Bride of Zagros
Despite being situated in the cold mountainous region of Iran, Ilam’s climate is largely influenced by deserts from the west and the south. Hence the city experiences heavy rain showers or snow in winter and has dusty, hot and dry weather in summer.
Historical evidence shows Ilam, which was called Alamto or Alam meaning 'mountains' or 'the country of sunrise' in Elamite and Babylonian inscriptions, was an important center of the Elamite civilization, linking the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia. During later periods the city’s name was changed to Aryojan until in 1929, the Iranian government changed the city’s name to Ilam.
The province is an area rich in Bronze and Iron Age archeological sites mostly in the form of cemeteries. Chenar Graveyard, a site datable to the first millennium BC, Kian-e-Gonbad Graveyard, which archaeological studies suggest dates to 2500-2600 BC, and Pelkeh Kan Graveyard, where numerous Stone Age artifacts have been discovered are the most famous of these cemeteries.
These cemeteries, which hold invaluable ethnographical and chronological information on social and economic relations, indicated that throughout the millennia Ilam has witnessed the rise and fall of countless civilizations.
The city is also known for its beautiful natural attractions Haft Ab Valley, Ilam Dam Lake, Chamava and Sartaf Waterfalls and Sheshdar Forest Park near Mount Qalaqiran (Mount Ghalaghiran). Ilam is close to Kabir Kouh Mountain range and its many peaks most notably Mount Shalam.
It is also one of the first regions in the world to have an agricultural system. The city has an Agriculture Museum dedicated to the history of agriculture, which showcases various methods farming.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Ab-Goosht-e Bamiye or Ochra Ab-Goosht- A spicy, thick soup made of Ochra, tomatoes, onion and ground pepper, served with local bread.
- Dandeh Polo or Rib Rice – A mixed Rice dish consisting of lamb ribs and rice seasoned with powdered caraway and cinnamon
- Sholeh Amiri- A thick soup made of mung bean, rice, onion and turmeric, which locals believe is a remedy to the common cold and can even prevent it.