The capital of Mazandaran, Sari is the biggest and most populated city in the province. The city is located in northern Iran, between the slopes of the Alborz Mountains and the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.
The city has been mentioned in Ferdowsi’s magnum opus, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), which recounts Iran’s mythical and historical past. Excavations at Hutto and Kamarband Caves have provided evidence of the existence of settlements around Sari as far back as the 7th millennium BC.
Throughout its history Sari has served as the capital of several local dynasties including the Bavandids (651-1349). Resket Tower is one of the tomb structures from this era. Lajeem is another similar tower believed to be a post-Bavandid structure.
The sprawling capital of Mazandaran is an infuriating, traffic-snarled place not really worth a big detour. However, it’s a key connecting point if you’re trying to reach Badab-e Surt by public transport, and the place you’re likely to arrive if you’ve traveled the impressive Trans-Alborz Railway, which switchbacks down steep valley sides from the central plateau to the low-lying Caspian coast.
In the Safavid era, the founder of the dynasty Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) created his alternate capital in Farahabad just outside Sari. Shah Abbas is said to have chosen this location as his mother originated from Behshahr a town in Mazandaran Province.
When the Qajar’s came to power they made Sari the capital of Mazandaran once again and the city became the center of their rule for a short period. The founder of the Qajar Dynasty Agha Mohammad Khan (1742-1797) originally held a coronation ceremony in Sari before moving his capital to Tehran.
The city’s Clock Tower and Square is one of the notable landmarks of the city.