The Old Kurdish Village of Palangan, Iran
Perched amidst the rugged ranges of the Zagros Mountains, the quaint village of Palangan, in the Kurdish region of Iran, stands as a testament to a unique way of life. The village’s rich history and cultural heritage, coupled with the vistas offered by the scenic landscape, make it an important destination off the beaten tourist path.
Overlooking a scenic valley and stream, this ancient Kurdish village, located in Iran’s western Kamyaran county, is characterized by its unique architecture, an incredible feat of human ingenuity and resourcefulness. The village houses have been hewn into steep rock faces imitating the natural slope of the site, creating a staircase-like aspect to the village layout. Each rooftop serves as the front pathway for the house above it, a singular design that fortifies the entire structure and fosters integral communal living.
The perennial river, Tangavar, meandering through the heart of Palangan, adds to the charm of the whole setting. It keeps the valley verdant, supporting the primary means of livelihood for the locals – fishing, animal husbandry, and the cultivation of various crops such as walnuts and fruits.
Palangan’s history is as unique as its architecture. It originated as a tribal settlement around the 8th or 9th century, evolving into the historical site that exists today. But for all the physical reminders of history and tradition, it is the living culture of the village that truly conveys its Kurdish identity. The main language spoken here is Sorani Kurdish, and locals celebrate the festivals and customs of their ancestors with pride, keeping their heritage alive and untarnished by the sands of time.
However, it is more than just a historical site. The village now stands as a symbol of regional identity, a preserve of cultural continuity amidst rapid modernization. Despite the adversities they face, the people of Palangan continue to uphold their unique lifestyle and traditions. Their commitment to preserving their cultural heritage offers a mirror into the Kurdish ways of life, providing invaluable insights into an extraordinary yet vulnerable civilization.