People, Travel

Thieves Fort

Thieves FortThieves Fort

A visit to a den of thieves can be attractive for an adventurous trip. The damage on the walls of Karshahi fortress or Thieves’ Fort, Isfahan Province, is still visible. These are traces of mortar shells and bullets fired during the crossfire between government forces and men of Hossein Kashi at the turn of the twentieth century.

To visit the fortress, one should first go to Aran-Bidgol town. Some 70 km off the town lies a smaller town called Abuzeydabad. The village of Qasemabad comes after Abuzeydabad. Approximately 30 km of dirt road north of the village, leads to the Thieves Fort, ISNA reported. Another route to the fort is from Maranjab town.

The fort is located to the west of the Yakhab mountains. Its building dates back to 130 years ago, but the foundation is said to go further back, before the advent of Islam. Covering an area of over 4,000 sq meters, Karshahi fortress is made of mud and adobe. The building was too resilient to be razed down by Mongol forces. The fort withstood a long siege by the Mongols, for its base was in proximity of underground waters which fed the pool situated in the middle.

Secret tunnels, running across the fort, helped the residents in defending themselves. Since the fort enjoyed a strategic position, it was reconstructed several times by both rulers and outlaws. For the last time, the fort was reconstructed by Hossein Kashi, the famous outlaw of late Qajar era.

Hossein Kashi or Hossein Khan dominated Kashan region from Natanz to Saveh. He built a new fort over the old ruins, and continued rampaging through the land till he was killed in 1918.

Thieves and outlaws are all gone. Karshahi fortress is now visited by desert trekkers to exchange the vast view of the desert with a mystical maze inside the walls.