It is called “Little Iran”. Karaj, a small city no one thought would gain such a position to be forgiven such a title. And why is that? Because of Karaj’s potentials, many different ethnic groups of Persians, Kurds, Turks, etc. together have migrated caused there.
Alborz province has a spectacular and very eye-catching nature. There are high waterfalls, tourist villages, forests, and pristine lakes in this province to visit.
Karaj, the capital of Alborz province, is among Iran’s metropolises. The city of Karaj, with its unique geographical location, is the best option for many people to live in due to its accessibility.
One of the biggest advantages of this city is its principled and modern urban planning, which makes it very like Tehran, modern and updated.
Karaj has long been a pleasant summer village and has a reputation for having beautiful and pristine natural landscapes, valuable natural resources, and rich monuments.
Karaj has evidence to support a claim which says that this city was established during the reign of Achaemenid and later on, Parthians, Sassanid and especially centuries after they were gone, the Safavid dynasty gave Karaj the importance it is still benefitting from.
Before the Mongol invasion of Iran, most caravans chose the road which passed Karaj to get to Rey. From this period onwards, the Qazvin-Karaj-Rey road became economically and travel-wise significant.
This significant aspect of Karaj reached its peak in the Safavid dynasty due to how close it was to the Safavid capital. Qazvin which led to Tabriz. This is why, you could find so many caravanserais, bridges, and castles built on the outskirts of this road.
One of the facilities that Karaj used to use the most in the past was its Airport, which is currently less used due to economic sanctions and performs only a small number of air transfers annually.
Karaj always had a suitable climate and the existence of water resources such as the Karaj River has created a beautiful and green city. There are many Gardens in Karaj with countless ancient trees. Though most of them were sacrificed because of population increase.
Over the past few years, the municipality of Karaj has taken measures and revived some of these gardens and created a large number of parks in the city, which has made the city green again.
With the efforts made to make Karaj lovely again, there are now 273 parks and small and large throughout the city.
The Tulip Garden of Gachsar of Karaj, on the way to Chalous, plays hosts to tourists and nature lovers every spring to represent colorful tulips of different types all in one place.
This ceremony, which has been held every year in Garmab village of Gachsar of Karaj, attracts many visitors to the point that sometimes the number of these visitors on the festival day reaches up to ten thousand. For example, in 2012, about 500,000 people came to this festival from anywhere.
After considering how Karaj and the plains around it are very rich to grow almost anything, Karaj became a pole of fresh fruits.
Greengage is one of the many seasonal and favorite fruits that are harvested in the Karaj region. If you travel to Karaj in spring, you can bring this delicious souvenir to your loved ones.
In addition to Greengage’s special taste, it has many properties and benefits for the health of the body. This green fruit is excellent for cleansing the liver, plays an important role in balancing stomach acid, and is also rich in vitamin C.
However, like any other metropolis, Karaj also suffers from pollution. Karaj is polluted due to the expansion of the city and the high traffic of vehicles and the industrial waste, haze. Besides, in autumn and winter, the inversion of the air is quite palpable.
We have mentioned Karaj’s beautiful gardens, their nature, historical villages, and the landscapes of the Alborz mountain range. All for those who’d like to get away from crowded cities and the hustle of them.
There are some historic buildings in Karaj too.
As we said Karaj was built alongside one of the most important roads of Iran. That is the main reason why many Caravanserais could be seen that now have turned into local hostels.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai in Karaj is located on the Silk Road and the highway connecting the east to the west of the country and is the only inn in the city of Iran.
At the beginning of its construction, this caravanserai was a resting place for caravans and their belongings.
In the early Qajar period, it became a military barracks or fortress, and at the end of this period, it was used for educational reasons and was turned into a school (called Falahat).
Due to the location of Shah Abbasi Caravanserai on the main road of Rey, Taleghan, and Mazandaran, it has been of special importance over the years.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai in Karaj is a stone-brick building that was built between 1078 and 1109 AH during the reign of Shah Suleiman Safavid.
Before the revolution, during the reign of Pahlavi, a building was built in Karaj (Mehrshahr) which had a rather unusual architecture.
The Pearl Palace or Shams Palace is located in Mehrshahr, Karaj, Alborz Province. In the construction of the Pearl Palace, none of the principles of Iranian architecture has been observed because its designer was not Iranian.
This palace was built for Shams Pahlavi between 1966 and 1968 by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and by Wesley Peters in collaboration with William Case and the American government.
Shams Pahlavi, who suffered from asthma, chose Mehrshahr, Karaj, to live in the fresh air. The cost of building Shams Palace at the time was one billion dollars.
Shams Palace is one of the most equipped and prosperous buildings of the Pahlavi period. Its architecture is part of the history of modern art in Iran. All architectural spaces under the roof are made in the form of spirals with various skylights in the form of pearl beads.
In designing the exterior space, a small lake surrounds the palace on three sides and adds to its beauty. The palace lake is located in the Mezzanine, which spreads like the fins of a fish table in the northern corner and outside the palace and surrounds the building from three directions. The depth of the lake is such that it is possible to sail in it.
Consider Karaj, when you are thinking of how to escape and go into nature and at the same time you don’t want to run so far!