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Kandovan Village - Ancient Rocky village in Iran

Kandovan Village - Ancient Rocky village in Iran

With its magnificent architecture and antiquity, Kandovan is one of the villages of Iran that shouldn’t be missed. This rocky village presents one of the most basic habitats of humans that is still in use.

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July 27, 2020

The astonishing Kandovan Village is located 60 kilometers away from Tabriz, in Osku Town of East Azerbaijan Province, located in the northwest of Iran, and since it is built in the heart of cliffs, it is known as the rocky village of Iran. Being registered as a precious national heritage of Iran and being famous among the travelers, Kandovan Village is one of the three rocky villages in the world, beside Cappadocia in Turkey and Manitou dwellings in California in the US, but Kandovan is the only one which is still inhabited and this feature makes this village even more worth visiting.

History of Kandovan Village

Some historians believe that the antiquity of Kandovan village traces back to the 7th century, while some others believe that this is a pre-Islamic village. The fact accepted by the majority is that Kandovan Village is 6000 years old and the current cave houses were built around 700 years ago. The first residents were people from neighboring lands who migrated to Kandovan and started to carve caves into the rocks to survive from the very cold climate and the Mongol invaders who attacked Iran.

Kandovan Village - Iran

Kandovan Village - Iran

The architecture of Kandovan Village

Kandovan Village is located on the foothills of Sahand Mount and the conic rocks named “Karan” are created by the lava flow and water and wind erosion during millennia. The houses were carved into these rocks without using any materials, adobes, lime, cement, etc. and the spaces were just carved into the rocks. The interesting fact about the houses in Kandovan Village is that they have different spaces like a living room, kitchen and small rooms and are equipped with water pipe and electricity. The walls of Karans are about 2 meters thick, therefore, the houses’ interior space is easily kept warm during winter and cool during summer. Some Karans are 40 meters high and have 2-4 stories, which are reachable by exterior stairs.

Kandovan Village - Iran

Kandovan Village - Iran

Locals of Kandovan Village

Currently, 117 families are living in Kandovan Village and have caused this village to remain alive. Thanks to the good weather and plenty of water resources in the Sahand Mountain area, the locals of Kandovan Village are successful in agriculture and animal husbandry. Since this village is growing as one of the highlights of Iran, the locals are earning money in tourism by rendering accommodation and food services to the travelers and making beautiful handicrafts.

Where to stay in Kandovan Village

Since a big number of travelers are visiting Kandovan Village every year, there are many hotels, ecolodges, and village houses available in Kandovan and around it. The 5 star Laleh Hotel is one of the few rocky hotels in the world and is a great choice for the travelers who prefer comfort style accommodations while sleeping in one of the old hand-carved rocky houses with very simple facilities is an authentic experience which is not always possible.

Kandovan Village - Iran

Laleh Hotel of Kandovan

Best time to visit Kandovan Village

Northwest of Iran has cold winters with lots of snowfall. Therefore, during this season Kandovan Village doesn’t attract too many visitors. By mid-spring, when the weather gets warmer the tourism high season in Kandovan starts and lasts until October when the weather gets cold little by little.

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