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Geography and History

Covering an area of 14,042 square kilometers, Gilan province is located in the north of Iran, stretching between the Alborz and Talesh Mountain Ranges. According to the latest divisions of the country , the townships of the province are: Astara, Astaneh Ashrafieh, Bandar Anzali, Rasht, Roodbar, Roodsar, Somiehsara, Fooman, Lahijan, Langerood, Talesh and Shaft. Rasht is the provincial capital. Gilan province, shares borders with the provinces of Ardabil on the west, Mazandaran on the east, Zanjan to the south and the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azarbayjan to the north. In the year 2006, this province had a population of approximately 2.4 million, of which 53.88% were registered as urban dwellers and 46.11% as rural dwellers. Stretching from the east to west are the mountainous regions of Talesh, Masooleh, Poshtkooh as well as the Alborz Mountain Ranges, which itself is composed of western,central and eastern parts. The western Alborz surrounds the province like a wall, and its highest peak is called ‘Fak’ or ‘Dolfak’ meaning an eagle’s nest. The plains of the province extend between the mountainous areas and the sea, reaching an altitude of 100 m. above sea level. These are divided into three main parts named as, Talesh, eastern and western Gilan.


Gilan enjoys a climate known as ‘moderate Caspian’. The same has emerged from the influence of currents of both the Alborz Mountains and the Caspian Sea. The Talesh Mountains being in a north to south direction, and the Alborz mountains in an east to west direction. These serve as a barrier against the humid north-west Caspian winds and withholds the penetration of wind bearing vapors towards Iran’s mainland, causing heavy rainfall in the northern provinces of Iran. However, freezing temperatures are seldom reported in the coastal areas. The amount of rainfall in Gilan, depends on the winds bearing vapor that blow from the north west in winter, from the east in spring and from the west in summer and autumn. These winds carry the vapor and humidity towards the plains causing heavy and prolonged rainfalls. In the year 1996, the average rainfall in Rasht was reported as 1015.4 mm. with 156 rainy and 20 frosty days. The average minimum and maximum temperatures were reported as 11 C and 20.9 C respectively.

History and Culture

The history of Gilan is not very clear till the 6th century BC. or till the time that the Greek historians clarified some sections of Iranian history. But archaeological excavations show that the antiquity of the territory in the southern parts of the Caspian Sea dates back to the time prior to the last Ice Age, estimated around 50-150 millennium BC. Some historians believe that human civilization has emerged from the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea, extending westwards specially towards Mesopotamia. Historical records of the Gilan civilization dates to several millennium BC. During this period, the ‘Kasis’ or the resident tribes of this region migrated to other areas for attaining better lands. Meanwhile, some groups of migrant tribes including Aryans migrated to this region due to climatic changes and the increase of frigidity in their territory. Due to the mingling of migrant tribes with the indigenous residents of the region, several new clans were formed, of which, the two tribes of ‘Gill and ‘Daylam’ formed a majority. In the 6th century BC, the inhabitants of Gilan allied with Koorush (Cyrus) the Achaemenian and overthrew the Medes. On the defeat of the Achaemenian Dynasty by Alexander the Macedonian, Iran came under their control. Thereafter, the Seleucidians took over the power. At that time, the local governors ruled independently. In the Sassanide era, Gilan lost its independence to some extent and Ardeshir Babakan overcame the local governors. During the Abbasid Caliphate, the Alavian (Shi’ites) who lived in the mountainous areas of Daylam, tried to severe the control of the Abbasid Caliphs from Iran. Consequently, the two united. Around the year 290 AH., the people of Gilan accepted the Shi’ite religion and tried to expand it. In this period some dynasties having Gilani and Daylami origins appeared on the historical scene in Iran. One of the most dynasties as such was the ‘Al Bouyeh’, who even attacked Baqdad, the capital of the Abbasid Calipahte, and defeated the Abbasid Caliph. In the 7th century AH., the Mongols tried to conquer Gilan. But due to geographical conditions and lack of accessibility, they failed to get there till the early 8th century AH. Finally, Soltan Mohammad Khodabaneh or ‘Oljaito’ temporarily conquered this territory. The Gilacks also payed an important role in the Constitutional Revolution in Iran. They conquered Tehran after two days of the attack of Mohammad Ali Shah in 1908 AD. Moreover, their contribution to the movement of ‘ Mirza Koochak Khan Jangali’or the ‘Jungle Movement’ and accounts as a glorious event in the history of this region.

