Udlajan

Udlajan, A travel to Ancient Tehran

Comfortable clothes, a pair of walking shoes, a light backpack, and a passion to walk and discover the old valleys are what you need to travel to ancient Tehran. If you are in love with narrow valleys, smell of old walls, rusty wooden doors and kind-hearted old people, you will certainly enjoy a trip to Oudjalan.

Oudjalan is one of the oldest districts of Tehran that is believed to have existed when Tehran was only a small village. Even though it is forgotten today, it is still considered as a part of this crowded and fast city. Oudjalan is like and old grandfather of grandmother, who can no longer walk straight and hold a cane, but they have lots of memory to tell, and are waiting everyday for someone to come and hear them.

If you are going to visit this part of the city, you should go there on Friday (weekend in Iran) to witness its livelihood. This is a two-day plan, but you can do it in one day by omitting some of the places.

عودلاجان

Oudjalan is one of the oldest districts of Tehran that is believed to have existed when Tehran was only a small village. Even though it is forgotten today, it is still considered as a part of this crowded and fast city. Oudjalan is like and old grandfather of grandmother, who can no longer walk straight and hold a cane, but they have lots of memory to tell, and are waiting everyday for someone to come and hear them.If you are going to visit this part of the city, you should go there on Friday (weekend in Iran) to witness its livelihood. This is a two-day plan, but you can do it in one day by omitting some of the places.

Day 1, Visiting the Shrine of Imamzadeh Yahya

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Oudjalan is located on left and right sides of Mostafa Khomeini Street. Its western side is a Muslim district, and during the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties most of the influential religious men such as Modarres, as well as governmental officers like Ghavam ol-Doleh lived there. The eastern side, on the other, was a Jewish district and it included houses, synagogues and shops of the Jews of Tehran. Some of them still live there today.You can spend your first day on the eastern side that begins from the upper side of Sirus Cross. One of the first places you will see in this part is the shrine of Imamzadeh Yahya. It is not a large building, but it has a very lovely and fine space. Located in a rather large yard, it is built during the Mongols. It has a conical dome decorated with tile works. You can visit inside the shrine and then continue your trip.House of Modarres, now turned into a museum, is another attraction. A part of this museum is Dalghoran, and has a small water pool, ancient doors, and a roofed yard.This museum will tell and you a part of Qajar history. The sculpture d Modarres and some other political figures have been built and installed, as if you are witnessing an important meeting.House of Kazemi or the Museum of Ancient Tehran is one of the most adventurous attractions of Oudjalan. It is a large building with a unique and beautiful architecture located in Abolghasem Shirazi Alley. In this house-museum, old professions have been depicted in the form of mannequins and take you back to ancient times.It seems that the owner of the house was one of stablemen of Naser ol-Din Shah Qajar and was later endowed by his heirs. A part of the house has been destructed and what remains is the alcove that is decorated with colorful sash windows, a grand iwan and carved wooden doors.Now you are most probably hungry after all the walking. Almost right in front of the House of Kazemi is a kabab restaurant. It is believed to be more than one hundred years old. You would not want to miss having a meal at this place.After lunch, continue walking to reach Dabir ol-Molk House, one of the most beautiful old houses of Oudjalan. It has a big yard and a very rich architecture. Dabir ol-Molk was one of the servants of Qajar court, and now his house has become a part of the history of Tehran. To enter the yard of this Qajar house, you will need to pass through a beautiful metallic door and take some steps. There is a square water pool in the yard. The mansion has a grand iwan, columns with stucco works. To enter the mansion you need to walk the steps on its two sides, and pass beautiful sash windows. This house has many rooms, an underground, and a large bath. It has been used as the location for making the movie Rozzegare Gharib.
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House of Mehrangiz Kambiz, one of the heirs of Qajar, is another house of Oudjalan. It has a big water pool in the middle of the yard, and its large iwan leads into the guest room. The underground is built on two sides of the iwan. This house was used to film the memorable series of Pedarsalar, and now is the House of Culture of the Imamzadeh Yahya district.Do not miss Imamzadeh Yahya Pass on your trip. It is before Hamame Navab Pass. Hamame Navab is the personal bath of Sara Soltan Khatoon and Sara Hajar Khatoon, daughters of Navab Nami. Their Qajar bath has turned into a center of handicrafts. After visiting this place you will reach the old bazaar of Emamzadeh Yahya. Imamzadeh Yahya Pass is a unique vestibule, and is full of small shops next to each other. The women wear their flowery hijabs, pick up their baskets and come shopping during day and evening. This pass and Navab bath were the locations of the famous movie Gheysar, a film that depicted some parts of life in Oudjalan.The Bazaar of Oudjalan is the first permanent handicraft market that has fifty shops, and has been recently repaired. This beautiful space is full of old shops, selling kinds of beautiful products. After all the walking, you can go to Akbarian market and traditional restaurant of Tehroone Ghadim. This market is the first mortgage bank of Iran. It is two hundred and thirty years old, and people lend their valuable objects and received loans in return. Today only smell of delicious food fills this place. You can have a great menu to choose from, but Dizi is the most popular dish of this restaurant.It is better to enjoy every moment of your trip to Oudjalan, as no one knows how long it will be there.

Day 2, A Search for the Old Synagogue 

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On your second day, walk the western side of Oudjalan. It used to be a Jew district and was probably called Sarchal. There were some Zoroastrians living there, too. But now a great part of the Zoroastrians and Jews have left this Qajar district, and their houses have turned to workshops of bags, shoes, and clothes. However, this strict with its narrow alleys and smell of straw clay walls inspire an strange feeling and going there is like traveling to past. You need to lose yourself in its intersecting alleys and discover a great part of the attractions of Oudjalan yourself. You can listen to the sounds of the doors and windows, reimagine what that place looked in the past. A district that may no longer have horses pass through it, but has kept its glory and beauty.Another attraction is synagogue of Ezra Yaghub. He was one of the Jewish merchants of this district and endowed it. It is registered as a national heritage, but the keepers of the synagogue are an old man and woman who do not open the door for everyone. But if you are lucky and show your eagerness to see inside, they may open the door for you. The Bazaar of Oudjalan is the first permanent handicraft market that has fifty shops, and has been recently repaired. This beautiful space is full of old shops, selling kinds of beautiful products. After all the walking, you can go to Akbarian market and traditional restaurant of Tehroone Ghadim. This market is the first mortgage bank of Iran. It is two hundred and thirty years old, and people lend their valuable objects and received loans in return. Today only smell of delicious food fills this place. You can have a great menu to choose from, but Dizi is the most popular dish of this restaurant.It is better to enjoy every moment of your trip to Oudjalan, as no one knows how long it will be there.
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