One of the popular tourist locations in Iran, the north attracts a lot of visitors from all across the country each year. Everyone thinks of the sea, woodland, and stunning natural scenery of this part of Iran when the word “North” is uttered. However, the country’s north is home to more than just woods and oceans! If we wish to approach it from a historical angle, we may bring up a number of ancient and historical writings that demonstrate the legitimacy and uniqueness of this territory.
One of Iran’s most beautiful historical sites is Rudkhan Castle. A castle situated on the summit of tall mountains, near the deep valleys, and in the middle of Fuman’s lush forests. In the beautiful forest area of the mountains stands the great Rudkhan Castle. If you are considering visiting Iran, we will go into great depth about this amazing historical location.
History of Rudkhan Castle
Rudkhan Castle(Rasht tourists attraction), which is situated in the north of the nation, is among the most well-known and powerful castles in Iran. The Polish Iranologist “Alexander Khodzko” discovered this fortress around 1830. History experts claim that the Sassanid dynasty and the Arab conquest of Iran are when the Castle was first built. Naturally, the Seljuk period saw a rebuilding of this fortress, which the Ismailis of Alamut utilized. This was due to the citadel’s strong strength as well as its exceptional military position.
This fortress was also renovated during the Safavid period for Sultan Hessam al-Din, the ruler of “Beeye Pas.” He, who had disobeyed the obedience of the Safavids, planned to use the fortress of Rudkhan Castle to defend and fight. It is written on an inscription that was discovered at the entrance gate of the castle and is now kept in the Rasht Museum.
This castle, which is called the Hessami Castle, was rebuilt for the first time in the year nine hundred and eighteen to nine hundred and twenty one by the order of Sultan Hessam al-Din bin Amireh Dabaj bin Amira Ala al-Din Ishaghi. This inscription was written by Kamal al-Din bin Mohammad Gilani. Its words are written by Khan Ahmad Shirvani and written by Ibn Hossein Al-Khorasani.
The presence of the river and many dense forests has made this castle a great defensive and military position and has been noted throughout history. Due to the historical value of this building and numerous historical objects discovered in this place, in the 1350 Solar Hijri year, Rudkhan Castle was registered in the list of national historical monuments.
The Architecture of Rudkhan Castle
One of the reasons why this fort is important from a military point of view and is considered is the materials used in the buildings and its type of architecture. The Rudkhan Castle has an area of 2.6 hectares. This castle is built on two peaks and its height is between 670 and 715 meters above sea level. Its tower and ramparts are 1500 meters long and 15 meters high. Brick, stone, wood, mortar, mortar and lime are among the materials used in the construction of this building.
The use of strong materials, along with the specific geographical location of the castle and also the type of architecture, had turned this Castle into an impenetrable fortress for the enemy’s army. As we said, this castle is built on two high peaks. For this reason, the castle can be divided into three parts: eastern, western and middle. Military activities were mainly carried out in the eastern part. The eastern part of the castle consists of various buildings such as prisons, emergency doors, towers and residential units.
This section of the castle is where the armory is. The military personnel resided and trained in this area. The center of the castle is where the main gate is situated. The main gate, a water storage facility, a cold storage facility, an alcove, and numerous housing units are located in the western section of the castle. The citadel, which is a two-story brick building, was the residence of the ruler and his harem and is located in this part of the castle.
The alcove is located in this part of the castle, whose special architecture helped the ruler to keep an eye on the entire castle while being impenetrable. The walls and towers of the fortress have sloping grooves that were used to pour molten materials on the heads of enemies and shoot them.
Rudkhan Castle’s Escape Tunnel
In the book “Rudkhan Castle, the largest fortress of Gilan – history and architecture”, there is a quote from Dr. Sotoudeh, who refers to the escape tunnel of the castle:
“In the western part of the fort, after several ruined rooms, we reach the blue spring, which is the main source of water for the fort. After this spring, by walking a long distance, we reach a huge and circular building, which once had two floors. At the moment, it has a tunnel on the bottom floor that goes outside. They say that this tunnel leads to the village of Shanis in Tarom, next to Sefidroud. After this, by continuing the road and walking another two hundred meters, we will reach the alcove at the western end of the fortress.
Stairs of Rudkhan Castle
It takes many stairs to get to this formidable fort because it is situated at a high elevation. But when you get there, you see that it was worthwhile to walk all those stairs. When you look down from above this fort, most of the time is shrouded in a fog of beauty, and all you can see is beautiful. Additionally, the castle has become quite appealing to visit due to the river crossing and the presence of neighborhood peddlers on the route there. There is another name for Ruodkhan Fortress: “the castle of a thousand stairs.” Since there are several stairs to get there, that’s how it got its name. Around 930 steps used to be part of this fortress.