Gilan Province Townships

Astaneh, Astara, Bandar Anzali, Fooman, Lahijan, Langerood, Rasht, Roodbar, Roodsar, Shaft, Somiehsara, Talesh.

Astaneh Ashrafieh

This city is located in the alluvial palins of the province, on the Sefid Rood delta in the east of Rasht. It is one of the religious and pilgrimage sites of Gilan. The mausoleum of Hazrat Seyed Jalaleddin (AS) in this vicinity has added to its importance. In the 4th century AH., Jalaleddin Ashraf, the offspring of Imam Moosa Kazem (PB) moved to this city, which is a spectacular and beautiful vicinity.


Situated on the western shores of the Caspian, it is bordered by the sea on one side and the mountains and jungles on the other. The weather is approximately humid and warm due to its proximity to the sea and the dense mountainous forests. Located 534 km. from Tehran, Astara is the northern most port of Iran and palys an important role on the country’s border. Trade expansion, in addition to being placed strategically military wise, have added to its importance. From the Safavid to the Qajar era, the name Astara was merely attributed to an area between Anzali and Aras, which is currently a part of the Republic of Azarbayjan.
Trade relationships with several parts of Russia and Europe, caused the influx of European civilization to this region. The importance of trade and tourism in Astara has increased after the expansion of relationship between Iran and Azarbayjan.

Bandar Anzali

This port is limited to the north by the Caspian Sea. Irrigated by the Chak Rood, Masal and Khamam Rood rivers, Anzali enjoys a modrate and humid weather. This city is not very archaic from the historical point of view. However, the most ancient historical notes on Bandar Anzali refer to the year 863 AH., and mentions the same as a small village. From the early Safavid period, Bandar Anzali captured the attention of the British, Russians and the central government of Iran. As then Qazvin was the capital. The English established silk trading companies in Moscow, and this aided in making the Rasht – Anzali – Baku route to Europe flourish. Consequently, Anzali came to be known as the ‘European Gate’. During the period of Nader Shah, Bandar Anzali was converted into a transportation base. But late in the reign of Naseredin Shah and during the rule of Mozaffareddin Shah, trade reached its peak. After the undertaking of the communists and the formation of the Soviet government, the trade status between Iran and Russia severely changed and Anzali lost its former glory as a trading port. When Pahlavi I came into power, due to the keen attention paid to this port, it was reconstructed and equipped with port and shipping facilities.At present Bandar Anzali is one of the most beautiful cities of Gilan and is the most well equipped port of the Caspian Sea.


Situated on the plains of Gilan and to the west of Rasht, Fooman is bordered by the Alborz Ranges in the west. It is 371 km. from Tehran, and has a mild and humid climate in the plains; and cold pleasant weather in the mountains. Numerous rivers originating from the southern mountain ranges terminate at the Anzali marshes. During the period of the Islamic influence and the taking of power by the local rulers, Fooman was considered as the center of western Gilan. The leaders of this area were mainly related to the ‘Al Eshaq’ family who considered themselves as the descendants of the Parthians. Oljaito (the Mongol), demanded the obedience of Amir Debaj (the local ruler), and ultimately, the Mongols conquered this vicinity. In the year 766 AH., Sa’adat Al Kiya migrated to Gilan from Mazandaran. A battle took place between the Al Kiya and the Al Eshaq households. Amir Debaj who was from the Al Eshaq family was murdered in the outskirts of Rasht in the year 791 AH. During the years 907-921 AH., or the Shah Esmail Safavid period, this area was under the rule of ‘Amir Hessameddin’, son of ‘Amir Debaj’. During the Safavid reign, the Qizelbash army defeated the last governor of Fooman from the Al Eshaq family. Thus entire Gilan was annexed to the Safavid territory.During the contemporary period, Fooman witnessed many revolts prior to and after the Constitutional Revolution. In the Jungle Movement, Fooman was an important hideout for the rebels. At present it is one of the developed cities of the province with amazing landscapes and is attractive from the aspect of tourism.


