A feat of engineering, the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System , an ancient irrigation system dating back to the 5th century BCE, is sure to leave you awe-struck. Climb the hill behind it to marvel at the view from above before exploring the details of the mechanism and the many bird species living here. Shushtar is an ancient fortress city, approximately 92 km from Ahvaz, in the center of Khuzestan Province. Shushtar is an ancient fortress city, approximately 92 km from Ahvaz, in the center of Khuzestan Province. Shushtar is an ancient fortress city, approximately 92 km from Ahvaz, in the center of Khuzestan Province.
The primary construction of this complex dates back to the Achaemenid period in the 5th century, during the reign of Darius the Great. The major part of its construction dates back to the Sassanid period. It was aimed at optimal use of water with applying the ancient water treatment techniques. Shushtar historical hydraulic system is an interconnected set of bridges, weirs and dams, mills, water cascades, canals, and tunnels.
Karun, the only navigable river of Iran, is divided into two branches before entering Shushtar, called Gargar and Shatit. Gargar is an artificial watercourse which its construction is attributed to Ardeshir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire. In the Sassanid period, Gargar weir was built on this canal to bring up the water level. Three tunnels lead the water provided by Gargar weir into the complex. The entering water is divided up through numerous canals, turns the mill wheels, and then, falls into a basin in form of water cascades. They create an amazing and fascinating view in your eyes. Shushtar historical hydraulic system is one of the masterpieces of civil engineering in the world.
The most interesting and tourist worthy part of the system are the spectacular cliffs from which water cascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south of the city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an area of 40,000 hectares. The hydraulic system has served the area for thousands of years and was still in use as recently as a few decades ago when it began to fall into disrepair and was eventually abandoned.
Today, the system has been replaced by several dams built in accordance with modern technological methods,” the blog writes. “As with the old system, these have served the purpose of controlling the river and storing its waters for irrigation, as well as the production of electricity today.