where is or what is Qalat?
I know that there are still a lot of people out there who have not even heard of the Ghalat(Qalat), but if you ask one person who knows or has visited it before, they will reply to you with a smile “It’s one of the best places I have ever been to, no doubt about that”.
but where is or what is Qalat? Okay, let me get to my main point and let you form an impression from it in your head.
Qalat is the name of a village placed about 30 km northwest of Shiraz and it’s 2000 meters above sea level.
The weather is quite temperate so the village has all four seasons in a beautiful manner.
Qalat has always been in the spotlight for many tourists due to its geographical location that’s why it has become so populated till now.
The increase in the population led to the separation of this lovely village into 2 districts; historical and relatively-new.
Qalat has an accent of its own for example in Persian (no problem translates into: moshkeli nist) but Ghalati people tend to say moshkili ni. 😀
The relatively-new district of Qalat
As you enter Qalat from Shiraz, you first face this district of the village which has a population of 7000 people and is provided with facilities such as school, medical clinic, mosque, and other civil facilities.
The first district is in the form of a small town and if you pay close attention to the architecture of this part, you’ll notice that the buildings are quite modern.
People who live in the relatively-new part of Qalat can use the bakeries, supermarkets, etc. placed in the area.
People who work are divided into two groups; 1. who prefer to work in Qalat itself 2.who go to shiraz for their job.
Geographically, this area of Qalat is placed on a small plain and on the east side of this plain, there is a valley.
A seasonal river passes through the valley and makes a terrific view at different times of the year.
To put it all in our nutshell Qalati people call the first district ‘Rooboundareh’ or specifically ‘Rooye bam Darreh’ which means ‘roof on the valley’
Around the village
As you drive on the asphalt road (on the west side of the town) you get to Shabshotori promenade and as you get past that, you will get to Kodian and Abpardeh villages.
On the northwest part of the new district, beyond the hills of it, are the wide vineyards of the village and the watchtowers of the yards make them a tourist attraction.
Before the Islamic revolution of Iran, there used to be wine factories in one of the neighbor villages called Khalar and the grapes from Qalat’s vineyards were sent to the factories for the process of wine-making but since Qalati people were quite religious through the times, they used the grapes for other purposes such as making raisins, grape seed oil, and grape juice.
The historical district of Qalat
at the end of the relatively-new district, comes the historical one which is located in south and is separated from the first district by a bridge.
The historical area is nationalized so if you would like to continue your journey by car, you would have to pay an amount of money as visitor tax.
As you follow the path after the bridge you will see the old cemetery of the village and in the following, comes the terrific views of nature.
The historical area is on the hillside of Qalat’s mountain (with the height of 3000 meters) so the houses are seen in a stair-like form next to each other. Since the houses have the age of at least 2000 years, some of them got destroyed in the progress of the years. The good news is that recently the owners of the historic houses are involved with the repairment of them.
The village is surrounded by many private gardens which mostly are consisted of an apple, pomegranate and walnut trees. The main pathway to the historic district is stone-paved and if you look around the path you will see a lot of old houses with historical architecture. The houses are mainly made of Iranian plaster and stone.
Back in the time, the second district was separated into different parishes. (1.Bala=up, 2.Paeen=down, 3.Tooro=concave, Gowd=convex)
In the second area, you see yourself walking from Qalat’s historical mosque and its historical church. Imagine, people from all different religions lived peacefully together in the villages, that is why this site is seen.
Okay, now as we continue our journey the passage seems longer and that is because of the very long plane trees, we notice the old public bath and the old church. At the end of this path, we will get to Qalat’s first waterfall (known as Tabgah). If we move to the west we will see Qalat’s second waterfall (known as Payeh Takht) and the third waterfall (known as Gooreh Siah). Above the waterfalls and on the hillside, there are several springs that provide the waterfalls’ water and then the water is steered by narrow brooks to the gardens. (the private gardens mentioned before). Qalat’s old fort (Qezel Arsalan) which is kinda ruined is above this very mountain.
In the past, there used to be a lot of chambers used for business purposes, for example, some of them sold fabrics, some, carpets and some, shoes (in these chambers a special type of shoe was made and they called it Malki). After a while, these chambers were closed due to the bad economic conditions, but we do hope that one day all of them revive.
So, if you are interested to check Qalat out and visit its very interesting places you can take bus number 50 from Ghasr-e Dasht bus terminal which is close to Ghasr-e Dasht metro station. Oh, and if you wanna add a delicious Persian or local meal to your journey, I’ll have to let you know that there are a lot of good restaurants and coffee shops in the historic district. On the weekends the village is quite crowded (Tip: Persian weekends are Thursdays and Fridays). If you are lucky enough to visit this very beautiful village in late spring or summer, you can use our leaders’ experiences about different beneficial herbs and you can enjoy the magnificent yet , rare views of nature.
Don’t forget to see our Things to do hope to see you soon here.