What is a Qanat?

A Qanat has many names through many civilizations, languages and cultures; however, all of them are used to point at the same structure. A Qanat is a horizontal tunnel which drains groundwater normally in alluvial fans, this structure employs a mechanism unlike anything before it, the horizontal tunnel has a gentle slope which leads into a smooth flow of water through multiple layers resulting in water accumulating and going down the tunnel.

Sounds easy? Maybe to the urban years it has no surprise but this simple technique is the reason settlements were formed, cities were built and civilizations moved forward as it enabled the hottest places of the plant to farm and grow. Qanats are said to be the root of many great settlements.

Iran is world famous for its Qanats, some which are recognized by the UNESCO in its world heritage site list. Let’s get to know them a little bit better now.

Akbar Abad and Qasem Abad Qanats in Baravat, Bam County, Kerman province

The twin Qanats full of water, with more than 100 years history, supplying the water of agricultural lands in the region. Qantas have been the symbol of civilization for centuries and this twin Qanats have been supplying water and boosting life quality for all who live around it. They are also one of the most famous Qanats in Kerman.

Zarch Qanat

The Zarch qanat of Yazd is one of the oldest Qanats in Iran said to have been providing water the ground for about 3000 years. It is located 30-40 meters below the city of Yazd and goes all the way to the village of Zarch where even today it provides water for irrigation.

Baladeh Qanat in Ferdows city, South Khorasan province

Related to Sassanid era irrigating huge parts of agricultural lands.

Vazvan Qanat in Vazvan city, Isfahan province

Dating back 2500 to 300 years! and Mozd Abad Qanat in Meymeh city, Isfahan province with underground dams as the most important characteristic.

Goharriz Qanat in Joupar city, Kerman province

Dated back to the Safavid period about 750 years ago. Kerman province is one of the most blessed states when it comes to qanat, we host about 3 UNESCO world heritage sites listed.

Ebrahim Abad Qanat

Ebrahim Abad Qanat is located in the Markazi province of Iran and close to the city of Arak. It is said to be one of the Qanats that have been around from the 6th century meaning they are roughly 800 years old.

Moon Qanat

It is located in the Isfahan province of Iran and close to the city of Ardestan. It is also the only double deck Qanat in the world and is said to be about 800 years old.

Hasan Abad Qanat

It is located in the Central province of Yazd and with about 700 years of age. It is said to have watered the Pahlavanpour garden since its establishment.

Qasabeh Qanat

Last but not least the Qasabeh Qanat which is located in the Khorasan razavi province of Iran, close to the city of Gonabad. This qanat is the oldest known Qanat in Iran and is estimated to date back to the Achaemenid Era; not only this but it is also the deepest Qanat of Iran as well.

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