ايران در رديف کهن ترين تمدن هاي جهان قرار دارد و از طرفی به خاطر وجود آب و هواي متنوع و چهار فصل مختلف در هریک ار مناطق کشور و جاذبه هاي طبيعي زيبا و متعدد از زیبا ترین و جذاب ترین مراکز جهانگردي دنيا به حساب مي آيد.
تا کنون تصور می شده که ایران و هند از دوره کوروش بزرگ و داریوش با هند روابط فرهنگی و تمدنی داشته اند اما کشفیات و شواهد باستان شناسی که اخیرا در شمال خراسان و در شهر سوخته و تمدن جیرفت ایران و پیدا شده نشان می دهد که روابط تمدنی ایرانیان و هند بسیار قدیمی تر بوده است.
بعضی اطلاعات کلی ایران
نام بين المللي : ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
نام بین المللی قدیمی تر : پرشیا
مساحت : 1648195 کيلومتر مربع
جمعيت : 75,597,633 نفردر سال 1390
پايتخت : تهران
دين رسمي : اسلام
زبان رسمي : فارسي
واحد پول : ريال
جغرافيا کشور ايران با وسعتي بيش از 1.648.195 کيلومتر مربع (شانزدهمين کشور جهان از نظر مساحت ) در جنوب غربي قاره آسيا واقع شده و جزو کشورهاي خاورميانه است .
حدود 90 درصد از خاك كشور در محدوده فلات ايران واقع شده است. سرزمين ايران بطور كلي كوهستاني و نيمه خشك بوده و ميانگين ارتفاع آن بيش از 1200 متر از سطح درياست. بيش از نيمي از مساحت كشور را كوهها و ارتفاعات، يك چهارم آن را دشت ها و كمتر از يك چهارم ديگر آن را نيز زمين هاي در دست كشت تشكيل مي دهد. پست ترين نقطه داخلي با ارتفاع 56 متر در چاله لوت و بلند ترين آن قله دماوند با ارتفاع 5628 متر در ميان رشته كوه البرز در نزدیکی تهران قرار دارد، در كناره جنوبي درياي خزر ارتفاع زمين 28 متر پايين تر از سطح درياي آزاد مي باشد.
.ايران از شمال به جمهوري ترکمنستان ، درياي خزر ، جمهوريهاي آذربايجان و ارمنستان، از مغرب به ترکيه و عراق ، از مشرق به پاکستان و افغانستان و از جنوب به درياي عمان و خليج فارس محدود است و در مجموع محيط پيرامون ايران بالغ بر 8731 کيلومتر است که 2700 کيلومتر آن مرز آبي و 6031 کيلومتر آن مرز زميني است .
– مرتفعترين نقطه ايران : قله دماوند با 5610 متر ارتفاع ، قله دماوند از شهرهای مختلفی قابل دیدن است بخصوص از تهران – ورامین – پاکدشت و سواحل دریای کاسپین.
– طولانيترين رود : رود کارون با 950 کيلومتر امتداد (تنها رود قابل کشتيراني )
– بزرگترين درياچه : درياچه اروميه با 4868 کيلومتر مربع وسعت
– بزرگترين جزيره : جزيره قشم با 1491 کيلومتر مربع وسعت
– حکومت : حکومت ايران، جمهوري اسلامي و روز ملي آن روز بيست و دوم بهمن مي باشد. پايتخت آن شهر تهران است.
براساس تقسيمات کشوري در مردادماه سال 1390 :
– تعداد استانها : 31
– تعداد شهرستانها : 397
– تعداد بخشها : 984
– تعداد شهرها : 1154
– تعداد دهستانها : 2499
پرچم: از سه رديف افقي مساوي تشکيل شده که رنگ سبز در بالا، سفيد در وسط و قرمز در پايينقرار دارد.
صادرات: نفت، فرش، ميوه، خشکبار (پسته، کشمش، خرما)، پوست و سالامبور، خاويار، محصولاتپتروشيمي، منسوجات، پوشاک، محصولات صنايع غذايي
واردات: ماشين آلات، صنايع فلزي، مواد غذايي، دارويي، خدمات فني، فرآوردههاي شيميايي صنايع: نفت، پتروشيمي، نساجي، سيمان و ساير مصالح ساختماني، فرآوري محصولات غذايي (بهخصوص تصفيه قند و روغن کشي)، فلزي
کشاورزي: گندم، برنج، غلات، چغندر قند، ميوه، دانههاي روغني (پسته، بادام، گردو)، پنبه، محصولاتلبني، پشم، خاويار
واحد پول : 10 ريال ايراني . 1 تومان
حمل و نقل راه آهن: : 9796 کيلومتر
طول راههاي کشور : 158000 کيلومتر
خطوط لوله: فرآوردههاي نفتي : 3900 کيلومتر، گاز طبيعي 4550 کيلومتر
بنادر: آبادان، اهواز، بندر شهيد بهشتي، بندر عباس، بندر انزلي، بندر بوشهر، بندر امام خميني،بندر ماهشهر، بندر ترکمن، خرمشهر، نوشه
Naqshe Rostam in Koh e Mehr the oldest prayer site
– ایران دارای آثار تاریخی بسیار زیبا و دیدنی است
تعدادی از آنها توسط يونسکو به عنوان ” ميراث تمدن جهاني ” به رسميت شناخته شده است که مهمترین آنها عبارتند از :
تخت جمشيد (ويرانه هاي پايتخت پرشیا (ايران) در 2500 سال پيش) – شیراز / مرودشت
ميدان نقش جهان (مجموعه بناهاي مذهبي ، دولتي عهد صفويه ) – مرکز شهر اصفهان
معبد چغازنبيل (شهر سلطنتي عيلامي ها در 3 هزار سال پيش ) – هفت تپه / شوش
تخت سليمان (محوطه باستاني شامل آتشکده آذر گشسب در دوره ساساني) – تکاب آذربايجان غربي
گنبد سلطانيه (بلندترين گنبد جهان ) در شهرستان خدابنده در زنجان
– مهمترين و مشهورترين نقاط تاريخي و ديدني ايران
تهران: پیست اسکی بازی در کوههای تهران دماوند و دیزین – موزه های تهران – کاخ های تهران -بناي شمس العماره و کاخ نیاوران – پارک ملت و جمشیدیه .
مشهد : حرم امام رضا (ع) (هشتمين امام شيعيان جهان ) – آرامگاه فردوسی شاعر حماسه سرای تاریخ کهن ایران
شیراز: تخت جمشید – ارک – حرم شاه چراغ – آرامگاه حافظ و سعدی شاعران صوفی و عارف ایران – پاسارگاد (مقبره کورش) و نقش رستم در کوه مهر
اصفهان: میدان اصفهان و کاخ های صفویه – مسجد شيخ لطف الله (يکي از شاهکارهاي معماري اسلامي در دوره صفويه ) در
کليساي وانک ( يکي از زيباترين کليساهاي ايران ) سي و سه پل
یزد: آتشکده يزد (بزرگترين و قديمي ترين عبادتگاه زرتشتيان )
بم – ارگ بم (بزرگترين بناي خشتي جهان )
– کرمانشاه : آثار دوره پارسی و ساسانی – طاق بستان (از بناهاي سنگي دوره ساسانيان ) و معبد آناهيتا (معبد سنگي عصر اشکانيان )
لرستان – قلعه فلک الافلاک (قلعه بزرگ نظامي دوره ساسانيان ) همچنین در تبریز- نیشابور و همدان آثار دیدنی و مناظر طبیعی زیبایی وجود دارد و غار همدان در جهان بی نظیر است.
– مهمترين نقاط طبيعي ديدني ايران نيز عبارتند از:
قله دماوند – شمال شرق تهران-غار علي صدر – همدان – دشت لاله هاي واژگون – دامنه قله دنا – جنگل گلستان – بجنورد- پارک ملی گلستان – استان گلستان – کوير لوت – مرکز ايران – درياچه اروميه – منطقه آذربايجان – مرداب انزلي – بندر انزلي – دشت لار – کوهپايه دماوند .
– ایران دارای آثار تاریخی بسیار زیبا و دیدنی است. و در موضوعات زیادی دارای رتبه اول است از جمله
1- طولانی ترین و عمیق ترین و کهن ترین کاریز /قنات در گناباد
2- بزرگترین بنای سنگی جهان پرسپلیس
3- گرمترین نقطه زمین در کویر لوت، شهدادبیشتراز 70 درجه سانتیگراد در روز،
4- بلندترین برج آجری جهان برج گنبد قابوس.
5- طولانی ترین غار نمکی جهان جزیره قشم
6- بزرگترین بافت خشتی جهان در یزد
7- بزرگترین جزیره غیر مستقل جهان قشم
8- داغترین چشمه جهان قینرجه مشکین شهر
9- پیرترین درخت سرو جهان در ابرکوه
10- قدیمی ترین پل قابل استفاده در جهان دزفول از 1800 سال قبل
11- بزرگترین عمارت خشتی جهان.قلعه نارین قلعه در شهر میبد
12- مرتفع ترین بادگیر جهان باغ دولت آباد یزد،
13- پیرترین گونه جانوری زنده دنیا تریوپس (tripos) یا میگوی سه چشم، آذربایجان غربی .
14- بزرگترین طاق طبیعی جهان. دهانه غار اسپهبد خورشید فیروزکوه
15- قدیمی ترین سدّ جهان.سدّ کبار در ۲۵ کیلومتری جاده قدیم قم – کاشان
16- عجیب ترین سیستم آبرسانی جهان سیستم آبرسانی قنات دو طبقه “مون” در اردستان
17- بزرگترین بازار مسقف جهان بازار سنتی تبریز
18- تولید کننده نخست تولید زعفران و پسته و زرشک و فرش های نفیس در جهان.
19 – قنات قصبه گناباد یا (کاریز کیخسرو ) طولانی ترین و عمیق ترین و شاید کهن ترین قنات یا کانال زیر زمینی که در عمق 300 متری زمین و به طول 33 کیلومتر واقع شده است و حدود سه هزار سال فعال و زنده است.