Situated in the northern verdant slopes of the Alborz Mountains, the township of Lahijan is 355 km. from Tehran. The climate of the city is moderate with a high annual precipitation. The foundation of Lahijan is attributed to ‘Lahij Ebne Saam’. Oljaito, the Mongol ruler conquered Lahijan in 705 AH. Then Amir Teimoor attacked this region. Finally, Shah Abbas I defeated ‘Khan Ahmad’ and thereafter the Safavid governors ruled this city. Amongst the unpleasant events in the history of this city were the outbreak of plague in 703 AH., the conflagration of 850 AH. and the conquest of it by the Russian army in 1725 AD. Lahijan was one of the main bases of the Jungle Movement.


This township is situated on the slopes of the mountains, 340 km. from Tehran, enjoying a mild and humid climate. It is irrigated by the Shalman and Langerood Rivers. Langerood was once the bed of the Tetis Sea, and in the reign of Dariush III (Darius), the last of the Achaemenian monarchs, it was amongst the 127 provinces from where the sea had retreated. The word Langerood was for the first time mentioned in the year 512 AH., coinciding with the reign of “Soltan Mohammad Ben Malek Shah Faramarz Ben Mardan Shah Langeroodi”, who escaped from prison, and with the help of Alla’ud Dowleh Mazandarani went to Langerood. In the Safavid era, specially during the reign of Shah Abbas, Langerood was a city of important historical events. Nader Shah Afshar also paid due attention to this city. He chose Langerood as a headquarter and base for defeating the Tatars of eastern Mazandaran as well as a center for the development of trade, and a shipyard for gaining access to the Caspian Sea. Today, this city is one of the important cities of Gilan.


Rasht, the provincial capital is one of the important cities of this region. It is situated in the center of the province, 30 km. from the Caspian Sea. The climate of this area is humid and variable. Dominant air currents of the Caspian Sea blow westwards, and the annual precipitation is relatively high. The history of Rasht dates back to the pre-Islamic period, that is the Sassanide era. The independent governor of this region was called ‘Gilanshah’, before the attack of the Arabs to Iran. In the year 61 AH., after the Arab conquest in Iran, Rasht was mentioned in historical documents for the first time. In the Safavid period, and specially in the reign of Shah Esmail, the territory of Gilan was composed of two parts of ‘Biepas’ with the centrality of Rasht, and ‘Biehpish’with the centrality of Lahijan. In the reign of Shah Tahmasb Safavid I, the governorship of both sections was assigned to ‘Khan Ahmad Gilani’. In the year 1045 AH., Stephen Razin, a Russian sailor plundered the city. The army of Peter the Great conquered the city in 1722 AD. and remained here till the year 1734 AD. This city was once again conquered by the Russians in 1917 simultaneously with the Socialistic Revolution. In 1246 AH., due to the outbreak of plague, many people lost their lives. In 1937, a revolt broke out in the region in order to get road tax from the Russians, but the central government suppressed it. The people of Rasht played a very important role in the Constitutional Revolution. The Russian and British army as well as local rebels attacked the city of Rasht during World War I (1914-1918). In 1920, Rasht became the arena of revolutionary activities again. When the Red Army conquered Baku in 1918, the naval forces of the White Army took asylum in the Port of Anzali, which was under control of the British army. The commander of the Red Navy persued them and conquered the port and the British retreated. This event encouraged the revolutionaries of Gilan to establish an anti-British government movement under the leadership of ‘Mirza Koochak Khan Jangali’. British forces evacuated the city and went to Baqdad. Finally, the Iranian forces defeated the movement and a treaty was signed with Russia in 1339 AH. and they evacuated the city.
Today, Rasht as the capital of Gilan province is the most important trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran and has considerable tourism facilities.


Roodbar is situated in the mountainous region of the province, 268 km. from Tehran and with a variable climate. It is located on the fringes of a valley through which the Sefid Rood river flows. The civilization of Roodbar and its surroundings date back to 2000 years BC. On the advent of Islam, tribes from Damascus and Halab immigrated and became settlers there. Later on in the times of Nader Shah Afshar, groups from the Kurds of Quchan and areas of northern Khorassan also settled there. Roodbar can be considered as a gateway to the Gilan province from central Iran. The earthquake of 1990 demolished this beautiful city and despite its reconstruction, has not gained its former glory.


