Qom Province tourist information
Qom Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran with 11,237 km² , covering 0.89% of the total area in Iran . It is in the north of the country , and its provincial capital is the city of Qom . It was formed from part of Tehran Province in 1995 . In 2011 , this province had a population of 1,151,672 out of which 95.2% resided in urban areas and 4.8% in rural vicinities . The province contains one city , four counties , nine rural districts , and 256 villages .
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014 .
The climate of Qom province varies between a desert and semi-desert climate , and comprises mountainous areas , foothills and plains . Due to being located near an arid region and far inland , it experiences a dry climate , with low humidity and scanty rainfall . Thus , agriculture is not possible in most of its areas , especially near the salt lake regions . Qom province has two large salt lakes , namely : Howz e Soltan Lake , which lies 36 km due north of Qom , and Namak Lake , which lies 80 km due east of Qom . Nearly a fifth of Namak Lake lies within Qom province .
Uniquely in Iran , Qom Province is coextensive with the Shahrestan (county) of Qom .
Qom is thought to have existed in pre-Islamic ages . Archeological discoveries indicate Qom as a residential area from the 5th millennium BCE . According to the pre-Islamic remaining relics and historical texts , Qom was a large city . 'Kom' was the name of the ancient rampart of the city of Qom , thus , the Arabs called it Qom during the Arab conquests of Iran .
It was during the reign of the second caliph Omar , that the Muslims captured Qom’s center . In 644-645 CE , Abu Moosa Ashari , dispatched forces under his command to Qom . Conflicts arose between the invading Arabs and the residents of the area .
During the persecution of the Alavids by the Abbasids and Umayyads , many Alavids fled to Qom , making it their permanent home . The Caliph Al-Ma'mun sent forces to Qom in the year 825 CE , resulting in a public massacre and destruction of the city .
On hearing of the demise of al-Ma'mun , the inhabitants of Qom revolted and were successful in overthrowing the representative of the Caliph in 831 CE . However al-Ma'mun's successor , al-Mu'tasim , dispatched forces to Qom in order to curb the riots and once again the city was set aflame . The unrest continued until the Buwayhid dynasty (Al e Booyeh in Persian) came to power , being of the Alavid community . It was during this reign that the city of Qom expanded and thrived .
In the Saljuqi era the city flourished once more . During the first wave of the Mongol invasion , the city witnessed destruction , but after Mongol rulers , particularly after Sultan Öljeitü Khoda bandeh of the Ilkhanate dynasty converted to Islam , the city received special attention , thus witnessing a revival once again .
In the late 14th century , the city came under the plunder of Tamerlane when the inhabitants were massacred again . During the periods of the rule of the Qarah Qoyoonloo , Aq Qoyoonloo , and specially during the reign of the Safavids , Qom gained special attention and gradually developed .
By 1503 , Qom became one of the important centers of theology in relation to the Shia Islam , and became a vital pilgrimage site and religious pivot .
During the Afghan invasion , the city of Qom suffered heavy damages , and its inhabitants witnessed severe economic hardships . Qom further sustained damages during the reigns of Nadir Shah , and the conflicts between the two households of Zandieh and Qajar in order to gain power in Iran .
In 1798 , Qom came under the control of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar . On being victorious over his enemies , Fath Ali Shah made repairs to the sepulchre and Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soumeh , fulfilling his vow .
The city of Qom thrived in the Qajar era . After Russian forces entered Karaj in 1915 , many of the inhabitants of Tehran moved to Qom . The transfer of the capital from Tehran to Qom was discussed , but the British and Russians demolished the plan by bringing the monarch of the times , Ahmad Shah Qajar under pressure . Coinciding with this period , a 'National Defense Committee' was set up , and Qom turned into a political and military apex against the Russian and British colonial powers . Qom was also the center from which Ayatollah Khomeini based his opposition to the Pahlavi dynasty , while in Iran .
Today , Qom is considered one of the focal centers of the Shiite sect of Islam . Its theological center and the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomeh are prominent features of the provincial capital of Qom . Outside the city is Jamkaran , another site of religious pilgrimages .
Qom has at times again been considered as a possible candidate for moving the political capital of Iran , as Tehran faces an increasing probability of an overdue major earthquake and is notorious for its pollution and traffic congestion . The conservative factions are favorable to this idea while the business and economic base of Tehran opposes any such moves .
In 2009 it was disclosed that a mountain range near Qom is the site of Iran's second uranium enrichment facility , containing 3000 gas centrifuges .
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 195 sites of historical and cultural significance in Qom . The most visited sites are :
· Kahak cave
· Vashnuh cave
· Howz e Soltan Salt Lake
· Namak Great Salt Lake
· Mar'ashi Najafi Library , with over 500,000 handwritten texts and copies
· Astaneh Moqaddaseh Museum
· Qom Bazaar
· Feyzieh Seminary
· Jamkaran Mosque
· Qom Jame' Mosque
· Qom Atiq Mosque
· A'zam Mosque
· Shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh
Colleges and universities
· University of Qom
· Mofid University
· Islamic Azad University of Qom
· The Research Institute of Hawzeh va Daneshgah
· Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences
· Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute
· Qom University of Medical Sciences
· Qom's Feyzieh Seminary (called The Hawzah)
· Payam Noor University of Qom