20 – قدیمی ترین ساعت کاربردی آبی دنیا ساعت آبی کاریز زیبد گناباد
– مهمترين موزه های ایران
موزه ايران باستان – تهران
موزه آبگينه و سفالينه – تهران
موزه تاريخ طبيعي – تهران
موزه چهلستون – اصفهان
موزه حمام گنجعلي خان – کرمان
موزه فرش – تهران
مجتمع موزه هاي سعد آباد – تهران
موزه مردم شناسي – تهران
موزه هنرهاي زيبا – تهران
موزه پست – تهران
موزه جواهرات ملي – تهران
موزه هنرهاي معاصر – تهران
مجموعه فرهنگي آزادي – تهران
مزايا و ويژگيهاي اقتصاد ايران
• هجدهمين اقتصاد برتر دنيا
• رشد مثبت اقتصادي عليرغم تحریم اقتصادي
• جمعيت جوان و تحصيلکرده
• غني به لحاظ ذخاير طبيعي
• زيرساختهاي اقتصادي قوي و گسترده
مزيتها به لحاط ذخاير طبيعي و معدني
• تنوع درحوزه هاي اقتصادي وغني به لحاظ ذخاير هيدروکربني ونفتي
• چهارمين توليد کننده نفت در جهان
• داراي دومين ذخاير گازي جهان
• حائز رتبه دهم در صنعت توريسم و رتبه پنجم در اکوتوريسم
• بزرگترين وبيشترين ميزان صنايع در حوزه خاورميانه وشمال آفريقا
• رتبه هاي چهارم تا دهم دنيا در توليد روي وکبالت
• حائز رتبه برتر در ذخاير آلومينيوم، منگنز و مس در جهان
• رتبه چهارم دنيا به لحاظ تنوع توليدات محصولات کشاورزي در جهان
اصلاحات اقتصادي در چارچوب برنامه پنجم
– 20 ميليارد دلارسرمايه گذاري بخش خصوصي وسرمايه گذران خارجي در صنعت نفت وگاز
– بهبود نظام تامين سلامت کشور
– توسعه روابط بين الملل
خصوصي سازي گسترده
– 80% از دارايي هاي دولت بايد به بخش خصوصي منتقل شود
– 40% از اين انتقال از طريق سهام عدالت صورت خوهد پذيرفت
– 40% از خصوصي سازي فوق نيز ار کانال بازار بورس تهران صورت خواهد پذيرفت
– دولت کماکان مالکيت 20% از دارايي ها را در دست خواهد داشت
– حجم کل دارايي ها واموال دولت 120 ميليارد دلار مي باشد
– از اين ميزان 63 ميليارد دلار طي 5 سال گذشته خصوصي شده است
– با تکميل روند خصوصي سازي سهم دولت در توليد ناخالص داخلي از 80 % به 40% کاهش خواهد يافت
مزيتهاي قانون سرمايه گذاري
پوشش هاي تضميني و حمايتي:
• تضمين پرداخت غرامت در صورت ملي شدن و سلب مالکيت، (ماده 9 قانون)
• تضمين جبران زيان ناشي از ممنوعيت و يا توقف اجراي موافقتنامه هاي مالي در سرمايه گذاريهاي خارجــي به روش ترتيبـــات قراردادي بر اثر وضع قانون و يا تصميمات دولت، (ماده 17 قانون و ماده 26 آئين نامه )
• تضمين خريد کالا و خدمات توليدي طرح سرمايه گذاري خارجي در مواردي که دستگاه دولتي خريــدار انحصـــاري و يا عرضه کننــده کــالا و خدمــات توليــدي به قيمت رايانـه اي است. (مـاده 11 آئين نامه)
نهاد متولي: سازمان سرمايهگذاري و کمکهاي فني و اقتصادي ايران
چارچوب قانوني: قانون تشويق و حمايت از سرمايهگذاري خارجي و اييننامه مربوط به آن
تصویری از کویر ایران
تاریخ کهن ایران.
ایران دارای تمدن حدود 7 هزار ساله است وتقریبا از 2500 سال قبل تا کنون دارای تاریخ مکتوب و شناسنامه سالشمار رویدادهای تاریخی است. دو نمونه اط ظروف 7 هزار ساله جیرفت.
ایران در دوره اسلامی نقش بارزی در گسترش فرهنگ و تمدن اسلامی به سایر مناطق جهان داشته است.
معماری، تذهیب گری و گچ کاری، سنگ نویسی، هنر خوشنویسی ، صنعت مسگری و روی سازی و کیمیاگری و ترجمه از کارهایی است که ایرانیان آن را به حوزه قلمرو اسلامی وارد کردند.
** ویزا در فرودگاه
همه افراد می توانند در هنگام ورود به فرودگاه مهرآباد تهران ویزای ورود به مدت 15 روز ویزا دریافت کنند 15 روز دیگر نیز این ویزا قابل تمدید است. اما گذرنامه های کشورهای اسرائیل- آمریکا- انگلیس- استرالیا- کانادا- عراق- افغانستان- پاکستان- بنگلادش قبلا باید هماهنگی لازم را با سفارتخانه انجام دهند.
در بیشتر شهرهای ایران موزه وجود دارد دستکم 20 موزه ایران از شهرت بین المللی برخوردار هستند
تهیه کننده دکتر عجم 1392
The documented history of Iran begins with the Achaemenian dynasty dating back about 2500 years ago. A significant era marked by decisive unification of the pars tribes during the reign of Astyages and his grandson, Cyrus, who initially formed an extensive, centralized and mighty empire. Although according to will the “Aryans”, inhabitants of the vast Iranian plateau, were not the founders of civilization and followed the Babylonian as well as Egyption examples yet their ingenious Souls enabled them to transform those models, institute the first autonomous nation and establish a well-organized financial system. Ironically, Achaemenian’s most remarkable military expedition against the Greeks took place in 480 B.C. resulting in both the Iranian’s defeat and Seizure of undisputed power by Alexander.
Darius, another prominent king of the mentioned dynasty, divided his empire into tewenty states or “satrapi” and accordingly appointed powerful rulers for all. He also began building roads to facilitate trade, enhance relations among the states and attain his military goals. “Shahi” or king’s Road, extending 2400 kilometers, linked Susa to Mesopotamia (located in present day Iraq) while another major road connected Babylonia to India. Establishment of a tax and wage system for the labour, introduction of a unified measuring system, emergence of private banks, granting of loans for agricultural purposes and coin minting highlight the worthy accomplishments of this particular era.
Appropriately, Roman Ghirshman also has noted that once the use of coins became common overland and over seas trade rapidly extended to distant lands.
The Royal messengers, chapars, would travel the long and vast roads of Achaemenian empire to deliver the Royal decrees or commands to the state rulers as well as military commanders and return with reports on the state of affairs. The messengers would then deliver the communications to the “Chapar House”, present day post office, situated along the route and the process would continue until reaching the final destination. The “Silk Road” too was one of the ancient trade routes which led to Kashgar from two opposite directions of north and south. Extending westward to Samarkand, Marv and Balkh in northen region of Iran, passing through Central Asia leading to ancient Greece. This major historical route connecting the west to the east was known as the Great Road of Khorasan or “the Silk Road”, as previously mentioned. The pre-Islam civilization of Iran takes pride in such innovations, particularly because the management and maintenance of the “King’s Great Road” 25 Centuries ago constituted great honor for Iranians among all nations.
In addition to land routes, various sea routes were also frequented and ships with capacities up to 300 tons treaded those waters. The ship’s sailors were mainly Phoenicians or Greeks, the officers were Iranians whereas a 10,000-strong military formed Darius’s renowned “Immortal Army”. More over, excavation of the Suez Chanal (the chanal dug on the order of Darius and slightly different from the present chanal) exhibited the economic and military merits of yet another chapter of Iranian history.
The “Throne of Jamshid” or Persepolis was chosen as Iran’s capital during the rule of Achaemenians. However, the corner-stone of Persepolis was laid during the reign of Darius I – ofter whom each king added more sections to the site. Also the cities of Susa, Babylonia and Ekbatan (today’s Hamadan) each inturn served as the nation’s capital.
During the rule of Ardeshir, the founder of the Sassanide dynasty, a very powerful centralized government developed and for the first time in Iran the religion of Zoroaster (the Iranian prophet) was declared as the official religion. A faith whose essential pillars are laid upon virtuous thoughts, virtuous words, and virtuous deeds.
The Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (BABUHHP) was born in the city of Mecca during the rule of Anushirvan Sassani, and was chosen as the completion of all prophecy and the last prophet during the reign of Khosrow Parviz (610 A.D.). Weakness of the Sassanide government, oppressions of the Kings, and at the same time Islam’s human-rights oriented ideology and it’s message of equality and brotherhood of mankind were the imperative factors which led to the victory of Islam’s army over the Iranian military might in the course of numerous battles. The Prophet Mohammad migrated to Medina from Mecca (622 A.D). Thus, this particular year was chosen as the base of the Muslims’ calendar owing to the indisputable effect of this migration. At that time, Islam spread mainly in the Arabian peninsula, and after the prophet in the Southern parts of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and all of Egypt as well as northern part of Syria embaraced Islam. In the course of all these victories, call to God’s religion with the slogan “the unique Allah is Great” became the infrastructure of the Muslims’ new, powerful and popular ideology.
Iran’s mighty army was defeated in the “Ghadessieh” (15 A.H.) and “Nahavand” (21 A.H.) battles, and the country gradually came under the influence of Islam.
The expedition of the devastating mogul tribe to Iran began (616 A.H) and the last Persian King of the dynasty, Sultan Jalal-e-din Kharazmshah was overthrown by Gengiz’s army and later put to death (628 A.H.). The period of Mogul chieftain’s rule in Iran was the most oppressed era the nation had ever seen and the conditions did not change until the founding of the Iranian dynasty, the Safavides, and the rule of Shah Ismeal.