Enjoying a moderate and humid climate, the township of Roodsar is located in a verdant plain 326 km. from Tehran and to the south of the Caspian Sea. According to valid historical documents, the ancient name of Roodsar was “Koutum”, which was a small city in Rankooh. The other name of Roodsar was “Hoosem” that had a thriving bazaar and big mosque in the year 375 AH. Later on this city was ruined due to unknown reasons, and was reconstructed by Seyed Reza Kiya during the years 789-829 AH. This personality was the governor of Lahijan who changed the name of this city from Hoosem to Roodsar in the 8th century AH. The contemporary history of this city coincides with the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty. This beautiful city attracts many tourists.


Shaft is situated in the verdant plains of Gilan in the south west of Rasht. It is one of Gilan’s historical areas with an ancient background. The center of Shaft was formerly called Goorab. Shaft was situated near the ‘Nasir Mahaleh’ Village where vestiges can still be noted.


Located in a plain, Somiehsara is 369 km. from Tehran. This city enjoys a mild and humid climate, and the Masooleh river irrigates its lands. This region included the centers of the two states of Toolem and Kasgar that are repeatedly pointed out in historical books. According to some references, this city is named after the great gnostic of the 4th and 5th century AH., ‘Sheikh Abdollah Somehi’ who had many followers and constructed several monasteries.In keeping with some narrations, this city was ruined in the year 1159 AH. This city was beyond the control of Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar, but during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, the central government dominated over it. At present this city is one of the developed regions of the province with many natural attractions.

Talesh (Hashtpar)

The township of Talesh is 451 km. from Tehran, and there is in a mountainous area in the west of Talesh. The Alborz Mountain Range from the north to south direction and runs parallel to the sea coast. Talesh has a moderate and humid climate with a relatively high percentage of annual rainfall. Talesh is called ‘Tablestan’ in the Arabic language. Till the time of the Afsharieh Dynasty, the southern part of this township was dependent on the Kasgar government and the central sector excluding Astara, named as Espahbod, was under the control of the Naav and Tul governments, whereas the northern portion was called Goshtasbi. On the termination of the wars between Iran and Tsarist Russia, and the conclusion of the Golestan and Turkamen Chai Treaties, Talesh Goshtasbi was segregated from Iran. Thereafter, Espahbod Talesh and Talesh Kasgar which were under the dominance of the tribal chiefs of Namin were divided into two parts. Its northern sector was under the control of Ardabil till 1963. At present Talesh is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Iran.

Historical Monuments

Apeer Jangali Tomb, Astaneh Ashrafieh

The tomb of this gnostic lies in Bazkia Goorab, between Astaneh Ashrafieh and Lahijan. The mausoleum is an archaic brick structure. Its flooring is of green ancient tiles and its court-yard covered with rounded arches, with an indiscreet dome under the ceiling. Other spectacular features of this structure is its intricate work of vaulted gypsum and earthenware.

Aqa Sheikh Abolvajieh Tomb, Lahijan

The same is located in the Zalkeh Village of Lahijan. It is a rectangular structure with four porches on the four sides. There are four columns facing the entrance. These have been carved exquisitely according to traditional design. The tomb has a chest dating 948 AH. Sheikh Abolvajieh was a great gnostic of his times who lived in the early 9th century AH.

Dr. Mohammad Moein Tomb, Astaneh Ashrafieh

Dr. Mohammad Moein, a great personality in the field of Persian literature was the compiler of the Persian Encylopaedia. This tomb attracts those devout to the literature of the land.




Kashefol Saltaneh Tomb, Lahijan

The said tomb is located on a hillock overlooking the tea plantations of Lahijan. Haji Mohammad Mirza, reputedly known as Kashef-ol-Saltaneh, impersonated as an army general set off for India. Here he learned the tea planting expertise and brought back saplings of the same to Iran. This personality was responsible for setting up tea plantations in the region of Lahijan after much endevour. Those connected to this industry in Gilan owe their livelihood to this great man.




Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali Tomb, Rasht

The tomb of Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali, reputedly known as Sardar-e-Jangal is located in the south of Rasht. This simple and at the same time beautiful monument is held in high respect of all who visit the vicinity.

