Rāniyah, Iraq

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Rāniyah, Iraq

Region: Sulaymaniyah

Geographic Coordinates: 36.255000, 44.883600
Temperature Range: 5.0°C to 38.0°C (41°F to 100°F)
Population: 257577
Language: Kurdish

Rāniyah is a small city located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Approximately 120 kilometers northwest of the regional capital, Erbil. The city has a population of around 30, 000 people and is known for its stunning natural beauty, Rich history and cultural heritage. One of the main attractions in Rāniyah is its breathtaking landscape. The city sits at an altitude of 1, 000 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountains covered in lush green forests.

Visitors can enjoy hiking trails that wind through the hillsides or take a scenic drive along one of the many mountain roads that offer panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. Rāniyah also has a number of historical sites that are worth exploring. One such site is Qalat-e Shahr-e Rewandiz (Rewandiz Castle), Which dates back to the early Islamic period. The castle sits on top of a hill overlooking Rāniyah and offers visitors stunning views over the surrounding area.

Another historical site worth visiting is Amna Suraka Museum, Which was once used as a prison by Saddam Hussein’s regime during his rule over Iraq. Today it serves as a museum showcasing Kurdish resistance against oppression. The local bazaar in Rāniyah offers visitors an opportunity to experience traditional Kurdish culture firsthand. Here you can find everything from handmade carpets and textiles to locally produced honey and olive oil.

In terms of cuisine, Rāniyah has plenty to offer foodies looking for authentic Kurdish dishes such as kebabs, Biryani rice dishes and pita bread served with hummus or baba ghanoush dip made from roasted eggplants. Overall, Rāniyah offers visitors an opportunity to experience both natural beauty and rich cultural heritage while enjoying traditional Kurdish hospitality at its best. It’s definitely worth adding this hidden gem to your travel bucket list!

Important Landmarks

  • Rāniyah is a small town in Iraq that lacks notable landmarks or tourist attractions.
  • Visitors can explore several interesting places nearby:
    • Qara Dagh Mountain, a popular destination for hiking and trekking enthusiasts
    • Gali Ali Bag Waterfall located near the town
    • Sheikh Ahmed Tomb situated in the nearby village of Kani Masi for tourists interested in religious sites
    • Hawraman Valley offers scenic views of mountains and landscapes, making it an ideal location for nature lovers
    • Halabja Monument Museum located about 50 km from Rāniyah commemorates victims of chemical attacks during Iran-Iraq war
    • Lake Dukan, a large artificial lake situated about 70 km from Rāniyah, offers boating and fishing opportunities
  • In conclusion, while Rāniyah may not have many famous landmarks or tourist attractions within its vicinity, there are several interesting places to explore nearby that offer natural beauty and cultural significance.

  • Primary Industries

    1. Agriculture: Rāniyah is known for its fertile land and agricultural products such as wheat, barley, fruits, and vegetables.
    2. Oil and gas: The city is situated near oil fields that contribute to the country’s oil production.
    3. Construction: With the growth of the city’s population, there has been an increase in construction activities such as building homes, schools, hospitals, and commercial buildings.
    4. Retail: There are several small shops and markets that sell goods ranging from food items to household appliances.
    5. Services: Rāniyah has a few service-based businesses such as car repair shops, hair salons, and internet cafes.
    6. Tourism: The nearby mountains attract tourists for hiking and camping activities during summer months.

    Noteable History

    1. The Battle of Rania: This battle took place during World War I in 1917 between the British forces and Ottoman Empire.
    2. Qazi Muhammad: A Kurdish nationalist leader who established the Republic of Mahabad in 1946, which included Rāniyah.
    3. Saddam Hussein: During his presidency from 1979 until 2003, he initiated several infrastructure projects in Rāniyah to develop its infrastructure.
    4. The Kurdish insurgency (1984–1991): An armed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Iraqi government forces that affected Rāniyah and other parts of Kurdistan region.
    5. Jalal Talabani: A Kurdish politician who served as the President of Iraq from 2005 to 2014; his hometown is near Rāniyah.
    6. ISIS insurgency (2013–present): Since its inception, ISIS has carried out several attacks on military checkpoints and civilian areas near Rāniyah resulting in significant loss of life and property damage.

