Sari (/Sārī/ , ساری) is the provincial capital of Mazandaran, located in the north of Iran, between the northern slopes of the Alborz Mountains and southern coast of Caspian (Mazandaran) Sea.
Its population is estimated to be 261,293, as of 2006. It has a land area of 5,089 square kilometers . The city was founded during the Sasanids period. Sari is one of the entertainment and sports centers of Iran.
The Mazandaran Sea
is north of Sari; northeast of the city is Neka
(Formerly known as
Shahi) is to its southwest, Juybar
is to its northwest,
, and Semnan
are south of Sari.
Excavations in Hutto cave
present evidence for the existence of settlements around Sari as far back as the 70th millennium BC.
The Muslim historian Hamdollah Mostowfi
attributes the foundation of Sari to king Tahmoures Divband
of the Pishdadi dynasty
. Also native people of Sari have a folklore that the city was populated at about 4th millennium BC
when Smith Kaveh
(native of this city) revolted against the tyranny of Arab Zahak
. After that success, Fereydun of Pishdadi
feeling indebted to Kaveh
, chose this city so as to live near him until his death. For this reason, when Touraj and Salam murdered Iraj
(son of Fereydun), they buried him here. Most people consider that Espahbod Tous-e Nouzar (great-grandson of Fereidun) systematically founded it as a city.
However, recognition by Greek historians goes back to at least the 6th century BC
) when they recorded it as Zadrakarta
which then destroyed by Alexander of Macedonia
. After this, he directed the construction of a new city called "Syrinx" named after his lieutenant general. The city was again a regional capital in the Sassanid dynasty
Capital of Tabristan local rulers
In the seventh century, the great Farxan reconstructed the city, and
because his son's name was "Sarouyeh", he called it by this name. Sari became the capital of Tabaristan
in that century.
After invasions by the Mongols, Turks, Uzbeks, Turcoman, and Tatars the city lost its high status and was periodically burnt to ashes.
Integration into the national administration
Because Shah Abbas I
's mother was from Behshahr(Ashraf),
he merged Mazandaran
into his empire, and founded Farahabad
as his alternate capital of Persia in the north of the city and created the gardens in Ashrafi.
After the Safavid dynasty
, there is no evidence of any notable events in Sari.
Former Capital of Iran
On March 21, 1782, Agha Mohammad
Shah proclaimed Sari as his imperial capital. Sari was the site of local
wars in those years, which led to the transfer of the capital from Sari to
Tehran by Fath Ali Shah.
Early 20th Century
Boasting of developments found after the Qajar dynasty, Reza Shah Pahlavi
systematically changed Sari as Sari Train Station. Most of the streets and governmental buildings date from that era. During World War II
the Soviet army
occupied the city, but left it after the war.
After the Iranian Revolution
During the Iran–Iraq War
, the city was host to refugees, many of whom remained there afterward.
The Clock Tower, in the Clock Square (Meydan-e-Sa'at) located in downtown Sari, attracts many visitors and has become its most famous landmark. Sari also contains the tombs of the
Muslim leaders Yahya and Zayn Al-Abedin, Emamzade-ye Abbas,
and Shazdeh Hussein from the 15th century.
The economy of Sari is based on food production such as
cakes, milled rice, yogurt, doogh (a yogurt drink), canned meat,
oilseed and exporting fruits especially oranges, lemons, etc.
Some companies in Sari (e.g., the wood and paper company Sanaie
Choub Kaqaz and Pishraneh Electronics ) are famous in the Middle East.
Sari's property prices are quite variable. This allows most residents to own their homes, but most neighborhoods are quite expensive because of the pleasant climate. Land prices vary between $220 USD per square meter to more than $11,000 USD per square meter.
| Rainfall Statistics in 2005*
|| Dec. |
|| 121.9 |
Sari's 2005-2006 statistical weather information, in comparison with that of other Mazandaran cities, shows that Sari has an average climate, but it is somewhat sunnier and has more spring rain.
However, recent rainfall in Sari has declined.
Sari contains the following major sections:
Azad Goleh, Bagher Abad,Booali & Posht-e-Hotel(both located in Pasdaran Blvd.), Barbari Mahalleh, Bazaar-e Nargesiyeh,
Bazaar-e Rooz, Chenar-Bon, Gol-Afshan, Golma, Kooy-e Azadi,
Kooy-e DadGostari, Kooy-e Daneshgah, Kooy-e Djahad, Kooy-e
Golha, Kooy-e-Karmandan, Kooy-e Mahyar, Kooy-e MirSarorozeh,
Kooy-e Qelich, Lesani, Mehdi-Abad, Mirza-Zamani, Na'l-Bandan,
No-Tekiyeh, Peyvandi, Pir Tekiyeh, Pol-e Gardan, Posht-e Nim-e
Shaban, Posht-e Zendan, Rahband-e Dokhaniyat, Rahband-e
Sangtarashan, Sang, Sari Kenar, Sarvineh Bagh, Seyyed AlShohada,
Shafa, Shahband, Shazdeh Hossein, Shekar Abad, Tabaristan,
Tavakkoli, Torki Mahalleh, Torkmen Mahalleh, etc.