The Mogul were removed from Iran’s political scene after about 300 years by the Safavides, and Shah Ismeal was crowned in Tabriz (907 A.H). During the reign of Safavie Dynasty relations between Iran and European and other countries expanded and Iran’s powerful centralized government, during Shah Abbas’s rule, established political and economic ties with great leaders such as Queen Elizabeth, Philip II the king of Spain, India’s Akbar shah and also put an end to the domination of Portuguese in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian culture and art once again flourished during the Safavie rule and architechture, carpet-weaving, miniature painting, gilding and handicraft(s) underwent special development.
After the Safavide, alternately weak and strong governments came to power among which the government of Nader Shah Afshar, Karim Khan Zand, Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, Naser-e-din Shah and Mozafar-e-din Shah are noteworthy. During the rule of Nader Shah, The Russians were expelled from Iran, the booties which the Ottomans had taken from the country were recovered, Kandhar and Delhi became parts of Iran and once again the Iranian territory was expanded and included a vast area of southeast Asia. Oppression and tyranny became prevelant in the course of the Qajar dynasty’s rule due to treason of courtiers and the Kings’ powerlessness and inattention to the state of affairs. The unprecedented and historical measures of Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, Naser-e-din Shah’s prime minister, such as dispatching students abroad for higher education, printing of newspaper, compilation of laws, etc. made him an immortal historical personage.
The new era began with the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty. Reza Khan Mir-Panj, commander of a Kazak battalion, occupied Tehran on 22 Feb. 1920, and five years later crowned himself the King with the support of England. Gradually, he began opposing the Islamic culture and tranditions and his despotic rule lasted for 16 years. In 1941 under pressure by England, he abdicated the throne in favor of his son Mohammad-Reza and was exiled into St.Moritz island and then to Johannesburg in South Africa where he later died.
Mohammad Reza too, fairly followed in the footsteps of his father for 37 years of his reign. Following the events leading to nationalization of oil, he was reinstated subsequent to a coup and while England’s position with this rule began to deteriorate, the United States gained more influence and power in the country’s political, economic and culture affairs.
As his father, Mohammad-Reza too was strongly against the presence and involvement of clergymen in the socio-political scene. After his forced summary referendum concerning the so-called “Agriculture and land reforms” or the allocation of farmland to farmers, Iran’s dependence on imported goods, false employment due to relocation of farmers in cities, and “Consumerism”, as opposed to “Production”, increased sharply which were strongly opposed by the time’s scholors and theologians, particulary the late Imam Khomeini. The opposition of both religious scholars and the people to the government in 1963 as well as army’s assault on Qom’s theological school (Iran’s main center for training theologians) coupled with martydom of a large number of those students and the people, paved the grounds for escalation of religious movement within the country and their determination to take over the political arena, materialization of the idea of “unity of politics and religion” in the form of the Islamic Republic of Iran and uprooting of 2500 years of the Kings’ despotic rule in this country.
With the victory of the Islamic revolution, for the first time ever the people of Iran went to the polls in April 1979 and voted in favour of the establishment of the Islamic republican system with an overwhelming majority of over 98.8 percent. The assembly of experts then embarked upon formulating the Constitutional law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This Constitutional law was ofcourse approved by the vote of the Iranian nation. The significant point, however, was the united presence of the people in the presidential election, elections for the Islamic consultative assembly as well as other relevant elections which took place one after the other in order to determine the major and fundamental organs and institutions of the Islamic system. With the establishment of the Islamic government many conspiracies were hatched by the world imperialism. Fortunately, all of them failed due to the presence of the Iranian people on the scenes. The gravest of such conspiracy, hatched with the main objectives of weakening and paralyzing Iran’s economic and political system and the occupation of the fertile land of Khuzistan, was Iraqi regime’s invasion of Iran directly provoked by the United States in 1980 — that was only two years following the victory of the Islamic revolution. The war continued for 8 years and included the most savage bombings and chemical attacks leaving much destruction and damages in 4 border provinces of the country in the South and the West. Hundreds of thousands of the best and most faithful forces were martyred or disabled in the war and millions of people became homeless as a result of the war.
This destructive war came to an end in 1989 due to brave resistance of Iranian people and acceptance of the UN security council resolution 598. Moreover, events such as assassination of the political leaders or state officials, economic sanctions and various plans for isolation of Islamic Republic of Iran were all the cost a nation paid in order to establish its first favorite republic.
On fourth of June 1989 the grand leader and architect of the Islamic revolution, The late Imam Khomeini, passed away and the world lost one of its most revered and distinguished religious and political leaders. Besides his role as a political leader, Imam Khomeini was a prominent instructor of ethics who lived in ultimate continence and chastity.
Following the demise of Imam Khomeini, the assembly of experts chose one of the prominent students of Imam Khomeini, a great combatant who had been imprisoned and send into exile by the regim of the Shah many times, as the leader of the Islamic revolution. This noble personage was none but grand Ayatollah Khamenei who had been elected as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran twice following the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran.
With his election as the leader of the Islamic revolution, the reconstruction programs began in full might and despite all the bottlenecks that the war had created the construction works maintained their pace in the course of first-five year plan designed by the government of president Hashemi Rafsanjani
The government managed to reconstruct the major portion of the ruins, many factories resumed operations, agriculture flourished, the water supply and sewage networks plus great dams were designed and constructed and finally the rate of illiteracy which acted as a barrier in the way of the country’s development, reached its lowest. Despite some economic problems, the Islamic Republic of Iran has managed to adopt an independent political and economic policy and relying on local specialized forces extends international cooperation and enjoys a high level of acceptability worldwide.
Renovation of the Silk Road has been transformed into a regional and global demand during the recent years and now a national will strongly supports this constructive desire in the Islamic Republic as well. Since 1988 UNESCO has also reinforced all the relevant international decisions for restoration of this immense ancient road through holding various conferences in the world’s famous cities such as New Delhi, Paris, Tashkent and the last of which was held in the picturesque city of Isfahan in 1995.
On completion, once again, this enormous project would revive the historic role of Iran as the bastion of multinational communication, indispensable for the development of regional commerce and cultural relations. Upon disintegration of the former “Soviet Union” in 1985, the policy of friendship and cooperation with the newly independent and autonomous states (situated in the north of Iran) received immediate attention as one of the utmost and perpetual foreign policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In compliance with the stated policy, therefore numerous multilateral contracts regarding road transportation, economic cooperation and establishment of the sales agencies for Iranian goods were thus signed. Further formation of regional economic organization (ECO) consisting of twelve countries also expedited the implementation of the most strategic railway project in the region, stretching from Eastern China to Europe via Iran’s national railway system.
The unique position of this giant commercial highway currently leaves other countries of the world, willing to develop commercial and economic ties with the Central Asian republics, no alternatives but to take full advantages of this vital connective passage — geographically situated in Iran, China, Russia, Turkey and Afghanistan. Apart from Georgia most of the newly independent states are landlocked countries whose connecting routes with rest of the world, directly or indirectly, could pass through Iran and thus enhancing the Islamic Republic’s unique geo-political status world-wide.
Iran’s strategic significance, both in the region and in international arena, generally revolves around material and spiritual aspects. Moreover, its material dimension is mainly composed of economic, technical, military and geo-political components while the spiritual aspect derives from the great Islamic ideology, a rich common history as well as the existing racial and cultural interconnections with other nations in the region. Since disintegration of the former Soviet Union this emphasis has undoubtedly increased and the political focal point of the relevant policies of the ” The Arab Middle East” has also been redirected towards the east and the north, namely the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Central Asia.
As a linking bridge connecting two of the world’s most vital energy reservoirs, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, the east and westwards proximity of Iran to eleven countries including the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf has certainly reassured the regional prestige of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Accordingly, restoration of the Silk Road is currently regarded as one of the essential precursors of more fruitful regional and intercontinental cooperations amongst the “ECO” member countries. Also due to inauguration of Mashhad-Tajan railway and the impending completion of Bafagh-Mashhad railway the above mentioned states would both gain easier access to open sea and have an ever increasing chance of an active incorporation in the global economy.
The Central Asian countries, with an old and excessive dependence on the former Soviet Union, still primarily rely upon imports. Yet the necessary efforts are being made to overcome this economic barrier by exploring various new markets. Despite availability of several socio-economic advantages such as abundant manpower and cheap labour, rich natural energy resources as well as the exportation of raw materials, oil, gas and agricultural products, vast majority of these countries crucially lack the existence of modern and well-organized banking, insurance, transportation as well as other essential commercial services. Fortunately, productive technical assistance and multilateral economic cooperations with the republics not only would ensure the important role of Iran as a catalyst of commercial development in the region, but would also lead all the concerned parties to more constructive participation in the world economy.
As the world’s greatest Islamic economic organization possessing distinct religious, strategic, historical and socio-economic particularities, undoubtedly, “ECO” presents Iran with an immense security and economic significance and now tehran proudly hosts the headquarter of this organisation. Furthermore, the linkage of Mashhad-Tajan railways would definitely provide “ECO” and the like with an ideal possibility of attaining their long-term comprehensive goals.
Numerous sources have mentioned various routes for the “Silk Road.”Some sources consider the city of “Tun Huang” as the origins of the “Silk Road, located in the western most tip of the Wall of China, while others strongly suggest that the starting point of the said road was in the city of “Loyang” on the south-bank of Huang Ho River. Once reaching the vast “Pamir-Plateau” in Afghanistan, a branch of this ancient road passed through Marv, Samarghand and then led towards iran via Neyshabur.
