When we travel into the heart of history, we witness events filled with ups and downs. Wherever we look in the world, we will witness pains, sufferings, victories, and numerous defeats. Events that have made hearts joyful at times and eyes tearful at others. They bring us feelings of pleasure and sometimes feelings of humiliation. Anyone interested in the land of their country wants to read and understand their past, from the past until today, to know what has happened to their country to bring it to this point. We must open our eyes and see the corners around us. We must carefully and joyfully observe anything that carries the scent of the past and become familiar with its details. One of the structures that can take us into the heart of history is Rudkhan Castle in Gilan. A mighty and robust fortress in the heart of the lush forests of Gilan, it attracts everyone towards itself. A strong castle that carries the burden of many memories. In this article from Eligasht, we will try to introduce Rudkhan Castle, a structure that has survived through history.
Rudkhan Castle and the reason for its name
You may find it interesting to know the reason behind naming this castle Rudkhan. Next to Rudkhan Castle, there flows a mystical river. This river is so beautiful that it engulfs you in its beauty for hours without you feeling a moment of fatigue. This beautiful river is known as Rokhun among the locals and is one of the attractions near the castle. Among the people of Gilan, this castle is known as Qaleh Rokhun. However, the people of Gilan also know this castle by the name of Dezh-e Rudgan or Rudgan Castle.
Where is Rudkhan Castle?
Gilan, a lush and beautiful region along the western shores of the calm Caspian Sea, attracts the heart of every beholder. The beauties of Gilan are not hidden from anyone. If you are looking for pristine and beautiful nature along with historical attractions, be sure to visit Rudkhan Castle during your trip to beautiful Gilan.
This beautiful and memorable castle is located in the heart of the lush forests of Gilan. To reach this sturdy fortress, you can start from Fuman. After passing through villages such as Masuleh and Seyedabad, you will reach the steps of Rudkhan Castle, and from there, your visionary journey begins.
Rudkhan Castle is located 25 kilometers southwest of the city of Fuman in Gilan province.
Rudkhan Castle Specifications
Rudkhan Castle is a sturdy fortress dating back to the Sassanian or early Islamic period, although its exact age is uncertain. What is clear is that there is a mysterious castle on the hills of Gilan that requires climbing 1,600 steps to reach. The idea of ascending such a number of steps may seem unimaginable and difficult. However, it’s important to know that you will be so captivated by the beauties surrounding Rudkhan Castle that you might not feel tired for a moment.
This castle is also known as the Castle of a Thousand Steps. Some of its steps date back to ancient times, while others are the result of modern architecture. This castle with its ups and downs spans an area of about 2.6 hectares. Its height reaches over 150 meters. The construction of this historical building utilized brick and stone. Perhaps the reason for the castle’s durability lies in the use of sturdy materials during its construction. Rudkhan Castle consists of two distinct sections. One part is known as the royal residence, where a large palace complex is located. In the past, ceremonies and festive events were held in this section of the castle. The second part of the castle was dedicated to military matters and soldiers. In another section of the castle, a cave can be seen, which is said to have served as a barracks for soldiers in the past.
Soldiers would hide in this cave to be aware of possible attacks on the fortress and promptly inform the castle guards. In the courtyard of the castle, there is a blue spring that was used in the past to supply water to the fortress. At the northeastern end of Rudkhan Castle, there is a beautiful two-story building where royal banquets were sometimes held. When you step into Rudkhan Castle, it feels like entering a peaceful corner of paradise. The sound of the wind rustling around the castle, its cool touch on your face, and the delightful atmosphere it brings will enchant you.
Different Sections of Rudkhan Castle
Entrance of the Castle:
The entrance gate of Rudkhan Castle is located on the northern side of the steep hill. The main gate is less vulnerable to enemy attacks due to the presence of two massive towers. On both sides of the castle gate, there are platforms built about half a meter high to accommodate the castle guards. When you enter, you step into a corridor that is over three meters high, and on both sides of the corridor, there are platforms for your rest.
After passing through this corridor, you enter the courtyard of the castle and can proceed towards the rooftop of the gate by climbing several stone steps.
On both sides of the entrance, you can see towers. The architecture of these towers is truly amazing. They appear cylindrical and have different diameters and sizes from the outside, but inside, they are designed with octagonal rooms and a consistent interior layout. In all the castle towers, you can see roofs and windows for the guards to seek shelter from wind, rain, and cold.
The most important and main part of Rudkhan Castle is its western section, which served as the royal residence and the dwelling place of the rulers of that era. It is situated at the highest point, 200 meters away from the entrance gate. The royal residence stands out architecturally compared to other parts of the castle, and it has two terraces, one above the other, allowing the rulers of that era to easily enjoy the view of the castle and the breathtaking surrounding landscapes.
Military Base in the Eastern Section:
In the eastern section, you can observe various locations and rooms. The eastern section was considered the military base of the castle and comprised elements such as the entrance gate, emergency exit gate, prison, bathhouse, water reservoir, accommodation for senior officers, and several residential units and storage rooms. Consequently, the eastern section of the castle held significant importance in the past.
Unfortunately, this section is now in ruins, but in the past, there was a cave in the southern part of the castle that served as the place for guards’ surveillance. They would inform the castle residents of any attacks through specific signals.
The water reservoir of Rudkhan Castle is located in the deepest part of the castle and the past, the required water for the castle was transported through clay pipes from the highlands of the western mountains to the reservoir. This water reservoir was constructed in the western section of the castle, covering an area of 130 square meters, and played a vital role in those times.