Sari's old city structure changed in the first Pahlavi era, as new avenues and streets in the city center date from that era. In the Qajar dynasty, Sari had famous neighborhoods identified as follows:
Afghoun Mahalleh, Bahar Abad, Balouchi Kheyl, Balouchi
Mahalleh, Birameter (Bahram-Ottor), Chaleh Bagh, Dar Masdjed,
Isfahouni Mahalleh, Kohneh Baq Shah,Kurd Mahalleh, Mir Mashad Mahalleh, Mir Sar Rozeh, Na'l Bandan, Naqareh Khaneh, Ossanlou Mahalleh, Paay-e Chenar, QelichLi Mahalleh, Sabzeh Meydan, Shazdeh Hossein, Shepesh Koshan, Shishehgar Mahalleh
Telephone area codes
Sari's area code is 151 (+98151 outside of Iran). Also Sari has
the internal area codes as shown below, three digits are the beginning of seven-digit numbers (e.g., 221-xxxx):
||34 - 37 System
|221 Downtown (2003)D
||321 North of Downtown (2004)A
||340 Northeast of Downtown (2006)D
|222 Downtown (First)D
||322 Far South (2005)D
|225 Northwest of Downtown (2005)D
||323 South of Downtown (2002)D
||383 Sari's Primary Industrial Area D|
|223 Southwest of Downtown (2000)D
||324 North of Downtown (1997)D
||384 Dangesarak, Koula A|
|227 Far West (2002)D
||325 North of Downtown (1998)D
||326 West of Downtown (2003)D
||328 Far East (2000)A
||388 Wood Industries|
|* Numbers in parentheses show
the year the phone office was established. |
D = Digital System, A =
The population density of some neighborhoods in downtown (for example: Mirza-zamani, Peyvandi, Sang) is greater than 20,000 per square kilometer. Note that before 1950, the population of the city during the summer was less than in winter. This influenced estimations, such that an estimate done in summer might be inaccurate.
- 1808 = 21,000 est.
- 1827 = 19,000 est.
- 1832 = 20,000 est.
- 1850 = 15,000 est.
- 1856 = 9,000 est.
- 1872 = 15,500 est.
- 1874 = 16,000 est.
- 1883 = 16,100 est.
- 1905 = 25,000 est.
- 1923 = 35,000 est.
- 1956 = 26,278 cen.
- 1966 = 44,547 cen.
- 1976 = 70,753 cen.
- 1986 = 141,020 cen.
- 1996 = 195,882 cen.
- 2006 = 262,627 est.
- 2008 = 300,000 est.
People and culture
Residents are known as Saravis or Sariyan. The population is a mixture of native Mazandaranis
, and Turcomans
There are many foreign inhabitants, including Germans
, and Arabs
. Whereas neighborhoods were identified during the Qajar dynasty by the ethnicity of their inhabitants, this is no longer so. Historically, some areas were labeled as being home to immigrants from Kurdistan
. Sari, as well as other regions in northern Iran, is well known for its hospitality. Most residents speak Mazandarani
and the Saravi dialect. Sari used to be the home of Georgians
, and Zoroastrians
, but today their percentage of the population is low. Local languages are spoken in some neighborhoods, but almost everyone understands and uses Persian
as second language.
Sari is served by Dasht-e Naz
Airport, which is located in the northeast of the city. it has four daily flights in summer and six weekly flights in other seasons scheduled to and from Tehran
(cost: $20 USD). Also, it has weekly flight destinations to Mashhad
. Seasonal destinations include Isfahan
, Kish Island
, and sometimes other cities, depending on demand.
Tickets should be reserved one week in advance.
The city is connected to Gorgan
by Shomal Railways, since it is on a major branch of the Iran's Railroad
. The Sari train station is
the city's first modern rail station and it dates from the Pahlavi dynasty
. Currently, there are three major passenger trains (Sari Exclusive Train, No. 220, and No. 221) everyday to Sari. If you travel to Sari from Tehran, you may use the Gorgan train, which runs in the evening. Only some major express trains have announcements in English
, but this train does. The fare is $3.5 USD, and the trip takes either 7 hours (Tehran-Sari) or 71/2 hours (Sari-Tehran), because the trip is through mountains. For more than 60 years, Sari's exclusive train has been arriving about 4 PM.
