project to survey, document and clean Dayr-e Gachin (also Deir-e
Gachin), mother of
all Iranian caravansaries, in the National Kavir Park is
The monument was originally built in the Sasanian dynastic era
(334-651 CE) as a fortified fire temple and its function was changed during the Safavid
The caravansary has four iwans to help desert winds pass through
the adobe building. It now has the most complete ID card ever
issued for a caravansary and if funded, experts will renovate
the age-old building, said Omid Ali Sadeghi, an expert with
Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) in
The caravansary’s area is 12,000 sq.m and it has 43 rooms,
stately iwans, a backyard, 8 camel stables, 2 shops, one bath
to Borhan-e Qate the construction was erected by Sasanian emperor
Bahram V (r. 421-438 CE) while the Tarihkh-i Qum gives the
name of Khosrow I (r. 531-579 CE) as the patron of the
caravanserai. However, the archaeological facts tend to
confirm the building may have been constructed before
Emperor Khosrow, but rebuilt or repaired during his time.
Gachin is even reflected in Iranian legend. According to
the anonymous Mujmal al-tawārīkh wal-qisas (c.
520/1126-7) Dayr-i Gachin, was the place that Bahman was
swallowed by a dragon and he gave his kingdom to his
daughter Chīhrazād, who was known as Humāy.
may be worth mentioning a suggestion made by professor
David Bivar that the name Bahman could here allude to the
post-Achaemenid wars of the successors, when Eumenes, the
former secretary of Alexander, fought a campaign north of
Esfahan and was killed, probably in the neighbourhood of
Dudihak. Although the death of Eumenes took place at some
distance from Dayr-i Gachin, it appears from the narrative
of his campaign that he may have operated widely across
the desert of central Iran and his movements may have left
traces in popular legends.