In the vicinity of Kerman, two ancient castles are known as the “Daughter Castles.” One, made of mud, is situated between the Zarifsf heights and the Mount of Masjid Sahib Al-Zaman. The other, built of stone, lies to the north of Kerman, on the left-hand side of the road to Zarand, about 10 kilometers from the ring road.
The Mud Castle’s Majestic Structure
The mud castle, perched on a 400-meter high rock, spans an area of over 20 hectares. Its circular fortifications and ramparts stretch over three kilometers, mostly composed of cylindrical rock surfaces. Access to the castle’s summit is through a narrow gorge in the northern shadow of the rock, which appears to be the only path to the fortress. Extensive fortifications, walls, and detailed towers protect the gorge’s entrance.
The Stone Castle’s Strategic Features
The entrance walls, spanning half a kilometer with a base width of over two meters, are constructed from stone up to two meters high, topped with mudbrick walls. This section features window-like arches encircling the area. Inside, remnants of small mud buildings are visible. The castle has a north-facing gate, with the remains of protective towers indicating the precise location of the entrance.
The Castle’s Towers
Two elongated towers flank the gorge’s entrance, serving as protective structures. One, still standing at 20 meters, showcases the remains of these defensive towers. The gorge splits into a steep ascent, navigable only by expert climbing techniques.
The Perilous Path to the Summit
Starting at the base, a wide staircase leads upwards, narrowing and becoming more challenging at 50 meters high, where it collapses. Adventurers must climb a steep, slippery rock face before encountering the remaining steps. The staircase’s gentle gradient even allows animals like mules to ascend. A fork in the path presents two options: continue the staircase or take the “Pataqi,” a two-meter-wide path extending over half a kilometer, flanked by the remnants of protective towers.
Water Reservoirs of the Daughter Castle
The castle features numerous water reservoirs, some holding hundreds of liters. More than ten water tanks and cisterns are located in the northern shadow, while the south side houses over four reservoirs, including an astonishing 30-meter deep and 25-meter wide reservoir hanging off a cliff, apparently filled by rainwater.
Residential Structures and Architectural Marvels
Divided into southern and northern shadows, the northern side, formed by two parallel valleys, contains fascinating architectural remains and several large building complexes, revealing the skilled craftsmanship of its builders. The precision and finesse in these residential structures are astounding, with smoothly curved stone walls and narrow, finely crafted corridors. A large stone structure, comparable to the South Front of the Ancient Iran Museum in Tehran, stands majestically near the last water tank.
Evidence of Past Life
The abundance of broken pottery near these structures, especially around the circular water tank, suggests this area was a primary source of drinking water.
These Daughter Castles near Kerman, with their complex architectural structures and strategic design, are a testament to the ingenuity and skill of their ancient inhabitants, and a must-visit for those intrigued by Iran’s rich historical sites.