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Homes in the 3,000-year-old Meymand Village, Kerman Province, have been built partially underground. (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

During our road trip to Kerman Province Shahin and I (Amir Sina) visited the historic Meymand Village. This village which is north of Sirjan has a known history of 3,000 years. I had read articles where Meymand had been compared to Cappadocia in Turkey and Kandovan Village near Tabriz in East Azarbaijan. Having previously visited both Cappadocia and Kandovan I was eager to see Meymand for myself.

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Meymand homes are built to protect inhabitants from extreme winter cold and summer heat. (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

After a 90-kilometer drive we arrived at our destination. The village did in some ways resemble Cappadocia in that houses are made of stone but unlike the fairytale Turkish town which has been abandoned by its inhabitants, Meymand is still full of life.

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Meymand Village is only 90 kilometers from Sirjan in Kerman Province. (toiran.com Photo/ Homeyra Tayebipour)

I realized that Meymand is also similar but still very different from Kandovan. While Kandovan houses were carved in stone to protect inhabitants from the Mongol army, I was told by one of the locals that in Meymand houses were created partially underground to protect inhabitants from extreme winter cold and summer heat. He told me that temperatures inside these homes seldom vary and are almost always consistent.

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the inside of a residence in Meymand. Temperatures seldom vary inside these residences and remain mostly the same. (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

I was surprised to see that despite its small size the village had signs at every corner showing directions to the apothecary store, souvenir shops and other landmarks. To make extra cash Meymand locals sell dried and fresh walnuts, almonds and other nuts, and are always inviting passersby to try their product.

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Local woman sits by her assortment of dried nuts as she waits for customers. (toiran.com photo/ Homeyra Tayebipour)

We met up with the resident Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization authority who invited us for a chat over tea. He was extremely friendly and told us about the 10,000-year-old stone carvings found near the village. He told us he was taking two German tourists to see the Meymand sheep pen and that he would be happy to show us the way as well.

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Shelters made with twigs, branches and leaves near the Meymand sheep pen where shepherds rest. (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

There were several makeshift shelters near the pen where shepherds rest. We met Sakineh Khatoon outside one of these shelters. She invited us into her home and offered us some clove tea and gave us fresh walnuts and dates. Even though she didn’t have much she didn’t think twice about offering us what little she had. We were moved by the hospitality shown to us in Meymand and left the village with fond memories.

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Sakineh Khatoon invited us into her home and offered us endless cups of clove tea with fresh walnuts and dates. (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

My advice, visit Meymand during the fall or early spring. Don’t say no to tea invitations by locals. Buy some dried nuts from locals and take pictures!

 

If you are interested in visiting Meymand, you can join our 12 Days of Desert Life tour or contact us for a tailored tour of Kerman. Remember you are only a few clicks away from an unforgettable trip!