A very special journey through the depth and breadth of Alborz mountain range and through a fascinating slice of Persian history.
This is a memorable trip not only because of its physical beauty and the variety of landscape encountered, but also because we cross paths with history and myth some of which have acquired world renown. This is a voyage through a region that was the territory of Ismaelies and the famous Hassan Sabbah and his infamous Alamut Castle. The castle and quite a few other fortifications belonged to the Hashashin or what in the west is more commonly known as the Assassins. Our trek follows millennia old routes that have been established in humans, which their origins are lost in the fog of time. More recently our journey was made famous by a British lady who came to these parts about one hundred years in search of the valley of the assassins and wrote a book about her adventures. Her name is Freya Stark and her book is available in English.
The history of Alamut Castle and this particular sect of Ismaelies go back to about 1000 years ago. They were able to build numerous castles and outposts throughout the mountains and maintain an independent lifestyle away from any central power. They lasted till the Mongol invasion of Persia about 300 years later during the 14th century A.D. Their history is long and quite complex, during the trip we will have a chance to give more information and provide the chance to closely examine some of the physical remains of their structures.
Depart hotel after breakfast at 7.00 A.M and drive towards the city of Ghazvin. We will visit the village of Gazor-khan which has historical significance and then will drive to Alamut Castle.
6.00 A.M wake up for breakfast and start trekking at 7.00 A.M by picking the old trail through the mountains.
6.00 A.M wake up and start trekking with a small day pack toward Mt. Khashe- chal peak after breakfast. Today we are going to have some stops here and there on our way for photography and rehabilitation before reaching to the top.
Alamut is a region situated on the western edge of the Alborz Mountains (northeast of Qazvin province) between the dry and barren plains of Qazvin in the south and densely forested slopes of Mazandaran in the north.
Historically, the mountains of this area were ideal for construction of castles because of its natural heights that could be used as a section of the defensive structure of the castles. The nature of this area is covered by hills, curvatures, forms, scars and wrinkles. Two big citadels of the Ismailis (a branch of Shia Muslims whose adherents are also known as Seveners), Lambsar and Alamut castles are in this area. Hassan-e Sabbah (1050-1124) and his Hashshashin controlled the area for many years.
Hassan-e Sabbāh was an Ismaili missionary who converted a community in the late 11th century in the heart of the Alborz Mountains, later he seized a mountain fortress called Alamut and used it as the headquarters for a decentralized Persian insurrection against the dominant Seljuk Turks. He formed a group of fadaiyan (those who sacrifice themselves) whose members are often referred to as the Hashshashin or "Assassins" in the western literature.