Located in the Zagos Mountains and the Isfahan Plain, the Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari region is composed of two parts: Chaha Maal, surrounded by four districts, and Bakhtiari, situated in a mountainous region.


Located in the Zagos Mountains and the Isfahan Plain, the Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari region is composed of two parts: Chaha Maal, surrounded by four districts, and Bakhtiari, situated in a mountainous region. Each of them brings together distinct peoples with their own culture and way of life. This territory is located at a high altitude and has been nicknamed "the roof of Iran".

From the ethnological point of view, at least two-thirds of the villagers in this province are nomads from Zagros, who settled there as time went by. Later, these villages became small towns. The inhabitants of Tchahar Mahal va Bakhtiari therefore have strong nomadic roots and a common culture based on nomadism.
This region is rich in natural resources and is home to a whole range of mountains, valleys, and rugged places difficult to cross. The beauty of nature increases in the spring when you can admire the tulips of the fields, the migratory birds of the ponds, the return of the nomads, the green landscapes and the multiplication of streams which join then to feed two big Iranian rivers : the Zayandeh Roud in Isfahan and Karun in Khuzestan.

 

Ben

Ben is a small town south-west of Shahrekord. In the early days, a troop would have come to settle and cultivate the land at Yoghoush, at a distance of seven kilometers from present-day Ben. After some time, this people would have taken refuge at the foot of a mount known today as Mount Ben to protect themselves from the intense cold and whirlpools. Ben has a cold climate: in winter, it blows strong winds from the northwest that bring clouds of rain and snow, making life difficult.

The city of Ben has large orchards of almonds, walnuts, plum trees and mulberry and apricot trees. East of this city and at the foot of Mount Ben is also a beautiful pond.

The language of this region is Turkish mixed with Azeri, Ghashgai, various local dialects and some Farsi words. This Mosaic language is spoken with a particular dialect peculiar to Beniens.


Mirza Habib Esfahani: Dastane Blessed

 

One of the precursors of the Persian prose revolution and translation, Mirza Habib Esfahani, was also born in Ben. He has produced translations such as Hadji Baba of Isfahan, Gil Blas or Le Misanthrope which are considered masterpieces. He is also the first Iranian to have compiled Persian grammar. He wrote it in prose in simple language, and chose the title Dastour-e zaban ("grammar" in Persian) instead of "sarf va nahv" which is an Arabic term.

After completing his primary education in Ben, he left the city to go to Isfahan and Tehran where he continued his studies. After a long stay in Tehran, he went to Germany. He then went to Baghdad to continue his studies. After four years, he returned to Tehran. In his youth, he practiced medicine and knew how to use medicinal plants to heal his patients. In addition, it is said that he was skilled in astrology and knew how to predict the future. A man of the pen, he had chosen the pseudonym "Dastan" to paraphrase his poems composed in Turkish and Persian languages.

Liberal, he criticized the regime of the time several times and had to go into exile in Turkey because of a satirical writing against the prime minister of the Qajar government he had written in collaboration with Mirza Malkam Khan. In his homeland of exile, he took an active part in assemblies bringing together modernist Iranians. He died in 1897 and was buried in Boursey, Turkey.