About 200 kilometers (130 miles) from the present-day Tehran, in the South Caspian province of Qazvin, Alamut is a deserted mountain castle. It is situated close to the Iranian city of Masoudabad.
The Alamut Castle, a mountain fortification in modern-day Iran, was acquired by Hassan-i Sabbah, a supporter of the Nizari Ismaili movement, in 1090 AD. The Nizari Ismaili state, which contained a number of strategically located castles dispersed throughout Persia and Syria and each of which was surrounded by vast tracts of hostile territory, had its administrative center in Alamut until 1256.
The most well-known of these fortresses, Alamut, was believed to be invincible to any military assault and was rumored to have had heavenly gardens, a library, and laboratories where philosophers, physicists, and theologians could disagree in peace.
The Khwarezmian and Seljuq empires were among the enemies that the fortification withstood. Rukn al-Din Khurshah gave the castle to the invading Mongols in 1256, and they disassembled it and destroyed the contents of its renowned library.
Although it is a common misconception that the Nizari Ismailis of Alamut were completely destroyed by the Mongol conquest, the fortress was recaptured by Nizari forces in 1275, proving that while the Ismailis in that area had suffered extensive damage and destruction, the Mongols had not attempted to completely eradicate them.
In 1282, Hulagu Khan's eldest son took control of the citadel after it was once more taken. Following then, the castle was only of local importance and changed ownership frequently.
Although it is in ruins right now, the Iranian government is developing it as a tourist site due of its historical value.
History of the name
The word "Al" is derived from "Alah" or "Aloo," which means eagle, and "Amut," which means nest, together make up the castle's name. The rulers of Deylaman reportedly used an eagle to locate this location, according to the legends.
Then he made the decision to turn this area into a full-fledged castle and gave it the name Eagle's Nest (Alamut). Many people believe that the word "Amut" means "learned from eagle" in the languages of the Gilak and Deylami people.
Ismaili state of Nizari Nizari-Seljuk wars and Nizari-Isma'ili history Hassan-i Sabbah discovered that his fellow Muslims, the Isma'ilis, were dispersed throughout Persia after being expelled from Egypt due to his support for Nizar ibn al-Mustansir.
This was especially true in the northern and eastern provinces, particularly in Daylaman, Khorasan, and Quhistan. The reigning Seljuqs, who had divided the country's farms into iqt' (fiefs) and imposed high taxes upon the residents living there, were hated by the Ismailis and other occupied peoples of Iran.
Typically, the Seljuq amirs (independent rulers) had complete authority and control over the territories they oversaw. The Seljuq policies and high taxes, meantime, caused growing unhappiness among Persian artisans, craftsmen, and lower classes.
Hassan shared Hassan's disgust at the Sunni Seljuq ruling class's political and economic mistreatment of Shi'i Muslims in Iran. He began his resistance campaign against the Seljuqs in this setting, starting by looking for a safe location to start his uprising.
Capture of Alamut
Persian miniature from the 15th century, "Capture of the Alamut" Hassan was hiding out in the northern town of Qazvin, about 60 km from the Alamut citadel, by 1090 AD, when the Seljuq vizier Nizam al-Mulk had already issued orders for his arrest.
He formulated plans for the fortress's capture there since it was surrounded by a lush valley with predominantly Shi'i Muslims living in it, whose support Hassan could readily rally for the uprising against the Seljuqs.
Hassan methodically planned because no military force had ever taken the castle. He sent his dependable aides to the Alamut valley to start villages near the castle in the interim.
Hassan left Qazvin in the summer of 1090 AD and traveled through Andej on a hilly road to Alamut. He stayed in Andej pretending to be a teacher named Dehkhoda until he was certain that some of his supporters had moved into the settlement of Gazorkhan, which is directly beneath the castle, or had found employment there.
Hassan entered the fortress while concealing himself and gained the friendship and trust of several of the men there. Hassan started to entice important Alamut residents to his cause while being cautious not to draw Mahdi, the castle's Zaydi 'Alid lordnotice. ,'s It has even been asserted that Mahdi's own deputy was a covert Hassan supporter who would show his allegiance on the day that Hassan would eventually seize the fortress.