Marv, Samarghand and then led towards Iran via Neyshbur. In its path the “Silk Road” also connected main cities such as Gorgan, Ray, Hamadan and further joined Iraq through Ghasr-e-Shirin and later arrived at its final land destination adjacent to the Mediterranean coast. As its name clearly suggests, the main role of this ancient road was expediting the safe and easy transport of many important goods from China to Venice among which silk was the incomparable merchandise of the time. For eighteen centuries (BC 200-AD 1600) the ancient world’s most principal commercial highway, the “Silk Road” 8000 km in lenght, enomously contributed to meaningful intercontinental, traditional, and cultural exchanges which also give a fresh impetus to commercial development in the region
According to Christiansen: “because the ancient Persians exclusively imported huge quantities of silk from China they were thus able to sell their silk-orientated products in various European markets, at their own desired prices. The Turks’ efforts to gain permission for the passage of silk across the Iranian territory were all to no avail and a long and persistent conflict between the Byzantine Empire (395-1453 AD) and the Persians, over the transit of Chinese silk, continued throughout the early centuries of the Middle Ages.” Later the Roman and the Chinses attempts at establishing a new silk transit route, without involvement of the Persians, also proved fruitless and even enabled the Persian merchants to control the silk trade particularly throughout Indo-China
Once the Europeans gained complete dominance over East India and the Mediterranean sea routes, at the turn of the 15th Century, their respective companies in the orient also turned their immediate attention to these new routes. In addition, a number of crucial events such as rapid decline in silk production within Persian territories, the oscillation of diplomatic ties between the Ottoman Empire (C1300-1918) and the Persians, and the emergence of new rival silk exporters eventually paved the way for the ironic demise of the ancient “Silk Road.”
Fortunately, from now on, all the countries in the region will not only celebrate the 24th of Ordibehesht as the inauguration day of Mashad-Tajan rail ways, but also would acclaim this historic occasion as the anniversary of the revival of the ” Ancient Silk Road.” The following is an excerpt from the opening speech by the former Iranian president Mr. Rafsanjani: “The occurrence of great events during the early years of the last decade of the 20th Century as well as the emergence of new conditions in the region have led the Islamic Republic of Iran to play its key and proper role, in this decisive era, by renovating the Silk Road as the region’s most vital connecting bridge which would further link the countries of the north with those in the Orient — via the Islamic Republic of Iran… .”
Some facts and features about Islamic Republic of Iran
THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS VOLXXXIX NO 295 PAGE 19 DATE 10/02/2014
Iran is one of the most ancient countries of the world. Because of having a varied climate this country witnesses four different seasons in different parts of the country simultaneously. Iran enjoys a lot of natural beautiful sceneries and is considered to be one of the most attractive tourist place in the world.
Some facts about Iran:
International name: Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ancient name: Persia
Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
National day :11 February
Area: 1648195 Sq. Kms. Population: 75,597,633 in the year 2011
Capital: Tehran . Official religion: Islam
Official language: Persian. Currency: Rial
From the point of view of area, Iran is the sixteenth largest country in the world. It is situated in the north west of Asia and is one of the countries of the Middle East.
About 90 per cent of the area of the country consists of plateau. Iran is completely a hilly and semi dry region. Its average height from the level of sea is 1200 meters. More than half of the country consists of mountains and hills. One fourth of the country consists of desert and the other less than one fourth is under cultivation. The lowest point in the country is at the height of 56 meters in kavir Lout and the highest point at 5628 meters is Damavand summit in the Alborz range near Tehran.
The Damavand mountain can be seen from the different cities particularly Tehran, Varameen and also the Caspian Sea.
On the southern side of the Caspian Sea the land is 28 meters below the surface of the sea.
The total periphery of Iran is 8731 Kms, the 6031 kms of which consist of land and the remaining 2700 Kms is coastal area in the Caspian Sea and Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf
The longest and navigable river: The Karun river, with 950 kms.
The biggest lake: The Uroomieh lake with 4868 Sq.Kms.
The biggest island: The Gheshm island with 1491 Sq.Kms .
Number of provinces: 31
Number of the cities: 397
Number of divisions: 984
Number of towns: 1154
Number of rural areas: 2499
Exports: oil, carpets, fruits, dry fruits, skin and hide, caviar, petrochemical products, textiles, clothes and food products.
Imports: Machinery, metal industry, food material, medicine, technical services. Industrial chemical products, oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cement, other construction material, food and metal products.
Agricultural produce: Wheat, rice, food grains, beet root, sugar, fruits, oil grains, cotton, dairy products, wool and caviar.
Rail transport network: 9796 Kms
Length of roads: 158000 Kms
Pipelines: Oil products 3900 Kms, natural gas: 4550 Kms.
Ports: Abadan, Ahwaz, Bandar Abbas, Anzali, Bushehr, Imam Khomeini, Mahshehr, Turkmen, Khorramshar and Noushehr
Iran has got many beautiful and worth seeing historical buildings. Some of them are as under:
- The biggest stone structure of the world in Persepolis
- The hottest part of the land in the world in Lout Desert which has a temperature of more than 70 degree Celsius.
- The highest brick tower in the world The Qaboos Gumbad.
- The longest salt cave of the world in the Gheshm island.
- The biggest brick structure of the world in Yezd
- The biggest non independet island of the world The Gheshm island
- The hottest spring in the world in Mishkin Shehr.
- The oldest cypress tree of the world in Abr Koh.
- The oldest still in use bridge in the world in Dezful which was constructed 1800 years ago.
- The biggest brick building in the world The Nareen fort in the Mebod city.
- The highest ventilator(Baadgeer) of the world in Bagh Dolatabad, Yezd
- The oldest living animal species in the world The three eyed tripos in west Azerbaijan
- The biggest natural arch in the world at the mouth of the Espehbad cave in Khursheed Firozkoh
- The oldest dam of the world on the old Qom – Kashan highway (Kabbar Dam)
- The biggest covered traditional market of the world Tabriz Bazaar
- Iran is the first producer of saffron, pistachio, barberries and carpets in the world.
- A unique network of two storey subterranean canals in the world for water supply in Ardestan
- The longest, deepest and oldest network of subterranean canals(qanat or Kariz) in Gonabad Khorasan provance.
The Ancient History of Iran:
Iran enjoys a seven thousand years old civilization and has got a written history recorded year wise.
The Islamic period
Iran played a valuable role in the spread of the Islamic culture and civilization to the other parts of the world.
Architecture, illumination, stucco plastering, engraving, calligraphy, copper and zinc industry and alchemy as well as translation of literature are the things which the Iranians exported to the Islamic countries.
Iran contains most beautiful and worth seeing historical places some of which have been officially recognized by UNISCO as the “World Heritage”, the most important of which are as the following:
Takht Jamshed (the ruins of the capital of the ancient Persian about 2500 years ago) – Shiraz and Marv Dasht
Maidan e Naghsh e Jahan (a complex containing religious and government buildings of the Safavid period) – center of the city of Esfahan
Ma’bad Chaghaz Nabeel (the royal city of the Ilamis about three thousand years ago) Haft Teppeh/ Shush
Takht e Soleiman (the ancient complex consisting of the fire temple of Azar Gashb in the Sassanid period) – Tokab Azerbaijan West
Gonbad e Soltanieh (the highest dome of the world) in the city of Khodbandeh in Zanjan
The most important and famous historical and religious places of Iran include the following:
Tehran: The skiing field in the Damavand mountains of Tehran and Diesene, the museums of Tehran, the palaces of Tehran and the Niavaran Palace, Park Millat and Jamshedieh
Mashhad: The mausoleum of Imam Reza (A.S.), the eighth Imam of the world Shias, the grave of Firdowsi, the famous epic poet of Iran.
Shiraz: Takht Jamshed, Arak, the Shah Chiragh mausoleum, the graves of Hafiz and Sa’di, the famous poets of Iran, Pasargad (the mausoleum of Cyrus) and the relics of Rostam in Mehr mountain
Esfahan: The Esfahan square and the Safavid palaces, the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque (one of the architectural master pieces of the Safavid period), the Wanak church (one of the most beautiful churches of Iran) and the 33 arch bridge.
Yezd: The Yeza fire temple (the biggest and the most ancient place of worship of the Zoroastrians)
Bam: Arg Bam (the biggest brick structure in the world)
Kermanshah: Buildings of the Parsi and Sassanid period, Taaq e Bostan (a stone building of the Sassanid period) and Anahita temple (the stone temple of the Ashkanian period)
Lorestan: The Falak ol Aflak fort (the big military fort of the Sassanid period). There are many religious buildings as well as natural scenery in Tabriz, Nishapour and Hamadan. The Hamadan cave also is matchless.
The most important natural worth seeing places in Iran include the following:
The Damavand hillock in the north east Tehran, the Ali Sadr cave in Hamadan, the field of the inverted tulips in the Dana mountain region, the Golestan forest in Bijnorad, the National Park in the Golestan province, the Lout desert in central Iran, the Uroomieh lake in Azerbaijan region, the Anzali marshes in the Anzali port region, the Lar desert and the Damavand mountain region.
The most important museums of Iran:
In most of the cities of Iran, different museums can be found and at least twenty museums of Iran enjoy international fame.
The main features of the economy of Iran:
It is the eighteenth economy in the world
In spite of economic sanctions this country has had positive economic growth
The young and educated population
The natural and mineral resources of Iran:
It is diversified from the point of economy and rich from the point of oil and hydrocarbon reserves
It is the fourth oil producer in the world
It contains the second largest gas reserves in the world
It is ranked tenth in the tourism industry and fifth in eco tourism
It contains the biggest and the largest number of industries in the Middle East and North Africa.
It is fourth and tenth in the production of zinc and cobalt in the region
It contains huge reserves of aluminum, manganese and copper in the world
It is fourth in the world from the point of view of agricultural products
Economic reforms during the Fifth Plan:
20 billion dollar investment by the private sector and the foreign investors in the oil and gas industry
Reforming the health system of the country
Developing the international relations
Extensive privatization in the country:
It is agreed that 80% of the assets of the government should be transferred to the private sector, the half of which would be transferred to the public judiciously and the other half would be sold through the stock exchanges
20% of the total assets of the country would continue to remain in the hand of the government
The total value of the assets of the government is 120 billion dollars from which the assets totaling 63 billion dollars were privatized during the last five years
After completion of the privatization process the share of the government in the GDP would be reduced from the current 80% to 40%.
Investment Law in Iran support and Guarantee all Wright for foreign investors Article – 4- 8 -9- 16- 17- 26 -11- in investment Law guarantee all the wrights.
