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Iran: Gilan province, major tourism hub, with 7000-year history, culture

Rasht, Gilan prov, Sept 21, IRNA-Gilan province, a land with mountains, forests and waterways, as well as a seven-thousand-year history and culture is one of the nation's most attractive tourist hubs.

The province in north of Iran borders the world largest lake, the Caspian Sea, on one side and Alborz Mountain Range on the other and is situated 360 kms from capital, Tehran.

With an area measuring 14,711 square kms, the province is encircled between the charming Astara coast at the northernmost and Lowshan at the southernmost points and is known for its dense forests and various historical and natural attractions most of which still remain virgin.

View of a rural house in Talesh area

The sandy coasts of the provincial ports along the Caspian Sea, including Anzali, Astara, Kiyashahr, Chaboksar and Kalachai are suitable for boat riding, fishing and swimming.

The mausoleum of Mirza Kouchak Khan Jangali in the provincial capital of Rasht, the tomb of Professor Moin at Astaneh Ashrafiyeh, and the tomb of Sheikh Zahed in Lahijan are annually visited by many tourists.

The provincial forests and natural pastures measuring 565,000 and 224,000 hectares respectively, resembling a green belt, originate at Chaboksar Coast and continue along the sea up to Astara Coast.

Lovely marshlands across the province including Amirkalayeh Marshland near the town of Lahijan with a variety of marine birds, and the world-famous Anzali Marshland are among tourist attractions of the province.

Fishermen at Caspian Sea

As a habitat for thousands of beautiful colorful birds and white swans, Anzali Marshland annually hosts dozens of various species of migrating birds landing there before winter for a six-month period.

In addition to the migrating birds comprising swans, wild docks and flamingos among others, there are over 20 indigenous and migratory fish that live in the waters of Anzali Marshland alone.

As part of the natural ecosystem of the province, the marshlands covering more than 22,000 hectares have been playing a significant role on account of their various species of flora and fauna as well as providing a habitat for the migrating birds.

Farmers harvesting rice

The historical Masouleh Village, 35 kms to the west of Fuman in southwestern Gilan, with its unique beauties hosts a great number of domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year.

The houses of this historical village have windows that are decorated with geraniums.

The houses themselves are built on the mountain slope so that the roof of one house is the frontyard of another. The snow-laden mountain peaks surrounding the village provide a unique landscape and a lovely atmosphere.

According to statistical figures, an average 500,000 tourists visit Masouleh annually.

Its residents originating from Gil and Talesh tribes speak in Taleshi dialect and are Shi'a Muslims.

Lounak natural waterfall 50 kms from Rasht along Siahkal-Deylaman route originates from Lounak Fountain, located between two mountains, and after crossing through Siahkal forest flows into Shamroud River.

The historical Roudkhan Fortress on a 1000-meter-high mountain peak 25 kms to the southeast of the provincial town of Fuman stand in the middle of a dense forest that has survived several millennia.

The rulers of Ismailiyeh and Saljuqid dynasties taking refuge in this strong fortress once ruled part of the great Persian empire, while their guards based at its high towers kept an eye on the surrounding area.

A two-hour hike takes the visitors to the gate of the fortress standing between two giant towers. The fortress measuring 5,000 square meters is built from stone and baked bricks.

The traditional local weekly fairs held across the province are one of its attractions characteristic of the culture and economy of the area. Every day of the week, the fair is held in one of the provincial towns. However, in some places the fair is held for two days with an interval of 2-3 days, which has to do with their particular economic stance.

Military Museum in Bandar Anzali

The Military Museum in Bandar Anzali, also known as Miyan-Poshteh Palace, was constructed in 1931 on an order issued by the founder of Iran's last imperial dynasty, Reza Khan.

Seven thousand artifacts including silver cups, small golden and brass statues, a variety of gold jewelry, Ashkani and Islamic coins, swords and daggers are on display at the museum.

Lahijan Tea Museum contains the most ancient utensil used in making and drinking tea as well as the tools used in raising tea.

Lilium Lederbourii (Chelcheragh lily) is a rare species of lily grown in Damash Village in Ammarloo area near the provincial town of Roudbar. The plant has been named after the French scientist who identified it for the first time. The first sample of Lilium Lederbourii is kept at Paris Natural History Museum.

This rare species of the plant, also called white lily, currently grows at three farmlands in Damash area measuring 3.5 hectares, which is fenced by the provincial environmental bureau.

... Payvand News - 9/22/05 ... --

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