Taq-e Bostan

Taq-e Bostan of Kermanshah, tour to kermanshah

đŸ•’ 2 minute read
Taq-e Bostan is one of the ancient sites of Persia that are carved at the foot of Dalahou mountain. These arches consist reliefs from Sassanian dynasty till Qajari period in 19th century.

It’s always interesting for travelers to visit Kermanshah and its historical sites especially Taq-e Bostan as it’s in upscale side of city. There were several discoveries for this location in order to find out why this spot had been chosen despite being along Silk route.

The strongest story is, it’s been the home of Elamite people back in 4000 years ago as some of them are still visible and some are covered. One of the top sources is still feed a large basin in front of the rocks.

This place has turned to be an open archaeological site in order to maintain the pillars and arches from different dynasties. Name of the place translated into Arches of garden that is picturing a huge garden and these arches have ben carved in the middle of that.

There are one big and one small arches in this complex that represents coronation scenes, glory, hunting, etc. The large one consists several reliefs such as the victory scene of Khosrow Parviz who is on his famous steed, his hunting scene, coronation of Qajari kings.

In the smaller one, that is the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sassanids, include representations of the investitures of Ardeshir II and Shapour II. Like other Sassanid symbols, Taq-e Bostan, and its relief patterns accentuate power, religious tendencies, glory, honor, the vastness of the court, game and fighting spirit, festivity, joy, and rejoicing.

Many people are of the opinion that the oldest one is the relief that represents coronation of Ardeshir II (however, archaeologists and researchers debated for a long time whether he was receiving royal ring from representative of Ahura Mazda or Shapour II and finally, they all agreed it can be Shapour II).

It’s well noted that Taq-e Bostan and its rock relief are one of the 30 surviving Sassanid relics of the MT. zagros particularly on Mt. Dalahou. In another way, one of American researchers Arthur pope, phrased “art was characteristic of the Iranian people and the gift which they endowed the world with.”

The smaller arch or iwan (Taq-e Bustan II) has, on the upper part of the back wall, two Pahlavi inscriptions (an inscription used by Sassanian people) identifying two royal figures as Shapur II (Shapur the Great) and his son Shapur III. They are shown facing each other.

Regarding the date of scene makes several stories from archaeological point of view, It has been suggested as having been built during the reign of Shapur III and some put the date of its completion at 385 AD. However, the royal crown of Shapur III does not agree with those on his coins and is closer to that of his predecessor Ardashir II.

The largest Iwan of Arch is considered to represent Khosrow Parviz as he was one of the bravest kiongs that has Persia has been seen. He was flanked by Ahura Mazda and Anahita. They are placed above a mounted Persian knight, thought to be Khusrow himself riding his favorite horse, Shabdiz.

There is, however, no unanimity about the exact identification of this late Sasanian king. The two attending figures are sometimes considered to be a priest and a priestess, rather than the gods Ahura Mazda and Anahita themselves.

One of the most impressive reliefs inside the largest grotto or arch is the gigantic equestrian figure of the Sassanid king Khosrow II mounted on his favorite charger, Shabdiz. Both horse and rider are arrayed in full battle armor.

The front of the rock-cut arch bears delicately carved patterns showing the tree of life or the sacred tree.

Taq-e Bostan of Kermanshah
front view

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