For more info on investment information in Iran www.iio.ir
Visa on arrival at the airport
Everybody can get a 15 days entry visa on arrival at the Mehrabad airport of Tehran. This visa can be renewed for a period of another 15 days. But those having passports of Israel, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh should coordinate through the embassies.
India-Iran relations span centuries marked by meaningful interactions.
The two countries shared a border till 1947 and share several common features in their language, culture and traditions. Both South Asia and the Persian Gulf have strong commercial, energy, cultural and people-to-people links.
Independent India and Iran established diplomatic links on 15 March 1950. In addition to the Embassy in Tehran, India currently has two Consulates in Iran -Bandar Abbas and Zahedan. The Shah visited India in February/March 1956 and Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Iran in September 1959. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi visited Iran in April 1974 and Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai visited in June 1977. The Shah, in turn, visited India in February 1978.
The Iranian Revolution in 1979 introduced a new phase of engagement between India and Iran marked by exchange of high level visits of Indian and Iranian officials.
India-Iran economic and commercial ties have traditionally been buoyed by Indian import of Iranian crude oil. India-Iran trade in 2010-11 was US$ 13.4 billion (Indian exports US$ 2.5 billion and imports US$ 10.9 billion). India’s exports to Iran include rice, machinery & instruments, metals, primary and semi finished iron & steel, drugs/pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, processed minerals, manmade yarn & fabrics, tea, organic/inorganic/agro chemicals, rubber manufactured products, etc.
India and Iran hold regular bilateral talks on economic and trade issues at the India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting (JCM). The 16th JCM was held in New Delhi on July 8-9, 2010. It was co-chaired by Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Dr. Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini and India’s External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna. During the visit, Dr. Hosseini called on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and met Minister of Finance Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and NSA Shri Shivshankar Menon. Dr. Shamseddin Hosseini again visited India on 25 February 2011 during which he called on Prime Minister, Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister. The 17th JCM will be held in Tehran in 2012 at the level of Foreign Ministers. Under the JCM mechanism, meetings of various Joint Working Groups have been held regularly.
During the 16th JCM, 6 MoUs/agreements were signed: (i) Air Services Agreement; (ii) Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons; (iii) MoU on Cooperation in New & Renewable Energy; (iv) MoU on Cooperation in Small Scale Industry between National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Iranian Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organisation (ISIPO); (v) Programme of Cooperation on Science & Technology and (vi) MoU on Cooperation between Central Pulp and Paper Research Institute of India (CPPRI) and Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources (GUASNR).
Trends in India-Iran Bilateral Trade (figures in Million US$) are as follows:
(Apr – Mar)
India’s exports to Iran
India’s imports from Iran
Total trade growth rate (%)
(Source: Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India)
There has been regular exchange of business delegations from both sides. India and Iran are also engaged in discussions on various projects in Iran including the Chabahar Port and Rail Project.
Cultural and historical Relations:
Till now it has been believed that Iran and India have had cultural and civilizational links with each other from the time of Cyrus the Great and Darius. But many recent archaeological findings in north Khorassan, Sokhte (burnt city)and Jeeroft in Iran show that the civilizational relations between the Iranians and India have been so much older.
In the period of Darius and Xeroxes (khashayarShah), a group of the elephant riding soldiers of the army were Indians. Such kinds of relations have been clearly recorded in the periods of Ashkanians and the Sassanids as well. In the period of the Gorkanis (the Moghals) or the Khorassanis the official language of the courts of India was Persian. It is for the same reason that about seventy per cent of the important documents, royal orders as well as the poetry and prose books still found in the museums and the government as well as private collections in India are in the Persian language.
Dr. Hekmat, the first ambassador of Iran in India has recorded a total of 80 important stone engravings in the important palaces and mausoleums of India. But the number of such engravings and inscription which are still found runs into thousands.
Some of the stone engravings in the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort which have been registered as the national heritage.
India and Iran maintain regular cultural and educational exchanges.
The cultural ties between Iran and India go back to the ancient times, to such an ancient time that determining its real date is impossible.
This antiquity of relations can be understood from the extensive similarities in the languages of the two countries. It is for the same reason that Sanskrit is called as the sister of the ancient Iranian languages. India and Iran have been familiar names for each other. The names of India ,Sind and Makran have been used in almost all historical& geghraphical and literature Persian books in the Shahnameh itself at least a hundred times. The same is true for other books as well.
A number of Indian scholars were teachers in the great university of the Gandi Shahpur of Persia and used to teach there.
In the period of Khusro Anushirvan, a number of Indian tales including the Panchtantra were translated into Iranian language by the name of Kalileh Wa Dameneh.
This work was later translated from the Persian language to Hindi. Other stories like the tales of Behram, story of the parrots and the tales of Sindbad were all translated from Hindi into Persian.
Iranians have played a distinguished role in the transmission of the heritage of India to the other languages. The famous Iranian scientist, Aburehan Albiruni, during his 16 years stay in India, presented his master piece named “Tehqeeq Ma’al le Hind” to the world which is known as the Encyclopedia of India.
Masoodi was yet another Iranian scholar, who wrote many detailed reports about India. Moreover, the scientists like Koshiar and Khwarizmi learned the Indian mathematics and globalized this science.
During the Khorasanid dynasties(Tamurid,Babri,Mugals, Bahmani) the cultural exchange was so deeply that the official language became Persian. the Khorasanid emperor of India invited several Persian artists and scientist to their courts.
- painting Jahangir’s Dream (around 1620 by Abul Hassan showing Abbas I (Pade Shah of Persia, left) and Jahangir (KHORASANID Emperor of India, right) on the globe lams and lions are in peaceful co existence
India has extremely been influenced by Persian art and architecture and Persian Sufis music. Hundreds of Persian poets also were invited to India and some of the Indian kings themselves were composing Persian poem. also many Persian commander and ministers or Nuvab were serving the Indian court, among them was Mirza Ghiyas Beg an important official the rule of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, and served as the chief treasurer, and he was given the title ‘I’timād-ud-Daulah’ which means ‘Pillar of the State’. His daughter, Mehr Nūr Jahān married Jahāngīr in 1611, and his son Mirza Hasan ‘Asaf Khan’ served as a general to Jahangir.
Mirza who was the father of Arjumand Banu Mumtaz Mahal,The wife of Shah Jahan, the Emperor of India he also served as the governor of wes india and lahour.
also we can mention many others like Safdar Jung and Ashraf khan khorasani.
Arjumand Bano or Momtaz E maha Taj . girl of an Iranian born prince Asef khan l
Arjumand Bano or Momtaz E mahal and her father Asaf Khan
India and Iran maintained regular cultural exchanges even during the time of colonialism and also after independent India.
Persian paintings on the Rashtrapati bahavan palace.
As per an MoU signed in January 2008 between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi and the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) a weeklong Iranian cultural week was held in New Delhi and Mumbai in April-May 2008. India also held its “Days of Culture” at the Niyavaran Palace in Tehran and Hafezia in Shiraz from May 10-17, 2011 which was attended by over twenty thousand people. The cultural festival was dedicated to the memory of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. During 2011-12, various functions were organised through out Iran to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Tagore. Gurudev Tagore had visited Iran in 1934 and 1935 during which he wrote some poem on Iran.
There are about 8,000 Iranian students studying in India. India provides 67 scholarships every year to Iranian students under ITEC, ICCR, Colombo Plan and IOR-ARC schemes.
India over the years has emerged as one of the favourite tourist destinations for Iranian tourists and every year around 40,000 Iranians visit India for various purposes.
For more information on Iranian culture and sightseeing and news log on the website and watch lives TV.
Iran’s television network, broadcasting in English round-the-clock. Based in Tehran
Sahar Urdu TV “Sahar Universal Network” is one of several TVchannels that runs under the supervision of Iranian IRIB.
INDIA & IRAN – AGE OLD TIES
“Few people have been more closely related in origin and throughout history than the people of India and the people of Iran”
– Jawahar Lal Nehru
“I used to dream of a Persia where bulbuls made love to the roses, where in dreamland gardens poets sat around their wine cups and invoked visions of ineffable meanings. But now that I have come to your country my dream has been formed into a concrete image that finds its permanent place in the inner chamber of my experience … I have visited Sa’di’s tomb; I have sat beside the resting place of Hafiz and intimately felt his touch in the glimmering green of your woodlands, in blossoming roses. The past age of Persia lent the old world perfume of its own sunny hours of spring to the morning of that day and the silent voice of your ancient poet filled the silence in the heart of the poet of Modern India”
– Rabindranath Tagore, 09 May 1932.
The peoples of India and Iran, two ancient neighbouring civilisations, have enjoyed close historical links through the ages. They had a common homeland and share a common linguistic and racial past. Over the several millennia, they interacted an enriched each other in the fields of language, religion, arts, culture, food and other traditions. Today the two countries enjoy warm, friendly relations and cooperate in a wide range of fields.
1. It is believed that before 2000-3000 BC, the inhabitants of modern Iraq and southern Iran as also the people of west and north west India came from the same region. Later, around 1500 BC Aryan tribes from north invaded and defeated these people and marched further to south Asia. During the pre-historic times (around 3000 BC), the people of Kulli culture (North West Indian borders) excelled in making small boxes of soft stone, delicately engraved with linear patterns. At Susa (west Iran) a few pieces of painted pottery have been found which appear to be similar to the wares of the Kulli people. In the hills of Baluchistan, where the people of Nal and Zhob cultures built their little villages, the Barhuis, though ethnically now predominantly Iranian, speak a Dravidian language (spoken in South India).
2. There seems little doubt that the Indus Valley civilization had contacts with the contemporaneous civilizations of Iran and Mesopotamia. There is a striking similarity between some of the designs and seals. There was trade between the coast of southern Iran and India through the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Some Indus seals have been excavated at Kish, Susa and Ur in Iran. The Harappan people are believed to have imported silver, copper, turquoise and lapis lazuli from Persia and Afghanistan. Iran supplied silver, gold, lead, zinc, turquoise to ancient India. Ivory was imported from India.
