The Khanat caravanserai used to host merchants and travellers in the past. The brick structure was constructed towards the end of the rule of the Persian King Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (16 July 1831 – 1 May 1896) by the side of a road on the outskirts of Tehran. It was built on the eastern side of the then Amin al-Soltan Square.
The caravanserai can be seen on a map of Tehran drawn by Najm al-Malek back in 1930.
By the time the rule of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar was halfway through, Tehran had been enclosed by a fence constructed by Safavid rulers in 1930. Afterwards, the fence was demolished and replaced with a new one in line with a city development plan, which saw Tehran expanded to bring the caravanserai within city limits.
The building’s architecture is inspired by Persian gardens. The caravanserai has a surface area of 10,000 square metres. It has a total of 52 chambers, i.e. 13 chambers on each side.
Khanat literally means “chambers,” and the reason the caravanserai is named “Khanat” is that it had a lot of chambers.
The monument was abandoned because of a blaze in 1978 and was reopened in 2010 to host Nowruz ceremonies.
After the building was reconstructed, it turned into a traditional restaurant featuring performances such as story-telling.
The outside of the caravanserai was converted into small shops selling pulses, medicinal herbs and spices. Later on, they were used as storage rooms.