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The mud village of Kharanaq, Iran.jpg
Kharanaq is located in Iran
Coordinates: 32°20′46″N 54°39′57″E / 32.34611°N 54.66583°E / 32.34611; 54.66583Coordinates: 32°20′46″N 54°39′57″E / 32.34611°N 54.66583°E / 32.34611; 54.66583
Country Iran
Rural DistrictRabatat
 • Total433
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT)

Kharanaq (Persian: خرانق, also Romanized as Kharānaq, Kharāneq, and Kharānoq; also known as Khowrāneq and ((means land of sun))Khurūnaq)[1] is a village in Rabatat Rural District, Kharanaq District, Ardakan County, Yazd Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 433, in 133 families. The town and its minaret have become a minor tourist attraction.[2] Kharanaq, which was known as a world and historical village, was introduced as the 23rd city of Yazd province on July 6, 2020.[3] Driving 70 k.m to the north of Yazd, we reach Kharanagh/ Kharanaq. This 4500-year-old city is surrounded by mountains on one side and desert from the other. Many buildings in Kharanaq/ Kharanagh are completely collapsed and ramshackle, but among them, the remaining mosque from the Qajar period, a shaking minaret from 17th and the caravanserai of the city have been reconstructed and can be visited.[4]

The main buildings and sites[edit]

Castle of Kharanaq

The castle is the main attraction of the village. it is reminiscent of the Sassanid era and dates back to around 1800 years, The interesting fact about this building is that it could be considered as the first few castles in the world with two- and three-story contains 80 houses and watching towers. Also, the castle is surrounded by tall walls in order to protect it from enemies.

It has exhibition rooms made of clay and mud, inside the castle was designed like a maze to create confusion for thieves and attackers, who entering the building.

The bridge of Kharanaq

Among all the villages in Yazd, kharanaq is the only village that has a bridge. However, many myths and stories surround this bridge as it has never been a passage for animals or livestock.

It is believed that the bridge only exists to transfer water from the seasonal river to the farms. Or act as a dam. The bridge is 40 meter long and it was designed to prevent water shortage in the village.

Shaking Minaret

This magnificent building is one of the three moving minarets in Iran and was designed in Seljuk period, it is a part of the nationally registered works of Iran. the minaret is designed and constructed in a special way so it can move. It is built in a way that one can shake it by giving a gentle push on its upper part. This minaret has three floors, which are interconnected through spiral stairs. For climbing or going down the stairs, there are two separate corridors. The width of the spiral staircase starts at 70 cm and while you go upper through the stairs the width will decrease, and finally ends with a width of 40 cm. it is made completely out of clay, which make it to be the only minaret in the world made of this material.

Kharanaq Caravanserai

The caravanserai dates to Sasanian Dynasty. Then it was rebuilt and reconstructed under the command of Muhammad Vali Mirza, the son of Fath-Ali- Shah Qajar. The big number of rooms and arcs in this caravanserai prove that Kharanaq was a busy place where many travelers used to has a yard in the center and it is surrounded by rooms. Today, tourists can reserve the rooms and spend the nights at Kharanaq Village Caravanserai.

Kharanaq bath

The bathhouse was constructed during the Qajar Dynasty. One of its key features is the principled and skillful design of the water and sewage inlet and outlet system for optimal use of water resources. The bath is built in such a way that the water of the Qanat’s (subterranean canals) are easily directed into it.

Kharanaq’s Mosque and ḥosayniya

It is a Shabestani planned mosque connected to the ḥosayniya. The Shabestan is still in use and also there is a smaller mosque out of the Kharanaq castle, right in front of the gate.


Kharanaq means 'place of birth of the sun' and has been inhabiting continuously for 4,500 years. It divides into two parts; the Old Town, with its collection of mud brick buildings and a caravanserai, and the New Town, where more than 400 people continue to live. Kharanaq was prosperous in farming, but with the dry up of water supplies, the inhabitants left, leaving the old town in ruin.


  1. ^ Kharanaq can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3070691" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  2. ^ "Kharānaq". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  3. ^ "Kharanaq".
  4. ^ "Kharanaq, Chak Chak and Meybod".

sepehri ardakani, Ali (1985). the history of Ardakan. kanoon vali asr. pp. 202, 203, 162.