Chaleshtar Castle

Also known as: Khani Castle

Chaleshtar Castle is a historical complex located in Chaleshtar County less than 10 kilometers northwest of Shahrekord, the capital city of Charmahal and Bakhtiari Province, and only taking one hour to reach from Isfahan by car (about 110 kilometers). The complex has been hosting an anthropological museum showcasing nomadic lifestyle and the local’s farming and livestock tools since 2004.


Based on the date written on one of the pillars, this magnificent monument dates back 1905 when is the end of the Qajar dynasty (1785-1925). The castle had been the house and ruling seat of Khoda Rahm Khan a powerful Bakhtiari chieftain. Interestingly, this place had been also the residence of Aliakbar Dehkhoda (1879-1956, the famous Iranian linguist and author of the most comprehensive dictionary of the Persian language) for a while during the First World War. The complex was registered on national heritages list in 2000.

A combination of Qajar and European Architectures!

Chaleshhtar historical complex is truly a magnificent work of architectural and artistic stone carvings in Iran. The whole complex is 12000 square meters and consists of two main sections the exterior quarters or Birooni (the public part or male quarters) and the interior quarters or Andarooni (the private section or female quarters), a stone façade and other structures such as a bath house, reservoirs and stables. The complex is adorned with charming decorations consisting of reliefs and paintings with mythological, daily life and floral (especially Lotus) motifs. 
Khoda Rahm Khan Castle (Birooni) has five iwans, five rooms and 40 standing stone pillars which have withstood the test of time. Sotoudeh Castle (Andarooni) has a facade with 4 pairs of stone pillar with geometric and grape stone reliefs. There are European style paintings (especially London-style) with scenes from traditional love stories such as Layli and Majnoon, and Joseph and Zuleika on the walls of all five rooms in the second floor. Besides that there are floral stucco reliefs and calligraphies of Quran Verses. These kinds of adornments and ornaments had been popular in Qajar era.  These two castles and a bath house (with turquoise and white tile work) are connected to each other by a corridor. In courtyards of each castle there is a large oval-shaped pool. 

Good to know about Chaleshtar

Do not make a mistake! Chaleshtar County is not only famous for its castle, it is also well-known all over the world for two other cultural heritages: Chaleshtar carpets and Chaleshtar locks. One of the most popular designs for Persian carpets is Chaleshtari. Also, Chaleshtar locks are famous as one the oldest handicrafts and a lot of these locks are kept and shown in famous museums across the world. For instance, the world’s lightest lock weighing only 1.5 gram belongs to Chaleshtar and it is kept in Louvre Museum in France.


Variety of activities only in one province

Charmahal and Bakhtiary Province attracts not only the local visitors but also the foreigners owing to its attractions ranging from historical (castles, villages, bridges, etc) to natural (springs, rivers, ski resort, waterfalls, etc) and could be on the list for your vacation in Iran.

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