When it comes to ancient wonders and historical treasures, Iran has a lot to offer. One such gem is the Anahita Temple, a remarkable stone structure located approximately 94 kilometers from Kermanshah. This temple, dedicated to the goddess Anahita, stands as the second-largest monolithic stone building in Iran, following the grand Persepolis. In this blog post, we will delve into the rich history, captivating architecture, and how to plan a visit to the Anahita Temple.
Ancient Anahita Temple
The Anahita Temple is a testament to the significance of water in ancient times and how the ancient Iranians revered this precious resource. Exploring this historical site not only offers a glimpse into Iran’s past but also allows you to appreciate its ancient architecture and the stories of its revered goddess.
The Goddess of Water and More
Before we dive into the temple’s details, let’s get to know Anahita, the goddess to whom this temple is dedicated. Anahita was the goddess of water, guardian of fertility, bringer of rain, and a symbol of grace and beauty. She was highly revered among the ancient Iranians, and numerous myths and stories revolved around her. It’s fascinating to imagine how this temple once played a role in the rituals and ceremonies dedicated to this beloved goddess.
The history of the Anahita Temple has puzzled historians and archaeologists for years due to conflicting accounts and varying theories. However, it is generally believed that its construction dates back to the Achaemenid era, with subsequent additions during the Parthian and Sassanian periods. The temple underwent transformations after the arrival of Islam in Iran, with the addition of structures such as mosques, shrines, and bazaars surrounding it.
Architectural Marvel of Anahita Temple
The architecture of the Anahita Temple is a masterpiece, reflecting the reverence for water and the goddess herself. The surrounding terraces directed water towards the central square pool, creating a mesmerizing effect. Additionally, the presence of four cow statues at the temple’s entrance added to its mythical ambiance. Notably, the temple’s stone surfaces bear the marks of ancient fire rituals, representing its significance in Zoroastrianism.
Exploring Different Sections of the Temple
The Anahita Temple comprises various intriguing elements:
The Temple Walls
The temple’s walls were constructed using a mixture of gypsum and mortar, covered with finely carved stones to enhance its visual appeal.
The southern side of the temple features dual staircases, each with five steps. These staircases, once connected with iron beams, facilitated access to the temple.
Among the most captivating aspects of the temple are its columns, constructed in three sections: the base, the shaft, and the capital. These unique columns are unlike anything seen in other parts of the world.
In the center of the temple, there is a stone platform believed to be used for rituals and ceremonies.
Visiting the Anahita Temple
To reach the Anahita Temple, you need to travel to Kermanshah, Iran, and then head to the city of Kangavar, which is approximately 94 kilometers away. From Kangavar’s Shahda Street, you can take a taxi to reach this magnificent temple. The temple’s visiting hours vary throughout the year, typically from 9 AM to 7 PM during the first half of the year and 9 AM to 5 PM during the second half.
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The Anahita Temple in Kermanshah, Iran, stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural prowess of ancient Iran. Dedicated to the goddess of water, Anahita, this temple offers a unique opportunity to explore the past, immerse yourself in ancient Iranian architecture, and witness the enduring legacy of a beloved deity. A visit to this remarkable site is a journey through time that should not be missed.