The port of Amir Abad is located on the southern coast of the Mazandaran Sea
Local highways have been well developed after the Iran–Iraq War. Sari area contains highway 62w, which has the Qa'emshahr exit and 62e, which has the Neka exit.
There are five bus terminals, but just one, Terminal-e Dowlat, is popular. The others serve cities that are located within 150 kilometers of Sari: Gorgan, Nowshahr and Chaloos, Kiyasar, etc.
Behshahr, Gaz, Nokandeh, Gorgan|
||Behshahr, Gorgan, Minoodasht, Ashkhaneh, Bojnourd|
Gorgan, Bonjnourd, Quchan, Mashad|
Babolsar, Fereydoon Kenar, Nour, Royan, Nowshahr|
Nour, Nowshahr, Shahsavar, Ramsar, Chaboksar, Lahidjan|
||Via Savadkooh Road
||Via Kiasar Road
||Via Azadshahr Road
||Via Haraz Road|
|* indicates that destination is actually nearer than the kilometers shown|
The layout of the city lends itself to using taxis. There is a wide choice of taxi systems including ceremony taxis, wireless taxis, airport or rail station taxis, and telephone taxis. City buses are also popular because they connect Sari's suburbs to the center of city, and most of the population lives in the suburbs. Although pedestrians must take care crossing busy streets, Sari is safe for pedestrians even at night.
Sari is balmy and pleasant. Most major places of interest are listed below:
- Farah Abad Coast
- Gohar Baran Coast
- Darya Kenar Coast
- Khezer Shahr Coast
- Dehkadeh Aramesh Tourist Village
- Tajan River Park
- Zare' Forest Park
- Salardareh Forest Park
- Dasht-E-Naaz National Park
- Pol-e-Gardan hiking trail
- Nemashoun Lake
- Lak-Dasht Lake
- Soleyman-Tangeh Lake
- Bam-e-Shahr Hill (offers a great panoramic view of the city)
- Qor-Maraz (natural spa, Neka)
Colleges and universities
Unlike today, Sari was once one of the most cultured cities in the history of Iran. The scientific knowledge of Saravis was noted throughout history and recorded by Pietro Della Valle
and other famous visitors. Today, the universities are as follows:
Many complexes feature sports in Sari, but most do not have
complete facilities. Most popular are Jahan-Pahlavan Takhti
Sports Complex, which is located on Farhang Street;
Hashemi-Nassab Sports Complex, which is located on the railway side
of the autobahn; and Montazeri Sports complex, which is located in
Shahband. Sari has the Mottaqi football stadium as well, but it is seldom used.
Sari is the birthplace of many popular wrestlers and athletes, and it was the host of 2006 Wrestling World Cup Competitions.
It has a major fieldhouse, Seyyed Rasoul Hosseyni Coliseum, which is known throughout Iran as an outstanding venue for wrestling.
The Saravis wrestlers below have won numerous world titles and are known internationally.
Although Sari is the most important cultural place in the north of Iran, earthquakes and other causes destroyed most of its cultural buildings. Still, Sari has been described as Safa City (City of Curvet).
Notable are Famous Houses
such as Kolbadi House,
including Hutto Cave
(70th millennium BC), Kamarband Cave
(70th-millennium BC); also the Resket Tower
from the Qaran era and the Farrah-Abad Complex Place
from the Safavid era.
- Emamzadeh Yahya (son of Imam Moosa-ebn Jafar)
- Emamzadeh Abbas (son of Imam Moosa-ebn Jafar)
- Emamzadeh Abdollah, Koula
- Masjed-e-Jaame' Mosque (constructed before Islam by Zoroastrians, where many important kings and heroes of Persia such as Iraj,
Touraj, Salam, Fereidun, Sohrab (son of Rostam) that Ferdowsi
remind them in shahnama are buried near this place).
- Emam-Sajjad Mosque (formerly Shah-Qazi, first was Marqad-'Ala-Adolleh School but Rostam Shah Qazi reconstructed it in 1169 and renamed it Shah-Qazi during the Qaznavi era)
- Haaj Mostafa Khan Mosque (Sourteci)
- Reza Khan Mosque (Hozeh Elmiyeh)
- Molla-Majd-Addin Place
- Shazdeh-Hossein Place
- Pahneh-Kalla Place.
Mayor of city
- Sari, My Lovely City, Author: Ali Hessami, Year: 2006, 23965 Sari Primary Library
Some of the important people from Sari are Haj Ali Akbar Nikbakht, Musa Vafayan, and Sheikh Nazari.