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Iran Tours

Kharanaq Caravanserai in Yazd

The bells hanging from the long necks of desert camels now only chime in the memories and caravanserais are bereft of the delightful echoed sound of the caravans. From thousands of caravanserais once beaming in the pitch dark of Iranian deserts only a few are still beating with life. One such oasis in the midst of wilderness is Kharanaq Caravanserai in Kharanaq District of Yazd Province. Founded towards the end of Safavid dynasty and the beginning of Qajar empire, this old edifice still welcomes travelers from near and far. The historic village of Kharanaq is located north of Yazd Province, 50 km away from Ardakan. The abundance of historical sites such as citadels, bridges, water reservoirs and holy places have made this place popular among the tourists.

The entrance of the caravanserai is fashioned with a high vault and two platform underneath functioning as seats; a very common design for houses, caravanserais, mosques and public bathes of the period. As well as contributing immensely to the beauty of the edifice, these vaults and hallways served as resting places for the old and the worn out who would shake the fatigue of a long journey out of their bones. Even today the weary travelers have a respite from long walks by relaxing on the platforms waiting for the gates to be opened.


The caravanserai opens to a vestibule with two small porches that face the main yard whose octangular pool reflects the deep blue of the sky thus breathing life into the ancient nostrils of the desert. In the four corners of the pool there are triangular little gardens decorated with desert shrubs that evokes in every Iranian’s memory the intricate patterns of Iranian carpets.


There are riding equipment such as camel tacks and singletrees hanging orderly from the walls of the yard. In the past, the camels would be tied up here temporarily until the guests would leave and provide room for the camels of the new-comers in the Caravanserai’s stable.

There are also four timchehs (chambers for accommodation of guests and sometimes used as stables) in the corners of the caravanserai all interconnected via roofed halls behind the rooms. Three of these timches were stables but the fourth one, located in the smaller yard of the caravanserai with a miniature pool inside, is still kept intact in its original form. The water from the pools has been used for washing and laundry but it isn’t potable due to containing excessive amount of salt.


Four symmetrical Iwans (a vaulted space with an entrance) with high vaulted roofs surrounding a wide space that once was haven for the weary travelers of the past, now house tourists of the modern age. The wooden doors of the rooms are adorned with rainbow glass for better lighting. Inside the rooms and Iwans there are small shelves called Cheraghdan (literally, place of light).


The roof of the caravanserai is an ideal place for hearing the sound of sheer silence at the starry nights of the desert away from the maddening din of cities. For this heavenly experience, you will of course need solitude and privacy, not a roof top packed with cheering tourists! The view is equally breathtaking during day-time as one spots on the horizon the remnants of the Sassanid Bridge, the old citadel and the tiny domes of the village, all lost in the infinity of the desert. These rare natural and historic sights allure the travelers to visit the other ancient sites of Kharanaq. This adobe resort is also equipped with a traditional kitchen that offers a taste of local cuisine while being immersed in the tranquility and sublimity of the desert.  

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7/29/2017 6:01:21 PM

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