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Farsi - Persian Language

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Persian Cuisine

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Currency and Costs of visit/living in Iran

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Your Guide to Iranian Culture

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Taghe Bostan – Kermanshah

In the heart of Zagros mountains range and in just 5 kilometers of the Kermanshah city center, is a series of petroglyphs and rock engravings called Tagh-e-Bostan which date back to almost 1,700 years ago.  Tagh-e-Bostan (or Taq Bostan), was the chosen site by the Sassanid kings for their sculptures, as it was located on the path of silk road and due to its beautiful nature continuously attracted a lot of visitors since its establishment up to now. Before this, the site surrounding Persepolis was used by the empires before Sassanid to create such monuments and sculptures.

Taghe Bostan, The two Iwans

Taghe Bostan, The two Iwans

Tagh e Bostan depicts coronations of several Sassanid kings such as Khosrow Parviz (last great king of Sasanian Empire), Ardashir II, Shahpur II and Shahpur III. Furthermore there are several inscriptions in Pahlavi, which was the official script of lran during the Sassanid Empire.

The main ethnicity group in Kermanshah is Kurdish. And therefore the original (or the Kurdish) name of Tagh-e-Bostan is Tagh veh San which mean Arch of stone in Kurdish.

a depiction of Taq e Bostan

a depiction of Taq e Bostan

There are many different engravings in Tagh-e-Bostan and each depicts an important occasion which is of great historical importance. One that stands out is the engraving of “Khosrow Parviz hunting ground”, which is believed to be the first rock engraving based on principles of artistic drawings.

The hunting ground itself is also located in the same region.

The hunting ground of Khosrow Parviz

The hunting ground of Khosrow Parviz

There are many more artistic engravings which due to their style, are believed to be created based on drawings and portraits. One of these engravings shows boar hunting, which is believed to be a sign of bravery and courage. Another one is of women playing Chang (a musical instrument similar to harp).

Women playing Harp in Taghe Bostan

Women playing Harp in Taghe Bostan

The centerpiece of Tagh-e-Bostan is the main arch that shows Khosrow Parviz on his favorite and well-known horse called Shabdiz.

Khosrow Parviz on his favorite horse, Shabdiz

Khosrow Parviz on his favorite horse, Shabdiz

Above it the coronation of Khosrow Parviz is depicted; the king stands in the middle, Fravashi (the holy spirit in every living creature in Zoroastrian believe) on his right and is giving him the ring of monarchy (believed to be the symbol of a legitimate kingdom). And on his left, stands Anahita, who is the goddess of waters and represent flourishing nature.

The Main Iwan, dedicated to Khosrow Parviz

The Main Iwan, dedicated to Khosrow Parviz

Another famous coronation depicted in Taghe Bostan is of Ardeshir the Second.

Ardashir II with Ahura Mazda to his left and Zoroaster to his right.

Ardashir II with Ahura Mazda to his left and Zoroaster to his right.

Tagh-e-Bostan has withstand 1,700 years of rain, sunlight and wind. However due to earthquakes, cracks have shown up on the engravings which caused penetration of rainwater and further damages. But the greatest damage of all was caused by one of the kings of Qajar dynasty, Mohammad Ali Shah, who ordered his own depiction to be engraved on the site during the 19th century. The engraving is considered unprofessional and egoistic, even by the succeeding kings of Qajar.

The added engraving during the 19th century by Mohammad Ali Shah

The added engraving during the 19th century by Mohammad Ali Shah

 

Taghe Bostan

Taghe Bostan

Taghe Bostan

Taghe Bostan

Photo of the famous carving of Taghe Bostan during Qajar Dynesty

Photo of the famous carving of Taghe Bostan during Qajar Dynesty

The Large Iwan - Khosrow Parviz in the middle, Ahura Mazda to his left and Anahita to his right.

The Large Iwan – Khosrow Parviz in the middle, Ahura Mazda to his left and Anahita to his right.

The angel of victory

The angel of victory

 

 

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