Gilan is one of the northern provinces of Iran located on the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea. The center of the province is called Rasht. Gilan Province is divided into 17 counties include Astara, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyeh, Omlesh, Bandar-e Anzali, Rasht, Rezvan Shahr, Rood Bar, Rood Sar, Seyah Kal, Shaft, Souma`e Sara, Tavaleh, Foman, Lahijan, Langrud, and Masal. Gilan’s position in between the Tehran- Baku trade route has established the cities of Port of (Bandar-e) Anzali and Rasht as ranking amongst the most important fishing, and commercial centers in Iran. According to official reports, merchants and middle-classes comprise a significant percentage of the population.
Gilan has a humid temperate climate with plenty of annual rainfall. Alborz range provides further diversity to the land in addition to the Caspian coasts. A large part of the province is mountainous, evergreen and forested. The coastal plain along the Caspian Sea is similar to that of Mazandaran.
Tourism, People, and Food
The province has an annual average of 2 million tourists, mostly domestic. Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization lists 211 sites of historical and cultural monuments within the province. You should drive to Masouleh, the landscape is very nice and it is the main tourist attraction in Gilan. Masouleh is a small village situated southeast of Rasht. The town built similar to the pueblo settlements, with the roof of one house being the courtyard of the next house above.
Gilan has a strong culinary tradition, from which several dishes have adopted across Iran. This richness derives in part from the climate, which allows for a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and nuts grown in the province. Seafood is a particularly strong component of Gilani or Mazandarani cuisine. Sturgeon often smoked or served, as Kabab, and caviar are delicacies along the whole Caspian littoral. Other types of fish such as Sefid, Kuli, Kulmeh, Caspian Salmon, Kapur, and many others consumed. Fish roe or Eshpel is widely used in Gileki cuisine. Traditional Persian stews such as Ghalieh Mahi (fish stew) and Ghalieh Meygu (shrimp stew) are also featured and prepared in a uniquely Gilani fashion.
More specific to Gilan and Mazandaran are a distinctive walnut paste and Pomegranate-juice and sauce, used as a marinade for kabab (Kabab Torsh) and as the basis of Fesenjun, a rich stew of duck, chicken or lamb. Mirza Ghasemi is a vegetarian dish with a smoky taste that often served as a side dish or appetizer. Other such dishes include pickled garlic, olives with walnut paste, and smoked fish. The caviar and smoked fish from the region are, in particular, widely prized and sought-after specialties in both domestic and foreign gourmet markets. Gilan is the green paradise of Iran with lots of touristic attractions and facilities.
Handwoven textiles, carpets, Jajim earthenware, bamboo products, baskets, mat, silk, coarse carpet, and wooden products are some of the fine crafts in Rasht province.
Historical attractions of Gilan
- Castle of “Mojaver Lamir” In Astara
- Miyan Poshteh Palace
- Bridges of Ghazian and Miyan Poshteh
- Tower Clock and the Old Customhouse in Port of Anzali
- Mausoleum of Mirza Kouchak Khan
- Shapour School
- Old houses of Haj Mirza
- Ahmad Abrishami
- Sardar Motamed Rasht castle of Sassan
- Bridge of Morghaneh Pard in Rasht
- Tower of Kasgar
- Pole Khashty
- Mansions of Nasr-Allah Khan Sardar are in Talesh
- Reza Shah’s Palace
- Pond of Port Anzali.
- Salty springs of Ab Shor in Lakun.
- Cheshmagol Seh Shanbeh in Rasht.
- Mineral springs of Sang- Rood, hot springs of Mast Khor, in Rudbar.
- Springs of Sajiran, mineral springs of Zamzameh, Ali ZaKhoni, in Foman.
- Ponds of Amir Kalayeh in Lahijan.