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Earlier this year, a selection of 54 centuries-old roadside inns won a UNESCO label under the name: The Persian Caravanserai

Nestled on the eastern side of the lively Meydan-Qala Bazaar in Kerman, the Hindu Caravanserai stands as a remarkable testament to historical and cultural richness. This two-story architectural marvel silently narrates tales of a bygone era, inviting visitors to delve into the historical significance of the Silk Road in Kerman.

Dating back to the 18th century, the caravanserai played a crucial role as an inn along the ancient Silk Road trade route. Its strategic placement between Yazd and Kerman turned it into a bustling center for merchants, traders, and traveller navigating the Iranian desert. Initially intended for Hindu merchants as a resting place, the caravanserai reflects a beautiful blend of Indian and Persian architectural styles.

The name “Hindu Caravanserai” has its roots in the period between 1850 and 1925 CE when Kerman witnessed a 75-year British colonization. During this time, trade flourished between Iranians and India, resulting in Kerman exporting shawls, rugs, and coats to India, while importing sugar, candles, tea, spices, and textiles. This lively exchange earned the caravanserai its distinctive name.

A visit to the Hindu Caravanserai unfolds a captivating journey through the intricate tapestry of Iranian history and culture. Immerse yourself in its architectural splendor, wander through the adjacent bustling bazaar, and embrace the warmth of hospitality and cultural heritage this remarkable site presents.

As you step into the grand inn, a courtyard adorned with intricately designed arches, captivating motifs, and elegant tilework welcomes you. The symmetrical layout, complemented by picturesque inner courtyards, evokes an ambiance reminiscent of eras past. At the heart lies a fountain, once a sanctuary for weary travellers seeking solace from their arduous journeys.

Today, the labyrinthine hallways and interconnected chambers of the Hindu Caravanserai host a vibrant array of handicraft shops, boutiques, and local artisans showcasing handwoven rugs, traditional pottery, exquisite jewellery, and ornate fabrics.

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Beyond its architectural allure, the caravanserai serves as a vibrant cultural nucleus. Engage with local musicians and traditional dancers, savor the rich artistic heritage of Iran, and converse with shop owners whose warm hospitality and deep craft knowledge promise insightful interactions.

Adjacent to the Hindu Caravanserai lies the mesmerizing Meydan-Qala Bazaar, a bustling market reflecting Kerman’s vibrant lifestyle. Visitors can relish sumptuous Iranian cuisine at nearby eateries or immerse themselves in local culture by observing daily life in the charming surrounding neighbourhoods.

Moreover, a Hindu temple adjacent to the northern side of the caravanserai boasts its distinct architectural style, while the Henood Bazaar runs parallel to its northern side.

Accessing the Hindu Caravanserai is convenient from Kerman’s city center, well-connected via Kerman International Airport catering to domestic and international flights. Various accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses, ensure a comfortable stay for tourists.

Staying or merely visiting a centuries-old caravanserai can offer a memorable experience, allowing travellers to immerse themselves in the past. Envision the vibrant scenes of merchants haggling over prices while their camels leisurely chew on hay, reliving the essence of ancient times.

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