Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

The Ancient, Clay Heart of the Desert
Fahraj product - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village
28 Feb

Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

Deserts are replete with secrets. Only those hardworking people who are well aware of the desert-life tricks can survive. Despite the desert being so inhospitable, the residents of desert villages are kind, peaceful, and hospitable. The five-thousand-year-old Fahraj, as one of the oldest desert villages in Iran, is a fine example. Fahraj houses are made of clay and adobe, which will take you back in time. As you walk through the village, Sabats (covered passageways) provide pleasant shade for you. Moreover you will admire the Persian genius as you pass by the wind towers.

Why Visit Fahraj Village

  • Fahraj Village is one of the oldest desert villages of Iran.
  • You can explore a wide range of historical, cultural, and natural attractions in the village.
  • Fahraj Jameh Mosque is a classic example of early mosques and one of the oldest Iranian mosques.
  • Fahraj desert camp brings about an enjoyable time for desert enthusiasts.
  • The village is well equipped for tourists and for their maximized gratification.
  • You delve back in time as you roam the village.

Secrets of Fahraj

In the ancient times, Fahraj village was the entrance gate to the ancient city of Yazd and one of the four major sections of the city.  The village has witnessed countless rises and falls in the history and dates back to the pre-Islamic era. The name of the village much like its history has undergone several changes. The locals used to call this ancient village Farafar. Later, it changed to Pahre or Pahrasht, literally meaning refuge. Eventually, the name Fahraj, which is Arabic form of Pahrasht became prevalent. Wonder why? I will narrate the story.

Following the Arab’s invasion of Iran in the 7th century, as they were chasing the Sassanid king, the Arab invaders got lost in Tabas deserts. On their way, they invaded Fahraj village. At that time, the primary religion of the village was Zoroasterianism. Arabs made the villagers convert to Islam. However, the locals refused and this led to conflicts between the Arabs and the villagers. Consequently, some Arab invaders were killed. The dead were buried in the village and called “the martyrs of Fahraj”.

2 Khavidak Castle - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

An Aerial View of Fahraj Village – Fahraj Iran

In addition to its fascinating history, Fahraj Village showcases numerous historical, cultural, and natural attractions, which are worth a visit.

Jameh Mosque of Fahraj

The most significant attraction in the village is the Jameh Mosque, which is among the oldest mosques in Iran, dating back to the mid-7th century. Interestingly, this mosque is still active. If you are into religious architecture, you are going to admire this ancient mosque. Notably, the plain architecture of the mosque perfectly reflects the extravagance avoiding and simple Islamic lifestyle. Surprisingly, this ancient mosque has undergone no changes and retains its original architecture and charm. The mosque features two summer and winter Shabestans (prayer hall) and magnificent cylindrical clay minaret (tower). Amazingly, Jameh Mosque exhibits no Mihrabs (niche), Iwans (vaulted space), domes, inscriptions, tilework, or ornaments. However, this pure simplicity intensifies the attraction of the mosque.

3 Jame Mosque of Fahraj - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

Jameh Mosque of Fahraj – Fahraj Iran

Fahraj Castle

Fahraj Castle, also known as Khoydak, stands in a short distance from the city center. In the past, this three-story castle merged residential and defensive functions. At the present time, it serves no special purposes. Its current façade and ornaments date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, inside the castle, you will behold buildings which belong to the early Islamic period. As you enter the castle, you might notice that the castle features a smaller entrance compared to the other similar structures. The whole building is a rectangular structure flanked by four cylindrical two-story towers on the corners. The inhabitants of the castle had carved wall holes in the towers and used them for guarding the area.

4 Khavidak Castle - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

Khavidak Castle – Fahraj Iran

Ab anbar (cistern)

Like other ancient Persian towns in desert areas, the residents of Fahraj Village had built a cistern to store water for the public use. Although the cistern belongs to the twelfth century, some evidence suggest that its initial construction dates back to the pre-Islamic period. In the past, the cistern served as a venue for the religious purification ritual. An inscription in Naskh (an Islamic calligraphy) script, installed at the entrance of the cistern, might draw your attention. According to the inscription the mulberry trees of the region were donated for public use.

Mausoleum of Fahraj Martyrs

Mausoleum of Fahraj Martyrs dates from the fifteenth century and is the resting place of Muslim commanders. Surprisingly, the adobe construction of the mausoleum used to be a massive school. Later, the building functioned as a Khanqah (a building specifically designed for the gatherings of Sufi brotherhood). Eventually, it turned to a mausoleum for the Muslim martyrs. In the mausoleum you can behold three yards beside a room, where several graves lie. Word has it that these are the tombs of the Muslim martyrs. However, the grave stones are too demolished to identify the corpses.

5 Fahraj Martyrs - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

Mausoleum of Fahraj Martyrs – Fahraj Iran

Chehel Dokhtaran Well

A popular and respectable monument among Fahraj villagers is Chehel Dokhtaran Well. Chehel Dokhtaran literally means forty girls and is a narrative of the story of honor about forty girls and women. The story goes, they threw themselves into this well to save themselves from enemies capturing and raping them.

Amazing Fahraj Desert Camp

Fahraj showcases the beauty and charm of the desert. Long for blending thrill and peace? Fahraj desert camp is the place to be. Various entertainments including camel ride, four wheel bike ride, and safari are awaiting you in the resort.

6 Fahraj desert - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village

Fahraj Iran – Fahraj Desert

Fahraj Village – Nakhl Gardani

Nakhl Gardani, literally meaning carrying a palm tree, is an impressive procession that you can observe on the streets of Fahraj on the Ashura day (a Muslim mourning day). On this day, locals commemorate martyrdom of Imam Hussain (the third Imam of Shiite Muslims) by carrying a palm-tree-shaped scaffold through mourners who are wearing black mourning attires. In fact, black ornaments and mirrors adorn the scaffold, which symbolizes Imam Husain’s coffin.

7 Nakhlgardani Fahraj - Fahraj Village (Yazd) | Iran Desert Village
Nachl Gardani

Souvenirs and Cuisines of Fahraj

In your visit to Fahraj you can find wonderful souvenirs. In particular, locals offer fine farming and gardening products as well as carpets with diverse motifs. You can also find different types of soups in Fahraj. You should definitely not miss the herbal drinks served both warm and cold.

More about Fahraj Village

When to Visit Fahraj Village

Since Fahraj exhibits an arid climate, the best time to visit this desert village is early spring, fall, and late winter. The temperate weather during these seasons makes it ideal for a visit to Fahraj.

Attractions Near Fahraj

You should definitely put Pahlavanpour Garden, a fascinating UNESCO world heritage site, on your visit list when travelling to Yazd province. Sar Yazd Castle, as a well-preserved structure and one of the oldest castles in Iran is worth a visit. Mangabad Cypress, a 2000-year-old tree is a natural attraction that can fascinate the visitors.

Nearby Restaurants

Kadkhoda Ecologe

Farvardin House Ecologe

Have explored the adorable Yazd but still have a day left for digging deeper into the culture, history and the sand...
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Fahraj on Map

Zahra Soltani
Content Manager, International Relations Manager

To Zahra, introducing the beauties of Iran is a delight and an inherent mission! Beyond that, arts, culture, literature, mythology, and all the astonishing secrets of our marvelous universe set her soul on fire! This is what makes Zahra a filmophile, an insatiable reader, and a passionate writer.

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