GURU NANAK IN IRAN Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal Guru Nanak visited Iran thrice; first while going from Karachi to Aden he visited Bushahar Bander, second time when going from Medina to Baghdad he visited Basra and third time after returning from Turkey and beyond when he visited Tabriz, Vakand, Tehran Isfahan, Karman and Mashhad wherefrom he entered Turkmenistan and reached Sahibabad. Iran also known as Persia  is an Islamic Republic in Western Asia . It has an area of 1,648,195 km2(636,372 sq mi)  and lies between latitudes 240and 400N, and longitudes 440and 640 E. Its borders are with Azerbaijan  and Armenia to the north-west; the Caspian Sea to the north; Turkmenistan to the north-east. It has 909 km border with Pakistan and 936 km with Afghanistan. Turkey(499 km) and Iraq (1,458 km) are to the west; and Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman are to the south. Mount Damavandat 5,610 m is the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush. Thus it is of great geostatic importance due to its location. With 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 17th-most-populous country.  Its major cities are Tehran with 7.3 million, Mashhad 2.7 million; Esfahan 1.78 million; Karaj 1.6 million; Tabriz 1.5million; and Shiraz 1.3 million (2011). Guru Nanak is stated to have visited most of these cities. In 1387, Timur ordered the complete massacre of Isfahan, reportedly killing 70,000 citizens. By the 1500sIsmail I established theSafavid dynasty, with Tabrizas the capital. Iran was predominantly Sunni,but Ismail instigated a forced conversionto the Shiabranch of Islam, Beginning with Azerbaijan, he subsequently extended his authority over all of the Iranian territories, and established an intermittent Iranian hegemony over the vast relative regions, reasserting the Iranian identity within large parts of the Greater Iran. The rise of the Safavid dynasty in 1501 led to the establishment of Twelve Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran. [15 The Shia Islam spread throughout the Safavid territories in the Caucasus, Iran, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia. The modern-day Iran is the only official Shia nation of the world, with its holding an absolute majority in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, having there the 1st and 2nd highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world. The centuries-long geopolitical and ideological rivalry between Safavid Iran and the neighboring Ottoman Empire, led to numerous Ottoman-Persian Wars. Under Nader Shah it possessed the most powerful empire of the time. Iran now is a major regional and middle power,  and it has large reserves of fossil fuel and the fourth-largest proven oil reservesAlso Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East  Iran is heir to one of the world's oldest civilization, .The culture is distinctively Iranian.  Iran's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Persian is the official language. . Currency is Rial. Guru Nanak Dev visited Iran during his fourth Udasi towards west. He visited Bushahr while going to Mecca. He visited Khorramabad and Basra while going from Mecca to Iraq. He visited Tabriz, Isfahan, Tehran and Mashhad after visiting Baku and Astarkhan and Suleiman Takhat where a cold water spring is stated to be existing.  A Dharamsal existed as ‘Masjid-e-Hindan’, Gurudwara Pehli Patshahi at Tehran and Mashhad also commemorate his visit to Iran. TheMasjid-e-Hindan"Mosque of the Indians", is a Sikh Gurdwarain Tehran, Iran The gurdwara serves Tehran's very small Sikh community. Despite its name, the complex is not an Islamic Mosque, and is given due to the Muslim majority in Iran. Gurudwara Pehli Patshahi (Bushehr) A port of Iran Bushehar Bander was visited by Guru Nanak Sahib during his visit to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) during his tour of Mecca in 1519-20 while on board of a ship to Aden. Basra Guru Nanak went to Baghdadis through Basra. Tabriz Tabriz, the capital of east Azerbaijan Province, is considered the second industrial city of Iran (after Tehran). With a population of around 1.4 million (2011 census), it is the fifth major city of Iran. It is the first capital of the Safavid Empire. Shiraz, with a population of around 1.4 million (2011 census), is the sixth major city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province Population of Iran was 75 million by 2009.[35  Guru Nanak visited Tabriz while returning from Europe through Azerbaijan.  Takhat Suleiman (52): From Bakun Guru came to Suleman Takhat. There is a spring of Suleiman at the place. This spring has hot water. Next to it is cold water spring created by the Guru. It is at a distance of 7 kos on a hill feature and is called Pareestan (Place of fairies). Suleman Takhat is 400 Kos from Bakun.  Vakand Vakandalso known asVagand  is a village in Garmeh-ye Jonubi Rural district, in the Central district of Meyaneh County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 101, in 18 families.  Pir Bahav Din who belonged to this place, became his disciple. He was presented with a chola (gown) and seli topi (a woolen rope and a cap) and this special dress is worn up to this day by the fakirs of Pir bahaw Din. They recite japji daily in their own tongue to which they call Behr-i-Tawil and think of Guru Nanak as their ony religious preceptor. A spring commemorates the visit of the Guru to this place. Near the tomb of Pir Bhahaw can be seen that tree, which grew from the staff of the Guru planted there. This tree bears pink and fragrant flowers. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli mentions this event to the place ‘Vakand’ near Bukhara in Uzbekistan.  p.161. Isfahan Isfahan with a population of around 1.7 million (2011 census), is Iran's third largest city.  The fourth major city of Iran, Karaj has a population of around 1.6 million (2011 census) and is situated 20 km west of Tehran. Gurdwara Sahib (Tehran) Tehran, with a population of around 8.1 million (2011 census), is the capital and largest city in Iran. It is an economical and cultural center in Iran, and is the hub of the country's communication and transport network. The gurudwara was founded in 1941 by Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Teheran. Religious celebrations include morning and evening prayers, Guru-Ka-Langer every Friday after the Akhand Path. Community services include establishment of a school, teaching of Punjabi and Dharmik (Divinity) forms an integral part of the curriculum. There are about 800 members of the Sikh community in the area. Various Indian Authorities like Mr. Bajpai and Mr. Modi Prime ministers of India Mrs. Gursharan Kaur Wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. SM Krishna and Foreign Minister of India paid obeisance at the Gurdwara. Address is Avenue Hedayat, Avenue Tonkabon, Opp. Iran Hospital, Post Box 11365-557, Mesjed Henidyah, Teheran (Iran) Phone: 305 125, 7535025 School 7546040/75531183 Photo 1 & 2 Gurdwara Tehran 3 Shah of Iran visiting gurdwara Tehran 4. Mr. Bajpai Prime Minister of India 5. Bibi Gursharan Kaur wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 6. Mr. Modi Prime Minister of India all visiting the gurdwara in Tehran Kerman Kerman or Karmina (56) has a dharmsal constructed at the place to commemorate Guru Nanak’s visit. According to Arna Muni Hindus have 17 shops. These people light the lamp at dharamsal. It is four stoppages from Samarkand.  The people of Karmine are devoted to Guru Nanak Wali Hind and his discipline.  (p.161) Mashhad- . The country's second largest city, Mashhad, has a population of around 2.7 million (2011 census) and is a holy city in Shia Islam as it is the site of the Imam Reza shrine.  It is an historic town of Iran. Famous philosopher Firdausi and Al Ghazali were born in this town. Muslim Shiaite Khalifa Harun Al Rashid died in this town. Guru Nanak Sahib and Bhai Mardana visited this town on their way in 1519-20 to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. References 1. A. Fishman, Joshua (2010). 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