Climate : Cold
OldName : Ardalan
Area : 28203
Population : 1493645
Kordestan Province or Kurdistan Province or Kurdestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, not to be confused with the greater geographical area of Iranian Kurdistan. The province of Kurdistan is 28,817 km² in area which encompasses just one-fourth of the Kurdish inhabited areas of Iran or Iranian Kurdistan. It is located in the west of Iran and bound by Iraq on the west, the province of west Azerbaijan ...see more to its north, Zanjan to the northeast, Hamedan to the east and Kermanshah to the south. The capital of Kurdistan Province is the city of Sanandaj. Other counties with their major cities are Marivan, Baneh, Saqqez, Qorveh, Bijar, Kamyaran, Dehgolan, Diwandarreh and Sarvabad.
Kurdistan is one of the most mountainous(hilly) regions in Iran and has a generally mild and quite pleasant climate throughout the spring and summer. Winters are long and can be very cold with heavy snowfalls.
The population of the province in 1996 was 1,346,383 of which 52.42% were urban dwellers and 47.58% rural dwellers. The sex ratio of the province is 104.
The mountainous lands of this area first encouraged Aryan tribes to settle in this region after their immigration to Iran. It was from here where the first plan to overthrow the Assyrian Empire began, leading to their defeat in 612 BCE, and setting the stage for the commence of the Median empire.
During the next few hundred years, Kurdistan became the arena of conflict between various invaders, including the Mongols and Timurids.
According to Sharafnama written by Sharaf-al-Din Bitlisi, the earliest known leader of the tribe, Bawa Ardalan, was a descendant of "Ahmad b. Marwan", who ruled in Diyarbakır. He settled down among the Gorani people in Kurdistan and toward the end of the Mongol period took over the "Şare Zor" (Sharazor) region, where he established himself as an absolute ruler. When Soleiman Khan Ardalan came to power in 1630 CE, the throne was transferred to Sanandaj (Sinne).
The Ardalan Dynasty continued to rule the region until the Qajar monarch Nasser-al-Din Shah (1848-1896) ended their rule in 1867 CE.
Today,The 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 Province is a mountainous region that can be topographically divided into a western and an eastern section at Sanandaj. As a result of its elevation and mountains, Kurdistan province has many rivers, lakes, glaciers 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.
The Zarrineh River, 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. The Sirvan River is another prominent river in this province. The banks of this river are remarkably attractive. The Simineh River is also an important river 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 water-way of the province, which lies at the feet to high mountains, providing a delightfully picturesque sight. Its water is sparklingly fresh. The lake has a maximum depth of 50 m and an average depth of 3 m. It is surrounded by thick forests. The whole collection of the lake, the mountains and forests generates 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 (Sinne), provides excellent opportunities for fishing and water-sports.
Kurdistan benefits from many resourceful mineral water springs. The most outstanding of these are: Govaz to the northwest of Kamyaran, Abetalkh close to Bijar and Baba Gorgor to the north of Qorveh.
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.
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, weasel and such birds as the partridge, wild duck, stork, parrot and eagle.
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 211 sites of historical and cultural significance in Kordestan province. Some, such as Hajar Khatoon Mosque in Sanandaj or Ghal'eh Kohneh in Bijar date back to the Sassanid era.