I stopped short of discussing landmarks and the beautiful parks of Iran in my last post as it was getting out of my hand. I never wanted to prolong it any further, lest the interest of the readers was lost.At that time, the best landmark of Tehran was the Azadi Square (top right in the photo). Actually its name was Shahyad Tower, when it was built to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the once great Persian Empire in the Shah of Iran’s reign. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, its name was changed to Azadi (freedom) Tower. Beautifully lit at night, it can be seen from miles apart. Whenever driving at night, it always served as beacon for direction keeping. Now I hear that another impressive tower by the name of Milad Tower has been added to Tehran’s skyline, which overshadows the Azadi Tower to an extent. But I really cannot comment on it any further as I haven’t seen it except in photographs, in which it looks impressive and pragmatic.
Almost on every Sunday, like most of the Tehranites, I would also take my family to either of these two parks to spend the day. And the best thing was that despite being visited by thousands of visitors, there would be no litter left behind by anyone. That’s something unbelievable. There were some fine restaurants in these parks where one could enjoy the traditional Iranian cuisines. Park-e-Millat is the largest of all parks in Tehran. In the imperial times, Park-e-Millat was known as the Shahansahi Park (the Imperial Park). There is a big lake which looks majestic at sun sets, with the reflection of Alborz Mountains. There were boats to enjoy the lake rides. The park has elaborate amusement facilities for the visitors which includes skating lanes, snack bars and coffee shops and a small area with birds in cages. There also is a horseracing club adjacent to the park. I am told that the park has now home to the first musical fountains in Tehran, established in 2008, like that of the Dubai Mall.Closer to Park-e-Millat is located the Tehran international Fair grounds, where exhibitions of international level are held. I once went with a friend, a geologist from Pakistan who later died in a helicopter crash in Iran, to a book fair and was fascinated to see the interest shown by the Iranians in the books and other AV equipment and aids.