When Mahdi traveled to Qazvin earlier in the summer, Nizam al-Mulk gave him strict instructions to track down and capture Hassan, who was rumored to be hiding in the province of Daylaman. Mahdi went back to the Alamut stronghold and found several fresh servants and guards working there.
His deputy stated that many of the workers at the castle had fallen ill, so it was good that additional laborers could be located in the nearby villages. Mahdi instructed his deputy to detain anyone with ties to the Ismailis because he was concerned about the links of these people.
When Hassan finally contacted the fortress's owner and revealed his true identity while claiming that the castle was now his, Mahdi's suspicions were verified. When Mahdi immediately ordered the guards to apprehend and remove Hassan from the fortress, they were ready to do just that.
He was shocked to find he had been duped and was free to leave the castle. However, before departing, Ra'is Muzaffar, a Seljuq official working for the Isma'ili cause, gave Mahdi a draft for 3000 gold dinars as payment for the castle. Ra'is Muzaffar honored the draft in full. Without using any force, Hassan and his allies took the Alamut citadel from Mahdi, and with it, from Seljuq rule.
Alamut Castle Architecture
Alamut Castle is actually made up of two castles—one above and one below—each of whose walls are constructed differently depending on the condition of the surrounding rocks. This fortress is shaped like a sleeping camel, measuring roughly 120 meters in length and 10 to 35 meters in width. In this location, materials like stone, brick, tile, wooden slats, earthenware, and gypsum mortar were employed.
Three of the castle's four towers—located on the east, north, and south sides—remain in place. As we previously stated, the castle's sole entrance is located at the northeast corner's extremity, just below the east tower. A 6 meter long, 2 meter wide, and 1 meter high tunnel has been carved out of the rocks here.
Tourists can view the southwest wall and the castle's south tower through this tunnel. A room has been carved out of the cliff's interior to the south, probably for protecting. Additionally, there are two rooms in the castle's northwest, one of which has a little water well.
The guards of the castle and their families lived in a house to the east of the castle. In addition, the eastern portion of Alamut Castle contains a number of nearly damaged rooms, three tiny ponds, and a number of animal stalls.
Reservoirs, including one of Iran's most fascinating reservoirs, were drilled to accommodate the castle's residents' need for water. Water from springs at the base of the mountain to the north of the castle was carried in via a network of mounds as part of the castle's water supply system.
Between the eastern and western portions of the castle, there is a field that has been split into two sections by a wall.
In order to block access to Alamut Castle, a ditch 50 meters long and two meters wide on the southern slope of the mountain was excavated and filled with water from inside the fortress.
Before the Qajar era, mules were employed to travel this passage; stone steps were put in place at the castle's entrance. This compound contains a hand-dug pond that is eight meters long and five meters broad and is still filled with water from recent rain. The old vine in the southwest corner of the pond, which is supposed to have been planted by Hassan Sabah himself, is another intriguing feature of the castle.
In the western portion of the castle, there is a historic cemetery named "Asbeh Kalechal," and on the next hill, you can observe the ruins of multiple brick kilns.
The best time to visit Alamut Castle
In order to avoid the chilly and rugged Alamut region, it is advised to travel there in the milder months of late spring and early summer. During these seasons, the region's natural attractiveness is enhanced by the addition of greenery. However, keep in mind that Alamut experiences chilly evenings year-round, making thick clothing essential for this journey.
Alamut Castle route
If you're traveling from Tehran to Alamut Castle, you should use the Karaj-Qazvin Freeway to Qazvin City. The Alamut side road, which is 85 kilometers from the nearest city of Moallem-Kalayeh and extremely difficult to travel due to its hilly terrain, may be seen on the way to Qazvin.
There is a side road that leads to Lake Evan, one of the attractions in the province of Qazvin, which is 10 kilometers from Moallem-kalayeh. Visitors can tent here in addition to swimming and boating. 10 kilometers after Moallem Kalayeh, you will arrive at the intersection of Garmarud and Alamut, where you can access the Alamut historical castle. Despite all of its beauty, Alamut Road, which is surrounded by mountains and a forest, has a twisting course.
Alamut Castle is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Stanqzvin, which you can visit by renting a car from https://cafeerent.com/ website. You definitely need a vehicle to visit this place because the road is very rough.