Area: 14,042 km²
Population: 2,530,696
Capital: Rasht
Language: Gilaki

The province is located to the northern of Iran and southwest of the Caspian Sea. Its neighbors are: Caspian Sea and Āzerbāijān to the north, Ardabil Province to the West, Qazvin and Zanjān Provinces to the South and Māzandarān Province to the East. Relying on some archeological excavations and hints, Gilān’s origination can be dated back to the period before the last ice age (between 50 and 150 thousand years ago).

About Gilan Province

That the native inhabitants of Gilān have originating roots in the Caucasus is supported by genetics and language, as Gilaks are genetically closer to ethnic peoples of the Caucasus (such as the Georgians) than they are other ethnic groups in Iran. Their languages shares typologic features with Caucasian languages. The city used to be the origin of the Buyid dynasty. The people of the province had a prominent position during the Sassanid dynasty, so that their political power extended to Mesopotamia.

The first recorded encounter between Gilānis and Deylamite warlords and invading Muslim Arab armies was at the Battle of Jalula in 637 AD. Before the introduction of silk production Gilān was a poor province. There were no permanent trade routes linking Gilān to Persia. But small trade in smoked fish and wood products. It seems that the city of Qazvin was initially a fortresstown against marauding bands of Deylamites, another sign that the economy of the province couldn't support its population. This changed with the introduction of the silk worm in the late Middle Ages. The Safavid emperor, Shah Abbas I ended the rule of Khan Ahmad Khan (the last semi-independent ruler of Gilān) and annexed the province directly to his empire. From this point onward, rulers of Gilān were appointed by the Persian Shah.

After World War I, Gilān came to be ruled independently of the central government of Tehrān and concern arose that the province might permanently separate. Before the war, Gilānis had played an important role in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran. Sepahdar-e Tonekāboni (Rashti) was a prominent figure in the early years of the revolution and was instrumental in defeating Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar. In the late 1910s, many Gilānis gathered under the leadership of Mirza Kuchik Khan, who became the most prominent revolutionary leader in northern Iran in this period. Khan’s movement, known as the Jonbesh-e Jangal (Forest movement of Gilān), had sent an armed brigade to Tehrān that helped depose the Qajar ruler Mohammad Ali Shah.

With an area of 14,711 square km, Gilān province encompasses 0.9% of Iran’s total area and therefore, it ranks 26th among the country’s provinces in terms of total area. Gilān is constituted of three geographical areas: plains, foothills, and mountains. Tālesh, Khalkhāl and Deylāmān mountains are the three mountain ranges that encompass the Gilān province. There are more than 40 rivers in Gilān Province and Sefid-Roud River is the most important one.

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.

Five Iranian languages are spoken in Gilān _Gilaki, Roudbāri, Tāleshi, Tati and Kurdish. All belong to the northwestern branch of Iranian languages. NonIranian languages are mainly Āzerbāijān i and to a greater extent Georgian, Armenian, Circassian, and some Gypsy (Romany). Three million people speak Gilaki as first or second language.

Gilān 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 Gilāni (and Māzandarāni) cuisine. Sturgeon, often smoked or served as kebab, and caviar are delicacies along the whole Caspian littoral.

The folklore of Gilān is a striking example of the complex links between pre-Islamic and postIslam’s customs. In particular, the solidification of the tree, bull and egg in sacred places, such as the Imamzadeh and the tomb for the Shiites and sacred mausoleum (Torbat) for the Sunni minority of Talesh, and the natural elements in religious ceremonies are significant. The importance of trees is undoubtedly  an important feature in Gilāni folklore. Trees can
be objects for worship, since they are known as the survivors of the Imams, and most of them are located next to the temples. These sacred trees are sometimes considered to be as
Bozorgvar, Pir or Aghadar. they have a huge trunk, and produce the sound of the wind like a whisper. The jungle is both hospitable and the place of fairy. The jungle is considered a protection from wildlife, especially a bear that plays a prominent role in local folklore.

Agricultural products (specially rice, tea, olive and fruits), Oil, Olive oil, Fish & Caviar, Silk, Tobacco, Diary, wood, paper, power and electricity producing


Mat Weaving

Shawl Weaving

Chamoush Douzi

Doll Weaving

Food & Drink

Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the neighboring cultures impact, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. vegetables are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes. Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form. Iranian best foods include:

Persian Kebabs



Qormeh Sabzi

Persian Rice

Aash-e Reshteh

Khoresht-e fesenjan

Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi

Kookoo or Kuku


Mirza Qasemi

Morq-e Torsh Stew

Baghela Qatogh

Torsh e Tareh

Koukou ye Morgh

Kabab-e Torsh

Zeytoun Parvardeh

Kate Kabab


Koloucheh Fouman