Mahallat: Floral Capital and Thermal Oasis
In ancient times it was an important location for Zoroastrianism. It has a cold climate, and strong winds during spring and summer. The city is one of the major producers and exporters of flowers in Iran. Every September the city holds a flower festival.
Located in the south of Markazi province, the city of Mahallat was the historical capital of Markazi province. It is particularly known for its ancient palaces, fire temples (atashkadeh), its fortresses, its irrigation systems dating from the pre-Islamic period as well as its mosques, mausoleums of the descendants of the twelve Shia Imams, its old buildings and its caravanserais. The city is also famous for its springs of thermal water recognized for their medicinal virtues. The thermal springs of Mount Herva, located north of Mahallat, are the main sources of water in the city for human consumption. Surrounded by arid and desert areas, the city of Mahallat is an oasis in the heart of the desert.
At the time of the Achaemenid dynasty, Mahallat was a small part of the state "Mad", name of one of the states constituting the Achaemenid Empire. During the reign of the Seleucids, the Greeks turned their attention to the northern part of the region, that is to say, the village of Khorheh. The abundance of ancient artifacts found in Markazi province testifies to the rich past of this region. During the Safavid period, the most important trade was with the city of Isfahan. At that time, products such as plum, tablecloths, carpets and paintings were transported from Mahallat to Isfahan for sale in the caravanserais.
Within the current limits of the city, the villages of Khorheh and Nimvar are older than Mahallat and have several historical monuments. However, the name "Mahallat" does not appear anywhere on the manuscripts and works of art found there. The village of Nimvar, now a city, has a better known history than Mahallat and Khorheh, and its name is often mentioned in historical manuscripts or engraved on objects found in the area.
Located south-east of Markazi province, Mahallat is surrounded to the north by the cities of Qom and Ashtian, from the northeast by the city of Delijan, to the south by Khomeyn and Golpaygan (Isfahan) and to the west by Arak . The city of Mahallat includes the ancient city itself as well as two villages, Bagher-Abad and Khorheh.
The city is located on the eastern flank of the Zagros Mountains. The plains cover the southern and northeastern parts of the city, and its central and western areas are mountainous. The most important mountains are the northern mountains to the north-west of the city. Mahallat is at a latitude of 53 ° 23 'North and a longitude of 5 ° 30' East. Located 262 km south-west of Tehran and 1747 meters above sea level, the city extended from north to south with more fertile lands, and divided into two areas, Mahallat Haut ('olya ) known for its hot springs and high plane trees, and Mahallat Bas (sofla) whose cultivated land and colorful flowers embellish the landscape of the city. Mahallat enjoys an advantageous geographical position: surrounded by mountain ranges and cliffs functioning as a protective device, the city is protected from abrupt climatic changes and benefits from fairly mild temperatures and a mountain climate. The city usually has cool summers and cold winters. According to the figures, the average annual rainfall in the city is 280 mm.
The numerous springs of thermal water, the stone columns of Khorheh, the fire temple of Atashkouh (the fire mountain), the Nimvar Glacier, the Mahallat hydrotherapy center and the flower gardens are considered as the main attractions of the region.
The existence of springs of thermal water was at the origin of the creation of the city of Mahallat. "Mahallat" is an Arabic name meaning "quarters". It is not known why this city was so named but according to a resident of the city, this name would have been used during the time of the invasion of Afghans in Iran in the eighteenth century, where a person named Sohrab Amin would have for the first time employed. Mahalat was indeed constituted at that time of different districts, the majority of which were involved in old conflicts.
In the past, Mahallat's economic activity rested solely on agriculture. From 1920, the cultivation of flowers became another component of the economic fabric of the city. Mahallat then became the capital of Iran's floriculture industry. The development of the industry has also been important in the extension of this city. Mahallat is indeed well known for its mines of travertine stone, marble and granite which allowed the development of stone factories.
15 kilometers from the north-east of the city, at the foot of the mountains, are the hot springs known for their therapeutic virtues. They come from the base of contact with hot rocks and reach a temperature of 48 °C. The water from these sources also contains various minerals such as chlorine, silica, magnesium, potassium or sodium. The mineral compositions of the thermal springs are very variable from one region to another. The thermal springs of Mahallat are hydrothermal and particularly suitable for the treatment of diseases of the liver, bile, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, rheumatic diseases and skin diseases. Another natural wealth contained in the mineral composition of the hot water sources of this zone is radon gas, which is particularly useful in the treatment of pulmonary diseases.