Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases
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Meaning of the word "Akanlu"

In the Dehkhoda dictionary , "Akan" (Turkish) means cultivate’ and the suffix "Lu" denotes a place. Accordingly Akanlu is a Turkish word meaning farmland.

Geographical location of Akanlu

Akanlu village is located 365 kilometers from Tehran, 138 km from the city of Hamadan and 73km from Kabudar-Ahang.

To get to Akanlu from Tehran, take the Saveh Highway towards Hamadan and exit at Famenin. Pass Kabudrahang and Shirin Su. Akanlu lies about 32 km after Shirin Su.

General information about Akanlu

Akanlu village has 536 households and a population of over 1,890.

Taking advantage of the many water resources (aqueducts and springs) and the lush countryside with old-growth trees, vineyards and grasslands, most of the villagers are engaged in farming, animal husbandry, horticulture and forestry.

Tourist attractions near Akanlu

Tourist attractions such as Alisadr and Katale Khor caves, the Shirin Su wetlands and the Lalejin pottery works are a short distance from the village.

Alisadr Cave

The Alisadr Cave originally called Ali Sadr or Ali Saar (meaning cold) is the world's largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. It is located in Ali Sadr Kabudar-Ahang County about 100 kilometers north of Hamadan, western Iran. This region has a semi-arid climate.

Because of the cave's proximity to large cities such as Hamadan, it is a highly recommended destination for tourists from all corners of the world. Tours of the cave are available by pedal boats.

The cave walls can extend up to 40 meters high, and it contains several large, deep lakes. The cave has a river flowing through it and most travel through the cave system is done by boat. More than 11 kilometers of the cave's water canals have been discovered so far. Some routes are 10 to 11 kilometers long and all lead to "The Island", a centrally located large atrium. Four kilometer of it is accessible to the public using a mix of walking paths and self-propelled boats.

The water inside the cave has no odor or taste as there are no living things in it. The cave connects to the Sarab and the Soobashi caves lying 7 and 11 km away.


The cave is located 75 kilometers northwest of Hamadan and 70 km from Akanlu village.

Katale Khor cave

Katale Khor cave was discovered around 1921.

The cave is located in a rectangular area with dimensions of 2000×1500 meters. The cave’s opening is at 1,700 meters above sea level.

Katale Khor cave, in the terms of quality of crystals and icicles, beauty and diversity of classes, is the best-known limestone cave in the world. This cave is as old as Alisadr cave in Hamadan, but Alisadr cave is a water cave, whereas Katale Khor is almost dry. Another significant difference is that the limestone of Katale Khor cave is much purer than that of Alisadr cave and this purity leads to greater transparency and thus more light through its icicles.

It is believed that this cave has 7 levels, but so far only 3 have been explored. The presence of very clear springs around the cave and numerous natural holes are some of the unique features of this cave.


Katale Khor is 90 km from the village of Akanlu.


Lalejin (Lalehjin) lies in northern Hamadan province 5 km from Bahar city and 17 km from Hamadan. Approximately 80% of the population of Lalejin is engaged in the pottery industry, including painting pottery, packaging, and the sale of pottery/ceramic products.

Lalejin is one of the main centers of production of ceramic and pottery products in Iran, the Middle East and the world. The products of its artists are exported not only to cities near and far in Iran but also to many other countries. Earthenware made in Lalejin is very diverse and includes a variety of decorative and household objects. In Lalejin there are over 680 workshops active in the production of pottery and ceramics, according to the union of pottery and ceramics.

Recently the city developed a method of decorating pottery commonly called enamel.

Lalejin is about 100 km from Akanlu village.

Shirin Su wetlands

Another tourist attraction close to Akanlu is the Shirin Su wetlands. Shirin Su means fresh water. Shirin Su is a manmade, or artificial, wetland area. The area consists of about 300 hectares of wetlands and a lake area of 43 hectares. The exact dimensions depend on the amount of rainfall and vary annually. There are over 54 bird species in the Shirin Su wetlands, including rare and otherwise valuable birds.

Akanlu village is about 30 km away from the Shirin Su wetlands.


I did not choose the plague, but it desired me!

Marcel Baltazard (1907-1971), founder of research centre