|Amir Kabir Dam, Pearl Palace, Northern Part of the city in winter, Nashtroud falls, Chalets in Dizin ski resort, Shāh Abbās Caravansary, Jowestan Village in Taleqan, Emamzadeh Taher, Suleimanieh Palace.|
|• Total||858 km2 (331 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,312 m (4,304 ft)|
|Population (2011 Census)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)|
|• Population Rank in Iran||5th|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRDT (UTC+4:30)|
Karaj pronunciation (help·info) (Persian: كرج pronounced [kæˈɾædʒ]) is a city in and the capital of Karaj County, Alborz Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 1.61 million in the latest 2011 census, making it the third-largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad. It is situated 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of Tehran, at the foothills of the Alborz mountains. The city has effectively become an extension of metropolitan Tehran.
Karaj is mostly famous because of its academic and educational complexes along with tourist attractions.
The Soleimanieh palace (currently housing a college of Agriculture), the mausoleum of Shahzadeh Soleiman, Imamzadeh Rahman and Zeid Palang Abad-e-Eshtehard are other historical relics of the Karaj area.
|Climate data for Karaj|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.9
|Precipitation mm (inches)||44
|Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 1314m|
The economical base for Karaj is its proximity to Tehran, where transportation of products between the capital and the Caspian Sea is central. Chemicals, fertilizers and processed agricultural goods are also produced here.
The majority of the population of the city is composed of ethnic Persians who are natives to the city but there are also a minority of Persianized Lurs, Persianized Azarbaijanis and Persianized Kurds.
It is connected by freeway, railway to Tehran 40 km east and Qazvin 100 km northwest, and by commuter rail to Tehran subway system (Metro).
Amir Kabir dam and small lakes are based here. Karaj's climate is a bit cooler than Tehran and it receives 260 mm of rain annually.
The downtown of Karaj is usually referred to Karaj Square, located hundred of meters to the West of Karaj River and the old Karaj Bridge.
Karaj's major districts include:
- Karaj no
- Shahin Vila
- Dowlat abad
- Mehr Vila
- Dehghan Vila
- Shahrake Banafsheh
- Kalak & Hesar
- Islam Abad
- Mohammad Shahr
- Mehdi Abad
- Mian Jaddeh
Special Economic Zone and airport
Higher education and research
- University of Environment
- Karaj Payam Noor University Aerospace Association
- Karaj Payam Noor University 
- Islamic Azad University of Karaj
- Art University
- Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources of University of Tehran, located in Karaj
- Center for Research in Agriculture and Nuclear Medicine of Karaj
- Tarbiat Moallem University of Tehran which renamed to "Kharazmi" in 2000. The second campus of the university is located in Hesarak near Karaj, inaugurated in 1986.
- Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute at Hesarak
- Alborz HighSchool (Alborz college)
Karaj has introduced several national players for a wide range of national teams.
Karaj has a multi-purpose stadium; the Enghelab Stadium, with capacity of 15,000 people. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home of football team, Saipa F.C.
Karaj is home to Saipa F.C. one the IPL major Football teams as of 2001. The team is registered in Tehran, but plays its games in Karaj and is called "Saipa Karaj". It is known to have one of the best youth training programs in Iranian football.
Karaj also has a Tennis Park in Jahanshahr.
The ski resorts of Dizin and Khur are situated close to Karaj in the Alborz Mountains. Besides Skiing facilities in Dizin, there are tennis courtyards, slope for skiing on turf, some altitudes for mountain climbing and walking as well as riding and some routes for cycling.
The high altitude mountains have made it easy for people in Karaj to use them as mountain trail for hiking and mountain climbing. There are also many private gyms and clubs that are being utilized.
Karaj has traditionally been considered as a tourism area particularly for the people from Tehran. Karaj has a pleasant[clarification needed] climate throughout the year. It is famous for its natural attractions. The Alborz Mountains provide a natural beauty to the landscape of Karaj.
The stony fire-temple of Takht-e-Rostam belong to Parthians and Sassanian eras, as well as the Soleimanieh palace (which is currently part of the Agriculture faculty of University of Tehran), Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, a pre-Islamic bridge and the mausoleum of Shahzadeh Soleiman are among Karaj's cultural heritage.
The following are the lists of some places for outdoors activities in Karaj:
- Amir Kabir dam lake in the road of Chalus. This area is used for sports such as canoeing, fishing, water skiing, swimming and gliding.
- Khanevadeh Park - biking roads
- Road to Chaloos, which is the most beautiful road in Iran
- Jahanshahr Gardens
- Tulip Garden in Gachsar
- Tennis Park
- Iranzamin Park
- Park of Madar
- Golha Garden
- Mahestan Shopping Center
- Arangeh Valley
- Varian Village – the only means of accessibility to the village of Varian is by canoe from the lake of the dam.
- Baraghan Village
- Taleghan Gardens
- Taleghan dam lake
- Dizin ski resort at an attitude of 3,800 m above sea-level in the Chaloos road
- Khur ski resort
- Karaj River, This river is about 220 km in length
- Yakh Morad Cave is situated in the district of Gachsar. Low temperature within the cave is as such that even till the months of May/June icicles can be still observed there.
- Pole khab valley
- Jey and Charan Villages
- Sijan Village
- Kordan Gardens
- Pich Adran Waterfall, at 15 km Chaloos road
- Wallah spring water
- Gila-gila spring water
- Shah Abbasi Caravanserai; The medieval Caravanserai in Karaj
- The stony fire-temple of Takht-e-Rostam
- Kakh-e Morvarid or kakh-e Shams (Pearl Palace) in Mehrshahr
- Ancient bridge of Karaj
- Ghale' Dehshad (Dehshad citadel)
- Ghale' Faramarz (Faramarz citadel)
- Emamzadeh Taher
- Soleimanieh palace, which is currently part of the Agriculture faculty of University of Tehran
- Emamzadeh Rahman Palang Abad,
- The mausoleum of Shahzadeh Soleiman
Karaj is connected by Highways and railway to Tehran 40 km east and Qazvin 100 km northwest, and by commuter rail to Tehran subway system (Metro). The highway system includes three highways: Tehran-Karaj Freeway, Karaj special road (highway), Karaj old road (Fat'h highway). Tehran-Karaj Freeway (also known as the Autobahn) is the most high traffic highway in Iran.
Roads and freeways
- "Climate: Karaj - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- Karaj city portal (Persian)
- About Karaj city (Persian)
- Karaj News & Information (Persian)
- The city of Karaj
- Iran Tourism & Touring Organization
- Karaj Magazine (Persian)
- Karaj Background History (Persian)