The city of Kerman is located in the center of Iran at the crossroads of east-west and north-south trade routes. Consequently, its bazaar and the entrance gates to the city are also located along these routes. The bazaar at Kerman is formed around these two main axes that cross to form a chahar suq, or market place, at their intersection; the Vakil bazaar is found in its east-west wing.
Commissioned by Mohammad Khan Vakil al-Molk and his son Esmail Khan Vakil al-Molk Sani, the Vakil bazaar was completed in 1870 (AH 1287). The original construction contained a caravanserai, a bazaar, a public bath (hammam), and a mosque. Today, the hammam is used as a traditional tea house, and the mosque, caravanserai, and the bazaar itself have all been renovated.
Nearly six hundred meters long, the Vakil bazaar is such an important component of the Kerman bazaar that the latter is sometimes mistakenly called the "Vakil bazaar." Containing one hundred and seventeen shops, the Vakil bazaar functions as a spine. Other components of the complex are positioned along its length. When entering the bazaar from the east, one finds the mosque located immediately to the south, the caravanserai to the north, and the Hayati madrasa also on the south, next to the mosque. After passing the chahr suq, one finds the hammam, situated on the north side of the Vakil bazaar.
The hammam was built in 1863 (1280 AH), and the carevanserai, the largest in the city of Kerman, was constructed in 1870 (1287 AH). There are one hundred and twenty chambers spread over the two floors of the caravanserai, which is still in good condition today. A small bazaar, formerly located on the east side of the caravanserai, is no longer in existence. The mosque, built in 1870 (1287 AH) remains in good condition and continues to function as a mosque.
Purahmad, Ahmad. Geography and Function of Kerman Bazaar, 225-230. Kerman: Markaz-i Kerman Shenasi, 1998.
"Vakil Bazaar, Kerman." Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. http://www.iranmiras.ir. [Accessed June 2, 2006; inaccessible October 17, 2013].