The kariz of Kish or Kish Qanat is said to built about 2500 years ago by the inhabitants of Harireh city. Before the Roman aqueduct, the people of pre-Islamic Iran had developed their own hydraulic system called a qanat. A qanat is a series of vertical wells, built along a gentle slope to filter water toward arid areas. The Kish Qanat is an excellent example of this ancient technology and provides visitors with an opportunity to get face to face with the infrastructure of this amazing hydraulic system. This structure was built to collect, purify, and store water for the inhabitants of the island. As the island is situated in a region with an arid climate, this is essential for their survival and provided the islanders’ drinking water. Today, it has been transformed into an amazing underground city, with an area of 10 000 square meters. This city is located 16 meters under ground .Its ceilings are eight meters high . The coral roof of Kariz in Kish, with seven meters in diameter, which once was seabed, is replete with shells and aquatics which are now fossilized on the roof. Tests conducted at the University of Munich, Germany, on the fossils taken from the coral roof of the tunnel show that the roof belonged between 530 to 570 million years old, which the identification of different types of it is going to be exhibited in the museum of the underground city of Kish (Kariz) and all of them have official IDs. The underground city of Kish (Kariz), dues to its unique properties such as coral islands, freshwater aqueducts, cool air under the ground, and coral ceiling full of ancient fossils, is placed in the list of the most important structures of the world.
The ground above Kariz will be transformed into a large park with two high hills. These hills are from the excavated grounds of Kariz and will turn into a unique view of Kish Island. it must be said that the earth excavated from Kariz has much medicinal value and will have abundant use in “mud treatment”. And now, Kariz has opened up a new exceptional chapter for all nature lovers who are able to visit the largest coral collection directly.
In the structure of Kariz city, at first water would have been collected from interconnected wells in an area of 14 km². Using the principle of differential pressure, water from the wells was raised from the water table to the kariz. The water was then conducted to a central filter shaft. This shaft was filled with three layers of filter material. The top layer was coral gravel, which filtered the bigger solids brought along by the water, and neutralized the water’s acids. The next layer was coral grit with clay, and this filtered the finer solids. The last layer consisted of marn, a special sort of clay which filtered the finest solids. As different ‘grades’ of water would be suitable for different usage. The inhabitants of Kish would collect water from different heights of the filter shaft. Since the best quality of water was found at the bottom, this was used for drinking. On the other hand, water that went through the first layer of filtration would have been good enough for the irrigation of agricultural fields. Interestingly, there were also underground tunnels that allowed small boats to enter at the lowest level and collect drinking water from the lowest well.
The kariz of Kish was abandoned a long time ago, and was forgotten by the inhabitants of the island. In addition, modern technology has made the water filtration process much more efficient, which means that the ancient system would have been obsolete anyway. In 1999, the island embarked on a project to build an underground shopping complex. This resulted in the rediscovery of the ancient kariz. Instead of demolishing the kariz to make room for the shopping complex, the developers decided to incorporate the latter into the former. While the historic coral walls that surround the kariz were left on their own, the tunnels were reinforced with modern mortar and stone. This combination of ancient and modern served to create a unique subterranean world. This ancient structure is further modernized by the presence of shops and restaurants, traditional teahouses, amphitheatres, conference centers, and even art galleries. Nevertheless, the developers have not forgotten the kariz’s ancient function, and it is once more fulfilling its role as a water filter, although the filtered water is used mainly for irrigation purposes.
Freshwater of Kariz comes from seasonal rainfall of the island that crosses through corals as natural filter and flows into the layers of marl mud. Marl is a kind of clay mud that is normally soft and flexible and if exposed to air becomes dry and firm. In cultural tourism complex of the underground city of Kish (Kariz), walls are built in front of these valuable clays to protect them. In addition to the treatment usage of marl clay for arthritis, it is used with additional compounds for producing bricks, pottery and cement in particular.
This complex has different section including traditional and modern restaurants, amphitheater, conference hall, art galleries and handicraft shops.Also, there is a group for playing Iranian traditional music that you can enjoy it a lot.