Photography Travel to Iran: Kurdistan & Hawraman Valley
Iran is a vast country with many special destinations for travel photography. Depending on the type of your photography and your travel time, there are so many places you could travel to. Kurdish regions of Iran in the two provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah are the most exotic destinations in Iran for Photography. The amazing landscape of the mountains, the architecture of the houses in the villages, and the people with special costumes create a perfect destination for photographers around the world.
Kurdish people’s culture and lifestyle in the mountains in Hawraman valley in the heart of Zagros mountains have attracted many travelers’ attention. Moreover, UNESCO registered the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanats on the Iranian UNESCO world heritage sites in 2021.
This destination is noticeable regarding three main aspects of photography:
- Landscape photography
- Portrait Photography
- Architecture photography
In addition to the three above photography types in Iranian Kurdish regions, people’s lifestyle who are living in the mountains, the Kurdish dance, their very famous musical instruments of Tanbur and Daf, and their long stories of Kurdish histories are other highlights of this region. There are a couple of annual festivals such as Pire Shaliar and Daf music performed in the Hawraman region. These traditional festivals are very interesting and attract many people from different countries annually for photography travel to Iran.
The Kurdish women work together with men in the fields. They have had a hard life in the mountains and have fought against enemies for years.
Besides all the above elements of the Iranian Kurdistan region, the hospitality of Kurdish people in the mountains, their simple life, their clothes, customs, food, and old traditions have made this region one of the new destinations of Iran for those who would like to explore Iran Off-the-Beaten Track regions and to do photography.
Furthermore, the handicrafts of Kurdistan and the Kurdish artworks are well-known in Iran. Giveh “the Kurdish Kalash” is one of the most popular Kurdish handicrafts. Giveh is a kind of soft, comfortable, durable, and hand-made shoe. It is common in several parts of Iran, especially in Kurdish rural and mountainous areas of Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces.
Giveh was registered in the national heritage list of Iran. Kermanshah Tourism Board applied it for registering the Iranian UNESCO site as well. The workshops and the guys who make these shoes are interesting subjects for photography.
If you want to experience this region, you have to take a special trip to this part of Iran as a travel destination. It is a perfect option for both your Photography Holiday as well as your cultural or sightseeing trip.
Kurdistan province has exceptional villages in Iran. They are perfect for Photography in Iran. The majority of Hawraman valley is situated in this province and a small part of this region is located in Kermanshah province. Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan province, and Marivan is the most beautiful city in this province. For those travelers who are interested in the cultural sites of this region, Sanandaj has many attractions. The city was registered on the list of UNESCO Creative City of Music as well. The mosques, the old bazaar, the museum of the Kurd House, and the historic buildings are highlights of this creative city. Those places are also proper for architecture photography.
Marivan city, located on the border of Iran-Iraq, is the second most important city in Kurdistan province. Marivan is famous for Zarivar lake. The villages around the lake are the major locations for landscape and people photography. Marivan is also famous for handmade Giveh. There are a bunch of interesting villages surrounding the lake and it’s a good spot for finding the old photogenic guys gathering on the streets. It would also be a perfect location for portrait photography.
Kermanshah is another Kurdish province of Iran, located in the south part of Kurdistan. Kermanshah city, the capital of Kermanshah province, is the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. The colorful Shafei Jameh Mosque and Taq-e Bostan “Arch of the Garden” are the main highlights of Kermanshah city and the best places for photography. Taq-e Bostan is an important historical heritage of Iran. It is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of the Sassanid Empire of Persia and is under the list of Tentative Iran’s UNESCO sites.
Bisotun is another main attraction of Kermanshah province. It is one of the most important Iran UNESCO sites registered in 2006 as an Iranian Heritage Site. Gahvareh is the birthplace of Tanbur musical instrument. For those who are interested in music, Sahneh town is famous for musical Instrument creators, and the best workshops are located in the city. The musical instrument-making workshops of Sahneh are another place for photography as well.
Apart from all the highlights mentioned above, there are special annual Kurdish festivals that are very interesting for photographers who are interested in people and traditional customs. Pire Shaliar festival is one of the most important annual festivals of the Kurdish people. The festival is performed in Oramanat Takht village, located in Hawramanat valley. The festival is held in the middle of spring every year, and a lot of people from around Iran travel to this region to attend this musical event.
The best time to visit Kurdistan is spring and autumn. At the beginning of spring, the region is a bit cold and there is the possibility of rain, so be prepared with proper clothes.
Iranian Kurdistan Photography Tour is a special tailor-made photography tour for people and landscape photography in the remote area of Hawraman valley along with visiting a few important historical sites and cities.