Markazi province, with an area of 29,127 km, has ranked 14th in terms of area. This province is neighboring the provinces of Tehran, Alborz, Qazvin, Hamedan, Lorestan, Isfahan and Qom. Markazi province has 12 counties and its center is Arak. Different ethnic groups reside in the province and use Persian, Turkish, and local Tati language. The highlands of the Zagros Mountains and the flat and fertile plains are differentiated in the province, causing three types of climate in Markazi province; the mountain weather at high altitudes, the temperate weather in the foothills, and the semi-arid climate in flat plains.
The province dates back to several millenniums BC. The Greeks considered the area as part of the media, and Islamic geographers called it Jabal (Jebal) or Iraq of Ajam (Persian Iraq). In the early centuries after the flourishment of Islam, indigenous people of this area kept their religion and remained as the followers of Zoroastrianism.
During the Seljuk period, the region came to be known as Ajam Iraq, and was later progressed during the Safavid period. The attention of the Qajar kings to clerical and religious scholars has led to an ever-increasing expansion of mosques, Tekieh, Maktab (school buildings) and historical buildings in the area. This arouse to the names of great men, including Mirza Muhammad Taqi Khan Amir Kabir (a Qajar minister) and Mirza Abulqasem Qaymaqam Farahani (a Qajar minister), who came from Iraqi Ajim province to reform the country’s politics.
During the Seljuk period, the region came to be known as Ajam Iraq, and was later progressed during the Safavid period. The attention of the Qajar kings to clerical and religious scholars has led to an ever-increasing expansion of mosques, Tekieh, Maktab (school buildings) and historical buildings in the area.
Beautiful nature and historical sites of the Markazi province attracts tourists. Interestingly, one of the important attractions of the province, Mahalat – the city of flowers – is famous as the Netherlands of Iran, and has such a long history of cultivating diverse flowers. Due to its largest producing of flowers and plants, Mahallat city is also known as the greenhouse of Iran, and annually large amount of flower exports from this city. Hydrotherapy Complex of Mahallat, Arak Market, Chahar-Fasl Bath, tomb of Pirmorad (mystic), the Migan Lagoon, the historic village of Hazawah, central mosque of Saveh, and the historic texture of the village of Vafs are among the other major attractions of the province. Ebrahim-Abad Qanat of Arak (from the Iranian Qanat collection) has been registered in UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most important handicrafts of the province are carpet-weaving, Gabbeh, Calligraphy, Pottery, copper-smithing, copper dishes of Tafresh, Kilim of Saveh and chinaware of Vefs. The most important souvenirs in the province include Fatir, Pomegranate and honeydew of Saveh, various Ornamental plant, melons, cotton, pomegranate sauce, Syrup and local soaps.
Some of the local cuisine of the region include Local Bread, Shetil Ayr, Damlamme, Abgoosht-e-Doroghin, Bereshtuk, Ash with Tarhana, Pomegranate stew, and rhubarb Abgoosht (meat stew). Mirza Muhammad Taqi Khan Farahani (Amir Kabir), Qaymaqam Farahani, Fakhr Al Din Iraqi (Sufi and Mysticism master), Abbas Iqbal Astiani (Literary Scholar and historian), and Abolqasem Sahab (Human Science Scholar and researcher) are among the most famous of Markazi provinces.