Peer Qotbeddin Tomb, Astara

The same is located at a distance of 3 km. north west of the city of Astara. This personality is a great and honored gnostic. The structure is an archaic one and has been constructed of brick. There is a slab of marble in its anteroom, which is beautifully engraved with floral design and displays the date of 942 AH.

Seyed Sharaf Shah Tomb, Rezvan Shahr, Bandar Anzali

The said is located in the village of Darsara, 5 km. to the east of Rezvan Shahr. Due to holding the great gnostic and poet of the 8th century in high esteem, the vicinity has come to be known as Seyed Sharaf Shah or Seyed Sharafeddin. The structure is a large one and is constructed of brick and marble. There is another tomb in this village which is believed to be that of the mother of Seyed Sharaf Shah.

Sheikh Zahed Gilani Tomb, Lahijan

This historical structure is situated in the Sheikhanvar village of Lahijan. The same is relevant to Tajeddin Ebrahim or Sheikh Zahed Gilani. The structure covered with earthenware tiles is of a pyramid shape, with a pointed dome and ceiling of plaster work. The only inscription on the wooden chest on the tomb reveals the date of 832 AH. The architectural style of the structure displays the effects of the 8th or 9th century AH. The same has been on record in Iran.




Other tombs of the province are as follows: the Mir Shah Mahmood tomb in Lasht Nesh; Baba Vali in Daylaman; Mir Shamsedin Lahiji in Lahijan; Aqa Seyed Hossain Kiya in Astaneh Ashrafieh; Aqa Seyed Marandi in the east of Manjil; Peer Hassan and Peer Masoud in the north east of Lahijan; Soltan Mahmood Shah Dinvari in Khotbeh Sara; Soltan Mohammad Kiya in Lahijan; Peer Mahaleh Mausoleum in the Rankoo village of Roodsar; Aqa Seyed Ebrahim in Roodsar; ; Molla Aaqel Mausoleum in Lahijan; Aqa Seyed Qasem, to the east of Koochesfahan; Seyed Ali Qaznavi in Lahijan; Mir Shamseddin in Lahijan, Mir Nezameddin and the tomb of Dr. Heshmat in the Cheleh Khaneh locality of Rasht.The Ornaments of Mir Shamsedin Lahiji Tomb in Lahijan shown below:




Kheshti Bridge, Langerood

The same was built by Haj Aqa Bozorg Monajem Bashi during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, and was the old route from Lahijan to Langerood. This bridge spans over the Langerood River. It is 37 m. in length, with two arches supported by thick pillars.



Loshan Historical bridge, Loshan, Roodbar     

Prior to the construction of the present Qazvin – Rasht Highway, and the new concrete bridge, the old Loshan bridge was the only means of connection across the Shah Rood River. Some researchers claim that it was built in the times of Khosrow Khan Gorji, the governor of Gilan during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar. But it seems to be a construction of the 9th century AH. It is 102 m. in length, and has two small and two large arches. A large chamber at the base of the bridge provides shelter for caravans. The said bridge is a part of the history of the province.




Marlik Archaeological Region, Roodbar

On the eastern fringes of the Sefid Rood River in Roodbar,is a beautiful valley called ‘Gowhar Rood’. Nestling in this valley are both large and small archaeological hillocks. Amongst which are the 5 hillocks of Marlik, Zainab, Beejar, Peelaqaleh and Jazemkool. These are vital and valuable remnants. Marlik is a natural hillock and its rocky structure reveals rich composites of iron sulphate.Some research workers believe that Marlik has attained its name from the innumerable snakes that have inhabited it. (As ‘Mar’ means snake in the Persian language). Whereas, some believe that the treasures of Marlik are related to the Amard clan. In the studies performed on this site, a large number of broken earthenware pieces can be noted. Moreover, in the excavations carried out two tiny statues of cows in admiralty metal, two cylindrical seals, fourteen gold buttons and other unique objects have been discovered. In this hillock, there is the remnants of a quadrangular structure with an approximate area of 30 sq. m. the same probably being a tomb or temple.


