Geographical Position, Markazi Province
The Markazi (Central) province with an area of 29,406 square kilometers is limited to the provinces of Tehran and Qazvin from the north, to Hamadan from the west, to Lurestan and Esfahan from the south, and to Qom from the east. This province includes the townships of Ashtian, Arak, Tafresh, Khomein, Delijan, Saveh, Sarband and Mahalat. The city of Arak is the center of this province. In 1996 the population of this province was 1.2 million out of which 57.1% lived in urban areas and 42.9% resided in rural areas. This province is to the east of the intersection of the Alborz and Zagross Mountain Ranges. The unevenness of this province includes parts of the central mountains and internal parts of the Zagross Mountains Range.
The lowest part of this province are the plains to the south and east of Saveh which is between 500-1000 m. high, and its highest point is the Rasvand summit which is 3,342 m. high, and is located in the Rasvand Mountain Range to the southwest of Arak.
Climate, Markazi Province
The climate of the Markazi province is semi-arid, moderate and cold mountainous type. This province is under the influence of the pressure of the Indian Ocean currents with dust hurricanes, Atlantic Ocean currents and Mediterranean currents with humidity and rain. The south, southeastern and the northwestern regions of the province named as Khomein, Mahalat, and Shazand are located in the mountainous moderate climate of the eastern Zagross and to the north and northeast of Saveh. Other townships of the province, i.e., Tafresh, Ashtian and northern Arak are located in the semi-arid region of Esfahan and Sirjan.
The diversity of climate leads to a varied rate of moisture and rain in different cities of the province. In mountainous area, there is often snowfall and in lower areas it rains. The north of the province that is in Zarand region has the minimum amount of rainfall while the Shazand heights have the maximum amount of rainfall. April to June is the best season for traveling to this province.
History and Culture, Markazi Province
According to historical sources, Markazi province was a part of Median Empire in the first millennium BC. which included all central and western parts of Iran. It was one of the ancient human settlements in the Iran plateau. In Seleucidian era, this area, specially the northern part (Khorheh village), was paid due attention to by the Greek rulers. During the reign of Khosrow Parviz the Sassanide ruler, Iran was divided into four parts: north, east, south, and west. The central province was located in the west.
In the early centuries of the Islamic era the name of this area was changed to Jebal or Qahestan province. In the 2nd century AH., this area along with Hamadan, Ray, and Esfahan was named Iraq-e-Ajam. In the early 4th century AH., Khorheh became one of the famous cities of Jabal province. Late in this century, Tafresh was one of the famous urban centers, and Khorheh and Khomein ranked as the next famous urban areas. The mentioned cities were active and flourishing in the Safavid period. During the Qajar dynasty the central part of Arak began flourishing.
During the recent decades, the expansion of the railroad and the setting up of several major factories and huge industrial units, this area developed considerably. Due to the new divisions of the country and the formation of the province of Tehran, this province was formed and Arak is its capital.
From the cultural and religious point of view this province is one of the major centers for training scholars, scientists, poets, politicians, and Gnostics. To be more specific, Fakhr-Adin Araqi, Mamalek, Farahani, Mirza Abulqasem Qaem Maqam, Abbas Eqbal Ashtiani, Mirza Taqi Khan Amir Kabir, Qaem Maqam Farahani, Professor Mahmoud Hessabi, Imam Khomeini, Ayatollah Araki, Ayatollah Nooredin Hosseini, Molla Ahmad Naraqi and Molla Mehdi Naraqi, can be named.