Of course, now new stairs have been built to reach this castle, which is around 1620. The construction of these stairs started in 1999 and was put into operation in 2009. Therefore, if you are determined to conquer this castle, it is better to choose companions who can walk with you on the way.
Why was the Rudkhan Castle Built?
As we have mentioned earlier, this castle was a strong fortress against the enemy’s forces in distant times and had a high strategic value. The main reason is the presence of dense forests, high altitude and slope, and most importantly, the presence of a river called “Rakhn” in its vicinity.
The existence of a river next to this fort made it challenging for opposing forces to enter the fort. This lovely stronghold was given the name “Rakhon Castle” in the regional tongue as a result. Due to its location near a river, it is now known as Rudkhan Castle. In reality, the word “Rakhn” means “river” in the indigenous tongue of the inhabitants of this area.
Of course, this castle is also known by other names. “Thousand-Steps Castle” is its other name that is known for. It was also called “Hessami Castle”, because this castle was rebuilt for Sultan Hessam al-Din.
Renovations of Rudkhan Castle
According to experts, this castle was rebuilt once in the year 918 to 921 AH for Sultan Hessam Al-Din, the ruler of West Gilan.
In 1175 A.H., Rudkhan Castle was also renovated and equipped with war cannons. It is interesting to know that it is said that Mirza Kuchach Khan also took refuge in this fort for a while.
The Best Time to Visit Rudkhan Castle
This place is beautiful in any season, but you should know that it is a little difficult to travel there in winter and the cold season of the year, and not everyone can handle this route when it is cold and snowy.
It can be said that the best season to travel to this region is spring and summer. Its summer is not very good for heat. Although this area will definitely be cooler than Tehran, the humidity may bother you.
Its spring season with its green trees and the singing of birds makes you bored to climb all the stairs in the world.
The autumn season here is very spectacular and beautiful if there is no rain. Getting to see a bed of colorful leaves in the heart of the mountain and arriving at a castle that is stuck in an orange space is an attractive thing to see obviously. But again, our advice is to come here in the spring season so that you are not threatened by the slightest natural danger.
Conditions for Traveling to Rudkhan Castle and Its Visiting Hours
Due to the many steps on the way to access the castle, visiting it is not possible for the elderly, children and people with physical problems.
To visit Rudkhan Castle, you need to get a ticket, which costs 3,500 Tomans. Also, if you go to this area with a private car, you have to pay the parking fee, which is equal to 10 thousand Tomans.
The visiting hours of this magnificent Castle complex are from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Travel guide to Rudkhan Castle by private car
It is not possible to travel to Gilan and not get suggested by the locals to visit the Rudkhan fortress. This beautiful building is located above the village of “Rudkhan” at a distance of 53 km from Rasht, 30 km from the beautiful city of Fuman and 45 km from Masuleh.
To travel to the Castle from the asphalt road, you have to go from Rasht to Fuman and from there enter the road from Fuman to the Castle. Pass through the villages of Gasht, Kordamahale, Gasht Rudkhan, Siah Kesh, Gourab Pas, Melskam and Saeed Abad and reach the village of this Castle.
Along the way and before reaching the stairs, you can visit the Rudkhan Castle market. In this market, there are various stalls that sell handicrafts, souvenirs, local foods, plums and bamboo sticks. After reaching the stairs, you have to walk a 2 km path to reach the top of the castle.
Things to Consider when visiting Rudkhan Castle
– Since this castle is located at a high altitude and you have to go through a lot of stairs to reach it, try to take at least some things with you. Maybe some food, a camera, trekking poles and a raincoat for rainy days are the only things you will need.
– Before you enter the route, eat a good meal so that you have the necessary energy for about an hour and a half of climbing the stairs.
– It is better to wear suitable shoes to visit the castle so as not to get tired during the journey.
– We recommend you buy bamboo poles at the beginning of the route. These sticks will help you get less tired along the way.
– Have some cash with you before starting the journey so that you have enough cash if the card reader is not available during the journey to buying food or tickets.
Have Delicious Meals Nearby
At the very beginning of the road to Rudkhan Castle, they have built shops where you can buy souvenirs and food. There are also several restaurants there that you can count on for one of your meals. These shops remind everyone of old and local Japanese houses.
Along the way, you will find many small shops where you can get food and rest between your long walks.
Accommodations Around the Rudkhan Castle
Around Rudkhan Castle and in the village of Rudkhan, there are many eco-friendly accommodations, villas, and special forest huts that you can book before your trip, depending on your needs. You can also choose one of the nearby cities to stay in. For example, Fuman or Masal are popular destinations for staying in the north.