K araj is a city and the capital of Karaj County, Alborz Province, Iran. Its population was 1.61 million in the latest 2011 census, making it the fourth-largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad and Isfahan. It is situated 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of Tehran, at the foothills of the Alborz mountains. The city has effectively become an extension of metropolitan Tehran.
Karaj is mostly famous because of its academic and educational complexes along with tourist attractions.
The economical base for Karaj is its proximity to Tehran, where transportation of products between the capital and the Caspian Sea is central. Chemicals, fertilizers and processed agricultural goods are also produced here
The majority of the population of the city is composed of ethnic Persians who are natives to the city but there are also a minority of Lurs, Azeris and Kurds.
It is connected by freeway, railway to Tehran 40 km east and Qazvin 100 km northwest, and by commuter rail to Tehran subway system (Metro).
Amir Kabir dam and small lakes are based here. Karaj's climate is a bit cooler than Tehran and it receives 260 mm of rain annually.
The downtown of Karaj is usually referred to Karaj Square, located hundred of meters to the West of Karaj River and the old Karaj Bridge
Karaj has traditionally been considered as a tourism area particularly for the people from Tehran. Karaj has a pleasant climate throughout the year. It is famous for its natural attractions. The Alborz Mountains provide a natural beauty to the landscape of Karaj
The stony fire-temple of Takht-e-Rostam belong to Parthians and Sassanian eras, as well as the Soleimanieh palace (which is currently part of the Agriculture faculty of University of Tehran), Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, a pre-Islamic bridge and the mausoleum of Shahzadeh Soleiman are among Karaj's cultural heritage.
Karaj is also the starting point for a drive along road forced north through the Alborz mountain to the Caspian Sea.
By Train:Karaj is easily accessible using Metro system of Tehran. Line 5 takes passenger in less than an hour to city. There are 3 metro stations in Karaj at east, center and west. The trains are very comfortable and the price is less than 800 Tomans.
By Car: Karaj is connected by to Qazvin(80km) in west and Tehran(35km) in East. It takes less than an hour to drive from Tehran to Karaj. Since there are a lot of people who drive between these two cities every hour, there is a very high chance to do hitch-hiking as well. People are very nice to foreigners and most of them get very happy to drive you between the two cities. From Mazandaran province Karaj is connected to Chalous city, by the famous Chalous road. It is one of the most beautiful roads of Iran which runs between mountains. However it is not recommended in winter season because the road may become a little slippery because of possible snow.
By Taxi: There are many taxi routes which are between Tehran and Karaj most of which pass through Tehran-Karaj Highway. The most famous places where you can get Taxi to Kaaraj in Tehran are: Azadi Square, Vanak Square, Tajrish Square etc