India and Iran : Common Homeland, common linguistic and racial Past
3. On the basis of linguistic evidence the people who arrived on the southern slopes of Alborz mountains in North Iran and in Western Iran, are regarded as having originally been along the Indo-Iranians who for a long period shared a common tradition while living as Nomads in the Central Asian steppes. Eventually the two linguistically related groups separated and migrated southwards. The Iranian group moved into the highlands of Iran through the flat passable area south-east of Caspian Sea, while the Indian tribes migrated into the Indian sub-continent.
4. It is believed that Indians and Iranians belonged to one single family before the beginning of the Indo-Aryan civilisation and lived together with a common language for many centuries in pasturelands of Oxus valley in Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakstan). This common habitat was either around the upper reaches of the Tigris where the Zob meets it or in the vast doab of the rivers Vahvi-Datiya and Ranha (the Oxus and Jaxertes). The first Aryan migration into India and Iran took place around 2000 BC. In Iran, as in India, the impact of the Aryans was to prove ineffaceable and founded a long enduring tradition. These people brought with them their patrilinear system, their worship of sky gods, their horses and chariots. In the second millennium B.C. there was close agreement between the language and mythology, religious traditions and social institutions of Indians and Iranians on the one hand and those of the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans and Slavs on the other. For a considerable period after their separation from their western kinsmen, the Indians and Iranians are believed to have lived together. 
5. The scriptures Vedas (of the Indian Aryans) and the Avesta (of the Iranians) both agree on the cause, which led to the migration of the Aryans from their original homeland (called Airyana Vaejo in Avesta). In the Vedic account, it is a flood of water that is referred to and in the Avestan account it is a flood of snow and frost. The praleya signifying snow or frost is derived from pralaya or deluge in Sanskrit by Panini. That there was a huge flodd in pre-historic ties in some parts of the then known world is proved by Semitic sources which seem to have borrowed their account from Aryan sources. The name of the person who escaped this disaster is Noah, according to them (more correctly Nuh as in Arabic which is a contracted form of Manuh, nominative form of Manu). In both Indian and Iranian versions, he is the son of the same person – Vivasvat or Vivanghat. According to the tradition of the Vendidad, the ancestors of the Iranians lived in 15 other countries turn by turn. One of these was Haptahindu, i.e. Saptasindhu, the cradle land of Indo-Aryan civilization. 
6. Indian or Indo-Iranian groups who worshiped the Vedic deities were found in and to the north of Syria in the middle of the second millennium B.C. Prof. S.A. Cook writes “In what may roughly be called the ‘Mosaic’ age, viz, that illustrated by the Amarna letters and the “Hittite” tables from Boghaz-Keui, Palestine was exposed to Iranian (Old Persia) or Indo-European Persian Empire…. In the Mosaic Age, Varuna, the remarkable ethical God of ancient India, was known to North Syria.”  In the 14th century BC, there appeared in North East Syria, a people called Mittani, whose kings had Indo-Iranian names and whose gods were very similar to the Aryan gods – Indara (Indra), Uruvna (Varuna), Mitira and Nasatiya. Some other chiefs in Syria and Palestine also had Indo-Iranian names.
7. India is mentioned in the Avesta and there is some description of north India in it. In the Rig Veda there are references to Persia – the Persians who were called Parshavas and later Parasikas, from which the modern word Parsi is derived. The Parthians were referred to as Parthavas.
8. Old Persian language was a member of the Indic branch of the Indo-European languages. Related to it was Zend of Avestan, the language of the earliest Zoroastrian text, which was later, divided into two distinct branches – Indic and Iranic. One later developed as Sanskrit and the other as Persian. 
9. The name of India has come from Iran through a long relay – Iranic to Greek to Latin to English and finally to India with its dominance of English. India is a Greek word written ‘India in the Greek alphabet and pronounced Hindia. It comes from Hindos ‘the river Indus’ from the old Persian Hindu, the Persian pronunciation of the Sanskrit Sindhu. (In Avesta and old Persian an initial s was pronounced h).
10. Similarly, the name Iran is related to Sanskrit Arya (noble). The ancient Persian also used the name ‘Arya’ and the word survives in the word ‘Iran’. Iranians are one of three peoples of the world who have called their countries ‘Land of Nobility’ or ‘The Noble Land’. Iran is the Avesta word airya ‘noble’ with the toponymic suffix –an, denoting a geographical area. The name of Ireland is Eire in Irish language and aire means ‘noble’ in Irish. Aryavarta is the sacred land bounded on the north and south by the Himalaya and Vindhya mountains, and extending from the eastern to the western sea. The name Iran and Aryavarta are close relatives and denote the abode of the excellent ones, the noble and respectable people, those faithful to their land. The Persian speaking Aizerbajan is the ancient word aryanam vajah ‘the power of the Aryans’, which celebrates the emerging sway of the Iranians in the second or third millennium BC.
11. Sanskrit and Avesta have a common basic vocabulary and common grammar. The name of Hapta Hendu (land of seven rivers) is mentioned in Avesta whereas Ariya (the name of Persia) is mentioned in the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, the Persians were called Parshavas and later Parasikas (from which the modern word Parsi is derived).
12. The ancient Iranians invoked the good mind, the good spirit Vohu Manah (Vasu manah in Sanskrit). The word vohu is vasu in Sanskrit. Its superlative form is vashishta (the personification of right). The modern Persian Bahisht is Avesta Vahishta and Sanskrit Vashishtha (in English best). Some other words with apparent common roots are –
||atar (fire, atish)
||masyanam (of mortal men)
13. River Sarasvati became the province Haraxvaiti in Avesta. The river Rasa became the district Rangha in Media now Rai near Tehran. Avesta has the river Varan, which refers to Varanasi situated on the confluence of Varana and Asi rivers. Avesta mentions the river Haroyu which is Saryu flowing near Ayodhya. The Hapta Hendu of Avesta and Sapta Sindhu of Rigveda is Punjab.
14. The Persian word Khuda goes back to Avesta Hvada, which is svadha in Sanskrit (inherent power). The Avestic bara survives in the name of Baghdad and it is Sanskrit bhaga or better known bhagavan).
15. Avestic Kshathra and Sanskrit Kshatra become in modern Persian Shahr and Hindi Khatri/Khet. Avestic dugh and Sanskrit dugdha change into dugh and dudh. Avestic bratar and Sanskrit bhratri change into Persian baradar and Hindi Bhai. Avestic hvar or khvar and Sanskrit svara become Persian khur (of Khurshid) and Hindi sur. Sanskrit dha (set, make), bhr (bear), gharma (warm) are Avestan and old Persian da, bar and garma. Sanskrit pra (forth), putra (son) are Avestan fra and puthra. 
16. h replaced s in Iranian except before non-nasal stops and after I, u, r, k; Sanskrit sapta (seven), sarva (all) are Avestan hapta and haurva. Iranian also has both xs and s sounds, Indo-Aryan has only ks. Avestan xsayeiti (has power, is capable), saeiti (dwells) are Sanskrit ksayati and kseti.
17. There is much in common between the Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism. The core of these religions was sacrifice, centred on fire. The earliest religious texts of Indo-Aryans (principally the Rig Veda dating back to 1300 to 900 BC) are indispensable for making historical reconstructions of the development of Iranian religion. Gatha, the hymns of Prophet Zoroaster, included in a part of the Avesta, the holy book of the Zoroastrians, suggests a close link with the ancient Indian hymns, the Rig Veda of c. 1700 B.C. This is the period prior to the migration of Nomadic tribes into Iran and India.
18. The hymn of Gayatri resembles the Gatha of the ancient Iranians. The vedic ritual of Agni and the Avestic ritual of Atar were similar. The Hindu Gods and Goddesses like Indra and Bhadrika resemble Ahura Mazda and Mithra.During the Vedic period, gods were divided into two classes the devas and the asuras (In Iranian daevas and ahuras).In India devas came to be more powerful than the asuras and the latter word eventually took on the meaning of a demon. In Iran the reverse took place and the daevas were denounced as demons by Zoroaster. They still survive as such in the divs of Persian foklore, especially though Ferdowsi’s epic Shah Nameh).
19. Vedic and Persian religions (both Aryan) mingled in Gandhar, where stood the Indian city called Taxila by the Greek. By the age of Darius (6th century BC), the most refined of its cult had evolved into what was later known as Zoroastrianism – a dualist religion accounting for the problem of evil in terms of struggle of a good with an evil god. To this day, there are close similarities in the Persian festival of Nowruz (Iranian New Year) also celebrated by Parsis in India and Holi as both are centred towards fire.
20. The Indo-Iranian element in later Hinduism is chiefly found in the initiatory ceremony (upanayana) performed by boys, a rite both in Hinduism and in Zoroastrianism that involves the tying of a sacred cord. The Vedic god Varuna, now an unimportant sea god appears in the Rigveda as sharing many features of the Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda (“Wise Lord”); the hallucinogenic sacred drink soma corresponds to the sacred haoma of Zoroastrianism. Varuna was known as an Asura, a term also applied to lesser gods, which in later Hinduism came to mean a class of demons, but which in Persia was adopted by the Zarathustra in its local form as part of the title of the great god of light – Ahura Mazda. Varuna may have been the high god of the Indo-Iranians before the two peoples divided. Varuna was first and foremost a king, an emperor sitting in a great palace in heavens often with associated gods around him. Most important of these was Mitra, a god with some solar characteristics. He was represented in the Zoroastrian pantheon and was also widely worshipped in the Roman Empire under the Greco-Iranian name Mithras.
21. The Iranian Surya (sun god) wearing a long coat with a sacred girdle and knee-high boots was worshipped by Indian kings. He had a special name Mundira svami and the word Mundira is found in ancient Iranian texts from Khotan. The Modhera temple in Gujarat and Munirka village in Delhi remind of the name Mundira. The Sun God at Konarak, Orissa is famous in his Iranian drapery and boots. The royal priests of this royal surya were of Iranian descent like Sakadvipiya Brahmanas, or Mishra (in which th of Avesta Mithra became sh).
