Karaj is the center of Alborz province, the fourth populated city of Iran, in the west of Tehran, known for Alborz mountain range, Chalous Road, Uzbeki Hill, Tulip Garden, and Dam Lake. Alborz Province is the thirty-first province in Iran as it used to be a part of Tehran province but later it was registered as an independent province.
Karaj is the fourth most populated city in Iran following Tehran, Mashhad, and Isfahan. The name of the province is derived from the Alborz mountain range which covers much of the northern parts of this province.
The altitudes and mountains of central Alborz – especially in the border between Chalous and Haraz roads – are among the most important natural areas of the country. Due to the existence of Alborz Mountains, the northern part of the province has cold winters and cool summers, while its southern part has a warm and dry climate because of the geographical proximity to vast plains. The most known handicrafts of the province include painting on leather, glassblowing, glass engraving and painting, and wooden handicrafts.
The ancient pieces of evidence found in Uzbeki Hill in Nazar Abad county show that the history of Alborz province dates back to more than six thousand years ago with also more recent cultural remains referring to the Median Empire (678-549 B.C.). Ancient relics remained from Achaemenid (550-330 B.C.), Parthian (247 B.C. – 224 A.D.) and Sassanid (224-651 A.D.) Empires have also been found around Karaj, indicating that civilization has been continued in the region for a long period of time.
The Shah Abbasi Caravanserai from the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736) and Shahrestanak palace from the Qajar Dynasty (1796-1925) also helped maintain the relative importance of the region in the course of history. The people of Alborz are from different ethnic groups migrated to this province but the common language of the province is Farsi. However, Tati language is also common in the Taleqan County of the city as well.
The most famous tourist attractions of Alborz include Tulip Gardens of Gach Sar and Tulip Festival, Karaj-Chalous Road, Kandovan Tunnel, Yakh Morad Cave, and Taleqan Dam Lake.
Taleqan with more than 80 villages is one of the most important tourist centers in the province. Alborz is the birthplace and residence of the many Iranian prominent figures such as Ayatollah Taleghani, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Darvish Khan and Omidvar brothers.
Moreover, Ista Village, which is known as the village of waiters, is located in Taleghan as well. Its inhabitants believe in waiting for the advent of Imam Zaman, the son of Al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī as the last Shiite Imam who is believed to be the ultimate savior of humankind in Islam with Jesus Christ. Interestingly, people of the village live far away from any technology such as electricity. They do not have even birth certificates and so are left from the official statistics of Iran.