Ilām Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. In 2014 it was placed in Region 4. It is in the west of the country, bordering Iraq. Its provincial center is the city of Ilām. Covering an area of 19,086 square km include Ilām, Mehran, Dehloran, Darreh-Shahr, Sarab, Eyvan, Abdanan and Arkwaz cities. Ilām province shares its borders with 3 neighbor Iranian provinces and Iraq, Khouzestān province in the south, Lorestān province in the east, Kermānshāh province in the north and Iraq in the west with 425 km of common border.
About Ilam Province
Historical evidence shows Ilām, 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. Limited archaeological studies and discoveries indicate 6,000 years of tribal residence in Ilām. Historical evidence indicates that Ilām province was part of the ancient Elamite Empire. Existence of numerous historical vestiges in Ilām province belonging to the Sassanid period indicates the specific importance of the region in that time. During later periods the city’s name was changed to Aryojan until in 1929, the Iranian government changed the city’s name to Ilām. 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, Kiane-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 Ilām has witnessed the rise and fall of countless civilizations. Ilām 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.
Ilām province covers an area of 19,086 km2 (7,369 sq mi), about 4.1 percent of the country. The northwest- southeast alignment of Zagros Mountains forms the terrain of the area. The two important mountain ridges are Kabir-Kouh and Dinar-Kouh. Being located in the western-most part of Zagross Mountains gives the province its special landscape including deserts in the western counties of Mehran and Dehloran bordering Iraq which feature very hot summers and mild winters and very low precipitations and the mountainous regions of east like Abdanan and Darreh-Shahr which are milder and receive higher precipitations, mostly in form of rain, although snow is not rare. Despite being situated in the cold mountainous region of Iran, Ilām’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.
Kurds comprise approximately 86% of the province’s population, with most other inhabitants being Lurs, Laks and Arabs. Ilām Kurds are predominantly Feyli Kurds. The absolute majority of the residents in the southern part of the province (Abdanan, Badreh, Dehloran and Mehran) are Kurds and speak Kurdish. The majority are Feyli, such as those of Khezel, Arkawâzi, Beyrey (Ali Sherwan) and Malek shahi. All of residents in Ilām province are Shi’a Muslims.
Agriculture, Non-metal minerals, Oil & Gas- Textile, Mining (Bitumen-Gypsum- Shale- Calcium carbonate (limestone)
Ilām province is a tribal region and its handicrafts specially embossed Kilim is famous nationally. The most important handicrafts of the province are: wickerwork, coarse carpet, silk products, rug, felt carpet, wooden product.
Embossed Kilim is one of the handicrafts of Ilām that is famous for a long time and is a unique souvenir for travelers.
Giveh is mostly used in cold places because they are water proof and rain doesn’t penetrate in it.
Food & Drink
Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the neighboring cultures impact, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. vegetables are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes. Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form. Iranian best foods include:
Kebab is one of the popular and special foods of Iran, usually made from pieces of meat or grinded meat with spices. Iranian use a unique method to prepare Kebab. Iranian kebab has different varieties such as Barg Kebab, Koobideh Kebab, chicken Kebab (Joojeh Kebab), Shishlik Kebab, Bonab Kebab, Chenjeh Kebab and Soltani Kebab. The most popular one is Koobideh Kebab (grinded meat with spices).
Qeymeh consists split pea, meat and dried lime, and is served with rice. It is usually prepared as votive dish (Nazri) at many religious occasions.
Abgoosht or Dizi is one of the traditional Iranian dishes consists of lamb meat, tomatoes and peas. When it is cooked in stoneware crocks (Dizi), it is called Dizi Sangi. Abgoosht is in varieties such as Bozbash Abgoosht, Whey Abgoosht, Wheat Abgoosht and Bulgur Abgoosht, etc. It is usually eaten with Sangak bread, vegetables, dough and onion.
This original Iranian stew is one of the most delicious cuisines in Iran. Qormeh Sabzi has a unique flavor and consists of red beans, sour vegetables, meat and dried lime, and is served with Iranian rice
Pulau or cooked rice is the most important Iranian food at ceremonies, occasions and parties, served as Kateh or steamed rice. This food can be served with a variety of stews and cooked with meat, vegetable or various kinds of beans as well. Saffron and barberry are also used to decorate the rice. Various types of Persian pulau include: Zereshk Polo (barberry and rice), Baghali Polo (broad bean and rice), Loobia Polo (beans and rice), Sabzi Polo (vegetable and rice), Albaloo Polo (sour cherry and rice), Shirin Polo (sweet rice), Adas Polo (lentils and rice), Reshteh Polo (noodles and rice) and Kalam Polo Shirazi (shredded cabbage and rice).
Various pottages (Ash) are cooked in each region of Iran using its own dish. In the meantime, Ash-e Reshteh is the most well-known, which is prepared by various beans, especial vegetables, noodle (Reshteh) and whey.
This iconic stew, an essential part of every Persian wedding menu. Khoresht-e fesenjan traditionally made with duck, this dish also works well with chicken or lamb. In the north of Iran it is sometimes made with fish. It is a relatively easy khoresht to make, but it must be cooked slowly to allow the flavours to develop in the sauce. The consistency should be thick and creamy and the colour almost black. The distinctive flavour combines the nutty taste of ground walnuts with the sweet and sour flavour of pomegranate syrup.
What is it: An herbed rice pilaf complimented with white fishes (either Caspian kutum or halibut). Sabzi means vegetables, polo means steamed rice and mahi denotes fish. Iranian people serve this dish on their new year’s day, Nowruz.
What does it taste like: The delicious green rice will leave you spellbound with a rich taste of herbs. This dish offers a complete package of tastes to make you drool over it.
What is it: An herb-based frittata. This cake like preparation is cut and served into pieces. Based on its ingredients there are two different types of kuku namely, kuku sib zamini and kuku sabzi.
What does it taste like: A beautiful amalgamation of spinach, coriander, scallions, and herbs along with eggs makes this preparation a delicious one.
What is it: Chicken, yogurt, and egg based rice cake.
What does it taste like: This authentic Iranian dish has a strong flavor of saffron. The topping known as tahdig is opulent with chicken, but sometimes fish and other vegetables are used. The lower or base part is purely made of white rice.
A spicy, thick soup made of Ochra, tomatoes, onion and ground pepper, served with local bread.
A mixed Rice dish consisting of lamb ribs and rice seasoned with powdered caraway and cinnamon
Kak, Pig Bread, Baji Barsagh, Kaleh Konji, Gamkeh, Sholeh Kine, Saji bread, Saqqez, Panjeh kesh bread, Samun are tasty and delicious cookies of this province.