22. Both Vedas and Gathas have no place for idols or temples. Both enjoin the maintenance of fire and performance of sacrifice (Sanskrit yajna and Avestic yasna). Their priests have common duties and names.
23. The four varnas (classification of society) of India developed out of very early Aryan class divisions. Some stratification existed in many Indo-European communities. Ancient Iran had four pistras (classes), comparable in some respects to those in India. The four-fold classification of society into priests, warriors, peasants and artisans appears in the Vedas, the Gathas and Yasna and Ferdowsi’s Shah Nameh (which mentions their designations as Amuzian, Nisarian, Nasudi and Ahnukishi.
24. The system of four yugas (ages) was similar to the doctrine of four ages that existed in ancient Persia. The system was also prevalent in ancient Greece. The Iranians, like the Indians, believed that the world was divided into seven regions or karshvar (keshvar in modern Persian, which means country).
25. There is a word in the Gathas – asha – that appears in a variety of forms – asha/arsh/eresh/arta/ereta. The last variant is near to the rita of the Rig Veda. For both Avesta and Veda, this word means the order of the world, the law of the man. Law and order seems to be the fundamental concepts of the Aryans.
26. The myths that appear in the part of the Avesta known as Yasht include some tales of very ancient pre-Zoroastrian origin, probably belonging to the pagan Indo-Iranian era. Many of these myths re-appear in the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), an epic in rhyme by the Poet Firdowsi, which was completed in A.D. 1010. The greatest hero of Iranian mythology was undoubtedly Yima (Jamshid of the Shahnameh.) As Yima Khshaeta, King Yima, he belongs to the Indo-Iranian traditions. The Indian equivalent, the Vedic Yama, chooses to die and becomes the Kind of the dead. 
27. There are several parallelisms between medical, physiological and pathological doctrines of the Ayurveda and those of the Avesta in its surviving texts represented by the Vendidad, the Yasna and the Yashts. The Persian word din (religion) is similar to dhena of the rigveda where it means ‘speech reflecting the inner thoughts of man’. Its Avesta equivalent is daena, a common word in Gathas meaning inner self of man.
28. The Samba-purana relates that Samba, the son of Krishna, had been afflicted with leprosy and was restored to health by the grace of Sun God whose worship was performed by Iranian priests called Maga. The Maga priests were the famous Magoi or Magi – Zoroastrian priests who spread the worship of fire and Sun and erected temples at Taxila and Multan. The Bhagvat-Puran calls the sacred girdle of Sun priest avyanga, which is the Avestan aiwyanghana. Samba built the sanctuary of Mitravana on the banks of Chenab. There were Sun temples on the banks of Yamuna. The Maga Brahmins and the Gandhara Brahmins of North India, as well as Brahmini Magis of the South were all of Iranian origin.
29. Commerce between the mouth of the Indus and the Persian Gulf was unbroken down to the Buddhist times.There is evidence of trade between the Phoenicians of the Levant and western India as early as 975 B.C. Trade between the Indus Valley and the Euphrates seems to be very ancient.
Contacts between Achaemenian Persia and India
30. By around 1000 BC, Indians and Persians had established themselves as distinct cultural and racial entities with their boundaries meeting at Kabul and Sistan.
31. The founder of the Achaemenian dynasty in Persia was Hakhamanis (Sakhamani in Sanskrit, meaning one who has allies/friends – Hakha/Sakha of crystalline fidelity – mani). During the Achaemenian period, some parts of northwest India came under Persian rule. Indian emissaries were present in the courts of Medes and Emperor Cyrus in 550 – 529 BC.
32. One of the great Achaemenian emperors was Cyrus. His correct name in the inscriptions is Kurus (Kuru of Aitareya-brahmana and Mahabharat in Sanskrit). Kuru is described as a country of everlasting happiness beyond the most northern ranges of the Himalayas. Cyrus founded the imperial capital of Pasargadae or Pars-gard (the seat of Persians). Gard is Garta in Sanskrit, which means a seat. Garta or Karta later came to mean capital as in Jakarta.The audience hall of the Achaemenian emperors was called apadana. Its Budhist parallel is Avadana.
33. Darius, the third ruler of the Achaemenian dynasty, sent an expedition to India. Three of his inscriptions refer to his relations with India. The Behistun rock inscription (ancient Bagastana ‘place of Gods’ or Sanskrit ‘Bhagasthana’) dating back to around 518 BC includes Gandhar in the list of his subject countries. Here Darius refers to his language as Aryan. The Persepolis inscription mentions Punjab as a part of the Persian empire.The epigraph of Nagsh-i-Rustam shows India as the 24th state of his empire. When Cyrus the Great was invaded by King Croesus of Lydia in Greece, a contemporary Indian king is believed to have rendered military assistance to the Iranian emperor.
34. The Indian province of Darius was the richest in his empire and the most populous. Herodotus tells us of the wealth and density of the Indian population and of the tribute paid to Darius: ‘The population of the Indians is by far the greatest of all the people that we know; and they paid tribute proportionately larger than all the rest – (the sum of) 360 talents of gold dust’ (equivalent to over a million pounds sterling). Herodotus also mentions the Indian contingent in the Persian armies consisting of infantry, cavalry, and chariots. Later, elephants are mentioned. One-third of gold that flowed into the imperial treasury of Iran came as a tribute from India. Indians clad in white cotton cloth fought in the armies of Xerxes on the battlefields of Plataea and Marathon against the Greeks. Of the two scripts employed in India, one had evolved from Armaic, which the Achaemenian scribes employed. Indian mercenaries roamed the coasts of Caspian and skirmished with the Scythians. The Khudrakas of the Ravi were deployed beyond the Hindukush. The Achaemenians brought rice from India to be planted in the Near East. It is also believed that cane sugar was first used by man in Polynesia from where it spread to India. In 510 BC the Emperor Darius found in India “the reed which gives honey without bees”, which he then brought to Persia.[55a]
35. It is believed that the Greek philosopher Pythagoras may have obtained his doctrine of metempsychosis(transmigration, or passage of the soul from one body to another) from India, mediated by Achaemenian (6th-4th century BC) Persia (although similar ideas were known in Egypt and were also present in Greece before the time of Pythagoras). The Pythagorean doctrine of a cyclic universe may also be derived from India.
36. Darius-I killed Gaumata, a pretender to the Persian throne, in 522 BC to become the Persian emperor. Gaumata (one who considers cow as mother) is used till today in Hindi to mean cow the mother.
37. Xerxes (5th century BC) succeeded his father Darius-I to the Achaemenian throne. His avestic name was Khshayarsha (ruling over heroes), which was Hellenised as Xerxes. His army included Pathans and Bactrians from India. He invaded and defeated the Greeks. According to Herodotus, a detachment Indians fought in the Persian army against the Greeks at Plataea.
38. Not surprisingly, administrative and political nomenclature in northern India at this time reflected that of western and Central Asia. The Persian term for the governor of a province, khshathrapavan, as used by the Achaemenians, was Hellenized into “satrap” and widely used by these dynasties. Its Sanskrit form was ksatrapa.
39. Darius assigned a Greek navigator Skylax of Casyanda to make a voyage from the mouth of the Indus river to Egypt.
40. Achaemenian art and architecture had a significant influence on India. Before the Ashokan period of history, there is no evidence of epigraphy in India. It has been suggested that the idea of issuing decrees by Ashoka was borrowed from the Achaemenian emperors, especially from Darius (though the tone and content of Ashoka”s edicts are different). The pillars, with their animal capitals (fine examples of Mauryan imperial art), are influenced by Achaemenian pillars. The use of this means of propagating official messages and the individual style of the inscriptions both suggest Persian and Hellenistic influence and India under the Mauryas was certainly more continually in touch with the civilizations to the west than ever before. At Kandahar, Ashoka left instructions in both Greek and Aramaic.
41. In 330 BC Alexander defeated Darius III. In the decisive battle of Gaugamela a small contingent of Indian soldiers with fifteen elephants fought with Darius against the Greeks. Alexander the Great after destroying the Achaemenian empire marched into India. Chandragupta Maurya, who founded the Mauryan dynasty, had friendly relations with the successor of the Macedonian conqueror in Persia. Seleucus Nicator, the Grecian ruler of Persia, sent Megasthenes as the envoy of Hellenistic Persia to the court of Patliputra in India. Commercial and cultural relations between Persia and India continued. Persian nobles were conspicuous in the courts of Mauryan kings.Tushaspa, a Persian, was present during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. The Kharoshti script was introduced by the Persian officials in the northwestern frontier province and continued to be in use till the 4th century AD.
42. Towards the end of 1st century BC, a line of kings with Iranian names, usually known as Pahlavas, gained the brief suzerainty of North West India. According to legend, St Thomas brought Christianity to the kingdom of one of these rulers – Gondophares.
43. Trade expanded mainly because Achaemenians introduced coinage, which facilitated exchange. India exported spices, black pepper and imported gold and silver coins from Iran.  The grape, introduced from Persia with the almond and walnut, was cultivated in the wetsren Himalayas. One of the earliest Indian words for a coin is Karsa (also a small weight), which is of Persian origin.
44. According to Herodotus, the Persian emperor Artaxerxes (5th century BC) exempted the inhabitants of four Babylonian villages from taxation in return for their breeding Indian dogs for hunting and war. The dog is only once mentioned with respect in ancient Indian literature and was rarely, if ever, treated as a pet. The exception occurs in the Mahabharata, where the five pandavas and their wife Draupadi take their dog with them on their final pilgrimage to heaven, and the eldest brother Yudhisthira refuses to enter without his faithful friend. It has been suggested that the episode shows Iranian influence, for with the Zoroastrians, the dog was a sacred animal.
