The symbol of the struggle to survive against the invaders in the middle of the jungle
In Gilan Province, 25 kms southwest of Fuman city, deep in the green alive dense jungles of the North of Iran, surprisingly lies the most special castle of Iran, Rudkhan castle (Qaleh Rudkhan). The ancient castle is placed at an elevation of 670 to 715 meters, just on two tops of a mountain, beside a slow-moving river, and is actually named after the river.
History and Use
Rudkhan castle was built during the Sassanid era as a defense against the Arab invasion. It was first repaired during Seljuq era and probably utilized by the Nizari Ismailis. Subsequently the castle was almost rebuilt during the Safavid era due to Sultan Hesam al-Din Dabaj’s command, as the inscription found at the entrance of the castle which is now kept in Rasht Museum, indicates. Regarding to its magnificent construction, Rudkhan castle has successfully never been conquered during these centuries. And consequently this haven has never let down the refugees’ last hope for survival.
After 20 minutes of an enjoyable drive passing a couple of verdurous villages with rice paddies and tea plantations, to reach the compass of the Rudkhan castle, you need to get off the car and continue the rest of the path for 3 kms on foot. After a dreamy walk along a stream and among the rocks covered in moss, the extended curvy line of stairs appears which seems to has curved its path through the misty fresh mountain, all the way up to Rudkhan castle. This is a long and hard climb which normally takes 1 to 2 hours and requires fine physical health status and appropriate shoes. Be prepared!
Here it comes, Rudkhan castle, the marvelous huge fortress made of mainly bricks and also stones and woods with its gigantic gate. It extends to an area of 2.6 hectares with a 1550-meter-long battlement around it. It has 40 towers in different sizes, each with a small space inside and covered at the top and with little holes placed on their surface used for monitoring, shooting, and pouring melted lead or hot oil. Rudkhan castle is consisted of two parts. One part belonged to the ruler and his family on the west side of the castle, including pool, water reservoir, Springhouse, bathroom, residential rooms and “Shah Neshin” (the room for the most important person in the castle) protected by fortification. And “Qurkhana” part in regard to military tasks on the east side that includes 12 entrances, emergency gate, jail, bathroom and watercourse. Amazingly a stream is located in the deep middle part of the fort. Rudkhan castle is an ancient fortress which dated back to more than 1000 years ago, thus don’t expect to face a luxury royal palace!
Welfare and needed facilities are provided in the compass of the Rudkhan castle for visitors’ convenience. Like parking lot, WC, prayer room, as well as guest rooms, restaurants with local and traditional delicious meals, supermarkets, local handicraft stores to buy souvenirs and photo shoot studios to take pictures wearing beautiful traditional costumes as a memento of the North of Iran. There are also enough vendors selling drinks and snacks including local tasty ones on the way up to Rudkhan castle. For those interested in adventure, camping in the compass is possible too!
Time to visit
It’s recommended to visit the Rudkhan castle in spring or early summer and enjoy a mild weather and fantastic view of appealing greenness of plants and generous freshening river. Make sure not to have this nature/historical tour during the fall and winter because the stairs become much more slippery and quite dangerous and hard to climb due to massive rains. Although the view of the forest, the mountain and of course the castle covered in snow or painted with autumn leaves is absolutely something. Rudkhan castle is open for visitors from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M during spring and summer, and to 4 P.M during fall and winter. It’s closed on national holidays.
As you tour around Rudkhan castle, the true instance of the Persian power, you feel the strong persistence of the old-aged castle against the enemies throughout all these years. You will sense the pride, watching the elegant castle that still enduringly exists after the battles of mankind and nature. We hope you a pleasant visit!