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Karim Khan Castle

Arge-Karim Khan Castle, Shiraz is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shiraz. Tourists who visit Shiraz unfailingly visit Arge-Karim Khan Castle, Shiraz, Iran. Karim Khan was the founder of the Zand dynasty in Iran. Hailing from a humble tribal origin, Karim Khan rose to become one of the generals of his predecessor, Nader Shah. In 1747, Nader Shah was assassinated. Utter chaos and confusion prevailed thereafter. Karim Khan became a major contender for power but was challenged by several adversaries. To make his claim legitimate he placed on the throne the infant Shah Ismail III, the grandson of the last official Safavid king in 1757. Ismail was a figurehead king. But the real power was controlled by Karim Khan. Incidentally he never claimed the title of Shahanshah or the king of kings but used that of vakil or regent.

He believed that the Shah was just an ordinary person who lived among ordinary people. All the titles and razzmatazz were meaningless to him. He was deeply religious and held the officials responsible for all the chaos and mishaps in the society. By 1760, Karim Khan had defeated all his rivals and controlled all of Iran except Khorasan which was ruled by Shahrokh, the blind grandson of Nader Shah. During Karim Khan’s rule Iran bounced back from the devastation caused by the raging war over 40 years. He made Shiraz his capital and constructed many fine buildings. He went on to reorganize the fiscal system of the kingdom and removed some of the heavy burdens of taxation levied on the agricultural classes. Karim Khan was active patron of arts. He attracted many scholars and poets to his capital. He furthered his policy of developing trade by attacking and capturing Basra, the Ottoman port at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Basra had diverted much of the trade with India away from Iranian ports. Karim Khans death at the age of 74 was followed by huge unrest. Thus, Arge-Karim Khan Castle, Shiraz is a monument which lives on to narrate the tale of the great warrior and administrator.

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