In the recent articles we paid a visit to Gilan Province in northern Iran and became familiar with a number of tourist attraction sites of this beautiful province. In this article we will visit the city of Lahijan.
Lahijan is one of the most beautiful Iranian cities. It is located on foothills, covered with ever-green tea bushes. The highly attractive architecture of the buildings and white-colored villas have added to the beauty of this city. In other words, in the city of Lahijan, the beauties of the nature and the urban development complement each other. Some believe that Lahijan means the City of Silk. The German researcher, Spiegel, asserts this fact in his book.
Lahijan covers an area of almost 1400 square kilometers. It is a beautiful city with a fertile soil. It also maintains an ancient and glorious history. This city was previously the capital of Gilan Province. Even when the city of Rasht in Gilan Province gained importance during the rule of Safavid Dynasty, the city of Lahijan remained as the capital of Gilan Province, given its significant historical background and important geographical position.
Meanwhile, the city of Lahijan has not been immune to natural disasters and plundering. In the year 1307 AD, the Ilkhanid King, Oljaatio, occupied this city and in the year 1485 AD a devastating earthquake destroyed this city. Also natural disasters nearly destructed this city in mid-17th Century AD.
However, in the recent century, the city of Lahijan highly developed. Given that this city is one of the most important centers in Iran for tea production, factures have been established in this city and its surroundings for production of tea. In this manner, the economy of this city has been boosted and reinforced and Lahijan has turned into an agricultural and industrial city.
Irrespective of its humid climate and high rate of rainfall, the city of Lahijan is home to several important historical monuments. For instance, one could name “Chahar Padeshah” Mosque and the Tomb of Sheikh Zahed Gilani as two of these historical monuments. Additionally, the scenic tea farms; natural beauties; historical sites; ancient mosques; and pretty buildings have boosted the attractions of this city. In this part of today’s program we become more familiar with some of the historical monuments of the city of Lahijan.
“Chahar Padeshah” Mosque is one of the historical monuments of the city of Lahijan and is the tomb of four Gilani kings. In the year 1938, this mosque was registered as one of the national historical monuments.
This mosque maintains a unique architecture. It has two gateways on two sides. The main building is situated in the southern corner of the courtyard. A large balcony standing on six pillars is situated in the northern corner of the mosque. The tiled pillars are 80 centimeters in height and date back to Qajarid era. The inscriptions inside the building belong to 8th Century and early 9th Century AH. The gateways are made of wood and have been engraved. One of the said inscriptions belongs to 1015 AH. This mosque has two ancient copies of Holy Qoran, one of which belongs to 883 AH, while the other copy is written in Kufi language. In the northern angle of this building there is a separate room which is home to a wooden box and marble made grave stones. The large wooden enclosure is situated in the middle of this tomb. In another part of this tomb, two kings have been buried and two wooden safes have been situated in the middle of this oblong-shaped chamber. The southern gate of this chamber has an inscription over it. The side chamber which is next to the tomb is currently used as a mosque.
The Tomb of Sheikh Zahed Gilani, which belongs to 8th Century AH, is another historical monument of the city of Gilan that is located three kilometers from the city of Lahijan.
Taaj Ed-Din Ibrahim Kurdi Sanjaani, popularly known as Sheikh Zahed Gilani, was one of the great Sufis of Iran. He was originally from the city of Sanjaan in Khorasan Province. The founder of Safavid Dynasty, Sheikh Safi Ed-Din Ardabili, married the daughter of Sheikh Zahed Gilani.
The majority of passengers, who travel to the city of Lahijan, visit the beautiful “Sheytaan Kouh” waterfall.
Sheytaan Kouh is a mountain situated east of the city of Lahijan. Next to this mountain is a pond; 200 meters in width and 70 meters in length, which is used for storage of water for irrigation. Currently, this pond has turned into an artificial lake, in the middle of which there is an island. A small building exists in this island. At the heart of Sheytaan Kouh Mountain an artificial waterfall has been made, the water of which is provided from the said artificial lake. This artificial waterfall is host to numerous eco-tourists who visit this region every year.
In a close distance to this mountain, there is The Lahijan Tea Museum and The Tomb of Kashef ul-Saltaneh.
Dear listeners the city of Lahijan is a reminder of tea. Hence, in continuation of this program, we provide you with further information on this common drink.
There is no precise information about how tea entered Iran and when its consumption started in the country. Obviously, it can be said that the two countries of China and India are the main homes to the tea plants and are considered as the important and ancient centers for cultivation of tea plants. The existence of age-old commercial ties between Iran, China, and India is the most important factor behind the transference of this product to Iran. Based on historical writings, consumption of tea became common in Iran throughout the Safavid era, gradually replacing coffee.
For the first time, the cultivation of tea plants was done in Iran by Haaj Mohammad Hussein Isfahani, during the reign of Qajarid King, Naser Ed-Din Shah. Meanwhile, the cultivation of tea plants become commonplace in Iran thanks to efforts of Mohammad Mirza Chaikar, popularly known as Kashef ul-Saltaneh, in the year 1901. He earned the title of Father of Iran’s Tea. Following his death, he was laid to rest in a tomb situated in the middle of tea plant farms. This tomb is currently one of the historical monuments of the beautiful city of Lahijan and has been registered as a national historical monument.