Kharanaq and Nain
May 27, 2022
On the desert drive from Yazd to Kashan, I made a detour to the 4000 year old village of Kharanaq to see the 1800 year old Castle.
Then another detour to Nain for another castle, and lunch!
This 4500-year-old city is surrounded by mountains on one side and desert on the other. Many buildings in Kharanaq are completely collapsed and ramshackle. But the remaining mosque from the Qajar period, and a shaking minaret from 17th Century, and the caravanserai of the city have been reconstructed.
The Kharanaq Castle (Kamal-ud-din Bihzad) is the main attraction of the village. It is reminiscent of the Sassanid era and dates back 1800 years. Kharanaq Castle is one of the first castles in the world with two- and three-story houses. Surrounded by a tall wall, the castle contains 80 houses and watchtowers.
The castle was designed like a maze to create confusion for thieves or invaders.
Nain (Naein and Naeen)
More than 3,000 years ago the Persians constructed underground aqueducts (qanat) to bring water from the mountains to the plains. In the 1960s this ancient system provided more than 70 percent of the water used in Iran. Nain is one of the best places to see these functioning qanats.
Unique to Nain are some of the most outstanding monuments in Iran including the Pre-Islamic Narej Fortress and the Jame Mosque, one of the first four mosques built in Iran after the Islamic conquest,
Besides its monuments, Nain is also known for its carpets, wool textile, and home-made pastry (copachoo).