Markazi Province, approximately in center of Iran, is considered to be the industrial capital of Iran. Arāk, a mega polis, is the capital and the largest city of the province. It borders with Tehrān, Alborz and Ghazvin provinces northwards; Hamedān eastwards; Lorestān and Esfehān southwards; and Tehrān, Ghom and Esfehān eastwards.
Markazi province has 29,530 kilometer square area. It has 12 districts, 23 counties, 32 cities and towns, 66 sub-districts, and 1,394 villages. 45 villages are now unpopulated. The districts are Arāk, Sāveh, Tafresh, Khomein, Tafresh, Farāhān, Delijān, Shāzand, Āshtiyān, Komijān, Zarandiyyeh, and Khondāb.
According to 2011 statistics, Markazi province has 1,413,959 populations, of which 1,450,000 live in urban areas, and 715,527 are male.
The cities and towns of Markazi province are Āstāneh, Arāk, Āshtiyān, Mahallāt, Sāveh, Tafresh, Khomein, Delijān, Shāzand, Komijān, Karchān, Karahroud, Dāvoudābād, Senejān, Sārough, Khondāb, Jāvarsiyān, Ghourchibāshi, Narāgh, Rāzeghān, Ma’mouniyyeh, Zāviyeh, Parandak, Khoshkroud, Gharghābād, Nowbarān, Hendoudar, Toureh, Mohājerān, Farmahin, Milājerd, and Nimvar.
Markazi province is a host to many languages and dialects. There are some dialects of Turkish, including Khalaji Turkish. The main language is Persian with its diverse dialects as Lori and Laki. Tati is a language derived from Ancient Persian, spoken in some regions of Āshtiyān, mainly in Vafs. There are Armenian speakers in Arāk, Sāveh and Kharaghān. Armenian villagers in Khomein had mainly left their birthplace after 1970s to major Iranian cities.
Before the conquest of Iran by Arabs, the people of the region were chiefly Zoroastrian. Remains of many fire temples in Markazi province is the evidence of the fact. Now people are mainly Shiite Muslims. There are small minorities of Armenians and Jewish.
Nature and Agriculture:
About 10 percent of Markazi province is arable, 57 pasture land and the rest, uncultivated, including inhabited lands, lakes, and unarable lands. Main agricultural products are wheat, barley, sunflower, cereals, cotton, beet, tomato, onion, grape, pomegranate, pistachio, cantaloupe, peach, almond and walnut. Dried nuts and fruits are also produced in the province.
Planting flowers in large amount is one of the main capabilities of Markazi province. The flowers are produced in green houses and in nature. Mahallāt district is the main producer of flowers, being Iran’s chief ornamental flowers center. National Station for Ornamental Flowers is established here that supervises seven other stations in Lahijān, Tonekābon, Varāmin, Karaj, Jiroft, Dezfoul and Esfehān.
Beans of different kind are produced In Khomein, hosting National Station for Beans Study.
Pomegranate of Sāveh is the best in Iran, well known also in an international level. Nearly 780 species of pomegranate are produced here.
Organic pistachio is also produced in Zarandiyyeh, Sāveh. The greatest plantation of organic pistachio is located here.
Markazi province is one of industrial regions of Iran. The economy is composed of service, industrial and agricultural sectors, respectively. Many mother industries such as petrol, petrochemicals, and metals are concentrated in the province. Its geographical position as an interlink
With other regions, the province is situated approximately in the center of Iran that lends to its importance in economy, chiefly in the industrial sector. The province is rich in mineral resources.
Markazi province has many industrial estates. Kāveh industrial estate in Sāveh is the largest in Iran. In Arāk alone, apart from the main industrial estates, there are three smaller ones.
Markazi province, as other regions of Iran, is rich in natural, historical, cultural and religious attractions. Apart from traditional bazaars and gift shops, you can buy artifacts produced by locals in handicraft mini-malls in major tourist centers.
Carpets and gilims made in Farāhān, Sārough, Liliyān, Senejān and Vafs are well-known internationally from long time ago. Traditional barouches known as giveh are woven and knit in Senejān, Arāk.
In ecotourism, rural and nomadic tourism has many potentialities in Markazi Province. Because of its great diversity and untouched environment, about 43 percent of the population lives in rural areas, earning their livelihood from agriculture and animal husbandry.
About 3000 nomadic households live in the province. Nearly 1000 households still migrate from and to Markazi province.
The tribes are Shāhsavan, Kaleh Koui, Mish Mast, Khalaj, Rāveh, and Kalhor, each consists of some clans.
Attractions of different types are introduced in this booklet under their respective titles of districts and places.