Sanandaj or Sine is the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan.
In 2004 census, it had a population of 850,000. The city of Sanandaj is the capital of the province, and lies at a distance of 512 km from Tehran, 1,480 m above sea level.
The population of Sanandaj is mainly Kurdish, with an Armenian, Chaldean and Jewish minority.
While the local urban people refer to the city as Sine (= Sna), the people of local rural areas tend to use the word 'Kursan', a local variation of 'Kurdistan'.
The name "Sanandaj" is the variant of the Persian name "Sena Dzhj" (Sine fortress) [*].
Sanandaj is a rather new city and was built less than 400 years ago by the Ardalan principality in 17th century.
After the Islamic conquest in AD 642 , majority of the inhabitants accepted Islam. Today most inhabitants follow Sunni Islam which is the predominant religion. This differentiates this area from most of Iran which is primarily Shi'ah.
Suleyman Khan Ardalan the governor of the region constructed the Sena Dej (castle) during the Shah Safi period (1629-1642). Sanandaj was under the control of the Ardalan household for four centuries. In the war between the Safavids and the Ottomans, this family sometimes sided with the Safavids and sometimes with the Ottomans. In 1733, Karim Khan Zand destroyed Sanandaj. After a period of chaos, Khusrow Khan Ardalan took over power in this part of Kurdistan. From 1799 to 1824, Amanolah Khan Ardalan, son of Khusrow Khan Ardalangoverned, ruled in Sanandaj. He worked to build up and inprove Sanandaj. In 1867, due to the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants, Haj Mirza Mu'tamid-u-lleh, the uncle of Nasser-al-Din Shah, came to power. He governed in the region until the year 1874. [*]
The main landmark of Sanandaj is a fortress dating back to the period of Abbasid rule. [*] Sanandaj was very prosperous in the Safavid era but was completely destroyed at the time of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty. It was later chosen to be the capital of this province and is presently one of the most prominent cities of western Iran.
Tracing their roots to the village of Kilaneh, the Sanandaji family, which since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 have moved to Europe and the United States, were the predominant land and farm owners in the state of Kurdistan throughout its modern history. Until the White Revolution during the Shah's reign, the family heavily influenced the economy and society of the region. It is for this reason that they bear the title of Khan, and the name Sanandaji.
The Founder of the Sanandaji family, Kohzad (the son of mountains) was the son of Bahram who was the son of Khodadad born 1660 A.D. in Kilaneh, situated 20 Kilometers south of Sanandaj. Kohzad migrated to Sanandaj around 1750, setting up a modest cloth trading business which his sons followed up. By the end of the 18th century the family was wealthy enough to become one of the most influential landowners in the then largely feudal society of Persia.
A sizable Jewish minority settled down and thrived in Sanandaj due to the tolerant attitude of the Kurdish citizens plus the support of the ruling elite. A great majority of this Jewish community migrated to Israel by the end of 1980s.
Sanandaj has a pleasant weather in spring and summer. The average seasonal temperature in Sanandaj is 15.20 C in spring, 25.20 C in summer, 10.40 C in autumn and 1.60 C in winter. In a 30-year long study carried out on the climate of Sanandaj, the maximum absolute temperature was found to be 44 C, the minimum absolute -31 C, and the average annual temperature 13.10 C. The average relative humidity was 69% at 06:30 hours and 38% at 12:30 hours. The average annual rainfall was 497.3 mm and the maximum daily, 61 mm. The average number of frosty days was 111.4; and the maximum number of hours of sunshine over the entire year 2,786.2.
The language of the people is kurdish, which is categorized under the Indo-European group of languages with its distinctive grammatical form. Kurdistan is a large province and the people in this region speak with different dialects. Using a wide variety of words and vocabularies, has made the language harmonic and poetical. The people of Sanandaj speak with the southern kermanj dialect which is one of the main dialects of the kurdish language.
Dense forests of the region
Negel historical village on Sanandaj-Marivan road, (and its historic Quran)
Salavat Abad village
Hajar Khatoon Mosque
Edifices of Khosro Abad, Salar Saeed Sanandaj (Museum of anthropology and contemporary arts) and Moshir which have been constructed in Qajar time
The old houses of Moshiri, Vakil, Asef Vaziri and Sadegh Vaziri
Several historical bridges belonging to the Safavid era
Old public bathes
Old bazaars of Sanandaj and Asef belonging to the Safavid era
Several Mosques and Imamzadehs
As in most other parts of Iran, carpet weaving is one of the most significant handicrafts of the region, especially in Bijar and Sanandaj. Shaw, kilim and jajim weaving.Wood work and jewelry and ornaments are among other main handicrafts of this province.
The unique art of crafting backgammon boards utilizing genuine wood from walnut trees up to 1000 years old, mostly grown wild inside small valleys high up in the Zagros mountains must be noted. These magnificent trees were sadly overharvested during the past 50 years, exported to Europe, mainly to Italy.
Image:Senandaj.jpg|Amirieh Park located in Mount Abidar has the widest Open Space Cinema screen in the world.Image:Senandaj.JPG|A view of the city from Mount Abidar. Image:EqbalSquare.jpg|Square of Liberty, AKA Eqbal Square, the main and largest square in Sanandaj Image:SnahCity.JPG|Sanandaj Image:SnahWide.JPG|A view of the city from Mount Abidar. Image:Awalan_in_winter.jpg|Awalan Mountain is located in the southern country of Sanandaj.
Image:SnahGirlWithVase.jpg|Statute of a Kurdish girl with vase in Abidar, Sanandaj.