi to the Yazd Road police station.

See

Jame' Mosque
Rigareh watermill
Rigareh second gate
Pirnia traditional house
Mosallah
Narenj citadel
Bazaar of Na'in
Fatemi House
Underground man-made caves

Do

There is a local guide who has bicycles to rent and also accompany you to the mountaineering. You can call him at ☎ +98 939 863 6090.

Buy

Handmade products in Na'in are very important. Weaving carpets, a fine art, began in Na'in about the time of World War II. Because carpet weavers from Na'in worked with thinner wools, they began to weave rugs of much higher quality. Since the number of carpets produced was low and the quality of carpets was exceptionally high, the weavers found a profitable market. Carpet-weaving in Na'in has a history of using non-Iranian wools and of using local, traditional designs with unique colouring, thus drawing the attention of the world market. Using natural and traditional colours and dying techniques peculiar to the region, carpet weavers in the city can easily profess that they are some of the best producers of handwoven carpet in all of Iran and the world. Na'in style carpet is woven in different places in Iran - but the quality will be very different in each place. One reason that carpet actually woven in Na'in is so popular, is that it uses predominantly natural and traditional colours rather than synthetic dyes. Other reasons include the sheer quality of the weft obtained from using mainly wooden looms. This all means that Na'in can easily claim that it is one of the best producers of hand woven carpets in all Iran. Na'in’s carpets and cloaks are famous and reasonably priced. Woolen textiles are available in Muhammadieh, where you can buy the handicrafts directly from the producers.

Eat

Lale Sahra (لاله صحرا) Restaurant, located on Motahari Street, has some typical but high-quality Persian food, with the good service. There is a place for having traditional “abgusht” in front of Masjid-ar-Reza. Also, “del-o-jigar” is available in a small shop front of Laleh Park. You can have a delicious meal for just US$2. Mirza traditional restaurant is scheduled to open soon.

Drink

If you want to taste a good yoghurt drink, you can find it at Del'o Jigar . Doogh (دوغ) is a sour drink made from yoghurt, salt, and water; sometimes carbonated and sometimes flavoured with mint or other plants. It is an acquired taste but will rehydrate you quickly in the heat of Iran's summer. It is the same as Turkish ayran.

Sleep

There is a free, quiet, secure place for camping for those who like to stay outdoors. It is popular among cyclists, motorcyclists and backpackers. It's in the historical complex of Babol Masjid, where the Jameh Mosque is located.

The camping area is the open part of Hussainieh. The public rest room is always open. The locals are very friendly and helpful. The Hussainieh is off-limits only during religious ceremonies.

Two hotels are going to be open within two years in the historical part of town. One hotel will be traditional; the other in the mid-range class.

Naein has two other hotels. Rooms at all four hotels can be reserved in advance and at a discount, depending on the season. Each hotel is staffed by an English-speaking hotel manager.

Connect

Mohammadieh fort

031 is the town code.

Go next

There is a regular bus to Isfahan almost every half an hour from the only bus station in town. Private Taxis are available 24 hours a day on the Falake Esfahan (Isfahan roundabout). Trips to Yazd are possible by waiting for the buses to Yazd on Falake Esfahan or taking a taxi to the Yazd Road police station.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.