The city of Ardakan is located 60 kilometers from the provincial capital of Yazd on the Tehran-Kerman- Bandar Abbas road. Ardakan borders Isfahan Province in the north and west, the city of Tabbas in the east, the cities of Bafq, Yazd and Meybod in the south and the city of Sadouq in the southwest.
Pistachio orchards lie to the north of the city, farming lands to the west and garden houses to its east. Like other cities in Yazd Province, Ardakan has dry, desert climate.
The city’s name consists of the words ‘Ard’ meaning holy or sacred and ‘Kan’ meaning land or mine. As Ardakan was the birthplace of several researchers, scholars and astronomers throughout its history, it has been nicknamed Little Greece.
Ardakan is home to several important Zoroastrian pilgrimage sites most notably Chak Chak Temple, and Pir-e Herisht. Chak Chak Temple is where the mountain is said to have parted to shelter a Sassanid (226-651 CE) princess fleeing from the invading Arab army. Countless Zoroastrians gather in this temple every year to hold prayer and for the annual Mehregan Festival (Persian Festival of Autumn).
Pir-e Herisht pilgrimage outside Ardakan is where Zoroastrians believe one of the servants of Yazdgerd III (624-651) disappeared from sight at the time of the Arab Muslim attack on Iran.
The city is also home to several historical attractions including the Howz Abbas (Abbas Pool) Pilgrimage Site and Zirdeh Mosque as well as a number of Qajar (1785-1925) mansions such as the Afzali House, Khatami House and Taqdiri House.
Ardakan features diverse natural attractions ranging from the Shegeft Yazdan Cave, where for 30 years Zoroastrians sheltered the sacred fire from the Karian Fire Temple, and the Tamarix desert forests to the crescent-shaped Siahkouh (Siahkooh) Desert and Aqda Playa.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Ash-e Jo- A thick legume soup made of barley, chickpea, lentil, meat, pomegranate paste and beat.
- Khagineh- A Kuku (omelet-like) dish made with potato, egg, onion and coriander powder, served with tomatoes, pickles and bread.
- Geshniz va Goori- A watery soup made with eggplant, tomato, onion, potato, coriander powder and turmeric, served with bread.