Kerman ( pronunciation ) (Persian: كرمان, also Romanized as Kermān, Kermun, and Kirman; also known as Carmania) is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, in 221,389 households, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.
It is the largest and most developed city in Kerman Province and the most important city in the southeast of Iran. It is also one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage . The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman is also on the recent list of the world's 1000 cleanest cities. Kerman became capital city of Iranian dynasties several times during its history. It is located on a large, flat plain, 1,036 km (643 mi) south of Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Kerman was founded as a defensive outpost, with the name Behdesīr, by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanid Empire, in the 3rd century AD. After the Battle of Nahāvand in 642, the city came under Muslim rule. At first the city's relative isolation allowed Kharijites and Zoroastrians to thrive there, but the Kharijites were wiped out in 698, and the population was mostly Muslim by 725. Already in the eighth century the city was famous for its manufacture of cashmere wool shawls and other textiles. The Abbasid Caliphate's authority over the region was weak, and power passed in the tenth century to the Buyid dynasty, which maintained control even when the region and city fell to Mahmud of Ghazna in the late tenth century. The name Kerman was adopted at some point in the tenth century.