    Overall, while there aren’t many notable historical events or people specifically associated with Rāniyah itself, it has been impacted by larger regional conflicts throughout history such as those mentioned above.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Raniyah Castle: This historical castle is located in the center of the city and dates back to the 13th century.
    2. Qaysari Bazaar: A traditional market where visitors can find local handicrafts and souvenirs.
    3. Halgurd-Sakran National Park: One of the largest national parks in Iraq with stunning landscapes and hiking trails.
    4. Kani Masi Cave: A natural cave system with underground lakes and unique rock formations.
    5. Chavi Land Amusement Park: A family-friendly amusement park with rides, games, and food stalls.
    6. The Martyrs Monument: A memorial dedicated to Iraqi soldiers who died during the Iran-Iraq war.
    7. Shorish Museum: An art museum showcasing works by Kurdish artists from different eras.
    8. Gali Ali Beg Waterfall: A picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush greenery ideal for picnics and relaxation.
    9. Sharazoor Plain Archaeological Site: An ancient site that features ruins of a 4th-century church, monasteries, and other structures from different periods of history.
    10. Pira Magrun Waterfall: Another beautiful waterfall located near Rāniyah that offers breathtaking views of nature’s beauty at its best!

    Cultural Events

    1. Newroz Festival – This is a Kurdish new year festival that is celebrated on March 21st every year.
    2. Eid al-Fitr – This is a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
    3. Ashura – This is a Shia Muslim festival commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, which falls on the 10th day of Muharram.
    4. Kurdistan Flag Day – Celebrated on December 17th to commemorate the adoption of the Kurdish flag as an official flag in Kurdistan.
    5. Rania International Festival – An annual cultural event held in late August or early September featuring music concerts, traditional dance performances and art exhibitions showcasing local culture and heritage.
    6. Halabja Memorial Day – A remembrance day for victims who were killed during chemical attacks by Saddam Hussein’s regime in Halabja city on March 16th, 1988


    • Kebab: Grilled meat served with rice and salad is a popular dish in Rāniyah.
    • Dolma: Stuffed vegetables such as grape leaves or peppers with rice and ground meat.
    • Biryani: A spiced rice dish mixed with chicken or lamb.
    • Al-Masry Restaurant: This restaurant serves traditional Iraqi dishes like kebab, shawarma, and falafel.
    • Al-Salam Restaurant: This restaurant offers a variety of Middle Eastern dishes including hummus, tabbouleh salad, and grilled meats.
    • Al-Omaraa Restaurant: Known for its seafood dishes like fish tikka and shrimp curry.
    • Al-Faris Bakery & Sweets Shop: Famous for its freshly baked bread and sweet treats like baklava and kunafa.
    • Shams El Shamal Restaurant & Café: Offers a mix of Arabic cuisine along with European-style coffee drinks and desserts.
    • Nino’s Pizza & Fast Food Restaurant: Serves pizza along with other fast-food items like burgers and fries.
    • Cafe Dijlah Raniyahty Mall Branch – A cafe that serves hot beverages such as coffee or tea alongside light snacks like sandwiches or pastries.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Qalat-e-Salahuddin Park: This is a popular park located near the city center of Rāniyah. It features playgrounds for children, picnic areas, and walking trails.
      2. Kani Masi Park: This park is situated about 10 kilometers from Rāniyah and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, picnicking areas, and birdwatching.
      3. Amna Suraka Museum: This museum showcases the history of Kurdish resistance against Saddam Hussein’s regime and features exhibits on torture methods used by his regime.
      4. Shari Darbandi Waterfall: Located about 30 kilometers from Rāniyah town center, this waterfall is a popular destination for visitors who love nature walks.
      5. Football Stadium: There is also a football stadium located in Rāniyah where locals gather to watch matches or play games themselves.

      Please note that due to ongoing conflicts or other reasons beyond our control these may not be accessible at present times or may have changed since this information was last updated online.


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