In the western edge of Alborz range, between Qazvin and Mazandaran province, located the flower-filled and verdurous land of Eagles; Alamut Valley.
Mostly referred as land of assassins, the area played a vital role in Iran’s government of the time.
For centuries Alamut was part of Deylami government and so many other local rulers until in 1090 AC the leader of Ismailies after long search for finding best swathe and natural fortresses to start their state for preaching and spreading Ismaili religion, went to Alamut Valley. For 230 years the valley was defended by numerous castles, which the most prominents are Alamut(Gazor khan) and Lambesar castle.
Why you should visit Alamut Valley?
Far from throng and chaos and owing to diversity, high mountains and rich wild life Alamut Valley offers the best hikes in Iran.
The valley is around 270 kilometeres long and Alamut river originating on the western slope of Takht-e Solayman (4,850 m); after joining the Rude Taleqan, it forms the Shahrud which traverses from east to west making fertile lands all around it for farming rice and other vegetables.
There are around 14000 inhabitants living in 215 villages for the time being. Culturally villages in higher elevations are closer to people living in remote villages in Gilan and Mazandaran.
Each village has it own way of living but mostly sheep keeping and farming are main income. In the mountains walnut, hazelnut, apple, cornelian cherry, cherry, grapes are foremost crops.
Depending on season taking a few days hike in inspiring nature of the valley can take you to the most spectacular views and wild life in Iran. In the way there are many possibilities of animal watching like leopard, bear, ibex, viper, Eagle, falcon, fox, jackal, butterfly, boar, rabbit, wolf, wild dog and so many others.
In the northeast of Gazer khan Village and over a monolith mountain with an elevation of 2200m there is a glorious castle culminated in dreadful precipices, which according to Hamdollah Mostowfi was firstly founded in 840 A.D. by Daee Ilalhagh Hassan Ibn Zeidal Bagheri, it was later captured in 1090 A.D. by Hassan Sabbah. The castle is now known as Alamout castle or Hassan‟s Castle.
The only entry to enter the castle that is at the end of the northeast side.
This one was the main castle of assassins but Following Roknodin Khoor Shah’s surrender in 1256 A.D. Holakoo Khan commanded his men to set the castle on fire. The castle was destroyed and from that time on it became a prison until 300 years ago.
The largest castle of assassins is located in northeast part of Razmian with spectacular view of the valley from top of it. The castle is surrounded by deep valleys from the western and eastern sides and with high walls all around it could stand for 18 month against Mongol’s besiege. If you are adventurous enough you can take a hike from Razmian and take the south gate to enter to the castle.
Adjacent to Ovan and Varbon villages, located one of the most magnificent and picturesque Lakes in Iran which attracts numerous domestic and foreign tourists yearly.
The water source are Springs from it’s bottom, supplying it all year long.
Although it is no more than 7.5 meters deep but, it’s the home of several species of fish and plants.
Numerous canyons, caves, waterfalls, castles, springs, nice villages, simple life of people etc will make you an enjoyable stay in the valley.