Contacts between Sassanian Persia and India
45. The Sassanian period in Persia (226-651 AD) coincided with the Gupta period (308-651 AD) in India. The Sassanian monarchs maintained relations with the Patliputra based Gupta empire. The name of Pulakesin, the ruler of the Deccan, was known in Persia. It was usual to exchange Embassies between Persia and India. Iranian traders acted as commission agents to deliver Indian goods to European ports. One of the murals in Ajanta caves near Mumbai depicts a Hindu king with men in Sassanian dress.
46. During the reign of Shahpur (310-379 AD) in Persia, Indian physicians were invited to practice medicine along with Greek and Iranian physicians in Jundishpur Hospital in southern Kuzestan province of Iran.
47. In Kushana and Gandhara art, Parthian and east Iranian elements are visible. Sassanian motifs are abundant in Gupta art. Also Indian peacock, dragons, cocks and spiral creeper adorn Sassanian monuments. The tiles of Harvan monastery near Srinagar testify to the Sassanian influence on the Kashmir valley. The Kushanas became affluent through trade, particularly with Rome. They issued large number of gold coins, which exhibit the figures of Greek, Roman, Iranian, Hindu and Buddhist deities.
48. The borderland areas of Kabul, Kandhar and Seistan, which were often politically parts of India, were the meeting place of Indians and Iranians. In later Parthians times they were called ‘white India’. Referring to these areas the French savant, James Darmesteler says “Hindu civilization prevailed in those parts, which in fact in the two centuries before and after Christ were known as white India”.
49. The Ranas of Udaipur, the head of the Sisodia clan of the Rajputs are believed to have veeb Iranians originally who came to India towards the end of sixth century. The Pallavas (Parthians, Sanskrit – Pahlavas) are also believed to have originated from Iran. Pulkessin II, the Ruler of Badami sent an Embassy to Khusro II (Parviz) in A.D. 625 and a return Embassy to his court is the subject a beautiful fresco in a cave at Ajanta. The name Gujarat itself has associations with the Gujar tribe of Iran that inhabited the region of Gujistan near west of Caspian Sea. These people are believed to have entered India around 6th century A.D. 
50. After the conquest of Alexander, the nobles of Saurashtra and Kutch acknowledged the suzerainty of the Parthians and later the Sassanians. The history of Gujarat from A.D. 78 to A.D. 400 is shown as Kshatrapa (Satrap) period. Nahapana (Parthian), Chashtana, Jayadaman, Rudradaman, Tushasp, Suvisakha were some of the rulers of this period. Over time the rulers assumed Hindu names. 
Buddhist influence on Persia
51. In the 1st century BC, Kanishka, the ruler of northwest India, became a great patron of Buddhist faith. Buddhism began to spread to Central Asia and the Far East. Kanishka patronized the Gandhara school of Buddhist art, which introduced Greek and Persian elements into Buddhist iconography. By the end of 3rd century AD, Vasudeva, one of Kanishka’s successors was defeated by the Sassanian king Shahpur I and northwest India came under Persian influence.
52. Buddhism became the religion of the east Iranian province of Khorasan through the Kushana emperors. The legendary biography of Buddha in Sanskrit – the Buddha Charita – composed by Ashva Ghosh was translated into Khotanese and then into Sogdian and Parthian – old Persian idioms, then into Pahlavi and into Arabic and other languages. Ibn Babaviah of Qom in his work Akmal al din wa Tamam al Nimah included a story based upon the Persian version of the above story by Zakariya Razi. The legend of Balohar and Budasaf became a part of European and Asian literature. In Iran, the story of Ibrahim ibn Adham, the prince who abandoned his kingdom to lead a religious life, is moulded on the model of Budha.
53. During the Sassanian era, Mani, a scion of the Ashkanian family preached a syncretic religion combining elements of Zoroastrian, Buddhist and Christian faiths. He claimed to be the incarnation of the Buddha.
54. In Central Asia there was a confusing welter of languages, religions, and cultures, and, as Buddhism interacted with these various traditions, it changed and developed. Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, and later Islam all penetrated these lands and coexisted with Buddhism. For example, some of the Mahayana bodhisattvas, such as Amitabha, may have been inspired, in part, by Zoroastrianism. There is also evidence of some degree ofsyncretism between Buddhism and Manichaeism, an Iranian dualistic religion that was founded in the 3rd century AD.
55. In north west India, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism came into close contact. The Zoroastrian doctrine of the Saviour (Saosyant) probably influenced the idea of the future Buddha, which later became part of the orthodox belief.
56. The temples, monasteries and the monuments, which dotted Khorasan, must have in some ways influenced the early architecture of Persia. The blue of turquoise from Khorasan in east Persia became the symbol of the ‘mind by nature luminous’ (cittam prakriti-prabhasvaram). The spires of Buddhist monasteries were made of turquoise, as blue was the colour of meditation. The shades of blue porcelain created by the Buddhist masters of East Asia reflected the subtle planes of contemplation. This tradition was centuries later taken over by the blue mosques of Persia. The Jandial temple near Taksasila was probably Zoroastrian. Ivory plaques, originally fastened to the lids and sides of furniture and boxes, found at the Kushana site of Begram, 80 km north west of Kabul are Indian in inspiration.
57. Paintings on the walls of Dukhang of Alchi monastery in Ladakh reproduced in detail Sassanian motives on textiles. They can be seen in round medallions with mythical animals. The most ancient stringed instrument from Persia – a red-sandalwood five-stringed vina – has been preserved at the Todaiji monastery in Nara, Japan since 8th century. It is decorated with a Persian motif in mother-of-pearl inlay and represents a cultural exchange between the Persian and the Buddhist world. The Tibetan histories of medicine relate that Jivaka the physician to Lord Buddha was born as the son of King Bimbisara. Grown up, one day he saw a group of white-clad men and asked his father: “Who are they”. He said: “They are doctors and they protect people from diseases”. He wished to become a doctor and he asked his father for permission. King Bimbisara sent him to Taxila. These white-clad men were Iranians, who were famous physicians as attested by Sanskrit texts.
58. Early Persian poetry, creation of east Persians, cultivated abstract mental forms recalling the grace of Buddhist statues. (Till the 11th century Persian poetry came from Khorasan, Sogdiana and adjacent areas, which were once steeped in Buddhism). The metaphor of Bot (Buddha) was constant and exclusive in early Persian poetry. The facial type of bot-e-mahruy (moon-faced statue) was the norm in Persian paintings and poetry. Bahar is both spring and a monastery (vihar). The Persian raghe for sloping hill refers to the location of vihars on top of a hill with gentle slopes.
59. The Parthians of east Iran and Central Asian Iranians translated Sanskrit texts into Chinese. An Shih-Kao was a Parthian prince who became a Buddhist monk. He came to China in 148 AD and translated 95 Sanskrit works on Buddhism into Chinese. 55 of them are still available in Chinese Tripitaka. Another Parthian prince An Huen translated two Sanskrit works into Chinese in AD 181.]
Continuing contacts (2nd to 7th century AD)
60. According to Shahname of Ferdowsi (11th century AD), the 5th century AD Sassanian king Behram Gur requested Indian king Shangol to select 12,000 gypsies – expert Indian musicians – and introduced them into Persia from India.These gypsies are believed to be the ancestors of the Persian gypsies. They propagated Indian music and dancing in Persia and travelled to all parts of the world from there. There are remarkable similarities in the language of European gypsies (Romani) and Indo-Aryan languages. It is also believed that Behram Gur visited India in 5th century AD. Persian poet Hakim Nizami Ganjavi has alluded to the Indian wife of king Behram in his famous work Haft Paikar (seven figures) indicating instances of inter-marriage]
61. During the reign of Sassanian king Noshirvan (531-576 AD), scientists and other scholars were exchanged between Persia and India. During the same period, the game of chess (Chaturang in India) is believed to have been introduced in Persia from India (known as Shatranj). Later, when Persia was conquered by the Arabs, the game quickly spread all over the middle east and then to Europe. The original game was played on 64 squares (astapada) with a king piece and pieces of four other types, corresponding to the corps of the ancient Indian army – an elephant, a horse, a chariot or ship and four footmen..]
62. Under Noshirwan, Jundishpur was developed as a leading center of Persian medicine, in which Indian Ayurvedic system was syncretized with the Greek system propagated there by the Nestorian Christians. Burzuya, the physician to Noshirwan, was sent to India to bring back works on medicine and searched for elixir of life. Burzuya on his return brought stories of Panchatantra with him.. The Jundishpur school of medicine continued its active existence and after the Arab conquest of Persia, exerted a great deal of influence on the development of Arabian medicine..]
63. Panchtantra, the collection of Indian fables – instructions about conduct of one’s affairs, was translated from Sanskrit to Pehalvi by Burzoy-e-Tabib who called it Kalila va Demna. From Persia it travelled to the west. Abdullah ibn Muquaffa translated this Pehalvi text into Arabic. There exist several versions of the text in Persian written by Rudki (10th century AD), Nasrullah bin Mohd bin Abdul Hamid Munshi (15th century AD) and a version by Abdul Fazal (16th century AD). The later Arabian Nights owes several of its stories and themes to India. .]
64. In the 6th century, sandalwood, magenta, shells, corals, pearls, gold and silver were traded. Several Indian translators are believed to have been present in the Sassanian royal courts. Bam, in south-east Iran, was a major commercial and trading town on the famous Spice Road, a major tributary of the Silk Road, that connected trade routes from India through Iran to Central Asia and China.
65. Around 7th century AD an Arabic translation from a Persian version of the Charaka Samhita, the famous Indian medical text, was made during this phase. Another early Pahlavi book Zik-i-Shatro Ayar an astronomical work based on Indian elements was translated into Arabic by Al Tamimi.
66. According to Christian Topography of Cosmos Indicopleustes of 6th century AD, there were churches in Keral and Ceylon in the hands of Persian priests, supervised by a Persian bishop at Kalliana (perhaps modern Cochin). Indian Christians had embraced the Nestorian heresy, which was then widespread in Persia. The Nestorians were active missionaries and their monks had crossed Central Asia to found churches in China. These missionaries following in the wake of Persian merchants are believed to be chiefly responsible for establishing Christian community in south India. compiled by Dr.M.Ajam
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