Rudkhan Castle

“Strategy” may be written the same as it was written more than 500 years ago, but it carried more weight and held more value back then.

With regards to the thoughts and ideas, methods and manners, attempts and efforts and the limited and restricted options and facilities, we must bow at their feet and now at their souls! They made use of every available option, material and human resources to build structures, whether for defensive and protective utilization such as fortresses or for residential purposes.

Most fascinating fact about the old structures and monuments, is that how seemingly impossible it is now to us, to build so solid and strong buildings, robust structures, that have been standing strong through the various tests of time, be it environmental and ecological or political and human factors.

Another unbelievable and inconceivable fact about these old structures, are the fact that most of them have been built in the most impossible places, such as on top of a mountain, in the middle of a desert or on steep slopes of bushy forests.

This was a process that had been going on for well over 1000 years, and our ancestors seem to be able to amaze us every time, we get to discover these places.


Iran is one of those countries which has been considered the jewel of the Middle East for many years, regarding, culture, natural resources, history and weather. This glorious land, has attracted many attentions to itself, and is a host to many tourists every year.

A journey through Iran would give any tourist a chance to unveil the answers to their questions and doubts. A trip to Iran, is a new adventure that tastes like forest Blackberries of Guilan, sweet dates and oranges of Bam, Sanandaj Strawberries, Hamadan Garlics, Damavand Apples, Urmia Grapes and Shiraz lemons, with a touch of the people’s hospitality and its nature of thousand colours.

Come with us on this little virtual tour to the bushy forests of Guilan.

Travelling to Guilan province and especially to Rudkhan Castle will be shooting two birds with one stone, as you’ll be busy fascinated by the tremendously beautiful greenery and landscapes, breathing and taking in such beauty and simultaneously being amazed by the hidden castle and fortress of Rudkhan.




Rudkhan fortress, also known as Hesami castle and Sagsal fortress, was built on the mountainous forests of Fouman and in the Rudkhan Forest Park (village of Rudkhan).

No matter which route you take to the village of Rudkhan, after some twists and turns on the road, passing by the beautiful fields of rice, you will arrive to a place where you need to park your car and walk a long steep path, until you’ll be at about 715 m above sea level.

This fortress which belongs to the Sassanid era, has been named “the Biggest Brick Fortress” of Iran, and have been nicknamed the “Castle of Thousand Steps” as you will need to take a few hundred steps to the top. Not that we want to give you a heart attack but, a moderate hiking and 935 steps is all it takes to get you to the top.

 But of course, you’ll be provided with canes to assist you on this steep road ahead.

You won’t be alone on this ecological and historical tour, on your way to the top you’ll be accompanied by the river Rudkhan, flowing from north to south, and the astonishing, beautiful tall trees of Rudkhan village. You’ll be so occupied by the vastness and the beauty of this forest, that you’ll reach your destination before you know it.



Rudkhan Castle




Some experts believe that the military complex of, Rudkhan castle was constructed during the Sassanid era, coincided with Arab invasion. It was later rebuilt by Seljuks and Nizari Ismailis as it was one of their battle footholds. According to an inscription at the entrance gate, this fortress was rebuilt from 1512 until 1515, for Sultan Hesam Ol-Din. (This is inscription is currently in the museum of Rasht).

 He was the first ruler who disobeyed from the Safavids, rebuilt the Hesami Fortress in order to continue his opposition from there. All of his attempts failed, he then fled to Darband, and finally was arrested and executed in Tabriz.

In 1762, the ruler of Fouman, during his uprising against Karim Khan Zand, conducted some restorations on the fortress and equipped it with war cannons for defensive purposes.

 According to some probabilities, Rudkhan castle was also utilized as a base for Mirza Kuchik Khan.

The appellation of the name of Rudkhan, is its geographical location next to a river. “Rudkhaneh” in Persian means river.

This fortress was discovered by a Polish researcher, Iranologist and poet called Alexander Chodzco in 1830.



Rudkhan castle consists of two main parts, which are the citadel and armoury. The two story citadel is to the west of this fortress and was built with bricks. Two story Guard houses with sufficient natural lighting are on the east side of the castle.

Eastern part of the fortress consists of 12 entrance gates, prison, emergency door, bathroom and toilets. On the west are located, 12 entrance gates, fountain, pond, water reservoir, morgue, bathroom, alcove toilet, and some residential units, surrounded by towers. 40 watch towers around the castle, are octagonal from inside, and look circular from outside.

Some holes were embedded all around the walls, which were used for gunfire and pouring molten material. Rocks that have been used to build the castle were gathered from the surrounding mountains.

Two things that made this place a strategically best location for building a fortress was the presence of this river and the forest.



What to do around Rudkhan castle

You’ll be spending about 2 hours hiking to the top, so make sure you wear appropriate hiking shoes, pack water, light snack, fruits to reenergize in case you need it.

On your way to the top you’ll be tempted to take as many pictures as you want either from the lush forest or the castle itself. The view from top of the castle is breath taking. You can just stand there, grasp the beauty and take deep breathes of fresh air. On your way back you can buy handicrafts, made and woven by local women, eat at traditional mini restaurants and also have local edibles which are sold along the road.

 At the base of this area, there are bigger restaurants and cafes, ready to serve you with local foods and a variety of Guilan’s delicious side dishes such as olives, pickled garlic and etc. You can have your picture taken wearing local customs, in photography ateliers located near the restaurants.

You won’t need to worry about sanitation as this area is equipped with public bathrooms.



Rudkhan Castle


Geographical location and specifications


With about 2.6-acres area, Rudkhan Castle was built on two tips of a mount and is located, 35 km from Maklavan city, 60 km from village of Masouleh and 25 km from city of Fouman. The fortress sits at two peaks of a mountain at elevations of 665 m to 715 m, a river with the same name originating from the surrounding heights flows from north to south alongside the castle.

The fortification and battlement built around the fortress is 1500 km and consists of 65 towers. 42 of these towers are still intact.

Given that castles and fortresses in Iran are unprecedented and this fortress is particularly unique in terms of its strategic location, structure, material and architecture and its surrounding area, it was acknowledged as a National Monument in 1975.


How to go and Where to stay

Best time to travel to the north of Iran and Rudkhan castle is during spring and summer.

In order to go there, it requires you to travel to the north of Iran and reside at one of the hotels and guesthouses in the nearby cities and villages. Fuman and Masouleh are some of the options. It’s 51 km and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Masouleh to Rudkhan Castle, so it could be the best accommodation option.

 You can rent local houses and experience a village life for a day or two, either in Masouleh or near Rudkhan Castle. If you’re a backpacker and nature lover you probably enjoy camping, which is another pocket friendly accommodation choice.

For every newcomer it’s best to be accompanied by professional guides and local people if available. For that you will be needing someone to provide you with accurate data and information regarding tours and travelling options. If you’re planning to travel to Iran and you’ll want to make the most out of your travelling experience, Iran Negin Travel team is ready to assist you with best available options. Other than presenting you the suitable options and packages, we'll be helping you in making a better choice, and will walk you through every step of the way.

Iran Negin Travel, as an Iran tour operator offers among with Iran tourism services such as Iran visa, Iran hotel booking and etc. , Iran tours packages through which the passengers can discover Iran as they desire. As a very common request, Iran cultural tours packages and Iran daily tours. You can chose among our Iran tours packages and add Alamut Castle to your program and enjoy your trip to Iran.

Our team is eagerly ready to provide you all the services from Iran visa to Iran tours packages. Don't forget to contact us!