Unfortunately, after the 1969 earthquake in Gilan, this water reservoir was destroyed. However, it has been restored by the Cultural Heritage Organization and water is now directly channeled to the new reservoir through plastic pipes.
The Best Time to Visit the Beauties of Rudkhan Castle
Traveling to tourist destinations in any season of the year has its special charm. People have different preferences when it comes to choosing the timing of their trips to tourist attractions. Sometimes people choose the cozy cold of winter for their travels, while others prefer autumn, spring, or summer.
However, the beauty reaches its peak in the autumn season for green and tree-filled areas. The diverse colors of yellow, orange, and purple showcase the magic of colors in Rudkhan Castle. The natural and beautiful watercolor that attracts the eyes of any beholder. But despite all this beauty, you should be cautious of severe cold, snow, and icy conditions in Rudkhan Castle. If you plan to visit Rudkhan Castle in autumn or winter, be sure to observe travel safety precautions.
The best time to visit Rudkhan Castle is in spring and summer. Although the weather in summer may be a bit hot and uncomfortable, the beauties of Rudkhan Castle will take away that unpleasant feeling and provide you with a delightful experience.
In spring, Rudkhan Castle transforms into a unique phenomenon. The infinite greenery of the castle has turned it into one of the busiest tourist destinations in Iran. This enchanting castle on the heights of Gilan is like a shining diamond, guiding many travelers and attracting everyone towards itself.
The Skimo Bazaar around Rudkhan Castle
After enjoying the beauties of Rudkhan Castle and climbing its stairs, when fatigue overcomes you and you open your eyes, you will come face to face with a beautiful bazaar full of colorful Gilani souvenirs at the bottom of the stairs. The locals welcome you with Gilani traditional clothing. It is a market full of traditional and modern items that will surely captivate you when you see them. In every shop, you will smell intimacy and beauty, so much so that you will be compelled to leave the market without empty hands and take a souvenir from the hospitable people of Rudkhan Castle with you.
This beautiful market is known as the Skimo Bazaar among the locals. If you enjoy the taste of Gilani cuisine, you can visit the restaurants and cafes around the market and taste the delicious Gilani dishes, ensuring that you will forever remember a pleasant and memorable flavor under your tongue.
Staircases of the Magnificent Rudkhan Castle
Perhaps the thought of climbing hundreds of stairs may seem a bit challenging to you, and you might feel anxious just thinking about it. But once you enter Roodkhan Castle and witness its beauties, the only thought that will come to your mind will be the exhaustion of the journey. With each step you take, it’s as if you’re getting closer to paradise. Seeing the beauties of Gilan from breathtaking heights is exciting and enjoyable. The higher you go, the more pleasure you will experience. The gentle breeze and its caress on your face will tempt you to climb more stairs each time. The winding grassy stairs of Rudkhan Castle are so beautiful that they captivate the heart of every beholder.
As you walk on the stairs and raise your head, you will come face to face with the largest brick castle, parts of which are covered with green grass. Perhaps one of the reasons people choose to visit Rudkhan Castle is for these beauties. Looking down, you will see the lush forests of Gilan. If you want to describe the attraction in one word, you will undoubtedly encounter it as the jewel of lush Gilan. Along the way, you will come across wooden pavilions for resting. There, you can spend some time relaxing.
Imagine standing at the heights of Gilan at Rudkhan Castle, and as you look down, you see a beautiful river flowing beneath your feet. Tall and majestic trees with abundant greenery seem to be waving to you with the breeze. In this pleasant weather, the enjoyment of various flavored ice creams and delicious popsicles makes this trip eternal for you.
Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling to the Jewel of Lushness
- If you plan to visit Rudkhan Castle, you must know that you need to have the necessary and essential items with you for the trip. One of these essential items is suitable footwear because you will have to climb over a thousand stairs. If you plan to travel in winter or late autumn, be sure to bring warm clothes and a hat because the cold at Rudkhan Castle during this time of year can be quite exhausting.
- If you get tired while climbing up the stairs, you can get a cane from the bottom of the stairs. There are shops there selling suitable canes.
- You don’t need heavy snacks to go to the castle. In this path full of beauty, what you need more than anything else is some sweet snacks and water. There are also mobile snack vendors along the way where you can get what you desire. Perhaps this path is not suitable for children, people with heart conditions, or elderly individuals. It’s better to be physically prepared for this trip.
Nevertheless, seeing this attractive and challenging castle, even if you don’t succeed in climbing the stairs, is not without its charm. The pristine nature of Rudkhan Castle compels every viewer to stay there for hours and be enchanted by its beauties. A trip to Rudkhan Castle is a magical journey. There, you can explore the grandeur of this world and its beauties.
Rudkhan Castle stands as a testament to the ingenuity and architectural brilliance of its builders. It serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of the region and the importance of preserving our historical treasures for future generations. Rudkhan Castle, the majestic jewel of Gilan, leaves a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of visiting. Its towering walls, intricate architecture, and breathtaking views make it an enchanting destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into the history and natural beauty.
1- What is Rudkhan Castle?
A: Rudkhan Castle is a historical fortress located in the northern part of Iran, near the city of Fuman. It is situated on a hilltop in the heart of the forest, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
2- What should I expect during my visit to Rudkhan Castle?
A visit to Rudkhan Castle offers a unique and memorable experience. As you hike up the trail, you will be surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of nature. Once you reach the castle, you will be greeted by the majestic sight of the fortress perched on the hilltop. You can explore the ruins, walk through the ancient corridors, and climb the towers to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding forest and mountains.