The province of Kurdistan is 28,817 km2 in the west of Iran. It is bound by Iraq on its west, Le province of west Azerbaijan to its north, Zanjan to s northwest, and Kermanshah to its south. The capital F this province is Sanandaj, and its other major cities are: Baneh, Bijar, Divandarreh, Ghorveh, Kamyaran, Marivan and Saqqez.
The last census, carried out in 1996, revealed the population of this province to be, 1,346,383 a good number or whom were engaged in rearing livestock mainly sheep and goats, as nomed tribes. The local language is the Kurdish dialect. The other major activities of the inhabitants are agriculture and modern livestock farming. Wheat, barley, grains and fruits are the major agricultural products. The chemical, metal, textile, leather and food industries are the main industrial activities in this province. Kurdistan is a predominantly mountainous region with mild spring and summers, offering ideal conditions for recreation.
Major natural features
Kurdistan province, being predominantly covered by mountains and hills, has many rivers, lakes, natural ice-stores and caves which render it rather picturesque. Consequently, Kurdistan has always attracted a large number of tourists and fans of mountaineering, ski, and water-sports.
A small village in mountainous area of Kurdistan
Zarrinehrood, 302 km long, is one of the longest rivers of this province. Its banks offer great opportunities for recreation and the river's plentiful water renders itself ideal for water sports. This river runs northwards and ultimately pours into lake Urumieh. Sirvan river is another prominent river in this province. It runs over a long distance, eventually to join the Tigris in Iraq. The banks of this river, too are remarkably attractive and pleasing. Ghezel Ozoon and Saminerhrood are two other important rivers in this province. A large number of marine species and birds live on the banks of the province's numerous rivers which they seem to find ideal habitats.
Lake Zarivar is the most beautiful waters of the province which lies at the feet to high mountains, providing a delightfully picturesque sight. Its water is sparkingly fresh. The lake has a maximum depth of 50 m and an average depth of 3 m. It is surrounded by think forests. The whole collection of the lake, the mountains and forests a fascinating panorama. This lake, which has a length of 5 km and a maximum which width of 1.7 km, lies to the west of Marivan. Lake Vahdat's dam, to the north of Sanandaj, provides excellent opportunities for fishing and water-sports.
Kurdistan has the benefit of many resourceful mineral water springs. The most outstanding of these are: Govaz to the northwest of Kamyaran, Abetalkh close to Bijar and Baba Gargar to the north of Ghorveh.
Cave Kereftoo, close to Divandarreh, is a unique natural and at the same time archeological site. Inside the cave there are a number of ancient buildings known as the Temple of Heraclius, because the name of this Greek god is carved on the ceiling of one of the halls. Cave Shoovi, 267 m long, is another prominent cave, which lies near the city of Baneh.
Mount Charkhaln 3,330 m high, mount Chehelcheshmeh, 3,173 m, Mount Hossein Bak, 3,091 m, and Mount Masjede Mirza, 3,059 m, are the other large mountains of Kurdistan.
Jama Mosque in Sanandaj
Kurdistan has vast forests and refuges, where many animals and birds live, safely from the harms of the human beings: the leopard, ram, wild goat, hyena, jackal, wolf, fox, sable, wesel and such birds as the partridge, wild duck, stork, parrot, eagle.
The city of Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan, and lies at a distance of 512 km from Tehran, 1,480 m above sea level.
Although the province of Kurdistan has archeological traces which go back to thousands of years BC when the Aryan Kurds first settled in these parts, Sanandaj itself is a rather new city and was built less than 200 years ago.
Kurdistan province succumbed to the Moslem Army circa 642 A.D. and most of the inhabitants accepted Islam which is the predominant religion of the area, today.
Sanandaj was very prosperous in the Safavid era but was completely destroyed at the time of Karim Khan of Zand dynasty. It was later chosen to be the capital of this province and is presently one of the most prominent cities of western Iran.
A view of Sanandaj
Sanandaj has a pleasant weather in spring and summer. The average seasonal temperature in Sanandaj is 15.20 C in spring, 25.20 C in summer, 10.40 C in autumn and 1.60 C in winter. In a 30-year long study carried out on the climate of Sanandaj, the maximum absolute temperature was found to be 44 C, the minimum absolute -31 C, and the average annual temperature 13.10 C. The average relative humidity was 69% at 06:30 hours and 38% at 12:30 hours. The average annual rainfall was 497.3 mm and the maximum daily, 61 mm. The average number of frosty days was 111.4; and the maximum number of hours of sunshine over the entire year 2,786.2.
As in most other parts of Iran, carpet weaving is one of the most significant handicrafts of the region, especially in Bijar and Sanandaj. Shaw!, kilim and jajim weaving. wood work and jewelry and ornaments are among other main handicrafts of this province.
Sanandaj Mudeum: Museum of anthropology and contemporary arts. This museum is a great tourist attraction.
* HASC : Hierarchical Administrative Subdivision Codes * ISO : Codes from ISO 3166-2 * Dom : Province Domain codes