Sanandaj, The Land of New Horizon

Sanandaj At the 2011 census, its population was 432,330. Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdish culture and Kordestan province at Iran. Sanandaj is the twenty-third largest city in Iran. Until the 17th century it was only a small village, when the governor of the region, Suleyman Khan Ardalan, built (or renovated) a fortress there, known as “Sena Dezh”, which gave the town its Persian name.
Sanandaj has been known as a cultural capital for the whole Kurdistan region even beyond the Iranian borders. Kurdish music and dance are very strong elements of the Kurdish culture and have been maintained over many centuries within the society. Many Kurdish music celebrities like Ali Asghar Kurdistan, Nasser Razazi, Mazhar Khaleghi and the Kamkars are form Sanandaj. People in Sanandaj also enjoy their own variations of Kurdish dance with specific gestures which gives a unique flavour to this happy folkloric dance.

The world’s largest outdoor cinema
Amiriyah Park Cinema at Abidar hillside with a screen size 12 × 25 meters is the world’s largest outdoor cinema to prove, especially in the summer, thousands of people who goto Abidar can be watched movies and other apps in the Cinema.

Huraman Village
a beautiful historical village in a valley of Zagreus mountain range, where its mountain-hemmed position kept it unknown for many years. The architectural style of the village is similar to that of Masouleh and Hajij, where the roof of a house is the yard of another house, that are made of stone using the method of dry-stack. An inscription from Iron age was found here that belongs to Sargon, the Assyrian king, about his wars with different nations. Another important finding of this area is a parchment from Parthian era, which is the deed of a land. What is significant about the deed is that it shows that people were known base on their father’s and grandfather’s name. A very interesting event is celebrated here that is known as “Pir-e Shaliar”, who was a Theurgist and healed the daughter of the king and by king’s order married her. Their wedding day is when the celebration is held.

Zarivar Lake
Located in Marivan, Kurdistan Province, Zarivar is Iran’s biggest freshwater wetland, approximately 5 Kilometers long, 1.6 Kilometers wide and 5.5 meters deep. The name of the lake is the changed form of a Kurdish phrase meaning “watered from side and floor”, referring to the source of water in the lake. Zarivar is surrounded by Iranian oak trees. There are 2 Hotels and some bungalows provided for visitors, and many pleasure boats that fill the lake in the summer, the lake is frozen in the winter and therefore a more peaceful visit to the area is possible.

Palangan Village
One of the seven villages in Kurdistan province that has been turned into a tourism attraction. The remnant of houses and gardens, proves that the village dates back to Sassanid time. but it became a central part of the Kurdistan in Seljuk dynasty when it became the seat of government. A beautiful spring divides the village into two parts and the same spring creates opportunities of pisciculture for the villagers. barbeque fish is one of the favorite dishes of visitors of Palangan. Other famous products of the village are: raw honey, curd, pomegranate, peach, apricot, and fig. located near Huraman, Palangan follows the same style, with layered interconnected houses where the roof of one house is the yard of another. Beautiful scenery, nice weather, delicious cuisine and easy access through asphalt road makes this place and ideal tourist destination.

Khosro Abad
After Palangan, Khosro Abad was chosen as the government seat by Ardalans. The complex that is known as Khosro Abad, is made of two major parts: 1) the royal palace with columned entrance, and 2) the eastern buildings with columned iwans, baths and guards room. The buildings are surrounded by gardens with streets that pass through them and resembles Isfahan’s Chahar Bagh. Some believe they were first built in Zand era, but were reconstructed and completed by Qajars. At the entrance of the complex there is an inscription, a poem in Farsi, explaining that the garden was made by the behest of Fath-Ali Shah, the Qajar king, and Amman Allah Khan, the ruler of Sanandaj and dedicated to Amman’s son, Khosro, who the garden is named after. Later the function of the mansion changes and it is used for ceremonial occasions, such as weddings (Fath-Ali Shah’s daughter married Amman’s son in this place) or as temporary residence of Kings and high-rank officials that visited Sanandaj.  the main palace is built in three stories; the second story is accessible through a staircase in yard. The interesting thing is that the size of the floors decrease as you go up, so the third floor is smaller than the second floor and second floor is smaller than the first one.

Khane Kurd – Kurd’s House
Khane Kurd is a traditional Persian house that has been turned into anthropology museum of Iranian Kurds. The house has 4 architectural periods. By the time of its construction in Safavid Era, the house consisted of the current north and east wings, ceremonial hall, rooms, and surrounding corridors where the main parts of the house in this era. In early Qajar, the eastern and western parts of the main yard were built, later the inner suites were completed and a new ceremonial hall was added. Pahlavis had the house specially the main portal entrance restored. At last, around 10 years ago, the house was completely restored, new paving was used for the yards, and the destroyed yard of servants were reconstructed. but since nothing was remained of the original shape of the yard, a new plan base on the architectural style of the house was used. The house is famous for its numerous yards, which include, main outer yard, inner suits yard, servant’s yard and kitchen yard. The main yard is built in the tradition of Chahar Bagh, in English Four Gardens, which is the typical style of Persian Garden. Portal entrance, reception hall, ceremonial hall, iwan, inner suites, baths, water reservoir, basement, servant quarter, and kitchen are the main parts of the house that some are used as galleries of anthropology museum of Kurds.

Karaftu Cave
Karaftu is the biggest hand-carved cave of the world in four stories. The cave dates back to the third geological period, over the entrance of one of the rooms in the third story, there is an inscription in Greek saying: “Hercules lives here: no Evil may enter.” The archeologists named this room as Hercules Temple. There is a horse rider in the picture that might be Goudarz, a Parthian King. The rooms are mostly connected to each other and the findings of the cave proves that it was inhabited from pre-historic time to 13th and 14th century. Entering the cave is difficult since it is placed on the steep of the mountain and some places inside the cave are reached via boats.