Kharanaq and Meybod

There is a 1,000 year old mud-brick village in Kharanaq, 70 km north of Yazd in Iran. We saw very few visitors here, which is a shame since this is a pretty interesting place to visit, and great for a day trip from Yazd.

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I’ve heard that some tourists have fallen through the roof of some of the buildings here, but thankfully, my guide Hamed and I didn’t plonk down any holes anywhere.

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The 17-century shaking minaret can be seen above the mud-brick buildings, but we never got the chance to climb up and try the shaking.

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However, they opened the restored caravanserai for us.

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I gave a $1 note as a tip to the lady who opened the caravanserai for us. She had never seen US dollars before, and when Hamed told her it was worth 33,000 rials, she said she would keep it for the rest of her life.

Below the village, there’s this ancient aqueduct, which looked really photogenic from certain angles.

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Having said that, I wasn’t sure about this row of mirrors downstream from the aqueduct. Some kind of art? Not sure.

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Meybod is another mud-brick town not that far from Kharanaq. However, it took close to two hours to reach it. The scenery was great so I’m not complaining or anything having to criss-cross this part of Iran.

Meybod is even older than Kharanaq. Apparently, the town is over 1,800 years old but the sign at the Narin Castle said this site dated back to 4,000 BC. It’s fairly clear that some bricks here date back to the Medes (1,000 BC), but some sources claim certain parts go back as far as 6,000 BC.

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Again, we hardly saw anybody while walking around Nerin Castle. A pity. This place is fascinating.

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It’s in the middle of town and you get a great view from the terrace on top.

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The castle is crumbling here and there though.

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We also had a quick look at the caravanserai and the old Post House, which was closed at the time.

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Luckily, we managed to join a group of Iranian tourists who were being shown the Ice House across the road. This is where ice was kept for summer use. Hamed quickly recognised the guide from Yazd. He was the one who didn’t tell fibs. Also here, there were stories about tourists falling down the ice hole. We stayed on the ledge on this occasion however.

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You can easily do Chak Chak, Kharanaq and Meybod in one day, but you need a driver. It’s definitely worth it.

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