Photos by Meysam Mohammadi, ISNA
Behestan rock castle is located in close to the town of Mahneshan in Iran's Zanjan province. It is a creation of both nature and man and one of the great tourist attractions of the region.
Architecture of hoodoos in Azarbaidjan and Kordestan provinces
Amir Bani Masoud, Islamic Azad University of Tabriz
Mojgan Esfahaninejad, Geological survey of Iran
The Takab-Shahin Dezh quadrangle lies in Azarbaidjan and Kordestan provinces, NW Iran. In this area, there are many hoodoos in the Qezel Owzan river beds. The hoodoos range is size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10 story building. Formed in sedimentary rock, hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. Hoodoos are formed by weathering processes (freeze/thaw cycles, rain wind) that continuously work together in eroding the edges of the plateau. A group of hoodoos are located in 120 km distance from Zanjan at Qezel Owzan river and are similar to a castle. This castle is formed by digging hollows in hoodoos, to protect the small city behind it. This castle is named "Behestan castle" and dated back to Sasani era (about 6 century). 64 of its residential spaces and some stairs have survived. At the highest part, a big open reservoir had been made to save rain water. These hoodoos, surrounded by a green valley Qezel Owzan river and high mountain could be an important tourist attraction.
(source: International Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway)
Zanjan is a province located in the North-West Iran with the Zanjan city being its center. Zanjan province with an area of 36,400 kmē has a mostly rural, population of 1.7 million. The province lies 330 km northwest of Tehran, connected to it via a freeway.
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