Golden Marlik Cup


This hillock was also a site where the local commanders or princes who ruled in the 2nd or 1st millennium BC. were laid to rest. According to the tradition of the times, the dead were buried along with their treasures. About 25 tombs have been discovered, in some of which are human carcases, besides which, articles such as earthenware and bronze vessels, decorative buttons, arrows, swords, spears, bronze and earthenware statues, daggers, hemlets and …….. have been discovered. Fabrics from this site have come to hand that determine the fact that weaving was a progressive technology in Iran thousands of years ago, and more so in Gilan. About 11 seals have been discovered in these excavations, and these have interesting designs and patterns on them. There is a seal engraved in the Cuneiform script.


Earthen Leoparts of Marlik

Humped Cow


According to archaeologists, the same dates to a millennium BC. Excavations of Marlik are spectacular and outstanding in the world. Valuable articles such as, gold, silver and bronze cups, chinaware and mosaic have also come to hand. The Marlik Cup is unique and is 18 cm. in height and is of pure gold. The center of which reveals the pattern of the tree of life, with two bewinged cows on either side. At the base of the cup is a beautiful flower intricately engraved.Other such sites in Gilan province are : Rostam Abad, comprising of archaic cemetries; the archaeological sites of Haleemjan and Shahran Villages, comprising of Shahpeer, Lameh Rafeen, Rak and Lat; Daylaman consisting of Qaleh Kuti, Koohpas and Hassan Mahaleh which have a long past history; Amarloo consisting of Asiabar, Damesh, Kherschak, Karafschal and ……. Besides which are Gardkool, Patape Goor at a distance of 12 km. from Tonekabon (Roodbar), related to the first millennium BC; the Imam Vasman archaeological site comprising of Boneh Zamin, Chakrud, Siyah Kooh, Imam, Semam and Kojid.


Golden Goblet Decorated With 2 Lions


Religious Monuments

Akbarieh Mosque, Lahijan

This mosque is located in the locality of Gabeneh, and is claimed to be the remains of a mosque dating back to the 4th century AH. During the Safavid and Qajar periods it was reconstructed. According to an inscription dating 1239 AH., a new mosque was built in its place and this was known as Akbarieh. The present construction is composed of two sections. The ablution segment, the nocturnal area and the porch forms the older section. Whereas, the three lengthy interconnecting chambers form the new section. Some ornaments of the mosque shown below:





Safi Mosque, Rasht

As a construction of the Safavid period, it is one of the beautiful religious buildings in Rasht. It is so called after Mohammad Mirza, known as Safi Mirza, the eldest son of Shah Abbas. Shah Abbas named the same Shaheedieh as it was the site of the murder of young and innocent princes. The Safi Mosque has beautiful plaster and mosaic work. Not only it is important from the historical, cultural and artistic aspects, but also from the point of tourism view.




Khahar-e-Imam (Imam’s Sister) Mausoleum, Rasht

The same is located in a locality by the same name in Rasht. The portal is of glazed bricks and indicate the date 1290 AH. There is also another inscription relevant to the reign of Naseredin Shah, dating 1272 AH. This inscription indicated a decree regarding the tax exemption of bakeries.

Seyed Ali Kia Mausoleum, Lasht Nesha, Astaneh Ashrafieh

The above mentioned is located in the Ejdaha Baluch Village of Lasht Nesha. It is a quadrangular structure with a porch on all sides. The ceiling of the front porch rests on ten beautiful ancient wooden columns. The internal cornices and porches are adorned with multicolored tiles which display an effect of the Zandieh era. Another spectacular feature of the structure is its ancient and adorned ensign, constructed skillfully and extremely artistically out of metal. This master piece displays twin dragon heads and is a valuable piece of metallic art. The said Imamazadeh is a descendant of Imam Moosa Kazem (AS), and the marble tombstone indicates the date of 1230 AH.

Seyed Jalaledin Ashraf Mausoleum, Astaneh Ashrafieh   

This mausoleum is situated at a distance of 34 km. east of Rasht and in the city of Astaneh Ashrafieh. According to records the said is the offspring of the 7th Imam of the Shi’ite sect. The original structure was constructed in the year 311 AH., under the orders of the ruler of the times Khanom Gowharshad. But in the year 1977, the same was replaced by a majestic edifice adorned with mirror work ceilings and a dome worked with delicate tiles and porches. This vicinity also encompasses a library, mosque, a place for religious mourning ceremonies, and an area reserved for the residence of pilgrims, in addition to a caretakers section.






