Kangavar is a small town of great antiquity lying halfway between Hamadan and Kermanshah. In about 200 B.C., during the Seleucid Greek occupation of Kangavar, a major sanctuary was erected to the mother goddess Anahita-who was worshipped in ancient Persia along with Ahura-Mazda and Mithras. This vast temple was built of enormous blocks of dressed stone with an imposing entrance of opposed stair cases which may have been inspired by the Apadana at Persepolis.

Abandoned caravansaries and crumbling fortifications in many parts of the province indicate that for centuries it was an important junction on the caravan routes, connecting Iran and the subcontinent. In the early nineteenth century, Ebrahim Khan, Governor of Kerman, constructed an attractive ensemble of three buildings inside the Kerman Bazaar including a lovely madrasseh built around a garden courtyard. But Kerman is probably best known for the Ganj-Ali-Khan complex, including the bazaar, hamam (bathhouse) converted into a museum, caravanserai and traditional teahouse, all with the finest tile and stucco work. Kerman’s bazaar offers, in addition to the region’s renowned carpets, some of Iran’s finest textiles, and the province’s delicious dates.