Informations Iran Provinces

Gilan Province

Gilan Province (Persian: استان گیلان‎, Ostān-e Gīlān ), or as it is sometimes Latinized Guilan Province, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea, just west of the province of Mazandaran, east of the province of Ardabil, north of the provinces of Zanjan and Qazvin. The northern part of the province is part of territory of South (Iranian) Talysh. At the center of the province is the main city of Rasht. Other towns in the province include Astara, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyyeh, Fuman, Lahijan, Langrud, Masouleh, Manjil, Rudbar, Roudsar, Shaft, Talesh, and Soumahe Sara.
The main harbor port of the province is Bandar-e Anzali (previously Bandar-e Pahlavi).
Geography and climate
Gilan has a humid subtropical climate with by a large margin the heaviest rainfall in Iran: reaching as high as 1,900 millimetres (75 in) in the southwestern coast and generally around 1,400 millimetres (55 in). Rasht, the capital of the province, is known internationally as the "City of Silver Rains" and within Iran as the "City of Rain". Rainfall is heaviest between September and December because the onshore winds from the Siberian High are strongest, but it occurs throughout the year though least abundantly from April to July. Humidity is very high because of the marshy character of the coastal plains and can reach 90 percent in summer for wet bulb temperatures of over 26 °C (79 °F). The Alborz range provides further diversity to the land in addition to the Caspian coasts.
The coastline is cooler and attracts large numbers of domestic and international tourists. Large parts of the province are mountainous, green and forested. The coastal plain along the Caspian Sea is similar to that of Mazandaran, mainly used for rice paddies.
In May 1990 large parts of the province were destroyed by a huge earthquake, in which about 45,000 people died. Abbas Kiarostami made his films Life, and Nothing More... and Through the Olive Trees based upon this event.


Economy
In Gilan, the economy is based on farming, animal husbandry, fishing, beekeeping and raising silk worm. The most important agricultural products are rice, tea, peanuts, caviar, potatoes, silk cocoon, squash, olive etc. These products are cultivated in different cities of Gilan like Lahijan and Roudsar. Roudbar has fame for its olives. In addition to the mentioned products wheat, barley, tobacco and hazelnuts are among the other products which are produced in a mass level in varying cities of this province.
Culture
The majority of the population speaks Gilaki as their first language while many children, particularly in the cities, tend to use Standard Persian amongst themselves. Gilan has some Azerbaijani-speaking people in Astara and Manjil. The northern part of the province is inhabited by Talysh people. The Kurdish language is used by some Kurds who have moved from Arbil to the Amarlu region. The language of Rudbar is Tati. Gilanis call themselves gilamard, which is a combination of 'Gil' and 'Amard.'
Gilan's position on the Tehran-Baku trade route has established the cities of Bandar-e Anzali and Rasht as ranking amongst the most important commercial centers in Iran. As a result, the merchant and middle-classes comprise a significant percentage of the population.
The province has an annual average of 2 million tourists, mostly domestic. Although Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 211 sites of historical and cultural significance in the province, the main tourist attraction in Gilan is the small town of Masouleh in the hills south-east of Rasht. The town is built ina fashion not dissimilar to the Pueblo settlements, with the roof of one house being the courtyard of the next house above.
Gilan has a strong culinary tradition, from which several dishes have come to be adopted across Iran. This richness derives in part from the climate, which allows for a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and nuts to be grown in the province. Seafood is a particularly strong component of Gilani (and Mazandarani) cuisine. Sturgeon, often smoked or served as kebab, and caviar are delicacies along the whole Caspian littoral. Other types of fish such as mahi sefid, kuli, kulmeh, Caspian salmon, mahi kapur and many others are consumed. Fish roe, or ashpal, is widely used in Gileki cuisine. Traditional Persian stews such as ghalieh mahi (fish stew) and ghalieh maygu (shrimp stew) are also featured and prepared in a uniquely Gilani fashion.


More specific to Gilan are a distinctive walnut-paste and pomegranate-juice sauce, used as a marinade for 'sour' kebab (Kabab Torsh) and as the basis of Fesenjān, a rich stew of duck, chicken or lamb. Mirza ghasemi is an aubergine and egg dish with a smoky taste that is often served as a side dish or appetizer. Other such dishes include pickled garlic, olives with walnut paste, and smoked fish. The caviar and smoked fish from the region are, in particular, widely prized and sought after specialities in both domestic and foreign gourmet markets. See also Cuisine of Iran. Gilan is a popular tourism destination.
Attractions
Gilan enjoys several natural attractions including:
1. Sea Coasts: Cities such as Roodsar, Astara, Bandar Anzali, Kalachai, Chaboksar and Kiyashahr are all located next to the seaside.
2. Lakes and Lagoons: One of the most beautiful watery landscapes in Iran is the Anzali Lagoon which is full of amazing scenes. The lagoon is one of the world’s most famous ones.
3. Rivers: The bedrock of most rivers in Gilan lies along highland valleys and foothills, covered with bushy and green forests.
4. Mineral Waters: There are several natural water springs in this province such as the Sangroud water spring in Roudbar, Kalashtar water spring in Manjil and also Masouleh mineral water spring.
5. Forests: Gilan Province has many elegant and unique forests such as; the Talesh forests, Lahijan Forests, Langroud forest in Leilakooh, Deilaman forest and also the Siahkol forest.