Natural Attractions

Anzali Wetland, Anzali

It extends to the south western coast of the Caspian Sea, west of the Sefid Rood delta and south of the port of Anzali. Rivers, streams and water from irrigation drains into this wetland, which covers an area of more than 100 square kilometers. Most of the rivers terminating in this wetland take their source in the mountains of Talesh, and after a steep incline end up in the plains. Apart from the economical and environmental aspect, it plays an important role in Gilan’s social, geographical, political and cultural atmosphere. It is also of importance in connection with several scientific backgrounds such as zoology, biology and environmental studies.The wetland displays a spectacular view. Its aqua atomshere is a suitable bed for the spawning of various types of fish, which play an important role in the economy of the region. This wetland is one of the best and appropriate surroundings for various waterfowls. Hundreds of species of migrant birds choose to settle in this area for breeding . The Anzali wetland and its islands have a beautiful view which attract nature lovers.




Caspian Sea, Gilan

Covering an area of approximately 438,000 square kilometers, it is the world’s largest land-locked body of water or lake. It spreads between Iran, Russia, Turkamenistan, Qazaqistan and Azarbayjan. Its southern shores belonging to Iran are from the Makhtoom Ali Bay to Astara. ‘Heerkany’ is Khazar’s ancient name and foreign maps and books also called it the ‘Caspian’. Its shores are shallow and sandy. The average depth in the northern section is 6 m. and a maximum of 1,000 m. in the south and south west.One of the most important clefts in the southern parts of the Caspian Sea is the Anzali Wetland, located to the south west of the Caspian; and the Mian Kaleh Peninsula which is seperated from the Caspian Sea by the Qazian and Gorgan Bays. These are amongst the famous attractions of Gilan and the Mazandaran provinces.The Caspian Sea consists of three main sectors named as, the northern, central and southern. Its shores cover a distance of more than 6,380 m. of which about 657 m. beginning from Astara to the delta of the Attrak River is in the realm of Iran. The calm blue sea forms the northern view, and the dense forests covering the foot of the northern Alborz Mountains forms the southern landscape. The surrounding shores are covered by paddy fields, plantations and citrus orchards which create a wonderful scenery. As far as tourism is concerned, it comprises of active and semi-active areas.
Parts of the eastern and the central shores are the main areas of tourist attractions. Other parts such as Talesh and the Astara coast are the semi-active areas. Being far from the cities and industrial establishments, the sandy shores and natural landscapes form a healthier environment in comparison to other coastal areas.




Forests and Recreation Places, Gilan

Gilan’s forest views are rare and spectacular with much variety. Another special feature is its lush pastures that spread all over the province like a green carpet. Numerous rivers and springs that flow through the valleys and foothills add to its beauty. The protraction of routes connecting the mountains to the forests give way to the heart of the jungles.




Green pastures, dense forests, eye-catching countrysides and high mountains all provide recreational opportunities. The province is widely known for its pleasant weather. The countryside’s landscape and natural environment compared to the plains have transformed it to a spectacular tourist attraction.




The vicinities noted below are known to be tourist spots:
Masooleh and its surrounding resort areas, Daylaman, Rahim Abad, Garmab Dasht, Koochid, Rostam Abad and Salansar, Asalem to Khalkhall, Imamzadeh Ebrahim and Imamzadeh Essaq (AS), Qaleh Rood Khan, Gowhar Rood valley and the Ashkoor valley route.




Sefid Rood River, Gilan

The water shed of the same is to an extent of approximately 59,400 square kilometers, and originates from the provinces of Kurdestan and Azarbayjan. It passes through the Zanjan province and flows into the Caspian Sea in Gilan province. The Sefid Rood Valley acts like a corridor connecting some of the southern parts of the Caspian Sea, which are humid and high pressure areas to the low pressure regions of the Iran Plateau.


Sefid Rood River and dam

Sefid Rood River and Bridge


Culture and Art

Rasht Museum, Rasht

The Rasht Museum extends over an area of 560 sq. m. and is a double storeyed structure. These premises belonged to Mirza Hossein Khan Kasmaie, (an ally of Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali). The same was purchased by the Cultural and Arts Organization in 1970. After the required renovations, the structure was converted into a museum.


