Kandovan: A village in the heart of the cliffs!
Life has been going on for about six thousand years among the rocky cliffs of Kandovan. A village that was originally an ordinary village like other villages until 700 years ago, with the savage onslaught of the Mongols, its people decided to take refuge in the rocks. Kandovan is one of the three rocky villages in the world (such as Cappadocia in Turkey, and Dakota Village in the United States). Dakota and Cappadocia now uninhabited while local people still living in Kandovan.
When the hot season arrives, cooler tourist destinations are favored, and one of these cool destinations is the ancient village of Kandovan in Tabriz. Kandovan, best known for its honeycomb-shaped houses, is so cool that in summers the lowest temperature is 13 degrees and the highest temperature reaches 27 degrees. This village is located 60 kilometers southwest of Tabriz and is one of the villages of Sahand rural district in the city of Osko. It is no more than 20 kilometers from Osko to Kandovan and since Kandovan and the village of Meymand are the only rocky villages in the world still inhabited by locals, many tourists visit the East Azarbaijan province every year to visit this spectacular historic village.
This village, which some believe dates back to thousands of years ago, is at the heart of Sultan Dagh Mountain. The village is 2200 meters above sea level and the Kandovan River flows along it. The beauties of this historic village have made it registered as a national heritage and one of the strangest villages in Iran.
Kandovan is a unique and wonderful village. The 117 families in this village live in the heart of the mountain, and where else in the world you can have this leisurely experience and see people whose homes were dug into the heart of the mountain?
Situated in the Sahand Mountains, Kandovan has a very good climate and there are so many beautiful and spectacular landscapes around it, which make this enchanting village a popular tourist destination.
A kind of rural architecture that is unparalleled around the world, and so amazing that it attracts many tourists every year. One of the interesting things about this natural miracle is that the village of Kandovan has been created in one of the most humid regions of the province for thousands of years by volcanic interactions between Sahand Mountain and other volcanic mountains; melt and lava materials flows from volcanic activity have been thrown out and accumulated over the years and shape the cone-shaped houses in the heart of the mountain.
Kandovan village architecture:
Kandovan village is famous for its unique houses which are carved in the rocks and cliffs. These honeycomb-shaped houses were constructed in a native rocky style. In rock architecture, building materials such as plaster, lime, clay, etc. are not used and the houses are carved into stone. The village has been listed in the national monuments list because of its unique architecture and texture. Of course, what distinguishes Kandovan from similar examples is the residence of up to 117 families inside these cliff houses and its inhabitants occupying rural jobs such as agriculture, livestock, and handicrafts production. Like ordinary homes, these rocky houses have various sections such as living room, kitchen and even have water and electricity plumbing system. The walls of these interesting houses are about 2 meters thick, so the interior is naturally warm in winter and cools in summer.
It is interesting to note that most of these rock structures are about 40 meters high and most of these structures are composed of two to four flours, but due to the rock structure, the boundaries of these flours are independent of each other and are not interconnected and each one has a separate entrance. Hence, beautiful staircases are provided from the rock itself to access the upper floors. The ground floor is often used as stables and other floors have residential uses. Due to the high thickness of the rocks, it is very difficult to make skylights in the lower floors, which is why the skylights and windows are usually on the upper floors. Windows and skylights are made of wood and glass.
The village of Kandovan also has various sections such as mosque, bath, school, and mill, and the mosque unit is one of the largest in the village. The village’s drainage is also outside the stone houses next to the passageways, and several families share common drainage.
Attractions and amenities in Kandovan:
About 300,000 tourists visit the village of Kandovan annually, which is why many hotels and motels have been built for the tourists in and around the village. Laleh Hotel one of the best and most beautiful hotels of Kandovan and might be a good choice for an unforgettable night in an ancient magical village. Due to the location of Kandovan village as one of the most important tourism destinations of East Azarbaijan province, Laleh Kandovan rock hotel was established to provide proper accommodation facilities for visitors. The Laleh Hotel is one of the first “boutique hotels” in the country and the third rock hotel in the world. With its rock and cliff units and unparalleled views, the complex encourages tourists to travel to this pleasant unique area and stay on the slopes of one of the most beautiful mountains in the country. This 5-star international hotel with 40 rock units offers a cozy living experience and a relaxed atmosphere for guests and tourists. Other hotel amenities include a lobby, coffee shop, restaurant, jacuzzi, traditional coffee house, conference room, and all other modern amenities.
If you ever go to the village, do not forget the souvenirs. Kandovan’s honey and nuts are especially recommended. If you travel to Kandovan in the summer you can also enjoy the local fruits of the area such as apricot, cherry and…
Kandovan mineral springs are also one of the attractions of this ancient village and it is very useful for the treatment of kidney diseases due to its low hardness and weight.