Statues of Marlik Hills


The said museum is under control of the Cultural Heritage Organization at present, and was innaugerated in the year 1989. The museum comprises of three sections named as, the archaeological, anthropological and a sector displaying documents. Objects discovered in the excavations of hillocks such as Marlik, Tukam, Daylaman, Cheraq Ali and the Tegran cave are on exhibit here. Here is the Ornaments of Rasht Museum below:





The Governmental universities in Gilan province

University of Gilan, Gilan University of Medical Sciences, Institute of Higher Education for Academic Jihad of Rasht, Technical & Vocational Training Organization of Gilan.

The Islamic Azad universities in Gilan province

Islamic Azad University of Astara, Islamic Azad University of Bandar Anzali, Islamic Azad University of Rasht, Islamic Azad University of Lahijan.

Masooleh Village, Fooman

This village is situated in the south west of Fooman, 63 km. from Rasht. It enjoys a moderate climate.




Local architecture, springs, waterfalls, the ‘Rood Khan’ River and dense forests all make it an attractive tourism spot. Masooleh’s integrated architecture and its houses are of two storeys. These comprise of an entrance corridor, cellers and other unique architectural features, and are linked to each other by a staircase. Such that the terrace of each house is the court-yard of the house above. The presence of the ancient Own Ebne Ali and Own Ebne Mohammad in Masooleh are pilgrimage sites and hold cultural importance.A view of a Masooleh House shown below:






Daily Bazaars, Gilan

These bazaars are vicinities where various commodities are supplied, such as eatables and essentials that are commonly utilized.Women in beautiful local apparel offer their goods for sale in these bazaars and therefore these areas are a must for tourists to visit.




Old Bazaars, Gilan

These bazaars are the most bustling areas of Gilan. They comprise of open and covered stalls, centers for trading merchadise and are usually located in the heart of the city. All kinds of goods according to the tastes of customers are sold in these bazaars. Permanent bazaars like Rasht, Astara, Talesh, Roodbar and Somiehsara are always active. Daily bazaars are also held, where the rural folk put up their goods for sale. Here is a sample of Traditional Bazaar in Lahijan below:




Handicrafts and Souvenirs, Gilan

The most famous handicrafts of the province are: wooden articles, hand woven textiles, carpets, jajeems (or a type of loosely woven woolen material), Kilims (or a coarse type of carpet), silk weaves, earthenware and wooden vessels, statues, felt articles, wicker work, bamboo products, crochet articles, cotton fabrics etc.

Local and Regional Foods, Gilan

The regional cuisine of Gilan province offers a wide array of colorful dishes. Breakfast brings forth a variety of jams accompanied with the traditional types of bread and……. Lunch and dinner display umpteen kinds of meat, vegetable, leafy vegetable dishes accompanied by pickles of all sorts.There are a variety of Aash or the traditional type of soup with vegetables, meat and stock such as Aash-e-dooq, Aash-e-kalam, Aash-e-kadu, Aash-e-Gilaki, Aash-e-aloo torsh and ………to name a few. A variety of kababs (grilled meat or poultry) such as Kabab-e-torsh, Seeka kabab, Qaz or Duck kabab, Jujeh or Chicken kabab, Tazeh kabab, Heli kabab, Kabab-e-mahi or Fish kabab etc.Various types of kookoo (or a type of dish having a combination of eggs with vegetables, meat or fish), such as, Kookoo badkubehyi, Kookoo sabzi, Baqla kookoo, Kookoo Gilani, Fish kookoo etc.A wide variety of fish dishes are also on the menu, including many kinds of curry with rice and condiments.

Local Music and Dances, Gilan

Music in Gilan, contrary to other parts of Iran, reveals to be of various types. This difference in particular can be noted in areas such as Talesh, Daylaman and Espily. In the Talesh region there are three basic kinds of melodies, i.e., “Qadim Dastan”, “Talesh Dastan” and “Tazeh Dastan”. In the province, melodies are usually related to the life style of the inhabitants and are inspired from subjects such as rustic life. Some of the rhymes are chanted along with the appropriate dances, whereas others are cordial. Lamentations that are colloquial are common, besides lullabies, love songs and nursery rhymes. The famous musical groups of Gilan are the Ashiq Gilan, Gil Ava, Saba and Sarang.